Nobody wants to think that they have tiny bugs in their home, or even worse, in their bed. But the truth is that bedbugs are one of the most common home bug infestations in the world.
From the name, you can probably guess where they are most commonly found. But bedbugs, or “Cimex lectularius Linnaeus” can actually be found on any home textiles, from sofas to clothes.
Where do they come from? How do you get rid of them? Are they dangerous to my health?
Read on to discover the answers to these questions, along with advice on what you can do to prevent ever having to face an infestation in the first place.
How Bug Infestations Happen
Archaeologists have discovered fossils of bed bugs and believe they have been around for thousands of years, so they are not a new problem. While many believe that they are the result of unsanitary living conditions, this is not the case.
If you are relatively well-traveled, there’s a likelihood that you’ve come across bed bugs in hotels and other rented accommodations. This is because travel is the most common way bed bugs spread from household to household.
Bed bugs are no larger than an apple seed and are flat enough to avoid being squashed, so it’s easy for them to latch onto clothing undetected. From there it’s easy to see how they can make a home in your bed sheets or mattress.
Bed bugs aren’t just confined to homes, however. If you think of where you come across textiles of any kind, the list of potential hiding places seems endless. From public transport to cinemas, these bugs can wait almost anywhere to hitch a ride home.
How to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation
Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, so the best remedy is prevention. If you can decrease your chances of having a bed bug infestation in your home, you stand yourself in good stead not to have to deal with the hassle of eliminating them.
When traveling, inspect your clothes and baggage. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not invisible to the eye so if you spot some, it’s important to contain the infestation as soon as possible;
- separate any items which have bed bugs on them and put them in a plastic bag
- wash these items in as hot a wash as possible
- dry-cleaning is an option, but be sure to mention that there may be bed bugs on the items
- large items such as suitcases can be hand washed with hot soapy water
There is no need to dispose of any of your belongings if you find bed bugs on them. The most important thing to do is to keep items in the same room you discovered the bed bugs – this prevents them from spreading to other rooms.
If you suspect that despite your best efforts, you have an infestation at home, don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our expert team deals with infestations of bed bugs alongside many other critters around the home.
Are They Dangerous?
One bed bug may lay up to 250 eggs in her lifetime. These eggs will hatch after around a week and once hatched, the baby bed bugs (nymphs) will look for their first meal. This is where you come in. Like a mosquito or a tick, bed bugs look for blood. The difference is that they cannot fly or attach themselves to a host, so they need to stay close to their food source in order to feed efficiently.
Since they are most active at night, you’re likely to be asleep when bitten, but when you wake up you’ll find red marks on your skin from the bites.
These bites may scare you, but rest assured, bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a danger. Nevertheless, it’s best to eradicate them as quickly as possible.
How To Identify a Bed Bug Infestation
While bed bug bites are the most obvious sign of bed bugs, there are a number of other signs to look for if you suspect a bed bug infestation.
Blood Spots on Bedding
If you’ve been bitten in the night, there may be some bleeding from the bites which can stain your bedsheets. However, while bed bugs are difficult to squash, there may also be blood spots from dead bugs.
Bed Bug Faeces
Yes, as disgusting as it sounds, bed bugs have waste that they will deposit onto your bed, or wherever the infestation is. These will appear, as you’d expect, as small brown marks.
Clusters of Bugs
In bad infestations, you may be able to spot clusters of bed bugs fairly easily. At this point it may be too late to try and contain the infestation yourself, and we recommend you contact us to begin treatment as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you discover a bed bug infestation in your home it can be disheartening but do not fear. While they are difficult to eradicate by yourself, the right professional help can make sure that they won’t be a lasting problem.
A bed bug infestation can be dealt with by using one or more of these methods;
- extreme cold
- extreme heat
- chemical treatments
If you live in either a very hot or a very cold climate, you can use the weather to your advantage. Leaving items out in the cold of winter, or the heat of summer may kill off any bed bugs. While this isn’t ideal for large items such as mattresses or sofas, for small infestations this may be a cheap and effective solution.
Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
Bed bugs are a nuisance. They can reproduce quickly, leave unsightly bite marks on you and give you sleepless nights dreading the thought of them in bed with you. But there’s no need to feel defeated if you find yourself with a bed bug infestation.
The team at Elevation Pest Control will guide you through the process of tackling bug infestations. Read some of our testimonials and give us a call to discuss your options.