Bedbugs! The very word makes our skin crawl, and likely yours too. These tiny creatures are commonplace in homes across the USA and the world and are often found in hotels and guesthouses. Bedbugs are among the most difficult of all household pests when it comes to eradication. In some cases, only a professional pest control service provider such as Majestic Pest Control will be successful.
What are bed bugs, and what are they doing in your home? How do you know you have bedbugs in your house and are there dangers? These – along with advice on getting rid of them – are all questions we will try and answer in the following article. We’ll begin by looking at what bed bugs are and how they come to exist in homes in the USA.
What Are Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs are a pest in the USA today, there was a time when they barely existed in the developed world. Bed bugs – a tiny insect of the order cimex – have existed naturally in the Middle East. Fossil bed bugs of more than 3,500 years old have been found.
From the Middle East to the USA is a long way, so how did they get here? Given they do not have wings and cannot fly, this is a good question. The answer is they come by aeroplane! Up until the late 20th-century, bed bugs were pretty much unheard of in the USA. The advent of cheap international air travel soon led to them being very common indeed.
Bed bugs like to live in dark hidden crevasses – the folds and creases in luggage and clothing are perfect – and are unwittingly brought from foreign countries to the rest of the world and the USA by holidaymakers and other travellers. Are these ¼ inches long – at maximum – creatures harmful? That’s our next subject.
Are Bed Bugs Harmful?
If you’re squeamish, you might want to avoid the rest of this sentence: bed bugs feed on human blood. They have been doing so for thousands of years. The bug stabs the skin with a beak and feasts on your blood for the next 10 minutes. That feed will keep it going for several days.
Now that may sound nasty, but in fact, a bed bug bite is rarely anything other than a mild irritation. Most people will be blissfully unaware that a bed bug has proved them, and even experts find it difficult to tell bed bug bites from those of other insects.
So, the answer is that bed bugs are a pest, but in general, they are harmless bar an itchy bite. However, research has shown that some people may have an allergic reaction to bed bug bites. While usually not serious, we suggest that a visit to the doctor is the next step if this is you. They will likely prescribe a cream or lotion for the spot. The other possibility is that the victim may scratch the area excessively, leading to further skin infections.
In summary, then, the bed bug is an annoyance rather than a danger. Before we talk about how to get rid of them, here are a few bed bug facts.
Bed Bug Facts
Unlike some insects, there is nothing cute or endearing about the bed bug. Here’s what you might like to know about them:
- Bed bugs are generally nocturnal and feed on their host while they sleep.
- Female bed bugs live for around 1 year and lay up to 200 eggs.
- The six-legged creature is about the same size as an apple seed and is brown in colour.
- Bed bugs can crawl up to 100 feet in a night.
- Bed bugs have favourite colours – red and black – and do not like green and yellow.
- That’s a few facts to take away with you, and from the numbers quoted, it’s easy to see how a few bed bugs can quickly become an infestation. Let’s talk about getting rid of the tiny critters.
The Steps to Eradicate Bed Bugs
We won’t shy away from telling you that bed bugs can be hard to eliminate, and calling in professionals is often necessary. However, the following steps might successfully eradicate bed bugs if you are willing to put in the time and effort.
1: Find where the bed bugs are living by examining all of your soft furnishings and, in particular, your mattress. It is most likely they will live in the creases of the mattress, and this is the precise problem we want to talk about.
2: Vacuum the mattress and other places where signs of the creatures are seen. This is a preliminary step that should be taken often to keep bugs at bay.
3: Check electrical equipment as bed bugs will hide in there too.
4: For any soft furnishing or linen found to be infested, you have two options: wash it thoroughly on high heat or dispose of it, preferably by burning it.
5: Steam clean where possible as the heat should kill bedbugs, and then vacuum again to get at the eggs.
We’ll leave it at the point because if you have followed these steps and still have bed bugs in the home, you have one remaining option – call in the professional pest control service providers. We said the bed bugs are difficult to eradicate, so it may be wise to bite the bullet first and ring a local pest control company.
Not only will they have the right products, equipment, and experience, but they will ensure your home is complete with these harmless yet irritating insects. Perform a regular inspection of the areas where bed bugs are most likely to be hiding. You should spot them early; and if you have returned from a foreign country, put everything you took on the journey in the washing machine immediately.
Ref number: THSI-2467