Bed bugs are small insects that have become widespread pests due to their large number and increasing occurrence worldwide. From a research report conducted from 1995 to 2019, a source from Google Scholar claimed that the prevalence of bed bug infestation was reported from 2.8% to 90.1% in countries like Iran. A study in 2013 also claimed that there had been a resurgence in bed bug populations for over a decade. These creepy insects are found in beds, feeding on their host's blood and sometimes leaving a "hitchhiker" to follow their food and move to a new place. In addition to this, their bites can cause allergic reactions in people.
Bed bug bites can be dangerous too
Bites from bedbugs are very unpleasant and sometimes difficult to treat the problem. Although this problem has been prevalent in the past few years, if left untreated, it can harm your health, causing itching, soreness, and secondary infections like impetigo and cellulitis. In addition, these insects feed by sucking blood from humans or animals; as such, they are responsible for diseases (like anemia) in people who contact them.
Fortunately, this problem is now under control. Unfortunately, numerous cases have also been reported in recent years. Many people have discovered the bug as an unwelcome guest in their own homes, and most importantly, there are effective ways to remove and prevent their reinfestation.
Various ways to avoid bed bug infestation
Although bed bug infestations can be challenging to curb, some actions can be taken to prevent them from infesting your home and stop them from affecting you.
The following factors can be considered as ways to avoid bed bug infestation:
Maintain a clean, pest-free house
While cleaning is essential for general home maintenance, keeping the place tidy and free of bed bugs is also essential. Bed bugs love to hide in dark, dirty spaces. They also prefer areas where there is not much activity. Therefore, if you have any infested areas in your house, you should clean them and pay attention to their surroundings as you go.
Maintain good hygienic practices
Although eliminating bed bugs may not be possible, you can prevent them from spreading around your home. One of the ways to do this is to maintain a clean, hygienic environment. For example, you can work in the following:
- Regularly wash all dirty clothes and dispose of old clothes, as this can provide a dwelling place for bed bugs.
- Make sure you block all the cracks and crevices, as they provide perfect hiding places for bedbugs.
- Ensure that all the spaces where you keep food and dirty laundry are clean.
- It is also advisable to keep insecticides and disinfectants around your home, as these are effective in keeping them away.
Change the sheets regularly
The primary purpose of the sheets is to provide you with a cozy sleeping place. However, if bed bugs have infested your bed, it might be a comfortable place for them. As such, you should clean the sheets regularly. Although it is impossible to ensure they are not there, you can change the sheets frequently to prevent them from staying. Also, in case of an infestation, you should remove the bedding and bring it to a professional cleaner.
NB: If there is a severe infestation, you can wash your bedding at about 50 °C. This temperature will kill bed bugs in minutes.
Use insect repellent
There are effective insecticides and repellents that you can use to keep these pests away. You can make use of repellents that contain essential oils like lemon eucalyptus. When you use an insect repellent or an insecticide to kill bed bugs, the following things happen:
- Once the repellents are in areas that attract bugs, the molecules can repel them. This way, the bugs become disoriented and move away from the repellent.
- Once the insecticide comes into contact with the bugs, they die due to their chemical composition.
Use insecticides effectively
When using insecticides, you should ensure that you use a suitable insecticide. For this, you should ensure that your insecticide is safe and does not contain harmful chemicals. If it is, you should be careful to use it as directed. If you have not used the insecticide properly, you can get a serious problem, such as poisoning.
NB: Use insecticides or pesticides specifically designed for bed bugs; aside from this, it may not work.
Carry out a regular inspection
You should inspect the places that have been cleaned and ensure that they are not infested with bedbugs again.In addition, youu should regularly check all the cracks and crevices in your house, as they may have a lot of hiding places for bugs. Suppose you suspect the area you are inspecting is infested. In that case, you should take the necessary precautions, such as calling a professional or asking a family member or friend to help.
There are still several places to inspect. In our previous posts, you can read more about the common sites of bed bugs.
Can I kill bedbugs with a steam cleaner?
If you are dealing with bed bugs and have them infesting your bed, it is best to use a steam cleaner to remove them. They will be attracted to the warm and moist conditions, and you should use a steam cleaner to eliminate them from your home. Also, steam is at a high temperature, and bedbugs don't tolerate high temperatures and can't survive for long under these conditions.
What is the primary cause of bed bugs?
Bed bugs usually arise from infested areas, when you stock up on old dirty clothes or from old beds and furniture. So, I advise that you always dispose of your old or unused properties to prevent bedbugs from building a convenient colony and habitat for themselves.
Is there a spray to prevent bedbugs?
It may be challenging to get bed bug-killing sprays specifically, but one of the best ways is to keep off old bedding and maintain proper hygiene by cleaning and washing your bed and bedding. You can also search online stores like Amazon or eBay for bed bug repellents and sprays.
What are bed bugs attracted to?
Bed bugs feed on blood, so you'll find them where you spend most of your time, such as on your bed, chairs, or the floor, especially if you have rugs. In addition, they are drawn to warmth, CO2, and dark areas (after all, they are about to feed on you and don't want to be caught).
How long do bed bugs survive?
These creepy creatures never go extinct; they have hundreds of eggs to ensure continuity. However, a typical bed bug can survive for about two years or weeks without food (blood).