Yes. They are incredibly tiny but the distress these little creatures inflict is extremely immense. Most people would cringe just by the thought of these sneaky little vampires crawling on the bed at night and discreetly puncturing your skin and gorging on your blood. By the time you wake up, some parts of your body might already have had clusters of flat red welts whose itching sensation is so agonizing you can’t help but scratch like crazy. The next thing you know, you can no longer sleep peacefully at night and suffer from anxiety and sleep loss.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs may just be so tiny but its power to cause discomfort should not be underestimated and taken lightly. In fact, effective bed bug control calls for immediate action at the very first signs of bed bug activity. It is more than just killing those live bugs you see wandering in your bedroom.
Addressing the Bed Bug Problem
If you suspect you have bed bugs at home and want to get rid of the pests for good, you must bear several things in mind. Bed bugs are attracted to sweat and carbon dioxide release by the human body especially during sleep. They also survive by feeding on blood and so they inhabit people’s beds so they can stay close to their blood meal as much as possible. Also, these nocturnal ectoparasites breed fast and a heavy infestation can happen in just a matter of days. Therefore, to successfully eliminate these pesky creatures from our home, apply the following techniques:
Find them and look for the signs.
Of course, the basic thing to do when you realize you have bed bugs crawling at home would be to look for the culprits. The ones that can lead you to where they might be are the following indicators:
- Bite marks – You will notice flat red welts usually grouped in a zigzag or straight line pattern. Bed bug bites are way itchier than the usual mosquito bites and are found on the exposed parts of your body such as the arms, cheek, neck, stomach, back, etc.
- Fecal spots – Bed bugs’ feces look like black or rusty colored dots similar to the ones made by a black marker. Clusters of fecal matter will appear on your beddings or mattresses.
- Mildew smell – The scent glands of bed bugs discharge pheromones. The unpleasant moldy odor of the pheromones becomes stronger especially when there’s already a large infestation.
- Molted exoskeletons – Bed bugs need to shed skin five times until they reach the full adulthood stage of their lives. These bed bug shells can be found in all their hiding spots.
- Blood stains – Since they solely consume blood to survive, bed bugs would spill blood as they feed. They also get accidentally squashed by their sleeping host and this results in blood stains on the bed, pillow cases, and sheets.
Have your household inspected for bed bugs.
Aside from the bedroom, bed bugs may infect other areas of the house, especially those with soft furnishings. It would be wise for you to have an expert inspect your entire house in order to make sure where those sneaky crawlies are hiding and how large the infestation is. Pest control officers know all types of pests and their behavior. They are the ones who can tell you the most appropriate treatment methods for your pest problem.
Heat or freeze your belongings.
Bed bugs can never tolerate extreme heat and extreme cold. To guarantee that all bugs, as well as their nymphs and eggs, have no way of surviving, you have to apply the hot and cold technique. Thus, for items like clothes and linens, you can wash them using very hot water. After washing, put the items in the dryer and dry them for 20 to 30 minutes. For infected items that are non-washable, placing them inside the freezer for 24 hours will surely kill the remaining bugs.
Remove or seal all hiding spots for bed bugs.
Bed bugs prefer hiding in dark spaces that provide them the perfect sanctuary to thrive and multiply. You can even find them hiding inside cracks and gaps on bookshelves, in between pages of books, magazines and newspapers, and/or on the walls. To discourage these disgusting pests from staying inside your home, you need to get rid of the clutter and potential hideaways. Whatever unnecessary openings, tears, wall damages, and fissures you can see in your home, be sure to fix them and seal them using caulk as much as possible. This is to block any opportunity for entry.
Clean up and vacuum regularly.
Vacuum cleaning greatly helps remove bed bugs and their larvae from their hideouts. It also sucks out dust, dirt, and other unnecessary clutter inside your home. Regularly vacuum not just the floors and carpets but also your mattresses, curtains, areas in and around the bed, and even the walls, wallpapers, curtains, and furniture. After vacuuming, you must not forget to dispose of the vacuum bag, place it in a sealed plastic or trash bag, and throw it into a tightly sealed garbage can located at a safe distance from your house.
Keep the bed bugs out!
Bed bugs are one of the most annoying pests that have a tendency to crawl into your house and create havoc. They feed on blood, and can cause allergy-like reactions and even infections if not treated on time. They are nuisances and are difficult to eliminate. This pest requires preventive measures as opposed to curative measures. That is why it is important, before you see bed bugs in your home, that you take preventive measures to eliminate them.
Of course, these preventive measures will help you eliminate bed bugs, but if you fail to do these, there is a high tendency that the bed bugs will crawl back to your home. To really ensure these pesky pests are kept at bay, you’ve got to consider coordinating with a pest control company and conduct whatever treatment methods necessary to totally wipe out the bugs and eradicate them for good.