Archive for the ‘Bed Bugs’ Category

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Bed bugs are sneaky little insects. Many times people will not realize that there are bed bugs inside their home until they start getting bites while they are sleeping. Of course bites can occur while watching TV at night and or falling asleep on the couch, but overall they appear after being in a bed or on furniture during the night. Once a person realizes they are getting bit at night, it is best to inspect your home for any bed bugs. Bed bugs can be found in many areas of the home, here is a more detailed description of where bed bugs live within a home. When checking for bed bugs in your home be extremely thorough, the tiny insects like to hide. It is best to call your local pest control service to come out and inspect your home further. The professionals know all the hiding spots and how to treat the bugs once they have been located.

There are many things that can be done in order to prevent bed bugs. Some of these tips can also be used if bed bugs are found, and then prevent bed bugs from coming back. There are several do-it-yourself preventative tips to help protect your home from bed bugs, as well get rid of them. Here are a few:

  • Keep your box springs and mattresses in a secure plastic wrap. There are bags made just for bed bug prevention, or even a bag meant for storage can be used.
  • Apply double-sided tape to the legs of your bed. The bugs will get stuck when trying to climb at a vertical angle.
  • Spray rubbing alcohol in high risk areas (see the high risk areas) of where bed bugs live here.
  • Keep sheets and other items of bedding clean. Make sure to wash in hot water and dry on very high heat (120º F) is recommended.
  • Keep bed skirts and any other piece of bedding from touching the floor.
  • If items are either in high risk area or have been infected with bed bugs and cannot be washed, the best thing to do is wrap the item in plastic and set it out side in direct sunlight. The heat will kill any bed bugs that might be on or in the item. Leave it outside for 24 hours.
  • Extreme heat is great for getting rid of bed bugs, but not in the case of a hot house. DO NOT TURN THE HEAT UP IN A HOUSE TO TRY TO GET RID OF BED BUGS. IT WILL NOT WORK!
  • Vacuum thoroughly carpets, under beds, small crevices between the floor and walls, and corners. Make sure to dispose of the vacuum bag properly.

There are also some preventative tips for traveling. Many times bed bugs get into peoples’ homes after traveling. Whether you stay in a hotel or at a friend’s house, you can bring bed bugs home with you. Here are a few tips of what to do while traveling to keep bed bugs from hitching a ride home with you:

  • Look over the bed and bedding for any signs of bed bugs.
  • Another sign of them, other than physically seeing them, is the detection of feces. The feces is usually light brown to black in color and has a peculiar smell similar to coriander.
  • Do not leave clothes on the floor or lying out on your bed. Put your clothes in the closet, dresser drawers, or keep them inside your luggage.
  • Keep your luggage zipped up at all times, with or with out clothes inside.
  • Keep luggage off of the floor. Put it on a luggage stand, a chair or in the closet.

Bed Bugs Don’t Just Live in Beds

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Bed bugs live in many places. Of course they live in beds, but there are other areas of a home they find shelter at. One might wonder how a bed bug actually gets into the home and there are a few different ways that this happens. One way is if they are feeding on something that enters your home. It can be anything from your pet, a rat, a mouse, a bat or even a bird. Although some of these things seem odd to be in your home it can happen. Another way into a house is when people travel. If there are bed bugs in the place they are visiting the bed bugs will get on or into the luggage and come home with you. There is also a slight chance they could get onto your clothes that are in your hotel room, possible on the floor, and then are put into your suitcase. An additional route into a home for a bed bug is through used items, like furniture or even clothes. When purchasing something second hand always look it over to check. This does not happen often with clothes, but if you are purchasing at a place like a yard sale you never know. Furniture of course is a more likely place to find bed bugs. Again look it over whether or not you’re buying it at a second hand store, a garage sale, or from a place like Craigslist thoroughly look over the entire piece before purchasing.

Once a bed bug has entered your home it will travel to its resting spot. The insect will either move about the floor, close to the walls, on pipes or boards to get from one area to the next. It will find a resting spot somewhere in the dark. Even though the bed bug is nocturnal it will occasionally be active in the day as long as the area is dark. Another thing that attracts bed bugs to their new home is how close people and or animals are. The most popular place is in the bedroom. In the bedroom a bed bug can be found in the mattress, bed frame, box springs, dresser drawers, curtains, carpet or under the corners of wall paper. Bed bugs like to live close to their food host. Another area in a home that people usually spend time is a living or family room. In these rooms are many of the same places bed bugs like. They also like to live in the furniture, desk drawers, and base boards. Within the bedroom and the other living areas there are many overlapping choices for bed bugs to make their home.

If your home does not have as many areas where people are that is okay, the bed bug does not discriminate. They can be found inside homes, apartments, condos, dorms, hospitals, nursing homes, hotel and motels. As long as there are people and beds the bed bugs will come.

Bed Bugs

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Bed bugs are a tiny creature that makes people cringe when they hear their name. The bed bug is not as harmful as one might imagine. The main characteristic that makes them seem so awful is that they live very close to humans. Unlike many other pests that make nests inside homes or near them, the bed bugs makes their homes in very close proximity to where people are; for instance, in their beds. The bed bug does get its name from its most popular home choice although it does live in other places with in a home.

bed bugs

Bed bug caught in the act of biting into someones flesh.

The bed bug is smaller, about 3/16 of an inch long and 1/8 of an inch wide. They are shaped more like an oval and are flat looking. As adults there coloring is similar to a cockroaches, reddish brown to dark brown in color. As babies or nymphs they are born almost translucent or pale white, and then as they mature they develop color.

Bed bugs are nocturnal insects, but they have been known to be awake in the day time if they are hungry. The bed bug has some very peculiar eating habits. They only eat blood. It can be human blood, hence why humans get bed bug bites, or any other type of mammal such as dogs, cats, chickens, cows, etc. They usually feed slightly before sunrise, making it easier to feed on humans who are sleeping in beds, or pets that are sleeping because their masters are. Bed bugs can and often do bite the same person more than once, often going back for more in a different spot. Once they have filled up on their food supply they can go up to a year with out needing more blood.

New bed bugs are coming into the world at a fast rate. Bed bugs lay up to 5 eggs a day; within their life they average 500 eggs. After about two weeks the eggs will hatch, the eggs are extremely small about the size of a dust spec. Once they are born they are the size of a pin point. They will start to grow and over time will shed five times before they become adults. Also during this time they will be biting as they need food to survive and the mother can not get it for them. This process usually takes about a month. Once the bed bug is an adult it is able to reproduce, and the cycle continues.

Bed bug bites can be annoying, but they are not harmful as long as the victim does not irritate the bite. When they bite into flesh two mouth parts are used, they are like tubes. One injects the bed begs saliva into the bite; and the bed bugs saliva has an anesthetic in it. As this flows into the person the other tube sucks out the blood into the bed bug. The bed bug usually will feed for about five minutes and then remove itself from the person or animal. Since the bed bugs may bite different people, there is a fear that they will transmit diseases in the process, but bed bugs do not transmit diseases. There are of course side affects from the bite, but nothing too serious. Often times a person will not realize they have been bitten for up to a week after the bite actually occurred. Once they have realized it the side affects become apparent. The most noticeable side affect is a strong itching sensation. There are some simple remedies to help with the annoying feeling. Apply a cream or ointment to help with the itching sensation, avoid scratching the bite, if the bite is scratched it can become infected from the irritation, and if this occurs it is best to go see a doctor because an antibiotic might be needed to help heal the infected bite. The side affects might not last long, but they could as the bite mark itself usually is visible for up to two weeks. In any case if you are bitten by a bed bug avoid scratching!

Picture from www.creativecommons.org