Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that primarily feed on humans. They can be found almost anywhere in the home. Without blood meals, they will be inactive and unable to perform growth and reproductive functions.
Pillows are a great asset to our daily lives as they provide comfort and support for our necks, backs, and even legs. It is, in fact, one of the household assets that we can't do without, from serving as back support while watching movies to providing a comfy neck rest while we sleep. Now you see the closeness we have with pillows. Don't you think it will be a fun and enjoyable site for bed bugs to live in? since they will get easy access to their host.
How to identify bed bugs in pillows
Take a close observation of the following when trying to find out if bed bugs are in your pillows.
Check for blood stains
Bed bugs have tubelike mouthparts known as proboscis. They pierce your skin with it and start feeding on your blood. They get filled, and the abdomen swells. You might accidentally crush them at times, and as a result, some blood stains might be left on your pillow. Also, bed bugs excrete partially digested blood, and this excrete creates dark-blood-like stains on your pillows. These stains are from bed bugs, and it's just one of the signs that bed bugs are present in your pillows.
Bed bugs give off scents or odours when around you. This odour is scientifically called "alarm pheromones" and is often released as a form of communication among bed bugs. The odour can, at times, come from fecal matter. The odour has a musty smell or smells like sweet berries. So when you perceive odours like this, especially around your pillow, you might have some bed bugs around.
Bed bugs eggs
The female bed bug can lay 1–7 eggs per night. Your pillow is one of the best places to lay them. In our previous post, we mentioned that newly hatched bed bugs are known as nymphs. If these nymphs don't get blood access, they die sooner or later. Your pillow is a safe place for them to lay eggs and ensure their continuity because the nymphs can easily access blood meals. So, it is crucial to always check for eggs when trying to identify if bedbugs are in your pillow.
In the same way, we poop as a form of excretion. Bed bugs are capable of doing the same! While, at times, the process may seem difficult for us (constipation), it can be easy for them. Bed bugs leave dark streaks or reddish brown stains (some describe it as dried blood). When you notice this around your pillow, it signifies you might have bed bugs.
Preventing bed bugs from your pillow
Although bed bugs don't live on humans, they only see them as food providers. Thus, they always want to live not too far from their host, which is where your pillow comes in. Since you often rest your back on your pillow, use it as head support, and cuddle around it. This makes you closer to your pillow and makes bed bugs around your pillow get easy access to you. Being so used around your pillow will cause bed bugs to stay, and since they will get to you quickly, it would be nice to create a comfort zone therein. Another reason you may find bed bugs around your pillow is that; There is easy access to space within your pillow to prove safety for their eggs.
Preventing bed bugs from your pillow is relatively easy. I strongly recommend you ;
- Wash your pillow regularly, at least once in two weeks, depending on your use.
- In case of infestation, you can use hot water to wash.
- Ensure that it dries properly.
- Vacuum your pillow regularly.
- Keep pillows outside in the sun when you discover bed bugs around --- high temperature from the sun rays could destroy bed bugs and their eggs in minutes.
Note: Using pesticides to treat bed bug infestations is effective. But it's not advisable to use them on your pillows as they contain dangerous chemicals that may be hazardous to your health or children while you sleep.
There's no easy way to get rid of bed bugs; you need constant vigilance for that task. However, following some easy guidelines can help you avoid bringing them into your home in the first place: -
Take note of the following
-Always stay vigilant when travelling
- Use safe sleeping practices
- act as soon as you notice bed bugs around, don't wait till they build several colonies in your home.
Should I throw away my pillows if I have bed bugs?
You can treat your pillow with the methods mentioned in the above paragraphs. You don't need to throw away your pillow when you find bed bugs. Except if your pillow is old enough to be disposed of. It's also essential to kill the bed bugs before throwing them away to prevent them from spreading around.
Do bed bugs come out at night?
Bed bugs come out during the day, but they often come out at night, especially when the host is asleep to feed on them.
Will bed bugs ever go on their own?
The simple answer is no.
What kills bed bugs instantly?
Steam at 100 °C will destroy bed bugs and their eggs instantly.