What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny insects and can be found in most countries. These nocturnal parasites rest during daylight and attack you and I at night as we sleep. Their primary source of nutrition is our blood. They hide in our bedding and mattresses waiting for a source of food to appear.
Body heat, as well as the air we exhale, are how bed bugs find us. The most common area of the body to have bed bug bites is the shoulders and arms. Bed bugs have remarkable mouth structures allowing them to be able to pierce our skin and withdraw blood. While the bite is painless, it can cause itchiness and swelling around the bite mark and can even lead to infection in some cases, especially if the recipient is allergic to bed bugs.
Bedbugs can carry diseases but it has been proven that they cannot transmit them to humans. It is the sheer presence of them and the bites that can irritate us that we fear most.
What Does A Bed Bug Look Like?
Bed bugs, when fully developed, grow to 5-6mm in length. They have no wings, six legs and have a flat, oval shaped body, similar to a cockroach. They are light brown in appearance but after sucking our blood they turn a dark red. Their flat head have huge antennae and a large mouth arrangement giving them the tools to extract blood from us and other mammals.
Bed bugs can go months without feeding and can survive the extremes of temperature easily. They are very resilient insects.
Where Do They Hide
Bed bugs can be found in numerous places in the bedroom with the most common being the sheets and blankets of the bed. They also can be found in the seams of mattresses. If you have raised edges on wallpaper they will hide there as well as in the cracks in wooden floors or wall crevices.
Why Am I Infested With Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are spread around by hiding in furniture, clothing, bedding and luggage. You will find places with a high turnaround of people such as hotel rooms, dormitories, motels, bed and breakfast and hostels have the worst infestations and therefore the hardest places to eradicate them from due to the high turnover of guests etc. All houses can be infested with bed bugs but by exercising a high level of cleanliness around the home, you can eradicate the spreading of them.
How Do I Know If I Have Them In My Bed?
Well, having small red weals on your arms and shoulders would be a sure sign you have a bed bug problem but a visual inspection is your best bet. While the bed bug itself is hard to find due to it’s small size, you could find bloodstains on your sheets from crushed bed bugs.
Another sign is bed bug poo through your bed. This would be easy to see on the light coloured sheets. In the most severe cases of bed bug infestation you might even smell a foul, musty odour.
Have I Been Bitten By A Bed Bug?
PHOTO CREDIT: urbanentomology.tamu.edu
RELATED STORY: Australian bedbug invasion
EXTERNAL LINK: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
If you notice a large weal on your body that is itchy, red in colour, forms blisters and, in some cases, a loss of skin tissue, then you have bed bug bites. These are all symptoms of being bitten by a bedbug in your home.
Bed Bug Bites – How To Treat Them
First of all you must not scratch it. I know the need to will be strong but try to resist it. By using a reputable anaesthetic cream or the trusted calamine lotion it can ease the inflammation. A quick wash with antiseptic soap will minimise the risk of it getting infected and by putting an ice pack on the affected area, it will help reduce swelling. Naturally, see your doctor if it lingers or gets worse.
Bed Bugs Treatment
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All homes have bed bugs. They can be bought into the home in many ways and the only proper preventative measures are to have a high standard of housekeeping. This level of hygiene will prevent the infestation from spreading and make the control of the problem easier so you never have to suffer from bed bug bites.
Wash all bedding in very hot water and dry in a clothes dryer on the hottest setting. Steam cleaning the carpets regularly will lessen the chances of spread and spraying the hiding spots with a bed bug spray will also help.
WARNING: DO NOT SPRAY BEDDING WITH INSECTICIDE.
How To Kill Bed Bugs – Eradicate and Exterminate
A certified pest control company can inspect and report back the severity of the infestation. They will then formulate a plan to get rid of bed bugs in all cycles of life to finally rid your home of these pests.
Bed Bug Video
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