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Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Knowledge:

All You Need To Know

Your best resource to help identify and remove bed bugs from your home

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are small, flat, oval bugs, about the size of an apple seed. They are wingless and their bodies are covered with a red scale and thick stripes.

Adults have wing pads, but they don’t actually develop into wings. They are about 4 to 6 mm long and are difficult to squash with your fingers.

They have a brown to reddish-brown color which turns deeper as they mature. Newly hatched nymphs are white and start changing color when they eat.

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

You can get rid of bed bugs by;

 

  • Cleaning the infested place: Wash the area, vacuum the floor repeatedly, and tie the bags securely before throwing them out. Pay particular attention to the baseboards or crevices where the nymphs could hide.
  • Using heat or steam: Bed bugs cannot withstand extreme temperatures. You can use boiling water or a hot dryer to kill them. 
  • Cleaning the bed: Wash the pillowcases, all the sheets, and the comforter with hot water. Make sure to use high heat to dry them. Be sure to clean under the bed.
  • Using natural methods: Use essential or natural dyes to get rid of them. Baking soda and vinegar can also be used to kill and dry them.
  • Calling Professionals: Pest control companies can get rid of bedbugs. You can call them when you start to notice some signs of the bugs.

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There are many signs that there are bed bugs around. Some of them are;

 

  • You wake up with red spots that are itchy and the spots were not there before you slept.
  • There is an offensive musty odour around the house or building that you just started noticing.
  • Blood stains are on the sheets or pillowcases after you wake up.
  • You find bedbug shells or faecal spots in small, dark areas.
  • There are dark or rusty coloured spots on the mattress or sheets.
  • Tiny white spots are found scattered around in the crevices of your furniture.
  • You notice dark spots on your walls or furniture.
  • People around you have bedbugs and you have recently gone to their houses or interacted with them.
  • You recently purchased second-hand furniture or a mattress that was used.

If you get bed bugs on you, they will typically bite because they are looking for food. You won’t feel the bites because they inject an anesthetic that numbs the area. They also inject an anticoagulant to stop the bleeding.

The area that was bitten will turn red and become itchy, but they don’t usually cause more than just a basic irritation. They are not known to cause any diseases.

However, excessive scratching can lead to infection which you will want to avoid. Also, in rare instances, they can cause a severe allergic reaction that will require medical attention.

It is important to take steps to get rid of bed bugs immediately after they are spotted to avoid any of this. The presence of one bed bug typically indicates that there are many more to be found.

Yes, you can see bed bugs on your bed as they are visible to the naked eye. They actually got their name because they love to hide in mattresses or box springs.

However, because they are nocturnal, they only come out at night. This means that they hide during the day, reducing the likelihood that you will see them crawling on your bed during the daytime.

If you are bitten by an insect in the night and are unable to locate it by the time you switch the light on, lift up the mattress and check underneath the bed. You should see evidence of it there if it was actually a bed bug.

Due to the fact that they usually move in groups, if it was indeed a bed bug, you will see other bed bugs, evidence of their shells, or faecal spots.

The main cause of bed bugs is the fact that they are brilliant hitchhikers. They can hitch a ride on backpacks, purses, luggage, and other items placed on the floor or surfaces where they can be found.

They can also easily move between rooms in apartments, buildings, and hotels. So when you go to any of these locations or when you travel, be careful not to carry any bed bugs out with you.

They also come from infested furniture that is brought into your home. This means that beds, mattresses, sofas, and other furniture should be thoroughly inspected before they are taken into the home.

Bed bugs multiply quickly so if one is sighted, it is important to get rid of it immediately and take cautious steps to avoid an infestation. It is extremely possible that others are hiding somewhere close by.

There are several things that attract bed bugs. Some of these are the following;

 

  • Warmth: Bed bugs realize that a source of heat signifies that a host is nearby, which attracts them to the location.

 

  • Clutter: Clutter gives them a place where they can lay their eggs and a safe place to take refuge from predators.

 

  • Carbon dioxide: This is a big attraction for bed bugs because it is breathed by their host so it also means that a source of food is nearby.

 

  • Dark bedsheets: Dark bedsheets allow them to camouflage. This lets them have protection from predators and gives them a place to stay that is close to a host.

 

  • Dirty laundry: Dirty clothes capture the body’s scent. Bed bugs are attracted to the dirty clothes thinking that the host is in close proximity.

Bed bugs usually stay in areas that are close to a source of food, and since they are nocturnal, they need that source to be close to them at night. So the best location for them to be found is close to the bed.

 

Check around the bed. This includes the seam of the mattress, the headboard, underneath the frame, the bed, and the carpet. Also, check the furniture, remove the sofa cushions and look underneath it.

 

They hide in cracks and crevices so you can use a flashlight and a small, flat object like a paint scraper to get into these areas. Check for the bugs or any evidence of them such as their eggs, shells, or excrement.

 

Also look behind pictures, in the sockets, behind screws, and in other tiny areas where they may be hiding. Make sure to use gloves for protection.

Below are some ways to prevent bed bugs in your home or location;

 

  • Reduce clutter: Bed bugs are attracted to clutter so naturally, reducing this will reduce their presence. They will be less inclined to stay if they have no place to hide.

 

  • Vacuum regularly: This keeps the area clean and helps get rid of bed bugs that may have strayed into your residence.

 

  • Inspect second-hand furniture: Before you bring them into your home, inspect them extensively for any traces of bed bugs.

 

  • Inspect your lodgings: When traveling, inspect the area where you will be staying for any signs of bed bugs.

 

  • Wash clothes after travel: Once you get home after traveling, wash all your belongings immediately. Remember, bed bugs are good travelers.

 

  • Avoid taking furniture from the roadside: Since you are unsure of the condition of the home from which the furniture was dropped, avoid taking them even despite the fact that they are free.

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