What are Bed bugs
To me Bed bugs are like mosquitoes, they are blood suckers and feed on blood, they inject an anticoagulant in their saliva when they feed, they track and find their victim by way of warmth and expelled carbon dioxide.
Bedbugs have not changed in millions of years and have evolved along side humans and have been following us around and feeding on us since the dawn of time and we have been doing battle with them and them us we have been putting up with bed bug bites for an extremely longtime and humans are a bedbugs preferred host. The bed bugs mouth parts are specially adapted for piercing the skin and sucking the blood as they do so they inject an anticoagulant to help the blood run free as they feed, bed bugs track us down by our body heat and the carbon dioxide we breathe out much like a mosquito does and just like a mosquito they don’t actually live on us they just feed off us at night bed bugs tend to do the majority of their feeding at night time and rest and digest during the day but can and will feed during the daylight hours if hungry and presented an easy meal as they are opportunistic feeders.
Bedbugs can survive fairly long periods without feeding, because bed bug infestation of human populations has been on the increase bed bug bites and related bed bug bite conditions have been on the rise also.
If you should encounter bed bugs report them to the bedbug registry the bedbug registry is a free public database of user submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Founded in 2006, the site has collected about 20,000 reports of bed bugs covering 12,000 locations, the bedbug registry will show you the locations of hotels with bed bugs and can be found here
Bed bugs have six life stages which include five immature and an adult stage, the bed bug will then shed it’s skin throughout multiple stages of it’s life, They then discarded their exoskeletons (or outer shells) bed bugs must then molt six more times before becoming a fertile adult bed bug.
If bed bugs are encountered then a licensed pest controller should be contacted this way an approved insecticide or non chemical approaches to Bed bug control which include vacuuming and steaming the bed bugs, this is an effective bed bug extermination process.
If you have bed bug infested clothing or bed linen it can be washed in hot water and dried on the hottest cycle in the clothes drier with your more delicate articles of clothing this can be placed into the freezer to kill the bed bugs off, be sure once the house is bed bug free it is good practice to keep them from re-entering the home by way of blocking all cracks and crevices
Bed bug bite
Bed bug bites or cimicosis can sometimes lead to a number of skin rashes and conditions, intense itching may last several days in some cases and bed bug bite symptoms may not actually appear until some days after the bites have actually occurred, these can be good bed bugs symptoms and bed bugs treatment needs to be carried out asap!
Identifying bed bug bites
Identifying bed bug bites can sometimes be hard and can be confused with other insect bites such as spider bites, mosquito bites, scabies and also chicken pox looks very similar to bed bug bites, if you suspect bed bug bites search the mattress for them especially in any folds of the material where they hide.
Bed bugs are one of the best travelers going and are continually transported via luggage which in turn usually contains clothing and sometimes bedding that has just come from a bed bug infested hotel room and now the eggs and bed bugs themselves are off on a trip to another part of the globe!
Getting rid of bed bugs can be a bit of a challenge as apposed to other unwanted household pests such as spiders as they have everything in their favor such as being very good at hiding themselves, being able to quickly reproduce quickly, can go for very long periods without feeding and lay almost dormant waiting for a host to come along, and Bed bugs also have fairly large egg clusters that can contain up to 300 odd eggs! a very good ebook on Bed bugs can be downloaded here for further reading.
To kill bed bugs bed linen can actually be placed into large plastic bags (preferably black ones) and placed into the direct sun outside heat is the key here and if the temperature can be raised to over 120 °F which is roughly 49 °c this will kill the Bed bugs.
Heat generated with inside the bag will be enough to not only kill the bed bugs themselves but most importantly the eggs as well stopping the bed bugs cycle refer to the top of the page for a bed bug cycle picture.
Steam is a good way to get rid of bed bugs as you will see in the video below, vacuuming is also another good method of eradicating bed bugs but care must be taken to get into every nook and cranny especially in the folds of the mattress where most bed bugs will be found, you will also find them in behind peeling wallpaper, the carpet where it butts up against the skirting board, picture frames, up under the bed, pretty much anywhere it is safe and dark and hidden away you will find Bed bugs, you will be surprised at where they can be found if you take the time to look.
Things not to use when killing bed bugs
So we now have a sort of an idea of what to use to rid our homes of bed bugs so what are some of the products and ideas that have been used and proven to be pretty much useless or ineffective when getting rid of bed bugs? bed bug bombs or insect spray is pretty much useless against Bed bugs and the reason for this is most bed bugs in the US are pretty much immune to organophosphates and pyrethroid insecticides, they have simply built up a resistance to the above pesticides so don’t waste your time money and effort using them to rid the home of bed bugs as it will be ineffective, they may be effective against certain pest species but not bed bugs.
Heat treatment for bed bugs is another good method of eradicating bed bugs, also some bed bug trap gets good results. Exterminating bed bugs can be a long and arduous task detecting bed bugs, once this is done bed bug treatment cost can be high if you don’t kill bed bugs yourself.
If you do decide it is easier to use a pest control professional be sure the individual is clued up in bed bug eradication and the chemical used is not an outdated one that will have little to no effect on Bed bugs, upon typing this up a very good example of this would be fleas on dogs there was once a time when the flea rinse Malawash was very effective at killing fleas but use it these days it will have no effect on fleas whatsoever BUT don’t take that as fact as Malawash have probably kept up with continued resistance and their products do work i am only using this as an example from an old can I used on my dog awhile back I am not to sure of the products shelf life or viability over time.
Ok ……… that’s about it for me, good night and don’t let the bed bugs bite!