What are Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs, specifically the common bedbug, are small, usually brown, oval insects that feed on the blood of animals and humans. Bedbugs cannot fly, but they can run at incredible speeds across floors and walls. Bedbugs lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetimes, and these eggs are only about the same size as a speck of dust. Bedbugs are a horrendous problem to deal with. They infest walls, clothing, and, as their name implies, beds.
Bedbug juveniles, called nymphs, shed their skin as they grow. Each time that they shed, a bedbug needs to feed, which they do through drinking blood. A nymph will shed five times before reaching maturity. They can, in the best conditions, develop in as little as a month and lay as many as three generations in a year. Bedbugs do not carry diseases, although their bites can be painful and they can cause damage to possessions.
Why do they appear?
Bedbugs usually enter homes incognito. This is possible because of their small size, and because their eggs can be impossible to distinguish from dust. As they are very flat, about as tall as a pinhead, bedbugs can easily move around most houses. As with many small insects, bedbugs move very fast. Many people blink and believe that they were only seeing things, while the bug has only quickly scurried across the wall and into cover, where it will lie and wait until it has an opportunity to feed.
Bed Bugs usually hide in headboards and mattresses. This gives them ample ability to find a host to bite. This means that they can easily feed while the young can grow. Bedbugs live solely on blood, so having them in a home is not a sign of dirtiness. They do not feed on rubbish and waste. It is generally not your fault that bedbugs are a problem. Bedbugs most commonly enter a home through clothing.
How To Get Rid Of Them
To remove bedbugs, one must first begin with the areas where they live.
- If the object can be washed, like a shirt, wash it with hot water and place them in the dryer at the highest setting. If they cannot be washed, like shoes, place them in the dryer for thirty minutes on ‘high’ setting.
- Take a stiff brush and use it to thoroughly wash the mattress seams before using a vacuum on them. This will ensure that no eggs or bugs are left behind.
- Vacuum around the bed. Immediately after, the vacuum’s cleaner bag should be removed from the house.
- Mattresses should be encased in plastic or tightly-woven zippered covers to keep the bugs from escaping. Bedbugs can survive for up to a year without feeding, so it is important that the mattress stays within this cover for the full duration of a year.
- Bed bugs like to hide in cracks in wall plaster and peeled wallpaper. Glue these down.
- The bugs can hide in clutter around the bed so removing it can also help.
- If you are experiencing a complete infestation, it might be best to contact an experienced exterminator, like heron lawn and pest control. Bed Bugs can cause serious damage to property, so this might be the cheaper option.
How To Prevent Them From Returning
For starters, check for them every time you stay away from home. The small bugs can be elusive to the untrained eye, but they are fairly easy to spot if you know what you’re looking for. Bedbugs seem to prefer wood over other materials, so keep that in mind as well. If you think the bugs have entered your clothing, then place these items in a separate bag and wash them thoroughly, as explained above.
If you’re still unsure after you’ve gone to bed, listen around in the morning for anyone complaining of being bitten. Also check the sheets. White sheets especially tend to easily stain red, which happens after the bedbug bites, and the bug’s excrement will mark the sheets. If you follow these steps and keep an observant eye out, the chances of bedbugs returning will decrease drastically.