Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that live off the blood of warm-blooded animals such as humans. They're most common in warm climates and are found worldwide. They feed primarily during the night and can feed on you without you knowing. Bed bugs spread through direct contact and are often found in the same places you find yourself, including bed linens, sleeping bags, mattresses, bed frames, headboards, and other items used on or near your bed.
Knowing where to look for bed bugs is essential so that you don't end up sick from worrying about them. Bed bug signs include small dark spots on your sheets and bite marks on your skin. You can also identify bed bugs by their strange smell. These creepy creatures live in cracks, crevices, and other inaccessible places in your home, so you'll need to clean those areas thoroughly if you want to get rid of them. It's also worth noting that bed bugs can live for months without a blood meal, so inspecting your home regularly isn't enough to keep them away.
Most people associate scratching from a bed bug bite with worsening itching, but that's not always the case. When a bed bug bites you, it injects an anesthetic into your skin so that you won't feel its effects immediately. After that, the bite creates a small wound that, when not treated, might get exposed to other dangerous microbes, resulting in secondary infections.
How to identify bed bugs in your home
It is safe to say that bed bugs are one of the most unpleasant things to find in your home, for those considering buying a mattress with the knowledge that they may have bed bugs or a current infestation. Your mattress might not be the only problem. Well, here are some tips on how you can identify if your mattress or other areas of your home have bed bugs.
Cimex lectularius (common bed bugs) have short and broad heads, a wide abdomen attached to their thorax, and skinny legs. Bed bugs can often be seen in large numbers on mattresses, box springs, or other bedding. Infestations usually start at the bottom of the bed and progress as the infestation spreads.
Bed bugs will, at times, give off an odour when they are active and feeding. The smell is described as something like that of crayons, burnt almonds, and berries. Identifying the bed bugs by their smell is essential, as it may be an effective way to locate them if the bed bugs are inside furniture or clothing.
Check for stains
Bed bugs feed on humans, which is why bed bugs are often referred to as blood-sucking insects. Bed bugs are usually found in the folds and crevices of the bedding. When checking for bed bugs, look for any dark spots or blood stains on your bedsheet, walls, or furniture.
Look for dead bugs
If you examine a spot, it will likely look like it has a small amount of blood, but it can be hard to tell. One helpful thing is using a torch to see the tiny insects and dead bugs more clearly. You should be able to quickly notice where the bugs are located if you look closely enough. It’s important to note that you should inspect this for both sides, not just the "sides" of your mattress.
Check before buying
If you want to purchase a new mattress, you will most likely look at some of the details listed in the product descriptions. That's cool, but also try as much as possible to avoid buying a used mattress, as this might have suffered from bed bug infestation in its previous home.
Also, check for a thin covering on the “sides” of your mattress. If you lift the bed, it will likely show a pattern. Some may not have a pattern, but you will see bugs if you pull on the cloth that covers the sides.
Treatments for bed bug infestations
There are many treatments for bed bugs, some of which are effective, and some are not. To help you through the process, here is a list of treatments:
Treatment with chemicals
One of the best methods is to treat the infestation with chemicals. Chemicals kill all insect stages and work on adult and immature bugs. For this reason, I advise you to seek the services of a professional exterminator. There is a chance that they could not find an infestation, but they would be able to identify if there was any evidence of infestation. An exterminator can provide you with a treatment that works best for your situation, and you may or may not need to use chemicals on your own. If you want to treat yourself, read the directions carefully and follow them very closely.
Keep in mind that the chemicals must be in contact with the bedbug. Spraying a chemical into an infested area could cause the bedbug to leave the spot and start a new generation in another area of your home. In addition, you must not allow the chemicals to come into contact with your skin. Keep in mind that some chemicals irritate your skin and can lead to skin irritation and rashes.
Seek out an authentic product
To treat bed bug infestations with pesticides, you must go for authentic ones designed specifically for bed bugs. Otherwise, it may not work.
Pesticides used for bed bugs usually consist of pyrethrins or spinosad. You can find pyrethrins by searching for "pyrethrin" for bed bugs. Some pesticides, such as pyrethrins, can cause breathing difficulties and a burning sensation when sprayed on the skin. Therefore, it is not advised to inhale the pesticide.
Always seek the services of a professional to get rid of the infestation
You may think you can handle it, but you might not be doing as much good as you feel. You must be sure that the area is arid before you start. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Keeping your home clean can prevent bed bugs from finding their way into your home and infesting your bedding. This means checking your mattress and other bedding for any signs of bed bugs. If you notice bugs, take them to a pest control professional immediately or try the methods below.
Use a high-quality vacuum cleaner to get rid of the bed bugs from the mattress and other items. Read more from our previous post.
Use insect repellent
Using insect repellent can be difficult. Insect repellents such as citronella are known to be ineffective. Instead, consider using a product that uses botanicals, such as DEET, to repel bed bugs.
Pest control experts can also help to prevent problems
These professionals can recommend solutions to prevent bed bug infestation in your home. They will also recommend effective treatments to eliminate bed bugs.
Precautions to take if you are living in areas infested with bed bugs
It is crucial to remember that the best approach to bed bugs is to prevent them from coming in the first place.
However, there are a few easy things that you can do to help reduce the risk of getting bed bugs.
- You should probably start by doing a Google search for the area and seeing if any bed bug reports have been reported. Then, based on your circumstances, that will help you decide if it is a dangerous area or not.
- You should also ensure that you do not have any previous allergies that bed bug bites might trigger.
- You should not sleep in the bed or the bags with the sheets you have worn (knowing well that they have been infested with bed bugs). That will help reduce the risk of getting bed bugs in the first place.
- If you have pets, ensure they are kept away from the bed.
Where do bedbugs hide during the day?
Bed bugs don't like bright areas, and that's why they are effective at night. You will most likely find them in the cracks and crevices of your bedroom walls or electric sockets.
What scents drive bed bugs?
Several substances are known to drive bedbugs from their hidden places. Substances like lemon, peppermint, and diatomaceous earth have been known to cause bedbugs.
What kills bed bugs instantly?
A high temperature of steam at 212 °F is capable of killing bed bugs instantly.
How do you tell if bedbugs are in your clothes?
You may find them creeping through or perhaps find blood stains. When you do, dust off your clothes, dispose of them (especially when they are old), or wash them thoroughly.
Can I find bedbugs on my body?
Bed bugs don't live on your body but feed on your blood to survive. You may find them in areas like your face, arms, legs, and ankles.