Bed bugs are tiny insects that are reddish and brown in color but are not so easy to find in your home and are very tiny (about 3/8 “ long) and move quickly. If you do a proper inspection and you happen to find larvae and eggs, then you probably have bed bugs in your home.
Bed Bugs cause discomfort to most people, primarily through their bed bug bites. These bites are generally itchy and cause redness on the skin. They are generally itchy sometimes with localized swelling of the skin as well as blisters around red marks. And as you can see, all of them appear on the skin and are easily noticed by the naked eye. Although there is no known health problem with bed bug bites, it is simply unwelcome to people because of the uneasiness they bring. Bed bug bites are not known to be harmful to the body and they usually fade after few days. However, if they fail to fade for weeks, please seek a doctor’s help to ensure that no problems will occur. Some people experience certain allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock. Consulting your doctor with any concerns can be very helpful in ensuring your health and avoidance of further health problems in the future.
Bed bugs are active mainly at night between 3 and 5 am. During the daytime, they prefer to hide close to where people sleep. Their flattened bodies enable them to fit into tiny crevices — especially those associated with mattresses, box springs, bed frames and headboards. Bed bugs do not have nests like ants or bees, but do tend to congregate in habitual hiding places. Characteristically, these areas are marked by dark spotting and staining, which is the dried excrement of the bugs. Also present will be eggs and eggshells, the brownish molted skins of maturing nymphs and the bugs themselves. Another telltale, though less frequent, sign is rusty or reddish blood smears on bed sheets or mattresses from crushing an engorged bed bug.
Bed bugs prefer to hide close to where they feed usually about 10-15 feet from their next meal. Initial infestations tend to be around beds, but the bugs eventually may become scattered throughout the bedroom, occupying any crevice or protected location. They also may spread to adjacent rooms or apartments.
Bed bugs usually bite people at night while they are sleeping. They feed by piercing the skin which they withdraw blood. Engorgement takes about three to 10 minutes, yet the person rarely knows it’s happening.
Conventional insect repellents, like those used to deter ticks and mosquitoes, do not appear to be effective against bed bugs. Attempting to avoid being bitten by applying insect repellent at bedtime is not recommended. Sleeping with the lights on is not likely to deter hungry bed bugs either.
The primary reason Bed Bugs are so difficult to eradicate is because of Traumatic Insemination. The exo-skeleton of the female Bed Bug is pierced savagely by their mates until the female flees the mating area to survive. Creating as much distance as possible from their suitors, females will hide away from the bed into void areas like cracks and crevices in walls, furniture or floorboards. Therefore, when beds are typically treated for Bed Bugs, females and eggs are safely nestled in hiding areas away from the primary infestation zone.
Once bed bugs are introduced, they often spread throughout a building. The bugs can travel from room to room or floor to floor either by crawling or via a person. Unlike cockroaches that feed on filth, the level of cleanliness has little to do with most bed bug infestations. Pristine homes, hotels and apartments have plenty of hiding places and an abundance of warm-blooded hosts. Thus, they are almost as vulnerable to infestation as are places of squalor.
Myth #1 : “You can’t see bed bugs” Adult bed bugs are easily spotted. Adult bed bugs are 3mm – 5mm in size – about the size and shape of an apple seed – and a reddish brown colour.
Myth #2 : “Throw out your bed and you’ll be rid of bed bugs” They may called bed bugs but they don’t just live in your bed. They can occupy almost any dark crack or crevice in a room. Almost everything including clothing, bedding, furniture and electronics can be treated to remove bed bugs. By disposing of infested furniture prior to it being inspected and treated, you can actually spread bed bugs. If you need to dispose of furniture or a mattress, make sure it is sealed with plastic and mark to indicate it has been infested by bed bugs. If possible, destroy items prior to disposal to make them unusable.
Myth #3 : “You only get bed bugs if you live in a low-income neighbourhood” Bed bugs are an exposure pest and are not necessarily associated with living conditions. Bed bugs can happen to anyone, anywhere. You get bed bugs by coming into contact with them. Increasingly, people who frequently travel become exposed to bed bugs and bring them back home.