When bed bugs are mentioned, you might get reminded of the famous bedtime lines “Goodnight. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Indeed, bed bugs are usually associated with sleep because, ever since, these pesky pests have been known as the main culprit behind people’s distress and sleepless nights.
Bed bugs are downright irksome and extremely stubborn pests. They may be very tiny and generally considered harmless, the disturbance and discomfort they cause can be grave. Unfortunately, detecting these little critters can be challenging. People usually become aware of their existence when the infestation has gone overblown.
Because of their minute size comparable to that of apple seed, these sneaky pests can easily tuck themselves in small holes, cracks, or gaps on any objects and furniture within your home. Their hiding spots may include, but not limited to, mattresses, beds, cabinets, wallpapers, drawers, bookshelves, curtains, carpets, stuffed animals, floors, and appliances. Basically, bed bugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide; thus, they always keep themselves as close to humans and animals as possible. Most of all, they survive by feeding on human blood and so they hide and breed inside people’s bedrooms where they have easy access to their host, especially at night when everyone goes to sleep.
See the Signs of Bed Bugs inside Your Home
It is important to recognize the presence of bed bugs in your home so you can take action immediately and get rid of these creepy crawlies. Here are the distinct signs of a bed bug activity:
Throughout its lifetime, a bed bug sheds skin exactly five times until it reaches full adulthood. These molted skins (exoskeletons) that bed bugs leave behind are translucent and reddish-brown in color. You can find their exoskeletons lying on their usual hiding spots.
You will know that you have bed bugs at home if you sense a musty odor similar to that of rotten wood, old locker rooms, or damp towels left for days lingering in your home or bedroom. This unpleasant smell is due to the pheromones that bed bugs excrete.
Bed bugs would suck blood for as long as 10 minutes non-stop so that their tiny oval-shaped bodies would turn round, bright red, and double in size. If you inadvertently roll over these little vampires in your sleep, then it is very likely you would squash them, leaving blood stains on your bed sheets, pillows, and even on your clothes.
Dark Brown or Black Excrement
Another clear indication of a bed bug infestation is seeing rusty or black fecal spots smeared on seams and sides of your mattresses, on your wallpapers near your bed, padded furniture, and other things made of fabric where bed bugs could be hiding.
Itchy Bite Marks
One obvious evidence your home is crawling with bed bugs is having itchy bite marks on your skin after sleeping. Bed bug bites are not the same as mosquito bites. They are a lot itchier that you get tempted to keep scratching them vigorously. These bites are quite disturbing and do not easily go away. Another distinct characteristic of bed bug bites is that they often appear in clusters, consisting of three to five bite marks, in a straight or zigzag pattern.
Bed Bug Remedy
For the Bites
While some people have high tolerance for the itchiness of bed bug bites, others can have serious reactions such as inflammation, skin infection, and allergies. Here are ways to treat the bites:
- Refrain from scratching the bites no matter how tempting.
- Disinfect by washing the bites with soap and water.
- Apply anti-itch cream such as corticosteroid, calamine lotion, or essential oils.
- Take antihistamines, antiseptic or antibiotic in case of infection, as prescribed by your dermatologist.
For Bed Bugs
To keep bed bugs at bay and protect your home from future infestation, here are guidelines for bed bug removal:
One easy and fast way to suck those annoying pests out of their hiding spots is vacuum cleaning. Regularly vacuum your bedroom focusing on areas around the bed including the mattress, cracks or crevices, wall, drapes, carpet, and even your closets.
Heat or Freeze Objects
Applying heat can kill bed bugs fast. Thus, when washing linens, stuffed, and clothes, use hot water and then dry the items in the dryer for at most 30 minutes. For non-washable items or objects that are not resistant to heat, place them in the freezer for 24 hours. Bed bugs won’t survive ín an extremely cold environment.
To prevent bed bugs from spreading and thriving, you need to minimize and remove any potential hiding spots. One way to do this is to eliminate clutter inside your home. Do away with items you no longer use such as unused toys, broken appliances, old magazines or newspapers, and empty boxes.
If you need more guidance and advice, you can always contact your local pest control company. You may also ask for assistance if you need your property to be thoroughly inspected. Pest control professionals have the right tools and skills to figure out appropriate solutions to your bed bug problem.