Bed bugs are a type of insect that feed on blood of humans and animals. They are called bed bugs because of their habit of taking refuge in beds.
Are Bed Bugs Visible
Yes, bed bugs are visible but they are often confused with other types of insects. Bedbugs are oval in shape, reddish brown in color and about the size of an apple seed.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
You can find Bed bugs in your bed, bed frame, mattress, sheet covers, box springs, inside other furniture, behind baseboards, wallpaper, picture frames and inside electrical switch plates.
How Bed Bugs Spread?
The main cause of bed bugs infestation is:
Traveling is the most common cause of bed bugs infestation. Bed bugs move from one place to another using people, their luggage and cloths and then they move from these items to beds, furniture and other places where they can hide. Bed bugs can also crawl from one room to other.
Second Hand Furniture
Another common cause of the bed bugs is second hand furniture. Bed bugs spread throughout the property when a second hand infested furniture is brought into the house. They move from one place to another, laying eggs and thus increasing the population.
When Bed Bugs Bite
Bed bugs are active at night and they bite when people are sleeping. Bed Bugs inject a mild anesthetic in their victims by piercing the skin with elongated beak, they then suck the blood and crawl away unnoticed.
Do Bed Bugs Fly?
Bed Bugs don’t have wings and they can’t fly from one place to another. However they crawl like lady bugs from one room to other or from one furniture to other.
Bed Bugs Life Cycle
On average adult bed bugs live for about 2 to 4 months. The female bed bug lays white oval eggs into cracks and crevices. Female can lay up to 250 eggs in her life time. The bed bug egg hatches with in 6 to 10 days.
Bed Bugs Types
The three main types of bed bugs that feed on human blood are C. lectularius, C. hemipterus, and L. boueti.
C. lectularius and C. hemipterus are found in Europe and USA. They are often found in beds, sofas, carpets, mattresses and other household items.
L. boueti is only found in South America and West Africa due to the tropical environment of these parts of the world. L. boueti feed on the blood of bats and their encounter with humans is very rare.
Signs that your Bed has Bed Bugs
It’s difficult to spot the bed bugs because they are very good in hiding themselves however on observing, few signs can tell if your bed or any other furniture item is infested with bed bugs or not. Most common sings are:
Itchy Skin: If you have itchy skin on waking up then you might have bed bugs. The bite of bed bugs make red, itchy dark spots on your neck, arms, face and hands. However some people may not see any symptom on their body while other may experience severe itching and blisters.
Blood Stains: If you see small blood stains on your bed sheets or pillows, they are most likely from the bed bugs.
Dark Spots: Dark spots are also observed formed due to bedbug excrement on sheets, pillows and mattress.
Unpleasant Odor: Unpleasant odor form the bugs scent glands.
Shedded Skin: You might find skin of younger bugs on your bedding.
Eggs Shells: Egg shells are not easy to spot but you might find some on looking carefully, they are lighter in color and very small in size.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
You can follow following remedies to get rid of bed bugs completely.
Pesticides and Insecticides: Use common pesticides and insecticides to get rid of bed bugs, this is the easiest method but precautions are necessary.
Wash with Hot Water: Wash your bedding, sheets, blankets with hot water and normal laundry detergent. Heat can kill pests like these, after washing everything put them in dryer for good dry cycles.
Vacuum: Vacuum your bed, furniture, their surroundings and everywhere else where you can expect bed bugs. After vacuuming safely dispose the contents of the vacuum bag and clean the vacuum cleaner as well.
Use Covers for Mattress: After cleaning enclose your mattresses with tight sheets and zippered covers to make sure that bed bugs don’t enter inside the mattress.
Steam Cleaner: You can also use steam cleaner to remove the bed bugs from box springs, sheets and mattresses.
Rubbing Alcohol: Spray rubbing alcohol under bed, under furniture, inside the tiny cracks on sofa and bed to kill the bed bugs.
Baking soda: Sprinkle baking soda to the places where bed bugs are found and also use baking soda with liquid detergent while washing your sheets and other bedding items.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea Tree Oil is another natural product, it has antiparasitic, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. Spray the dilute solution of water and tree tea oil on places where you can find bed bugs.
Silica Gel: Silica Gel is a very good drying agent and it can kill bed bugs as well, crush the small balls of silica gel and spread the powder around the areas where this tiny creature exists.
Stiff Brush: After cleaning the mattress and bed with vacuum, use stiff brush to remove any egg or clinging bed bug from mattress and bedding.
Diatomaceous Earth: Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder made from naturally occurring sedimentary rock, it is very helpful in removing bed bugs. Spread the powder in cracks of furniture, behind wallpaper and frames. Don’t use this powder on your mattress as it can damage your lungs.
Mothballs: Mothballs are not very effective in removing the bed bugs but you can use it to repel the bed bugs after cleaning your belongings and removing them.