Bed bugs are very tiny brownish insects that live solely on animal and human blood. Their body is so flat that they can hide in almost every corner and crevice. Therefore, they can hide in clothes, bags, and furniture without being seen.
How Do They Get Into Homes?
They latch on to bags, old furniture, and even clothes on the body of their host and follow them home. Once the host carries them home unknowingly, they will leave the bag and hide somewhere permanently waiting for when to bite. The biggest challenge with them is their rate of reproduction. A single female bedbug can lay up to 500 eggs. Under a favorable condition, a baby bug can become a full adult within one month. They hatch their eggs about two to three times a year. Even though they live on blood alone, they can stay for several months without feeding. Therefore, it is difficult to remove them from homes once they manage to get inside.
How do They Operate?
They usually hide in locations where they can have access to their victims in the night. So, they are more active in the night, especially when it is dark. It is not that they see in the dark but they can smell human body and they will find their way to your body. They bite and suck the blood of their victim until they are engorged. Then, they gradually walk to their hiding place.
They are very fast and smart. Once you put on the light while they are sucking blood, they will disappear quickly. They are only slower when they are engorged. Although their bites are painless at first, the spot may become itchy thereafter. Apart from that, people initially mistake their bite for that of mosquitoes until they sight one of them.
Do they Transmit Diseases?
It is a big relief that bedbugs do not transmit diseases. Things would have been worse if they do. Up till now, no disease has been found to have been transmitted by bed bugs.
Prevention of Bed Bug Infestation
Prevention is always easier, better, and cheaper than cure so here are some important tips on how to prevent your home from bedbug infestation. Remember, all infestation begins with just one female bedbug and it will lay about 500 eggs.
- Since shared laundry facilities is one of the means through which bed bugs spread, it is better to put your laundry in a plastic bag to and from the facility.
- Bed bugs are rampant in college dormitories so whenever your child arrives from college, get his luggage carefully inspected for signs of bed bugs.
- Seal all the cracks in your home to reduce possible hiding places for them. Any crevice that is as wide as the thickness of a credit card can take an adult bed bug.
- Inspect used furniture very well before purchasing them as this is their major stronghold. After purchasing them, you may also leave them outside in your yard for a while before taking them in.
- Get covers for all your mattresses as bugs often hide in them. The covers should be high quality and durable ones.
- Always declutter your apartment regularly. The more junk you have the more hiding places bugs will have and the more difficult it will be to get rid of them.
- Since they can also be found in the carpet, it is necessary to vacuum your carpet and other places regularly.
- Your clothes should be in vacuum-sealed bags always.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
There are telltale signs that you already have bed bugs in your home and some of the signs have been outlined here. The first and the most common sign is waking up to find some parts of your skin itchy especially when they are on your back, neck, or your arms. If this coincides with when you just bought some used furniture, your home is probably under bed bugs’ siege.
When you perceive certain peculiar musty odor, it could be a sign of bedbugs. People who have experienced their infestation will be able to identify the smell. It is actually from their scent glands. Coming across their shed skins, egg shells, and fecal spots is another clear sign that they are already in your home. Another sign is having blood stains on your pillowcases or on your sheets.
Treatment of a Bed Bug Infestation
When you suspect their presence in your house, you should start your inspection from the beds. They are not always far from there because that is where they can have easy access to their prey. Remove all bedding and check them carefully for them, their egg shells, and their excrement. Check every part of your beds especially crevices where they can hide. Check your cushion chairs and all other pieces of furniture in your home.
When you eventually confirm their presence, the extermination process should begin immediately.
- Soak all curtains, linens, and bedding in hot water before washing them.
- Bed bugs can hide in stuffed toy animals so should place them in the dryer and run them on high for about half an hour.
- Scrub your mattress seams with stiff brush to remove bedbugs and their eggs before you vacuum it.
- After vacuuming your mattress and every part of your bed, cover your mattress.
After that, you should invite an expert to inspect your home to be sure that you have gotten rid of them. Then you can apply all the preventive measures outlined above to prevent another infestation. However, if the infestation is serious, hiring a professional bedbug exterminator will be necessary. One thing you should always bear in mind is that the longer they remain in your home, the more they multiply. So, once you detect them, you must exterminate them as quickly as possible.
Contact Alliance Pest Services for all you bed bug problems today.