Bed Bugs! If only just saying, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” was so easy! Bed bugs are tiny little brownish red bugs that are flat and look about the size of a large sesame seed. Bed bugs may seem harmless but they are literally blood suckers and that blood could be coming from you! While they do hide out during the day in mattresses, box springs, headboards, sofa cushions, etc, at night their only job is to feast on humans. Sounds kind of scary huh?
You may be wondering what the symptoms of bed bugs are. I went to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bedbugs/DS00663/DSECTION=symptoms to get the details. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of bed bugs can be hard to decipher and some people show no reaction while others may have an allergic reaction to the bites. Bed bugs can leave red, itchy bites that have a darker spot in the middle. These bites can be found in lines or clusters and often are located on the face, neck and arms. Depending on the reaction, severity or if the bites become infected, you should see your physician to discuss the bites and possible treatment.
Bed bugs can be brought in to anyone’s home by an increase in travel or overnight stays, a lack of pest control or a home that has insecticide resistance; www.mayoclinic.com says; “A female bedbug can lay more than 200 eggs in her lifetime, for about 10 months. Newly hatched bedbugs are nearly colorless, so they are hard to spot. They shed their skin five times as they grow, and need a blood meal for each molt.” That’s a lot of bugs! Typically they can be found in mattresses, box springs, headboards, etc, but they can also be found in other parts of your home too. Bed bugs can be found in anything upholstered, in carpets, under loose wallpaper and even in electrical outlets and in the walls. So it may not be safe to assume that if they aren’t found around the mattress and bed you are in the clear.
Bed bugs are able to travel and get into people’s homes pretty easily, and they travel very fast. Bed bugs are known to hide out in clothes and furniture, luggage and back packs, but they can also travel through a whole building or from house to house. Don’t be fooled! A bed bug doesn’t care how dirty or clean your house is. They don’t discriminate – they just care about finding that human to host their nightly binges.
Should you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home, you want to react to the situation swiftly. This isn’t a time when you should “wait it out.” Remember: a female can lay over 200 eggs in 10 months! According to http://healthvermont.gov/ a pest control company should inspect your home to confirm the presence of bed bugs. The professionals should find and eliminate their hiding places. They should treat your home with special cleaning and/or pesticides if necessary. Schedule the pest control company to make return visits to ensure bed bugs are eliminated. Those living in apartments, barracks or shared living spaces also need to be mindful of the situation and inform others. You can do all you want but if the bed bugs are coming from another source, that source will need attention to clear up the problem.
Are you itching yet? Our advice when it comes to bed bugs is: be smart. When you come home from a trip or vacation wash all clothes and be sure to check your luggage. Do not accept discarded furniture without fully inspecting it for bed bugs (remember it can be in the frames and coils of furniture). Lastly, if you have had beds bugs or have bed bugs, don’t keep the cycle going by donating your discarded items. Get rid of them! Clearly label the clothing or furniture so people know it has been infested or destroy all the materials.
Bed bugs are a growing problem and should have you thinking twice about some of your habits. It may seem like a pain to do all that laundry after a long trip, or it may seem trivial to check the mattresses of a hotel for bed bugs, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Check out those mattresses, and, if you show any signs of bites, get them checked out! Have a “good night, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!”