Bed bugs are scary!! Knowing that these creepy crawlers are staying at your house, crawling around you, drinking up your blood, damaging your property can ruin your good night sleep. But this is not the time to freak out rather you need to pull yourself together and take action
To deal with them here’s everything you need to know about bed bugs-
What do bedbugs look like?
Bedbugs are small, oval-shaped brownish insects that survive on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. Their bodies expand and grow reddish after eating whereas newly hatched bed bugs are the size of a poppy seed and are golden in colour. They have 6 legs, antennae, no wings and they prefer to come out at night for their meal
(Honestly speaking, describing the outer appearance of bed bugs is complicated as it varies depending on their life stage. However, in order to alert you to their arrival at your house, I've done my utmost to provide you with a general description of their appearance. If you find anything that might be a bed bug and if you’re not certain about it then rush to a pest control company for official identification)
Where do bedbugs come from?
Bed bugs aren’t picky about their environment as long as they have a host to feed on. They can easily be carried into the house from various spots like-
Public transportation, library, hotel, police station, clothing, offices, day-cares, schools, colleges, and universities, theatres, police stations, hotels, second-hand furniture, clothing, boxes, pillows, backpacks, purses, apartment complexes
What are the signs of a bedbug infestation?
Bites on the skin
Unlike mosquito bites, bedbugs often attack in groups, you can witness a straight line of bites on your body as these parasitic insects prefer travelling up your limbs taking blood samples constantly
Now and then, you could see stains of blood- your blood precisely as bed bugs feed on blood, their excrements resemble blood spots. You can spot these marks not only on the bedding and mattress but on any locations bed bugs have been on
You can find bed bug eggs and eggshells in various locations especially in the cracks and joints of your mattress, carpet and furniture where the insects tend to hide during the day. The eggs themselves are extremely tiny and whitish
Bed bugs life cycle goes through several stages and each time they moult, they shed their skins. Those cast skins are light brown and unlike the blood, spots can be found only in their sheltered areas
The presence of a strong odour in the room is another indication of bed bug infestation. It has a good, sickening odour of almost rotting raspberries, according to some people
Spotting an actual bug is the surest sign of an infestation. You may even see these guys roaming around from time to time. They’re really tiny, but if you look closely, you may be able to spot them occasionally
Where can you find bedbugs at your home?
Bed bugs love to stay closer to their food source i.e., you. So, don’t be shocked looking at the following listed hideous spots of bed bugs
- Mattress, Couches, Chairs, Door Hinges and other furniture items
- Laundry Baskets and Clothing
- Picture Frames, Ceilings and Walls
- Carpet Edges and Baseboards
- Nightstands and Dressers
- Electrical Outlets and Electronic Devices
What attracts bed bugs?
Bed bugs crawl at night and climb your bed when you are sleeping, so they can silently feed on human blood. But other than blood, here are other things that can attract bed bugs-
Bed bugs are primarily attracted to human beings but the reason is just not because of blood but also because we produce a large amount of carbon dioxide and bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide.
Bed bugs are attracted to the warmth of our bodies. Since human beings generate heat and warmth, bedtime is like a gold mine of warmth for bed bugs. It would be cherry on the cake for the Bed bugs if two people share a bed because they create additional warmth
Bed bugs are attracted to dark environment and also likes certain dark shades like red and black. Studies show bed bugs do not like white, yellow, or green because it reminds them of bright, well-lit areas.
Did you know Bed bugs love the smell of your dirty laundry? The stack of dirty laundry on your bedroom floor can be the starting point of a bed bug’s journey across the entire room.
Bed bugs prefer to live in soft fabrics such as mattresses, box springs, upholstered furniture, seams, and clothes
While clutter or filth doesn’t really attract a bed bug infestation but it does play a vital role in bed bug infestation as a cluttered home makes it harder for you to notice the presence of the bedbugs
How bed bugs can affect your health?
Although bed bug bites themselves aren't harmful to humans, the effects of bed bug bites can cause health complications like-
- Allergic reactions to their bites, which can be severe causing itching or burning, skin rashes
- Secondary infections such as impetigo, ecthyma, and lymphangitis
- Mental health impacts like anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions
How to get rid of bed bugs?
Borax is a quick and easy way to eliminate bedbugs. Sprinkle borax on the mattress and leave it for at least 24 hours to suffocate the pests. Borax can also be used to wash bug-infested items; add some to your washing machine to ensure that the bugs are gone for good
Vinegar is as strong as it smells. However, remember vinegar can kill bed bugs by destroying their nervous system, it can't kill their eggs. Spray white distilled vinegar on the edges of the items that display signs of infestation
Diatomaceous earth is another safest choice if you want to get rid of bedbugs inexpensively. To use, cover the infected area with Diatomaceous Earth and leave for a few days. You will notice dead bed bugs gradually
Baking soda is one of the most trusted home remedies for bed bugs. You can get rid of bed bugs by spraying baking soda on the infected spot. Baking soda dehydrates bed bugs flesh, killing them immediately
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil not only kills them but also masks the human scents that lure them in the first place. Dilute twenty drops of all-natural, pure tea tree oil with 200ml water and spray onto affected areas
Wash your bedding, sheets, and even your clothing using hot water if you think bed bugs have made a home in them as these annoying animals cannot tolerate excessive heat. To give your clothes and linens an extra boost of heat, throw them in the dryer as well
Vacuuming will help you catch bed bugs that are creeping around your house in daylight and keep it clean by cleaning up any dead bugs that pesticides could have killed. Atrix VACBP1 Hepa Backpack Vacuum is one of the most powerful vacuum cleaners for bed bugs
Important places to vacuum for bed bugs include-
- bed frames
- floorboards and edges of your rooms
- additional furniture in your bedroom
Bed Bug Fighter
Bed Bug Fighter a bed bug repellent spray that's perfectly safe to kill bed bugs and their eggs in the house. Spray it up on mattresses, bedsheets, carpets, inside drawers, and wardrobes to kill the hidden bed bugs
Good Morning Bed Bug Killer Spray Powder
Good Morning Bed Bug Killer Spray Powder kills bed bugs with 100% efficiency ensuring no damage caused to fabrics and surroundings. Take one litre of water in a spray bottle, add the powder to it and shake well before use
Pai Organics Certified Organic Bed Bug Killer
Pai Organics bed bug killer is made with an advanced recipe that kills bed bugs. It's a completely natural and sustainable remedy that safely and effectively eliminates bed bugs and their eggs
What not to do if you have bed bugs?
- panic and reach for the insecticide spray at once, but do keep calm and make a plan.
- use chemicals that haven't been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency
- apply pesticides to the body since they can be harmful
- rub alcohol, kerosene, or gasoline because they can set your house on fire
- shift infested items from room to room
- place objects in black plastic in the sun so the temperature would not be high enough to destroy the bugs
- get rid of any infested furniture as it can be fixed
How to prevent bedbugs from entering your house?
- Clear up any clutter. Books, magazines, clothing, and other things should not be left on the floor
- Use a bedbug cover to fully encase the mattress and box spring
- Bedding, chairs, curtains, and carpets can all be vacuumed and washed on a regular basis
- To keep bedbugs out, seal holes around light sockets, baseboards, and electrical outlets
- When travelling, look for bedbugs in hotel rooms to avoid taking them home with you
- Before buying any furniture, make sure there are no signs of bed bugs