Bed bugs are a menace that leave their victims terrified. Although science has proven that bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, this pest has taken away the joy of many people. A research actually connected a suicide commission to the infestation of bed bugs. Bed bugs have also been linked to depression. So what should you know about bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small
These pests are really small and measure only a quarter inch. They have a flat oval shape and this enables them to fit in small cracks and crevices. They have 6 legs and thankfully, they cannot fly.
Bed bugs can live long without feeding
They can actually live for months without having a blood meal. This means that you can get a place that has been vacated for months with bed bug infestation. Adult bed bugs can live as long as 12 months without a meal
Bed bugs can affect any habitation
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs will not attack a home simply because it is dirty. Bed bugs can live anywhere and are not repelled by cleanliness. All you need is a male and female bed bug to get an infestation in your home.
Bed bugs lay up to 5 eggs in a day
Bed bugs took the expression 'be fruitful and multiply’ too seriously. A female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. Most of this eggs hatch into bed bugs that live on to lay more eggs. It is quite easy to have a major bed bug infestation few months after they enter into your home.
Bed bugs bite everybody
Nobody is immune to bed bugs but some people do not get allergic reactions to bed bugs. Bed bug bites leave a red, itchy bite on the skin of the affected person. They usually prefer arms or shoulders. If you experience this marks on the skin, do not worry as it is could be another pest like the mosquito. Ensure, however that you investigate and find out the real culprit.
Bed bugs are most active at night
This is one of the reasons that make this pest quite elusive. It usually has very hard to find hiding places and mostly come out when the lights are off. They also have aesthetic in their bites that keep the victim from feeling any pain. Once the victim reacts to allergic reaction by scratching their skin, the bed bugs are usually long gone. It is important to note that bed bugs can come out anytime as they have heat sensors.
Bed bugs can live in a wide range of temperatures
It is erroneous to think that bed bugs cannot live in a cold place. They can withstand a very cold environment and a high temperature of up to 43 degrees Celsius.
Bed bugs can easily be identified
Although they are sneaky, you can easily determine that you have bed bugs. Look for blood stains on your sheets to confirm their presence. They also leave small droppings on your sheets so it should be easy to identify them. They are also quite visible to the naked eye although they move quite fast. They also have a terrible smell once squished so you can squish them to confirm your suspicions.
How to Control and Prevent Bed Bugs
Once you notice any signs of bed bugs in your house, you need to be quick to act. If they have not spread too much, it is much easier to control them. It takes around 3 months for a female bed bug to mature and start laying eggs.
Get mattress safe cover
Ensure that you get encasement for your mattress. This will prevent your mattress from being further infested. You should get this covers even if you do not have an infestation as a preventive measure. The casings are usually durable and made of good quality fabric.
Be careful about used items
Bed bugs usually spread quickly through second hand items such as chairs, beds and mattresses. Never bring into your home used furniture. Even if you try to first inspect this items, you may not be thorough and all it takes is 2 bed bugs for an infestations. You should also be careful about used electronics.
Get vacuum sealed bags
These bags are airtight and will ensure that bed bugs do not have access to your clothes. Do this especially if you want to store items such as blankets and sweaters and you are afraid of bed bugs getting into them. You can also do this before you call pest control.
Contact a pest control
You may be tempted to control this pest yourself but it is never a good idea. Do not make the mistake of underestimating bed bugs. Call professionals who are able to handle the tools and products for killing bed bugs. It may cost a little more but getting good uninterrupted sleep is worth it.
Wash and heat dry your bed bugs
Your blankets, bedspreads and bed sheets are all perfect hiding places for bed bugs. Ensure you regularly wash and heat-dry these items to eliminate any bed bugs or their eggs. You should also do this to clothes that touch your bed or floor.
Be careful about the places you visit
This does not mean that you always look over your shoulder always. Simply enjoy yourself where you are but look out for bed bug infestation signs. Even if your friend has bed bug infestation it may be hard to carry them home if you are not having a sleep over. This is because bed bugs spend 90% of their time hiding.
Take precautions when visiting hotels
It is always good to be safe rather than sorry. If you visit an unknown place and you plan to spend some nights in a hotel, ensure that you cover your suitcase in plastic. If during the stay you notice any bed bugs, report to the hotel staff. Wash all your clothes in hot water once your return from the trip. It is wise to intentionally look for beg bugs once you visit a new hotel.
Do not let bed bugs take away your sleep or joy!