Did you know that there are 92 species of bed bugs found worldwide. Their eggs, which are invisible to the naked eye, are whitish in color. These eggs are sticky enough to attach to substrates. They usually attack an hour before dawn and can survive up to 18 months without food but if food source is available, they continue feeding themselves with blood.
Their bites may result to different allergic reactions. Likewise, the bites are like mosquito and flea bites and can be confused with spider bites and poison ivy. Young bed bugs are translucent and light in color. Their color changes when they mature from light to deep red brown especially after they feed themselves with human or animal blood. Their sizes range from 1.5mm to 4.5mm.
There are 5 stages in the life of a bed bug. They have to suck blood once every stage before maturity. When they reach the adult stage, it is the time for them to be active in feeding themselves with blood. They feed themselves during the night when their victims are asleep. They are attracted by CO2 secreted by human and animals so you will find rashes on your upper body. They will inject two tubes on their host – one is for sucking blood and another tube for injecting their saliva which contains anti coagulant and anesthetic chemicals.
Bed bugs are great stowaways and hitchhikers. They can also cling on your luggage and boxes. They can stay in different places in our home such as under the bed, dressers, sofas, nightstands, and upholstered chairs. They can also be found on ceiling-wall junctures and wall to wall carpeting. Even inside phones, television, clocks and smoke detectors. They can travel up to 100 feet but usually stays near a host like on sofas and beds.
They can reproduce quickly. A male bed bug pierces its genitalia to seal the vaginal opening of the female bug. This prevents her from mating to other male bugs. Their eggs hatch after 10 days. They have a total of 10 days for incubating their eggs before they hatch. They lay their eggs on cracks and crevices to protect them.
The size of infestation depends on the number of bed bugs. Light infestation may have below 200 bedbugs in a single residence. Medium infestation has 200-300 bedbugs in a residence while severe infestation can have 2000-3000 bed bugs in a residence. You can detect infestations when you see black trails on walls, beddings and furniture. You can also see blood smear when you squished them and leave a sickly sweet odor.
Bed bugs can also infest a clean home and can spread quickly. Although not all bed bugs are found in dirty places, you should always inspect boxes for indications of bed bugs. To prevent bed bug infestation, you can have home remedies. One is by putting Vaseline or sticky tape on bed frame’s legs. You can also use clothes dryer. Run the dryer for at least 1 hour with above 130 degrees in temperature. You can also use effective bed bug spray to eliminate bed bugs anywhere.
There is no threat for bed bugs when using gel-based pesticides. It has no effect on the bed bugs and would not kill them. Hiring an exterminator is a bit costly. When you hire an exterminator company, be sure to hire a professional exterminator. Not all exterminators are professional enough to know the traditional techniques in eradicating bed bugs.
Scratching bed bug bites may lead to skin infection but they are not a medical threat because they are not transmitting blood-borne pathogens. Their bites can cause skin allergies to their victims. Their bites have pattern of three bites but a single bite can also appear on victim’s skin. Humans have different reaction on the chemicals that they pierced on our body. These bites will swell and become itchy. However, some people are insensitive or have no reaction to the chemicals. You can find bites especially on parts exposed when you sleep like arms, neck, face and legs. Use soap and water to wash skin when bitten by a bed bug. You can apply calamine lotion or any anesthetic cream on affected parts.
You can check for bed bugs when you wake up in the middle of the night. Use flashlight to detect bed bugs in your bed. Be careful because they can detect physical vibrations. After 5 minutes of feeding they return to their lair.