Bed Bug Facts
Bed Bugs are minuscule insects – the adult is no more than a quarter of an inch in size – that feed on the blood of animals and, most often humans.
Although not able to fly the bed bug does retain the ability to travel; very quickly and is prone to rapid infestation as a result.
The Bed Bug concern is a widespread one, as these miniature creatures are understood to have traveled from their natural home in the Asian continent to the entire globe.
It is far from unusual to see an infestation of Bed Bugs, but what is essential is that we recognise where they live, how to find them and what to do about them.
The female Bed Bug will give out eggs each day; as she can survive for vast lengths of time – over a year – this results in a quick explosion of the Bed Bug population.
The bed bug is active at night – when we are sleeping – and the primary clue to the existence of Bed Bugs is the presence of marks on the skin in the morning.
The bed bug will feast during the night, and when it feeds on human blood it leaves behind signs of its being there.
A bed bug feeds by puncturing the skin and pushing in a tube with which it sucks out the required blood, and therefore the victim will rarely have known they are being bitten as they are normally asleep.
After feeding – which can last as long as ten minutes – the Bed Bug leaves behind a red puncture which may swell and will hurt continually, bringing irritation and discomfort to the individual.
The problem about diagnosis is that the indications of Bed Bugs are very similar to many other skin conditions.
Scabies leaves behind very similar pointers to bed bug infestation, and some insect bites such as mosquito can also produce a similar tell tale red welt.
Bed bug bites will usually be found on skin that remains exposed while we sleep – the arms and legs, face and neck are all frequently bitten – and it is to these areas we should be vigilant when looking for signals of the creatures.
The Bed Bug is a night active insect and it likes to feast on our blood; it also likes to stay out of sight and this is why it lives in our beds and furnishings.
Although the Bed Bug does not nest like a number of other insects, it does fall to suitable places, hence great numbers will hide together in the crevasses of a mattress, the inside of covers and linings and many dark and secure places.
Bed Bugs are sometimes carried into the home by those who have been elsewhere and have possibly slept on a number of unusual and frequently used beds.
A Bed Bug infestation is not usually a case of dodgy hygiene, however, as any number of hotels and guest houses have also been the source of the problem.
Bed Bug infestations spread very quickly; with one female mite laying around five eggs per day it is easy to see how rapidly the colony can grow.
To eradicate Bed Bugs you first need to get rid of the affected mattress and any other furnishings that may be infested with the creatures.
As bed bugs are very small and almost impossible to find, eradicating all the eggs and mites with off the shelf routines may not be 100% successful.
During a case of bed bugs, all clothes, covers and linings that have been near to bugs – or could have been – have to be be thoroughly washed; if possible this needs to be done on the hottest setting possible to be certain to kill the bugs.
Last update: 01:03 AM Monday, September 20, 2010