Even though they’re a nuisance, they aren’t known to carry diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
Unnoticed, bedbugs can find their way into your home through your personal belongings such as luggage, clothing, and even secondhand beds and couches. To fit into a credit card-sized space, their bodies have been slashed in half. Bedbugs, unlike ants and bees, do not build nests and instead congregate in cracks and crevices. Mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards are the most common places for them to hide out in the night, when they have easy access to people.
How to Identify Bed Bugs
These little pests are oval in shape and only develop to about 3/16 of an inch in length. They seem brown and flat before being fed. Bed bugs get redder, bloated, and longer when they feed. There are six legs and two antennae in a bed bug. Bed bugs, despite their decreased “wing pads,” lack wings and are unable to fly.
Adult bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye, especially in the seams and box springs of mattresses. Bed bug nymphs are more difficult to recognize since they are smaller and have a lighter appearance.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Small reddish-brown fecal patches on beds, furniture, or walls are the best way to tell if you have bedbugs. Infestation may be indicated if these spots are discovered. Bed bug bites on the arms and legs are also a sign of the pests’ presence. Even if the bites are minor, they become obvious if they enlarge and itch. For the infection to spread, these bites can take up to three days to develop. However, the presence of bed bug bites is not conclusive indication of an infestation.
Sightings of bed bug molts, eggs, or empty eggshells can also help identify an infestation. The human eye is able to see all of these items, despite their small size. After molting or emerging from the eggshell, bed bug molt skins and eggshells appear pale white.
When Bedbugs Bite
In the night, bedbugs are most active, and they like to bite individuals while they sleep. Through the use of an extended beak, they eat by piercing the skin and extracting blood from the victim. To fill up, the bugs feed for three to ten minutes before scurrying away undetected.
The majority of bedbug bites are initially painless, but they soon develop into unpleasant welts. Bedbug bites, in contrast to flea bites, can occur everywhere on the body when sleeping, not just on the ankles. There is also no red area in the center of the bites, as is the case with flea bites.
If you don’t know you have bedbugs, you might think the itching and welts are caused by something else, like mosquitoes. Bedbugs must be found and identified in order to confirm the bites.
Signs of Infestation
Irritable places that weren’t there before bedtime may be signs of bedbugs, especially if the bites developed after a recent purchase of new furniture. Other indicators of bedbug infestation include:
- Stains from blood on your pillowcases or sheets
- Bedbug feces can be found in dark or rusty patches on sheets, mattresses, bedclothes, and walls.
- Spots of bedbug excrement, egg shells, or shed skins in hiding places
- The bugs’ scent glands emit a foul, musty odor.
Bedding should be checked for evidence of bugs or their faeces if you suspect an infestation. Make sure to inspect the wood framing by removing the dust cover that covers bottom of the box springs. Remove the staples holding the cloth to the wooden frame and remove the staples from the fabric itself.
Even electrical outlets should be checked in and around the bedside table and the edge of the floor. Bedbugs can adhere to clothing, so make sure to check yours. If you have any doubts about the presence of bedbugs, have a professional exterminator take a look.
Start eradicating pests and preventing their re-infestation as soon as you notice indicators of a problem.
Cleansing the places where bedbugs live is the first step in eradicating the pests. Among the items in this list are the following:
- Using hot water and the highest setting in the dryer, wash bedding, linens, curtains, and clothes. Dry non-washable goods, such as stuffed animals and shoes, for 30 minutes on high heat.
- Bedbugs and their eggs can be removed from mattress seams by scrubbing them with a firm brush before vacuuming.
- Make a habit of regularly vacuuming your mattress and the area around it. Vacuum cleaner bags should be placed in a plastic bag and deposited in a garbage can outside soon after vacuuming.
- Protect your mattress and box springs from bedbugs by encasing them in a tightly woven, zippered cover. You should leave the mattress cover on for at least a year to ensure that all bedbugs have died. Bedbugs can live up to a year without feeding.
- Remove bedbug hiding areas by patching up plaster cracks and gluing down peeling wallpaper.
- Remove clutter from surrounding the bed.
Get a new mattress if your old one is infested; however, make sure to get rid of all bedbugs in your home before you do so, or your new mattress will get infested.
Bedbugs can be controlled by cleaning up contaminated areas, but getting rid of them usually necessitates chemical treatment. It is crucial to use items that are suitable for use in the bedroom because insecticides can be damaging. Mattresses and bedding should not be treated unless the label explicitly states that they can be used on bedding.
When it comes to bedbug elimination, it’s always best to enlist the help of a trained specialist.
Bed Bug Education
So, from whence do bed bugs originate? Despite their small size, bedbugs are superb at hiding. To get to a new place, they’ll attach themselves to suitcases, boxes, shoes, and other stuff and ride them to their destination. As soon as they’re placed in a new setting, whether it’s a massive building or a single-family residence, they immediately begin to expand. In addition to a bed, bed bugs can live in the cracks and crevices of walls and wood. To avoid detection, they often tuck themselves away behind baseboards, near mattress buttons, within blankets, or inside box springs. There have been reports of bed bugs hiding under electrical switch plates, picture frames and wallpaper. Pests like these can be found almost anywhere, whether it’s in a house, car, bus, or other kind of transportation. Bed bugs are most commonly found on the backsides of headboards hanging on walls in hotels.
The Bugs Without Borders Research conducted by the National Pest Management Association in 2018 indicated that bed bugs may be found almost anywhere. Bed bugs have been found in a variety of unusual places, including nursing homes (59%), schools and daycare centers (47%), office buildings (46%), college dorms (45%), hospitals (36%), and public transportation (36%). The three most common structures where bed bugs have been found are single-family homes (91%), apartments/condominiums (89%), and hotels/motels (68%). (19 percent). If you’re going to be in a crowded place, you’ll want to learn how to spot the telltale indications of bed bugs.
At night, bedbugs are most active. Although they are opportunistic eaters, especially in heavily-infested locations, they will accept a blood meal at any time of the day. In most cases, bed bugs need between five and ten minutes to become blood-starved. After a meal, they disperse to secluded areas where they stay for a few days before returning to feed. Their meal is digested, they mate and lay eggs during this time. Adult bed bugs can go months without feeding on blood. They can also resist temperatures ranging from near-freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, letting them to survive in the most extreme of environments.
Even while bed bugs can feed on a wide variety of warm-blooded creatures, humans are their primary prey. Humans rarely detect or wake up after being bitten by these creatures since their bites are so almost painless. There is no risk of infection from bedbug bites but they can create itchy, red welts. People with severe irritation from these bites can frequently find relief from topical steroid treatments, which do not necessitate medical attention.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of bed bugs is that they reproduce quickly. In the course of their lives, females produce between one and five eggs per day, reaching a maximum of 541 eggs in total. These nymphs mature into adult bed bugs in around 21 days. If a bed bug population continues unnoticed, the pests can quickly spread throughout a home or building. Once an infestation has taken hold, it can be nearly impossible to eradicate it.
Bed Bug Bite Symptoms
Bed bugs like humans as a host and will attach to exposed skin while the host is sleeping. Even if the bite is painless during the attack, most people develop an allergic reaction to the saliva that is conveyed during the biting. This is what causes the redness, itching, and swelling of bites. There is a tendency for bites to be clustered together. This could be a sign that the bites are from bed bugs and not from another pest.
Some people, on the other hand, never react to bed bug bites, making it difficult to determine if you have an infestation. It is conceivable for individuals to reach a point where they no longer have a reaction or their reaction becomes more intense over long periods of exposure.
What are bed bugs?
- Before feeding, bed bugs are reddish-brown in color and roughly a quarter of an inch in length (about the size and shape of a small apple seed).
- Daytime hiding places include the seams and crevices of mattresses (together with the box springs, bed frames, and headboards), as well as walls, floors, and household furniture. At night, they’re out in full force.
- They can’t jump or fly, but they can move quickly on the ground.
How can bed bugs get into my home?
- Infested places or worn furniture can be the source of these parasites. Baggage, handbags, and backpacks with padded or padded surfaces are all potential hiding places for these pests.
- It is possible to move between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartments and hotels.
How can I avoid bringing bed bugs into my home?
- If you’re staying at a hotel, use a luggage stand instead of leaving your bag on the floor or bed. Keep the rack away from walls or other items of decor. Returning home, wash your clothing and dry them in a high-temperature dryer.
- Before putting new or secondhand furniture into your home, inspect it thoroughly. Look in the seams, tufts, and under the cushions.
How do I know if I have a bed bug problem?
- It is possible to see the bedbugs themselves, their discarded skins, or their excrement in the mattress seams and other bedroom furnishings.
- Sheets may be stained with blood as well.
How do I control a bed bug problem in my home?
An “integrated pest management” (IPM) approach is frequently required to accomplish this. Techniques that are least harmful to your health and the environment are combined in this method. Try the following methods:
- Declutter your bedroom and make it a haven of peace and tranquility.
- You should move your bed away from any walls or furnishings.
- Every day, vacuum the molding, windows, and floors. Mattresses, box springs, and other furniture should be vacuumed from the sides and seams. Dispose of the contents of the vacuum or bag outside in a sealed container or bag as soon as possible.
- For at least 30 minutes, wash and dry all of your bed linens, including your sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and bed skirts. Consider putting duct tape over the zippers of your mattress and box spring covers to keep out dust mites.
- Seal all holes and cracks where pipes or cables enter the house.
Should I also try pesticides?
When applied incorrectly, pesticides can be ineffective as well as hazardous. Follow these guidelines if you must apply pesticides:
- For bedbug control, only use EPA-registered pesticides (check the label for the EPA Registration Number) and make sure they are labeled to do so.
- Keep pesticides away from your skin (there are no repellents registered to control bed bugs that can be used on the human body).
- Outdoor insecticides should not be used indoors.
- Pest control companies should have experience dealing with bed bugs if you decide to use them. In addition to using pesticides, they should follow the IPM procedures. Choose a business with a valid license and a registered team of applicators. It is possible to get a list of registered businesses at the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Getting rid of bedbugs requires patience and determination, as well as the help of landlords, neighbors, and others. It can be both physically and emotionally draining at times. Calling in pest control firms can also be pricey. You can avoid or deal with infestations of bedbugs by being vigilant, but remember that they are a nuisance rather than a health risk.
For renters, the Residential Tenants’ Rights Guide explains many of the laws that can aid you and provides resources for more information regarding landlord and tenant difficulties, such as bed bug infestations..