Miseries all the way!
Some nasty creatures give you a gift of nightmare and make your life hell.
The small red culprits can create havoc in your home, ruin your sleep and send you down on a slippery slope of tiredness, lethargy and in the end a ruined day. This is not an exaggeration; people who have been through it know what it is like.
How to identify bed bugs?
Knowing what to look for is the first and foremost step in getting rid of bed bugs. However, it is quite easy to confuse bed bugs with other pests. According to 2018 Bugs without Borders Survey, 84 percent of the professionals reported that they were contacted for pests and not bed bugs. 71 percent of them were about fleas while the rest (28 percent) were about cockroaches.
WebMD describes bed bugs as “small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans.” They look like an apple seed and are about 5-7mm in length. Bedbugs reproduce quite rapidly; female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs over its lifetime. Bed bug eggs or nymphs are translucent and invisible to the naked eye. They shed their skin five times before they are mature. Also, they need blood supply each time they shed skin. These eggs can get mature within a month if the environment is favorable.
Signs of bed bug bite
Most people do not notice bed bugs unless there is an allergic reaction, and sometimes the reaction is not immediate and take two to three days. Till that time, most of the damage is done. If you have been tossing and turning in your bed and scratching yourself incessantly, there is a possibility that bed bugs have made themselves comfortable in your abode. Here are some symptoms that can help you identify if a bed bug has got hold of you:
Red scratchy marks
According to the American Academy of dermatology, you are unlikely to notice a bed bug bite because when they bite, people are usually asleep and also the bugs insert a substance that neutralizes the pain. The bite may leave a scratchy red mark, which doesn’t develop instantly. For some people it can take up to 14 days to form a reaction. However, you tend to get sensitive to the bites with time; if bed bugs keep biting you, then your skin will begin reacting immediately. Unlike the bites of other insects, bed bug bites appear in multiple lines with small red spots
Bed bugs have needle-shaped mouths, which allow them to feed on skin. Their saliva also has anticoagulant properties, which can cause reactions and subsequent itching.
Rusty spots on bed
If you had an uncomfortable night, then you should check your bed the next morning for any rusty stains. Bed bugs leave behind blood spots once they have fed themselves.
Your sense of smell can prove to be quite useful in detecting bed bugs. They leave behind an unpleasant odor as if a wet towel is in the room. Bed bugs release pheromones, and when they are present in large numbers, the smell can be quite prominent.
Sometimes bed bug bites can cause large clusters, which can look like chickenpox. When these clusters are nearby, it seems like a large scar and scratching it aggravates the problem. Some people also get blisters that can get filled with blood and fluid. In worse cases, it can also lead to fever and fatigue.
It happens rarely, but bed bugs can sometimes also be deadly. These reactions include high fever, infection, irregular heartbeat, and difficulty in breathing.
Often, no intricate treatment is required for bed bug bites. You can try home remedies to control the itching and bumps. Cool compresses or oatmeal baths help the situation. You can also use a banana, and it will do wonders in relieving your itching and inflammation caused by any bugs.
In case the itching gets worse, visit a doctor who will likely prescribe you antihistamines or steroids for immediate relief. You may need an antibiotic if you develop an infection. Your dermatologist may also prescribe you antiseptics.
Getting rid of bed bugs
Bed bugs don’t care if your house is clean or dirty. All they need is an excellent warm environment, and they will make themselves comfortable. They will hide in the mattress, in the bed frame headboards or any tiny cracks that they can find in your house.
If unfortunately you have been infested by bed bugs, the right course of action is to immediately call a professional to take care of the situation. A professional will have the right equipment to rip the issue in the bud. The key to getting rid of bed bugs is to identify the nest. Bed bugs are usually found in places where people rest. However, it is quite challenging to locate the breeding place of these culprits since it is invisible to the naked eye and hence, a professional may even use canine detection as well. Dogs can easily sniff the nest also if it is behind a tight spot such as an electrical outlet or the entertainment center.
However, if you cannot afford a professional, you can try to get rid of them by yourself. To key is to take action at the first hint that you get of them. Even if you suspect that they do not bed bugs, you need to start cleaning immediately.
First, you need to prepare your room for treatments. Take any items that cannot be treated, wrap them up in plastic bags and move to the next place. Take all the towels and bedsheets and clean them with hot water and dry them rigorously. If your mattress has been infested, cover it up with a bed bug proof mattress cover and then move it.
If you have any stuff toys or books that may have been infested, put them in an airtight container and lock them up with vapor strips.
Once you have cleared the area, then you can get a good bed bug spray such as proof bed bug spray and spray it on the bed frame and any cracks. Leave it there for sometime before resetting your room. Also, cover any cracks with glue
If you want to avoid this tiring and frustrating process of getting infested, you need to be safe than sorry. Since bed bugs attack the beds first, you need to keep your bed hygienic at all times. Avoid eating in your bed at all cost. Change sheets and pillowcases often, and use a protector on your mattress.
Bed bugs are usually found in public places such as trains or hotel rooms, which is why traveling increases the risk of getting infested. Take all sorts of precautions while traveling. Once you are back home, don’t keep your luggage on the bed and unpack it outside.
Bed bugs also thrive in dirty laundry. So, don’t let procrastination create havoc at your place. Get rid of the laundry as soon as possible.
Bed bugs infestation does not only cost you financially, but it can also take a toll on your health physically and mentally. Bed bugs are however quite common and can infest anyone. The entire process can be quite frustrating, but don’t panic. You will eventually get rid of them.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook