Bed bugs are one of the most common pests in the whole world. It was once eradicated in America, but the influx of travelers and immigrants from different places in the world have made it to the list of being one of the most common in the U.S. These tiny pests infest hotels, homes, motels, apartments and shelters. They can stay in anyone’s mattress, beddings and furnitures.
What are they? They are called the Cimes Lectularius in entomology. They are flat shaped oval insects with reddish brown color. Their sizes range from 4 to 5 mm or 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch. They are wingless tiny creatures that are nocturnal animals who sleep by day and feed at night especially in the early part of dawn when people are tight asleep. They are attracted to human’s body temperature and the presence of carbon dioxide. Like mosquitoes they pierce the skin and sucks blood through tiny tubes in its mouth. There are in fact two tubes, one is to suck blood while the other one is to inject anesthetics and coagulant. So they could feed unnoticed till they are satisfied. The poor victim only notices its pain and itchiness after an hour when the anesthetic effects wears out. Next comes scratching due to body’s extreme reaction to allergies and possibly serious scars due to skin infections.
There were major concerns about the possibility that bed bugs could transmit diseases between humans since they thrive on blood. Issues lie on the fact that they harbor pathogens like hepatitis B and the plague virus. However it is a relief to note that there are no known disease outbreak transmission cases attributed to bed bugs unlike the mosquitoes with the H fever virus,
Infestation is Bed bugs can lay 500 times in a life cycle at five eggs in a day. The egg size is 1mm in length with milky white color. It takes 1 to 2 weeks to hatch the eggs. When they are born, the young hatchlings begin to feed early at least once in its 5 stages of life cycle until it reaches maturity.
Bed Bugs are often mistaken as ticks. They do not have wings and don’t jump. But they can be agile movers though not fast enough not to be detected when surprised by a beam of flashlight. These pests are so tough. It can live up to 12 months without feeding. They can lay seemingly hibernating but they are just waiting for a poor victim to come near by. That is why they stay in beddings, mattresses and chairs. They cannot jump but they can climb walls and ceilings to drop off at unsuspecting beds.
Suggestions on how to detect if someone’s bed is infected with bed bugs. There are three items:
1.0 Find if there are itchiness and swelling in the bed’s owner’s face, neck, arms, shoulders and legs. Check the children and adults alike.
2.0 Find if there are dark stains and spotting on the mattresses. Look at the sides, under, and on top near the area where sleeping body lies.
3.0 Wake up early at before dawn. Make ready with a flashlight and slowly crawl out of bed one dark morning about 4 am and beam your light under the mattress, under the bed and every crevice where the pests could hide. Do this in all beds, chairs and furnitures, cabinets where people normally stay and rests. Do not just jump out of bed and put the lights of the room on. It will disturb them and scamper away to hide in all directions. If you are careful enough you would see the bed bugs with your flashlight mingling together in a suspected hiding area.
How to get rid of the bed bugs?
The best and easiest way is to junk away the mattress. But if it is relatively new, a pesticide treatment could eradicate them from your bed. However the smell left by the chemicals is unsafe for the human, so it is a must that the mattress should be washed with detergents and rinsed with warm water. Hot boiling water could do the trick in lieu of the pesticide chemicals, then washing the mattress with detergents and warm water. It will be perfect to use pressurized water for rinsing.
Elimination of pests with the help of professionals is good practice. For new home owners. It is recommended that the house gets pre-treated before dwelling against parasites. But once they do so, cleanliness is still the best key. When people come and visit from different locations, their luggages could be carrying these bed bugs. So regular check with carpets and sofas and mattresses are preventive measures against severe infestation.