Bed bugs and the troubles they bring are most probably the inspiration behind the creation of the famous nursery rhyme “Goodnight, Sleep tight. Try not to allow the kissing bugs to chomp.” Bedbugs are disturbances bothers that hamper individuals’ satisfaction in tranquil rest. They take advantage of people during bedtime and suck the blood of their host for a whole 10 minutes. As a result, people acquire unusually itchy bite marks and eventually go through extreme restlessness and distress.
Ironically, bed bugs are never considered a serious threat to human health simply because, unlike other pests, they do not transmit or carry diseases. Still, they are annoying and irksome and have to be eliminated so people in the household will be relieved of discomfort and disturbance.
Unfortunately, early detection of bedbug activity is rare. Because they are only as tiny as an apple seed, these creepy critters are seldom spotted early on, not unless the infestation has already gone overblown. These sneaky pests easily escape people’s notice as they can readily hide in small cracks or crevices on structures and other household items. For the most part, bed bugs prefer to live in mattresses, beds, furniture, and other objects that allow them easy access to their blood meal. Moreover, they get attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide–the reason they stay close to people and animals as much as possible.
People should be able to spot the telltale signs of a bed bug infestation so they can find solutions immediately. These are common indicators that your home is crawling with bed bugs:
1. Itchy Bite Marks
Whenever people wake up with bite marks on their skin, they usually assume they are bitten by mosquitos. However, bed bug bites are different because they are way itchier and take longer to heal as compared to mosquito bites. Once you sense that the bite marks are too itchy to bear and are clustered, there is a very high possibility that you have bed bugs living in your bedroom. Bed bug bites come in groups of three to five bite marks, appearing in a straight or zigzag pattern.
Since bed bug bites are intensely itchy, people are usually tempted to scratch like crazy leaving the bites inflamed and, worse, infected. Experts suggest refraining from scratching the bites and disinfecting by washing the bites with soap and water. You may then apply anti-itch cream, corticosteroid, calamine lotion, or essential oils to alleviate the itchiness.
2. Allergic Reactions
It can’t be helped that some people have allergic reactions to insect bites. Although rare, people may suffer from allergies after being bitten by bed bugs. When this happens, it is best to consult with a doctor so you will be given the right medications.
Taking antihistamines as prescribed by your dermatologist is the remedy to allergies caused by bed bugs.
3. Bed Bugs in Linens and Clothing
Bed bugs love to hide in upholstered items and fabric. They effortlessly hitchhike on people’s clothes, suitcases, and furniture. Once they get access to your home, they will infest your property including the different items therein.
To address this problem, you must take note that bed bugs cannot survive in extremely hot or cold environments as they have very fragile bodies. Thus, the hot and cold technique of treating your clothes and other materials made of fabric works effectively in killing the bugs. Wash beddings, linens, and clothes using hot water. To further exterminate the remaining bed bugs and eggs in your belongings, you have to place the items in the dryer for 20-30 minutes. For non-washable materials, you just have to simply put them in the freezer and let them stay frozen for 24 hours.
4. Bed bugs crawling on walls, drawers, floors, electrical outlets, and other equipment inside the house.
If the bed bugs have started invading other areas in the household, you have two options to choose from. First, as a temporary solution, you can suck those annoying pests out of their hiding spots using the vacuum. Vacuum cleaning is especially effective if the infestation is confined in a small area like a living room or bedroom. However, if you are dealing with a heavy infestation and are looking for a long-term solution, you can call a bed bug exterminator to conduct heat treatment on your property. Heat treatment has a 95-100% efficiency rate and kills an entire population of bed bugs including their larvae in less than 12 hours. Most of all, it is not harmful to people and the environment since no chemical is used during the treatment process.
Other means to lessen the spread of bed bugs include removing clutter, steam cleaning, using diatomaceous earth, and chemical treatment. If you need help in getting rid of bed bugs for good, consulting with a pest control expert is an ideal move.