Bed Bugs: Treatment and Everything You Want to Know
Dealing with bed bugs is a required process. In fact, it is often difficult to tell if bed bugs have entered your space due to their ability to hide.
But there are some standard signs that betray their presence.
For their complete extermination as well, proper bed bug extermination is needed, but there are also some things you can do yourself.
Bed Bugs – What are they?
Bed bugs are hemipteral insects that feed on blood, i.e. they are bloodsuckers, just like fleas. They belong to the cimicidae family, they are flightless and prefer to come out mainly for food at night, for reasons we will mention later.
The bed bug as an insect is “shy” and prefers to hide in dark places. So, if the infestation is not severe, it may be difficult to spot them.
Although bed bugs prefer people to feed on, they will not hesitate to feast on your pets as well. There are different types of bed bugs, but we will talk about the common bed bug found in homes, cimex lectuarius
Bed bug – what is it like?
The bed bug is an oval-shaped insect with a brown color. It has six legs and is quite “flat”, which allows it to burrow into small crevices. If you see a bed bug that has just fed, it will be red, as it will be “laden” with the blood it has sucked. Bed bugs are also visible to the naked eye. An adult bed bug can reach the size of an apple pit (about 5-7 mm). Male and female bed bugs are different from each other. Females’ bodies are slightly rounder, although it takes an expert to tell for sure.
Bed bugs – reproduction
Female bed bugs lay eggs which take about 10 days to hatch. After the nymph is born, it takes about 7 weeks to reach adulthood.
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye in all stages of their life cycle. From eggs and nymphs, to adults.
Bed bug eggs are about 1mm in size and white. So it might be hard to spot, but not impossible
Bed bugs – diseases
Bed bugs are not “famous” for the diseases they carry, but more for how annoying they can be.
In general, so far it has not been found that bed bugs can transmit diseases to humans.
Of course, some research has shown that there is a possibility that Chagas disease can be transmitted. Scientists, however, are not sure yet.
How do bed bugs get into the house?
Bed bugs can be considered house insects, but in reality you bring them into your space.
One of the most frequent reasons for the transfer of bed bugs is travel. If you see a place with bed bugs, then the bed bugs can “board” your luggage or clothes.
Thus, they will end up as stowaways in your home.
Bed bugs are attracted to the warm-blooded organisms and the plant’s dioxide.
And guess what. The man meets all the conditions.
In general, places that are crowded or have been visited by different people can become the cause of catching bed bugs.
Some of the most common are:
- Public transport
- Homes already infested
And in general, places where a lot of people gather.
But it is not only this:
Bed bugs can also burrow into your home from used furniture and clothing.
So, the next time you see some abandoned furniture on the street, think again about whether you want to take it home.
Bed bugs – signs you have them
Before you take action to deal with bed bugs, it is a good idea to be sure that they have just been added to your home.
Otherwise, you may be wasting time and money.
Many times, many people confuse bed bugs with dust mites.
Mites can’t irritate your skin if you’re allergic to them, so you don’t think they’re bed bug bites.
But mites are neither visible to the naked eye nor do they bite you.
But let’s not waste time, let’s go see what are the signs of the existence of bed bugs:
- Dark / black stains on your mattress, sheets, pillowcases and bed linens in general
- Stinging in your skin when you wake up (this doesn’t happen to everyone though, we’ll see what exactly happens)
- Blood stains on your bed
- Bed bug “skins” in your bed
- Dead or live bed bugs (obviously)
- Something like a musty smell, especially in cases of severe infestation
If you spot any of the above signs, then bed bug control is limited.
Where bed bugs hide and nest
Bed bugs may mainly hide in or near your bed, but they are not limited there.
Do you know why we often meet them in beds though?
Because these annoying insects prefer to be close to their “food”.
So think about how many hours you spend in your bed during sleep.
But there is another reason:
Remember when we said that bed bugs come out mostly at night?
These insects cannot come out during the day either, but prefer the evening hours, as then it is easier for them to bite you undisturbed.
They are also attracted to the ambient dioxide you breathe out when you sleep.
But let’s see some of the places where these little pests are hiding:
- On the bed frame
- At the base of the bed (and the part with the springs)
- In the layers (mainly at the points of the seams)
- In furniture
- In cracks and crevices in walls and floors
- In sockets (and behind them on the walls)
- In electrical appliances
- On the wallpaper (behind it if it has gaps)
- In clothes and shoes
- In stuffed toys
- On carpets
- In drawers and cupboards
In general, bed bugs in the home prefer dark places that provide them with protection from you.
If the infestation isn’t that big of course, it’s possible that they’d rather just stay on or near your bed.
Therefore, it is very important in the event of an infestation, you do not move your bed or other furniture and items into the premises of your home.
And another thing, bed bugs do NOT stay on your body. They can hide in your clothes and shoes but won’t stay on your skin
What is a bed bug bite like?
Before we move on to ways to deal with bed bugs, we have some information about their bites.
There is something that many people do not know:
Not all people get bed bug bites.
That doesn’t mean they don’t sting, just that their skin doesn’t react to them.
But in those who do react, bed bug bites appear as swollen, red areas that can also have a darker spot in the center.
Often, it can appear in rows next to each other or densely packed.
A bed bug bite, however, does not always appear directly on the skin.
Depending on the person, it can take up to two weeks to appear.
Bed bugs often choose to bite exposed body parts. Such as arms, back, neck, face, etc.
Bed bug bites can itch, but you should never scratch, as there is a risk of infection.
Treating bed bugs at home
If you are thinking “Bed bugs have entered the house, what do I do?” it’s time to find out.
So let’s see what you can do to fight the bed bugs that have entered your home.
In general, the bed bug is a “difficult” insect and it will take a lot of patience to deal with it.
So the best solution is to turn to professionals for their exhaustion.
But apart from that, the process you can follow is as follows:
Step 1: Inspect – locate the bed bugs
To begin with, you need to identify the areas of your home that are infested with bed bugs.
With the places and objects we saw earlier in the article about bed bugs or their signs, starting with your bed.
Look carefully at your mattress, bedding, pillows, bed frame and headboard.
Pay attention to seams and corners, as bed bugs often hide there.
Check if they are hiding in the possible places we mentioned. Look out for cracks or holes in your space, as they are good hiding places for these pesky bugs.
A flashlight can also help you spot bed bugs or their signs. In addition to the flashlight, a magnifying glass can also help.
Step 2: Countermeasures
Once you’ve identified where the bugs have been added, it’s time to launch your attacks:
1) Vacuum cleaner and steam
A very good “weapon” for dealing with bed bugs is your vacuum cleaner.
Use it on the places where you found the bed bugs to suck them up.
Carefully vacuum your bed and mattress, furniture, drawers, carpets, etc.
Pay close attention to corners, seams and “folded” areas.
After you finish mopping, remove the vacuum cleaner bag, seal it in a plastic bag, and then dispose of it in the trash (outside your home).
After vacuuming, check your vacuum for bedbugs.
Caution! Make sure both the vacuum bag and the plastic bag have no holes and are tightly closed.
But one wipe is not enough. Don’t forget to vacuum frequently in the following days as well.
Since some places can be difficult to reach with a vacuum, you can also use steam.
Steam clean bedding, furniture and other items where bed bugs can hide.
2) Washing clothes and bed linen
Seal your clothes, linens and bedding in large bags.
It is important that the bags are well sealed so that they cannot intensify and escape.
Then start washing the bagged clothes and bedding in your washing machine at the highest possible temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Bed bugs die in the washing machine due to high washing temperatures. In particular, the bed bug cannot withstand 50 degrees Celsius and above.
If you have dried at home, dry your clothes and bedding there after washing for at least 30 minutes on maximum maximum temperature.
Important!!! After drying clothes and other items, do not put them back in drawers or closets. There is a risk that they will be infested by bedbugs again. Reseal them in different clean bags than you had before.
For proper bed bug control, you should repeat this process with every wash.
But what about the items that can’t go in the washing machine?
Seal them tightly in black bags and keep them there for a long time (about a year) so that the bed bugs die.
If you have a dryer in your home, you can use it to kill bed bugs on shoes that you may not be able to put in the washing machine. Put it for 30 minutes at the highest possible temperature to kill the insects.
Unfortunately dealing with bed bugs requires sacrifices. It is possible not to discard items that you cannot “heal” in the above ways.
3) Crack sealing and other methods
Remember when we said that bed bugs burrow into cracks and holes?
So you have to close them to trap them in there.
So seal all cracks, holes and cracks in walls and floors. If you also have peeling wallpaper, stick it back on the wall.
Also don’t leave clutter in your room as it helps bed bugs hide.
Collect untidy clothes and items from your space and put them in the wash or in bags as we saw earlier.
Another thing you can do is to put mattress protectors. Some cases are designed so that the bedbugs cannot escape and so after a while (about a year) they die.
Of course, this does not fight bed bugs that are present in other parts of your home.
You can also move your bed away from the wall so bed bugs don’t have easy access to it.
But be careful! Do not move your bed or other furniture to another room, as this may spread the infestation.
Step 3: Follow up
You must apply the above coping methods frequently and with great care.
Even if the bed bugs stop being a consequence for a while, don’t rest, keep me going.
But how can you tell if the infestation is decreasing or has stopped?
Signs of bed bugs should be reduced:
- Fewer pimples (you’re a pimple sufferer)
- Fewer dark marks or blood on the bed and in the area
- Fewer insects
You should also regularly check the parts that were infested to see if bed bugs are still there.
You can even get bed bug traps to control their numbers.
Bed bugs and insecticides
If the above bed bug control methods don’t seem to be working, you might consider using insecticides.
But you should know that bed bugs have become resistant to some insecticides.
But if you want to use one, make sure it’s specific for bed bugs and follow the directions to the letter.
You can also turn to an expert in pest control to guide you.
Caution! Do not try to spray your bed or furniture with insecticides, except on the product that says you can.
Natural bed bug treatment
In addition to insecticides, there are also natural methods that can help in the fight against bed bugs.
So let’s look at some:
Diatomaceous earth is dust that can kill bed bugs. It is a natural product and is not toxic to humans.
How exactly does it work?
When bedbugs walk on it, diatomaceous earth “removes” the protective layer that keeps their fluids from their shell. So the bed bugs dehydrate and die.
You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the affected areas to dehydrate and kill the bedbugs.
But there is a downside:
Diatomaceous earth is not the fastest method to combat bed bugs. It may take up to 10 days to work. Also, this alone is usually not enough to eliminate the entire infestation.
Note: Diatomaceous earth may not be suitable for people with respiratory problems. If you want to use it, make sure it is safe for you and other people in the house.
Essential oils are not meant to kill bed bugs, but to repel them.
You can make a mixture of water and essential oils and spray your bed or other places you don’t want bed bugs to see.
The most common essential oils you want to keep away from bed bugs are:
Tea tree oil, lavender, lemongrass, mint, cloves and thyme.
Note: Before using an essential oil, make sure it is safe for you.
Bed bugs – Dealing with and avoiding when traveling
One of the most common ways someone can bring bed bugs into their home is after a trip.
Bed bugs essentially “smuggle” into your luggage and clothes and thus, they infest your home.
So if the hotel room you are going to stay in has bed bugs from someone before, then they may “follow” you home.
So let’s look at some ways to avoid bed bugs during your hotel stay.
Posting your luggage and things in the bathroom: Many people leave their luggage on the bed or floor when they enter a room. But if the room has bed bugs, it is very likely that they are on the bed, on some furniture and even in some crack.
If there is one in your room, you can also leave them on the luggage rack.
Don’t leave luggage and clothes on the floor and beds: For the same reason as before, never leave your things and clothes on the floor and beds. If you want to be extra careful, don’t leave clothes and things in general on the furniture in the room.
Don’t leave your luggage open: Even if you don’t have your luggage on beds, furniture or the floor, it’s still a good idea not to leave it open.
gift the beds: Look in and under the bedclothes for bedbugs or their signs. Do the same for pillows and pillowcases. Check the mattress, especially at the seams and corners. wins the headboard of the bed and behind it.
Finally, check around the bed, at the legs/bases and under it.
If you have a flashlight, it will help your inspection quite a bit.
In the room: Look for bed bugs or their signs on bedside tables and lamps, behind picture frames, paintings and mirrors.
If you find something, do not hesitate to say it: Where you find signs of infestation or bed bugs in your room, contact the hotel and ask to find the room. done, one to two floors.
Read reviews: Before choosing a place to stay, carefully read reviews about it to see if there are bed bug problems.
Pack your luggage before entering your home: When you return from your trip, before entering your home, carefully check your luggage.
Vacuum and wash: When you enter your home, put the luggage in the bathroom and after emptying it, vacuum it. Also put clothes to wash at the highest possible temperature for 30 minutes. Finally, seal the vacuum cleaner bag in a bag and throw it out in the garbage.
Bed Bug Control – Ultimate Tips
If you spot signs of bed bugs at home, don’t ignore them. The earlier you treat the infestation, the easier it will be to exterminate bed bugs.
If you only see one bed bug in your space, there’s a good chance there are others hiding.
In case of an infestation, do not move furniture or clothing from one room to another, as you may spread the bed bugs around your home.
If you have bed bugs, it is good to limit unnecessary movements so as not to transfer them to other areas or houses.
But if you don’t leave your home for someone else, make sure you’re not wearing infected clothes or shoes.
If you also have to take a bag or sack with you, make sure they are bug-free.
The best way to deal with bed bugs is to call a professional, so you can exterminate them faster and with less effort. If you encounter problems with bed bugs, contact an expert to eliminate them from your home and gain back your peace of mind.