Bed Bug Facts
Bed bugs are a parasitic insect; they get their name from the fact that they like to live where humans sleep. They feed off of blood. Bed bugs are red to brownish in color and grows up to about 4-5 mm in length. The insects appear translucent until maturity. Bed bugs are flat oval shaped nonflying insects. Their size and flat shape allows them easily navigate through tiny crevices without damaging themselves. These bugs tend to be mistaken for other insects like cockroaches, beetles, and tics. These insects can not live in extreme temperature or high humidity, which is a reason they seek shelter in homes, due to the climate controlled atmosphere. They like to live in the same temperatures as humans.
Bed bugs were almost eradicated from the United States in the 1940s and 50s; however due to increase of immigration and the restriction on certain pesticide treatments they started to appear again in areas that had questionable sanitation conditions. They spread quickly from one household to another from one hotel to another. Hotels become quickly infested with bed bugs because they can travel in suitcases on people's clothing and other personal items. These insects have spread so widely that they no longer just nest in unsanitary conditions. There have been many outbreaks of bed bug infestation in luxury hotels.
Signs of Bed Bugs and Treatment For Bites
Many do not realize they have bed bugs until they start showing signs on their bodies or pets. People who are bit by bed bugs tend to see a series of small insect bites. Some people with allergic reactions to insect bites tend to swell and develop hives or a large rash. Bed bug bites tend to be mistaken for mosquito bites or flea bites. These small bites can become extremely itchy and red especially after many recurrences of bites. There is no treatment for bed bug bites. Those that have an allergic reaction to the bites can use steroidal creams and oral antihistamines to relieve the symptoms. Bacterial infections can develop, especially if the person scratches the infected area and antibiotics might be required.
Bed bugs bite their host using their stylet fascicle. The stylet fascile pierces the skin and sucks the blood for about 3 to 5 minutes. Like tics, they become engorged with blood usually in about 10 minutes after they start to feed. Those who have an available host to feed on tend to feed every 5 to 8 days.
These insects tend to come out at night, but can also feeds during the day. They tend to nest in the crevices and linings of furniture they do not house themselves on their blood host like tics or fleas. Finding bed bugs can be exceedingly difficult. If one, thinks they might have bedbugs they should first look on the sheets to see if there are any stains, and look in the crevices and cracks of their furniture. They like to nest in ripped wallpaper inside bed springs and mattresses. Sometimes bedbugs can be detected on clothing and blankets. If one is still being bit by bed bugs, and they cannot find any signs of them in their house, they should call a pest-control company to determine if their house is infested.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Once bed bugs are detected, exterminating them is not an easy process. Calling in a professional is recommended. Insecticides have to be used to eradicate the bed bugs. Insecticides come in the form of powders, and sprays and what are referred to as "bug bombs". These insecticides are highly toxic to humans and pets. If a house is infested with bed bugs, then all the occupants will have to leave the house for the recommended period of time until the insecticides has aired out of the home. If living in an apartment complex, than all apartments should be treated in order to ensure eradication. Removing bed bugs with just insecticides can be difficult. Bed bugs like to nest in small crevices of furniture insecticides tends not to reach those areas. Beds for example are not allowed to be treated with insecticides due to their harmful reaction they can have on humans. Household infested with bed bugs must remove beds and other furniture items if an infestation is detected in the particular item. An exterminator can be an invaluable resource in detecting on what pieces of furniture are infested.
After insecticide is sprayed and the infested furniture is removed one must wash all clothing, sheets, and blankets. Any infested hard surfaces should be scrubbed with soap and water and dried. Thick rugs should be throughly vacuumed. Visible signs of bed bugs in a carpet mean that the carpet should be professionally clean. It is necessary to fill in any cracks in the walls and floors after an infestation. Also, when traveling it is essential to check suitcases and bags for any signs of bed bugs.
Bed bugs can live up to a year without feasting on blood. Even vacant rooms and homes can be infested with bed bugs so careful inspection to the home before moving belonging in is important. Once the recommended steps on eradicating bed bugs has completed many recommend periodic inspection of bedding for the first year after the infestation.