Bed bug infestations in private homes are on the increase in the United States as well as many other Western countries. Bedbugs were virtually eradicated in the 1940s after the invention of DDT but their numbers are on the rise again.
Greater access to international travel is believed to be the main reason for this increase as bedbugs happily hitch a ride home with travelers, in their luggage and on their clothes, from bedbug infested hotel rooms and third world countries. Unfortunately, once bed bugs have taken up residence, they can spread easily to adjoining apartments and houses. This is why it is important to know how to check for bed bugs in your home.
The first sign most people have that there might be bed bugs living with them is when they wake up with insect bites, mainly on their face, neck and arms. Bed bug bites are commonly found in a line or a cluster so it is easy to tell them from the bites of a mosquito or a flea, which are usually located randomly.
The other tell-tale signs of bed bugs are tiny drops of blood on your skin, dried drops or smudges of blood on the sheets and brown smears on the sheets and bedding. These blood and feces trails are left by the bed bugs as they crawl back into hiding after biting you and feeding on your blood.
If you suspect there are bed bugs in your home, the first place to check is the mattress on your bed. Strip the sheets off and check in the seams, binding and creases of the mattress. You might see a mass of the insects clustered together with eggs and discarded skins of growing nymph bedbugs.
There could be lots of dried blood and feces smears concentrated in the one area, or multiple areas, of the mattress. Bed bugs are oval, flat and a red-brown color; they are very small – less than ¼”. Bedbugs cannot fly but can crawl up to 100 feet to get a feed. They can fit into impossibly small hiding spots so you need to be really diligent and patient to locate all their spots if you are going to get rid of these parasites for good.
Once you have determined there are bed bugs in your home, you need to carefully look for other locations where they may be hiding and nesting. Bedbugs prefer timber and fabric to plastic and metal so your search should concentrate on places where these materials are located. If you can slide a credit card into a gap, bed bugs can also fit in there to hide. Check all the bedrooms, not just the one where you first found signs of bedbugs. Following is a list of the places you might start checking for bedbugs but you might find other locations as well:
- Timber door and window surrounds, especially in cracks or gaps where the wood meets the wall or other pieces of wood.
- On the bed head, box springs or foot of the bed.
- Bedside tables and drawers and other furniture in the bedroom, especially those closest to the bed.
- In closets or under free-standing furniture.
- In seldom worn clothes and shoes.
- In piles of newspapers, magazines or clutter in the bedroom.
- In or near pet’s beds.
- In toys – especially those that are taken to bed or kept on the bed.
- Under peeling paint or wallpaper, under the edge of carpet and rugs, in dark corners.
- Sofas and chairs in rooms other than bedrooms
How to stop Bed Bugs from spreading in your house?
Let us first know the reason why bed bugs come at your place before knowing how to stop them spreading. They are attracted from your smell and hence basically they can be found in your bed. Obviously, you cannot convert your bed into a trap and capture the bugs but need a solution that should stop their spread. Chemicals coming in the market for stopping them should include CO2 i.e. carbon dioxide and then see them repel as soon as they come in contact with the repellent. They feed on you and when bed bugs bite you they seem to develop rapidly with your proteins and nourishments. Try to replace your body with these CO2 containing repellents and stop their spread. After a bed bug bite almost 300 eggs can be laid by them. This can just give a simple idea of the kind of spreading power they possess. Stop them by CO2 repellent to make your life free of bed bugs.