HOW TO START THE YEAR FREE FROM BED BUGS

HOW TO START THE YEAR FREE FROM BED BUGS

HOW TO START THE YEAR FREE FROM BED BUGS

They are always around, watching your every move each night.  Even if you think you are alone, you are not. They are a constant companion on the bed, whether you are single or not.  They are clingy, which is something you do not need. Be careful when you sleep, they are just waiting for you to doze off.  Once you are in slumberland, they will suck the blood out of you!

I am talking about bed bugs, little insects that suck the blood of humans.  They sneak up on you while you are sleeping, for they are creatures of the night.  They bring unsightly bite marks, which could be quite embarrassing. These bed bug bites are very itchy as well.

I suppose you are thinking that I am painting quite a terrible picture of these bed bugs, but wait!  There is more! According to three United States government agencies namely the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Center for Disease Control, and the Environmental Protection Agency, bed bugs are high health risks.

No, they are not carriers of the disease. 

Instead, they cause an immense mental toll on their hosts.  

What are these bed bugs, and how come they are so terrible?

We will take a look at these small creatures, and find out how we can best control them. 

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of humans.  They are oval in shape and are the size of an apple seed. They are brownish in color but change into the red after a blood meal.  They are considered parasites because they live on the blood of their hosts. Their bodies are flat, but bloat after feeding.  

Bed bugs can crawl quickly, which makes up for them being flightless.  They quickly spread from the bead to all parts of the house. The floors, walls, and ceilings are areas that they can also be found.  They also multiply rather quickly, which makes it very important for homeowners to control their spread immediately. To give you an idea, an adult female bed bug may lay hundreds of eggs in its lifetime.  The eggs are about the size of a speck of dirt.

After the eggs hatch, the nymphs, or immature bed bugs, shed their skin 5 times in their lifetime.  Before each shedding, they will require a blood meal. When conditions are favorable to them, they can be fully developed in a month and produce at least 3 generations in their lifetime. 

Bed bugs were once thought of to have disappeared from the planet.  That was during the 1950s. Bed bugs go from way back 3,300 years ago, probably feeding on Egyptian blood as they were the first ones to put them on record. They reached the United States by trader ships, and here they thrived for decades. More effective pesticides, together with a more hygienic way of living, plus the development of vacuum cleaners and washing machines, all contributed to their demise during the 1950s.  

Unfortunately, bed bugs have found a way to come back during the late 1990s.  Bed bug infestation continues at a very quick pace and that these pests have become more devastating and problematic now more than ever.  Those who are in the pest control business have also reported that the majority of the customers they served were all about bed bug problems.  

Most bed bug infestations occur in private residences, though even 5-star hotels can have bed bugs.  

There are several reasons for the bed bug resurgence.  Faster and better ways of traveling are the chief reason for their spread.  American travelers get to pick up bed bugs wherever they go, usually from hotels or other rented rooms they stayed in. There is also a lack of awareness in bed bug control since most people are not familiar with how bed bugs work and how to control them since it has been decades since bed bugs last appeared.    It has also been said that modern homes now are equipped with central heating, which makes the environment ideal for bed bugs. Lack of good household management is another contributor to this problem. 

Where they hide

A commonly asked question when it comes to bed bugs is “How did they get inside my house?  Where did they come from?” One way they can get inside your house is through the luggage you brought in after traveling.  Another way is through old clothes, used sofas, used beds or bed frames, and other used items that were bought from garage sales.   Their favorite hiding places, aside from the mattresses, are bed frames, headboards, and box springs. After a couple of weeks, if their population has not been checked, they could spread to other parts of the house.  Look for them in electrical receptacles, drawers, cracks, and crevices of walls, sofas, and other furniture. They are not just confined to these places and they may scatter all over the house. 

Bed bugs bite

The most common problem bed bugs bring is that they bite.  Their bites are extremely itchy and are unsightly. Bed bug bites typically heal on their own without any need for intervention, but there have been some instances wherein they become serious.

You do not feel anything the moment the bed bug bites.  Bed bugs excrete a tiny bit of anesthesia while they bite.  Thus, you are totally undisturbed as you sleep and they feed.

Bed bug bites are itchy, followed by a burning sensation on the skin that may last for a few days.  Redness on the skin will also be visible, and they appear on a straight pattern, unlike those of mosquitoes where they bite on random areas of the skin.

Treatment

As we mentioned earlier, bed bug bites heal on its own. Still, if you want immediate relief, here are some things you can do:

  1.  Apply an ice pack directly on the affected area.  Do not use ice directly onto the skin.
  2. Use apple cider vinegar.   Apply a small amount using a cotton ball onto the affected area and soak in for a few minutes.  Then rinse off with warm water.
  3. Wash simply with water.  This will soothe the pain and itching.  Run cold water through the affected area.  You may also use soap and water to clean it.  

Bed bugs are high health risk pests

Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, nor do they carry any bacteria or viruses.  Still, they are considered very dangerous to people’s health. Cases of stress, insomnia, social isolation, and even depression are reported among people who have bed bugs at home. 

As we can see, their effects are far more than physical; they attack our mental well-being as well.

So next time we see a coworker falling asleep on the job, cut him some slack; he might be struggling with a bed bug infestation for all we know.  

Bed bug signs

Detecting bed bugs early on is very important.   This is because it would be very hard to control them once they start to multiply.  A single female adult bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime.

One sign that gives away the presence of bed bugs in your home is the presence of red stains on your mattresses.  This is a result of bed bugs that were crushed as you roll around the bed. Another sign is a sweet, musty smell coming from the bed bugs.   Dark spots on your mattress can be bed bug feces. And of course, seeing actual bed bugs as described above should warn you of an impending bed bug attack.

Bed bugs are usually found in the seams of mattresses, chairs, couches, and cushions.  Look for them in the folds of your curtains, electrical receptacles, appliances, in the cracks of the bed frame, and the headboard too.

We did not mention bed bug bites as a sign of bed bug infestation.  The reason for this is that bed bugs bite usually show only after 7 to 14 days of the bite.  By the time they show up on your sin, it would be too late.  

Control

Bed bugs have to be destroyed! 

They are unwelcome visitors that bring nothing but trouble.  Here are some things you can do.

  1. Use your vacuum cleaner.  Suck up these bugs on your bed, couch, sofas, furniture, and other areas that may have bed bugs.  After that, tie up and dispose of the vacuum bag properly.
  2. Wash your bedding and clothes that are infested at 60 degrees centigrade and put them in a dryer at a high temperature for 30 minutes.  This would kill the bed bugs, as well as the eggs and nymphs of the bed bugs.
  3. You may also put the mattresses and clothes in a freezer to kill the bed bugs, their eggs, and their nymphs.  Anything lower than -14 degrees C will kill these pests. 
  4. You may use organic-based bed bug sprays.   You may purchase these in stores near you. This is much safer than those chemical pesticides we were so used to.

If all these still would not cut it, you may always call the best company in Greensboro to get rid of bugs, Go-Forth Pest Control.

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned exterminator company based in High Point, NC. The company covers The Triad, The Triangle, Charlotte, Hickory, Wilmington, Columbia SC.