Cleaning Away Bed Bugs
Cleaning Away Bed Bugs
Every once in a while we will see stories about bed bugs in the news and hear how disruptive and destructive these little pests can be. When we tuck our children in at night, we tell them that we hope the bed bugs don’t bite. But what are bed bugs and how do we get rid of them? Bed bugs are rightfully portrayed as the stuff of childhood nightmares. They can do a tremendous amount of property damage and they can also cause a number health issues. It is important to act quickly when you realize that your home has been infested with bed bugs.
What Is A Bed Bug?
A bed bug is a brownish orange bug that is about as long as a grain of rice. They are bugs, but they cannot jump high or fly. They can only crawl. It takes about two months for bed bug larvae to grow into a full grown adult. Female bed bugs can lay up to 500 eggs in their lifetime. The bed bug is incredibly resilient as it can go up to a year without feeding. The only form of food the bed bug requires is human blood. They prefer dark areas, which is why they hide under floor boards and behind cracks in the walls. Bed bugs are not known for spreading diseases, but their bite creates a rash that can cause excessive itching.
How Do Bed Bugs Choose Their Homes?
Since bed bugs cannot jump or fly, they primarily rely on being transported from one place to another. If you spend the night in a hotel that has bed bugs, then you could bring bed bugs home in your luggage. One common myth about bed bugs is that they only show up in homes that are excessively cluttered or dirty. This is not true at all as any home could potentially be infested with bed bugs. The only disadvantage to clutter is that it gives bed bugs more places to hide and makes them more difficult to get rid of.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
If you wake up in the morning with small bites on your body and blood on your bed sheets, then you probably have bed bugs. Other bugs can also bite and cause similar effects, but bed bugs tend to be very persistent. If you wake up to blood on your sheets, then the easiest way to tell if it is bed bugs is to turn out the lights in your bedroom and then shine a flashlight on your bed. If the bugs are in your home, they will be in your mattress looking to feed.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
The most important thing to remember about bed bugs is that they are not fatal to humans. Act immediately if your home is infested, but do not panic. Your first move is to remove the clutter from your home and clean it thoroughly. Vacuum the rugs and furniture in every room. The more you clean your home, the less places you give bed bugs to hide. You can get non-toxic bed bug pesticides and spray them in the cracks in your walls and anywhere that offers a dark hiding spot. If you use a hair dryer along the base of your walls, then this will force the bed bugs out of hiding where you can remove them. You can also force them out with a putty knife placed in any wall or floor openings. Close up wall cracks and remove any places where the bed bugs can hide. You can try to remove them from your mattress and box spring, but it may be best to just purchase new bedding and throw out the old. Thoroughly wash and hang all of your clothing. Have your good clothing, sheets, and other linens dry cleaned.
How Do I Keep Bed Bugs Out Of My Home?
To completely remove bed bugs from your home, you should have a professional exterminator come in and look over the work you have done. The exterminator will remove any remaining nests and give you advice on preventing the bugs in the future. Many people get their new mattresses and box springs wrapped in plastic to prevent any remaining bugs from getting in. Getting rid of bed bugs is a battle that can take time, but it is important that you make sure that every last bug and nest has been removed from your home.
- Skin Problems and Treatments Associated with Bed Bugs
- Bed Bug Facts from MedicineNet.com
- Description and Habits of Bed Bugs from the University of Kentucky
- Prevention and Control of Bed Bugs in Residences
- Bed Bug Management Guidelines
- Bed Bugs Prevention and Control
- Importance of Bed Bugs
- A Resource on Bed Bugs from the California Department of Health
- FAQ List for Bed Bugs
- Baltimore City Health Department – Information on Bed Bug Infestations
- Diseases and Conditions – Bedbugs
- Bed Bug Fact Sheet from Public Health in Seattle and King County Washington
- Pest Management Fact Sheet – Bed Bugs
- Comprehensive Bed Bug Information from the Washington State Department of Health
- Understanding and Controlling Bed Bugs