Bed bugs are troublesome to deal with. If you fail to eliminate even a single pregnant bed bug, your household runs the risk of getting infested with over 300 adult bed bugs and 1000 eggs in less than three months.
Bed bugs are common household pests that are oval in shape and brownish in colour. They are parasites that live on the blood of humans and animals. Some Bed Bug Treatment Preparation help to treat bugs.
Immature bed bugs are known as nymphs. Nyphms shed their skin five times before becoming mature. They need a complete meal of blood before each shedding. These nymphs require a little less than a month to develop fully and produce three generations of offsprings in a year, under favourable conditions.
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So, where do these pesky pests come from? Bed bugs can enter your home (and life) through clothes, luggage, couch, beds, and mattresses. They have a flattened body and can fit into any available space are hard to detect. They do not have nests but live in groups. Bed bugs initially hide in mattresses, headframes, box springs and places from where they will have easy access to sleeping people, and feed on them. They later spread to other places.
Bed bugs bite while you are asleep. They pierce the skin and suck blood using their beak. They feed for up to 10 minutes and crawl back, unnoticed. Bed bug bites may or may not swell, after a complete meal. The bites are painless but soon starts itching.
Bed bug bites might look similar to mosquito bites and so, it is difficult to understand a bed bug infestation. You will need to identify the bed bugs first.
How to Remove Bed Bugs?
These small bloodsuckers can create havoc in your life if not eliminated completely. It is not difficult to remove bed bugs. A little bit of patience and knowing what needs to be done, can help in removing these tiny pests.
1. Identifying the Infested Areas
It is cheaper (and easier) to treat bed bugs when the infestation is small as compared to a large one. Smaller infestations are difficult to detect, but nevertheless, you will need to put in the effort to ensure the infestation does not become a large one.
You can do the inspection yourself or hire a professional for the same. Some professionals even hire dogs to track bed bugs using their smell.
As already mentioned, bed bugs can easily squeeze into seams of couch and mattresses and even folds of curtains. And, these are the places where you will need to start your inspection from.
Some of the other places that you are most likely to find them are
- Inside the cracks of headboards and bed frames
- Near-bed spring and mattress tags
- Between couch pillows and cushions
- In between furniture joints
- Underneath wall decor accents, paintings, and posters
- In baseboards
Use a magnifying glass and a torchlight to inspect these places thoroughly. These are some of the signs that you need to be on the lookout for:
- Living bed bugs that are reddish-brown in colour and about 0.25 inch long.
- Bed bug droppings are nothing dark spots measuring the same as a period.
- Crushed bed bugs on the couch or bedsheet that leads to reddish stains.
- Tiny, pale and yellow eggs and eggshells.
- Yellowish skin that nymphs shed.
If you find a bed bug, keep it inside a sealed jar containing rubbed alcohol. A lot many bugs look similar to bed bugs. If you are not sure of what you have caught, you can call an entomologist or exterminator for identification.
2. Control the Infestation
Once you are sure that it is a bed bug infestation, you will have to contain it so that the infestation does not become a large one. Using vacuum is one of the best ways of trapping bed bugs. Run your vacuum over all the possible hiding places like your bed, carpets, dresses, and others.
Next, seal all your infected clothes and linen in a plastic bag until you can wash them. While washing them, select the highest temperature setting for the dryer and washer. This will help in eliminating the bed bugs permanently.
If there is something that cannot be washed, keep it sealed in a plastic bag. Open the bag only when you are sure that all the bed bugs have been killed. For furniture that cannot be cleaned, throw it away. Tear the cushions and pillows and paint the word ‘bed bugs’ so that no one else takes those home.
3. Preparing for Bed Bug Treatment
Treating bed bugs is not easy, and a little bit of preparation will only increase your success rate.
Ensure that carpets, clothes, linen, drapes, and furniture have been cleaned thoroughly or discarded.
Next, you will need to get rid of all the bed bug hiding places. Are there books, newspapers, and magazines lying at the same place (like underneath the beds) for over a year? It is time to throw them away. Be careful not to move items from an infected room to a clean one.
Glue down loose wallpapers and seal all cracks and open areas. Block furniture and baseboard cracks. Tape up loose electrical outlets. Shift your beds and couch at least six inches away from the wall and furniture so that the bed bugs cannot climb back.