What are Bed Bugs?
The scientific names of bed bugs, a type of parasite, are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus HomeownersguidetobedbugsENGLISHpdf.pdf. Bedbug infestations have increased, in the U.S., in the past decade or so.
What do They Look Like?
These insects are oval, small, and brownish. Since they live in the blood of humans or animals, we refer to them as parasites. Adult bed bugs are flat with bodies the size of an apple seed. However, their bodies turn reddish and swell up after feeding.
How and When Do They Bite?
Typically, bed bugs attack during the night when you are sleeping in your bed, before or near dawn. But, since the bites resemble other bug bites, you may mistake other bug bites for bedbug bites.
Initially, most bedbug bites are harmless. However, they can soon turn itchy and scratchy welts. An effective way to identify these bites is to check whether they have a red mark in the middle. Unlike flea bites, bedbug bites don’t have the red mark that flea bites have in the middle. Also, flea bites typically appear around the ankles.
Where do They Come From?
Bed bugs may enter your home through clothing, couches, luggage, used beds, etc. They can fit into tiny areas due to their flattened bodies. Unlike bees and ants, bed bugs do not live in nests but reside in colonies in hidden areas. Frequently, they hide inside box springs, mattresses, headboards, and bed frames. That’s because these places make it easier for them to bite at night.
How do they Spread?
Bed bugs may scatter through the bedroom over time and move into any protected area or crevice. They can also spread to other rooms of your house and nearby homes.
Since bed bugs need blood to survive, their presence does not indicate dirtiness. That’s one reason you can easily find them in squeaky-clean hotel rooms and homes in immaculate condition.
What are the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?
Waking up with itchy areas that weren’t present before you went to sleep is the biggest sign that you have bed bugs. Bed bugs enter your home when you buy an old bed from a friend or used furniture from someone.
Here are some common signs that indicate you have bed bugs.
- Blood-Stained Pillowcases or Sheets
- Rusty or dark spots of bedbug excrement on mattresses or sheets
- Bedbug eggshells, fecal spots, or shed skin under your bed or mattress
- A musty smell from the bed bugs’ scent glands
Once you identify an infestation, remove your mattress and bedding to check for any signs, such as excrement or eggs. Next, take off the cover over the bottom of the box springs. Next, check the wood framing’s seams. Finally, pull back the fabric where it is attached to the wood frame.
Bed bugs thrive in dark environments because it creates an environment that helps them camouflage and hide. So, avoid using dark colors for your linen and bedding if you think your home has bugs. Instead, use white or light-colored bedding.
In addition, examine the area around the bed. That also includes electrical outlets and the edge of the carpet. Finally, check your closet and dressers because bed bugs can also attach to your clothes. If you can’t determine whether your home is infested with bed bugs, you can call a professional exterminator, who will check for all signs.
Bedbug Home Remedies
Here are some proven home remedies to eliminate bed bugs.
Clear the Area of All Clutter
Bed bugs love to hide. So, if you have a stack of dirty clothes or piles of books under your bed, you are providing multiple hiding spots for these parasites.
Remember that clutter does not produce these insects. However, the more clutter you have, the more places you will have to hide and multiply. While cleanliness does not always guarantee a bedbug-free home, remove everything extra from your rooms, especially if they are under the bed.
Thoroughly Vacuum Mattress, Furniture, Carpet, And Baseboards
Vacuuming your home is always a good idea to reduce the chances of bedbug infestations. However, vacuuming alone won’t eliminate these insects in your home's upholstery, clothes, or other areas.
Seal Mattress and Box Springs Zippered Mattress Protector
Get a mattress cover to prevent bed bug attacks because these protective covers come with patented tape closure which fits over the rust-proof zipper end. That forms a secure seal for keeping all insects and bed bugs away.
Steam Clean your Home and Furniture
Bed bug eggs and adult bed bugs die at 122 F (50 C) within minutes. Since steam forms at 100 C or 212 F, steam cleaning your furniture and home is one of the most effective methods for eliminating bed bugs. Steam kills almost all insects at this temperature. Apply steam directly and evenly to the surface of your furniture, mattresses, carpets, and anywhere you suspect bed bugs.
Vacuuming and steam cleaning infested areas is a great way to control and eliminate bed bugs. However, sometimes you need chemical treatments to clean an area thoroughly. That’s because it could be challenging to reach narrow areas of your home using a vacuum or steam.
Avoid using products that claim to kill bed bugs and insects without affecting your mattress or the quality of your breathing air. In addition, many products do not treat bedding or mattresses and can cause permanent damage to your bedding. You should also avoid these cleaning products if you have small children or pets.
One of the safest methods to get rid of bed bugs is to hire a professional extermination service.
When nothing else works, the only way out is to seal your mattress in a disposal bag, label it as an ‘infected item’ and discard it.
People unaware of a bedbug infestation in their homes may blame other insects, such as mosquitoes, for the welts and itching. You must find and identify the bedbug to know about their infestation. Then, get rid of these ugly parasites by following our guide.