Left unchecked, bed bugs can suck the blood out of you. Literally! We prepared a guide on how to get rid of bed bugs!
“Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite.” We’ve all heard the saying at least a couple of times throughout our youth. Hopefully, we’ve been lucky enough thus far, never to have had any kind of encounter with these critters. If you’re reading this article, you most likely want to get rid of bed bug infestation or, at least, a hunch that you have a bed bug infestation.
Today we’re going to cover everything you know about bed bugs from identifying bed bug infestations to preventative measures and treatment. Check out our complete anti-bed bug guide down below. This guide breaks down how to get rid of bed bugs in detail.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Simply put, bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that have a parasitic relationship with animals and humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies that are about the size of a typical apple seed. After feeding, bed bugs can swell to larger sizes and begin to turn red.
Thankfully, bed bugs cannot fly. They can, however, move quickly over surfaces such as walls, floors, and ceilings. What’s worse is that female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime.
Young bed bugs, commonly known as nymphs, shed their skins about five times before reaching maturity. They require a meal of blood (human or animal) before each shedding. In certain conditions, nymphs can fully mature in as little as a month and can produce three or more generations each year.
Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem?
So, why are bed bugs a problem? Well, bed bugs are active mainly at night and usually bite people while they are asleep. We’ve glossed this point over but allow me to reiterate: bed bugs feed by piercing human or animal skin and draw out blood via an elongated beak.
Bed bugs can feed for three to up to ten minutes before they become full, then crawl away unnoticed.
The majority of bed bug bites are painless at first. Over time, the bites usually turn into itchy welts. Bed bugs typically bite any area of skin exposed while sleeping.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
Bed bugs are masters of stealth. They can enter your home undetected via luggage, clothing, couches, used beds, and any other objects or furniture that enter your home.
Their flat bodies allow them to slip easily into tiny spaces as narrow as the width of a credit card.
Bed bugs do not have a home base such as nests for ants or bees. Instead, they tend to live in groups in specific hiding places. Most bed bugs initially burrow into mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and headboards, allowing them easy access to your skin at night.
Over time, bed bugs typically scatter throughout the bedroom into any crevice or enclosed location. They may also jump over to nearby rooms or apartments.
Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood. Having them in your house is not a sign of dirtiness. Bed bugs are found in both dirty and clean dwellings alike.
Signs of Infestation
You may have a bed bug infestation if you wake up with itchy areas that weren’t there before you went to bed. If you’ve recently gotten a used mattress or any other piece of used furniture, chances are the bed bugs traveled to your home along with the furniture. A few signs of infestation include:
- A musty odor in the room, produced by the bugs’ scent glands
- Bloodstains on your bed sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rust-like spots of bedbug excrement on mattresses, sheets, bedclothes, and walls
- Bed bug fecal spots, shed skin, nymph eggshells, etc.
If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, start by removing all bedding and check carefully for any bugs or bug excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and check the seams in the wood framing thoroughly. Then, peel back the fabric at the point wherein it is stapled to the wooden frame.
Check the area immediately surrounding the bed. Check the inside of books, telephones, radios, carpets, and electrical outlets. Make your way to the closet and check there as well, because bed bugs latch onto clothing.
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