How to Know If You Have Bed Bugs:
There is a whole generation in the developed Western world that is coming in contact with bed bugs for the first time in their lives. The Baby Boomers of the Fifties and Sixties and their offspring have never seen bed bugs in their native countries, because bed bugs were practically exterminated in the West in the 1940′s and 1950′s due to the extensive use of DDT to kill insects in general when the inner city slums were being cleared up after the Second World War. A comparable process went on in the United States.
This slum clearance and the killing of insects bolstered the conviction put about by rich people for decades that bed bugs went hand in glove with squalour and dirt. However, it is not true and in fact the opposite could be the case. Cockroaches and ants will feed off dropped pieces of food, but bed bugs do not. Bed bugs only eat blood. If they see a piece of cheese on the floor, they do not think ‘yum, yum, I wonder if it is Cheddar?’, as a cockroach might, they walk around it and make for the nearest shapely ankle instead.
The recovery in the number of bedbugs in the West since 1995 can almost definitely be attributed to the number of people making long-distance flights to Asia and Africa and increased immigration from those continents. These people are not the poorest and dirtiest in the world. Immigrants tend to be middle class to wealthy and long-distance flights are not made by the poor either.
So, how do you know if you have bed bugs? Well, the answer to that is, it depends on your immune system. You may have them and never know it, if you are not allergic to bedbug saliva. People say that bedbugs come out at night, but in fact, they are most lively about an hour before sunrise.
Therefore, if you want to look for them, this is the time to do it. Set your alarm for an hour before daybreak and switch the light on immediately. They are very fast movers if they have not eaten, otherwise they are quite sluggish and ponderous.
They usually live near the bed. Either in the mattress if it is ripped or behind the skirtings or wall paper. Bedbugs come in various colours, but the ones that only feed off humans, Cimex lectularius, are small (4-5 by 3.5 millimetres), brown, flat, but slightly rounded on top. They often look banded like a well-manicured lawn, because they have short hairs on their back. They are also wingless.
People think that bed bugs bite them in bed and this is true, but not only in bed. If you like to watch TV in your favourite armchair in the dark, they can get you there as well, which means that you are also at risk in the cinema. In fact you are at risk anywhere that people congregate: pubs, restaurants, buses, taxis, cinemas, hotels, motels, airplanes, nightclubs et cetera.
If you have bedbugs you may notice red or brown flecks on your sheets, this is either your blood or their excrement. you may also find bedbug skins lying around. Bedbugs have to shed their skins six times in order to become fully mature. These skins look just like bedbugs but with nothing in them.
How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs – Learn the Signs of Bed Bugs:
Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite! How often have these words been spoken by grandmas to their grandchildren at bed time? These bugs are reddish brown, flat oval wingless insects that are not nocturnal contrary to belief. These insects are simply wary of brightly lit areas. They are in fact capable of moving around during the day provided that they are in cool dimly lit places.
They belong to the Cimicidae insect family; they are called bed bugs because they are more likely to chomp on their human donor while he or she is asleep. The most common type of is the Cimex lectulariu species which are more adaptable to human environments. These bugs are capable of sucking up their fill of blood without even rousing their victim from its slumber. Often times the bite marks will be visible hours or days after being fed on. It is because of this that people are unaware of bed bug infestations in their homes.
They are able to squeeze into the tiniest nooks, crannies and knots on the floorboards, baseboards, crack in the wall, behind wallpapers, seams of a mattress and of course in the bed springs. Though they are tiny creature’s they are capable of producing a lot of wastes which are not as hidden as they are. The wastes consist of tiny dark spots found on the mattress, linens, sheets or pillow covers. These spots can be traces of blood, feces etc. Easier to spot are skins the bugs had shed or the dead bed bugs themselves. Eggs are visible to the naked eye if you know where to look but some help from a magnifying tool will speed up the search process.
Bite marks are also tell- tale signs of the presence of bed bugs in the home. It is very rare to actually catch a bug in the midst of its dining experience. As aforementioned bed bug bites appear hours after the actual bite or sometimes days after. These insects prefer biting in a row. 2 – 3 swollen lumps in a row mean you’re sharing your bed with these bugs.
While it is not impossible to catch a bed bug in the act it is however not an easy task. One trick is to keep a flashlight at hand which is to be used an hour or two before dawn. These hours are crucial because it is their peak feeding time. Another trick is by purchasing a carpet tape, this is a double sided tape used to keep carpeting or rugs in place. Lay down your tape in strips around the bed for a few days or so and check out what gets stuck to it.
Research has shown that the most common place to acquire bugs is in inns, hostels, motels, hotels, resorts and other destinations. They are natural hitchhikers and would easily cling onto clothes and luggage. It is important to sanitize your belongings upon returning from a trip to avoid further bug contamination or breeding.
What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs:
Do you have bedbugs? If you do, you are probably looking for ways to get these irritating creatures out of your home. In recent years, bed bug infestations are becoming increasingly more common. They are found in homes across the country in states like New York, Florida and others. If you are trying to kill bedbugs, these 5 tips may make it easier.
Clean up. If your house is filled with clutter, finding and eliminating bedbugs will be more difficult. Reduce clutter, especially in the bedroom areas as much as possible. Remove toys, bedding and blankets from the area as well. These should be thoroughly vacuumed and then treated with chemicals that kill bed bugs. Since bedbugs can live up to a year without food, you must find and eliminate them rather than just hoping they will go away.
Look for them. Bedbugs are small and experts at hiding. If you have an infestation, look for their hiding places. Holes on bed frames, in your mattresses and in your wall are common places to look. Consider dismantling your bed frame so that you can better locate hiding places. Also look under your mattress and on the bottom of drawers.
Wash infested clothing and linens in hot water. Make sure it is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter the better. Scrub down room surfaces with hot water and soap as well. Thoroughly vacuum rooms and consider getting the carpets cleaned using steam and powerful cleansers.
Insecticide will probably be necessary. You will need to treat affected areas, rooms and mattresses multiple times. It is best to spray at least 3 times about a week and a half apart. One treatment will not take care of the problem. Make sure you complete multiple treatments.
Finally, watch for future infestations. Use a flashlight in a dark room to carefully examine furniture and bedding looking for small bugs, excrement and other signs. Seal up cracks, holes and other hiding places to help prevent future problems.
These tips will help you overcome a bedbug infestation in your home. Getting rid of them can be a lot of work so be patient throughout the process.
Bedbugs are just so bad this year. Tina’s favorite ways of getting rid of them are diatomaceous earth and cedar oil!