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    Bedbug Blog

    • How to get rid of bed bugs

      Once you have identified the source of the bedbugs in your home the next step is to begin ridding yourself of the infestation.

      Step one: you must bag and launder all affected items.  Upon washing gather all linen, cloth and leather bags, mattress covers, clothing, and teddy bears.  Wash the laundry as well.  Some metropolitan areas offer bed bug laundry and dry cleaning services which have the added benefits of proven methods for killing bed bugs and bagging or storing cleaned items so they do not become re-infested while the home is still being exterminated.  If something cannot be washed or discarded, use a non-toxic bug spray.

      Step two: purchase or rent a steam cleaner to rid affected areas of bugs and eggs.  You may be able to purchase a simple device at your local grocery store.  Thoroughly spray all infected areas of your house and all areas that may have been affected as well.

      Step three: vacuum your house.  This will remove all bugs and eggs from the mattresses, carpet, walls and other surfaces.  Afterward, dispose of the vacuum contents in a sealed trash bag.  Once this is finished, repair all cracks in plaster and glue down loosened wallpaper to eliminate bed bug harborage sites.

      Step four: Depending on the size of your infestation you may want to consider using insecticides.  Apply as a spot treatment to cracks and crevices where bed bugs could be hiding.

      Lastly, although you may perfectly capable of solving your infestation on your own, pest control is still available, and should you find yourself not up to the task there is no shame in seeking the help of a qualified professional.

    • How to know if you have bed bugs?

      The first thing to look for is a sign on your skin.  If you have bites and are not sure where they came from, this may be a telltale sign of something to look further into.  If you wake up each morning with a new bite on your skin, this is a clear indication that there might be a problem.  But if you are not noticing bites on you, your spouse, or your children, that does not mean you don’t have bed bugs.

      Sometimes you can find evidence of a bug infestation without seeing the actual bugs.  Like other bugs, they leave fecal stains anywhere that they inhabit.  They won’t be black, because the blood is digested (gross I know!), but you will see brown or black spots in one area of your mattress.  They will not flake off if rubbed with a rag either; they’ll stay in place, showing you this is bed bug feces.

      There is also the typical visual inspection, though bed bugs are often missed.  Try using a flashlight if checking your mattress or box springs for signs of bed bugs.

      Another type of method to find bed bugs is an interception device or activation monitor.  These can actually be placed under your bed or couch and will indicate if there are bugs moving around your furniture.  Bed bugs will naturally move around in an infested environment and these monitors will confirm their presence.

    • How to prevent Bed Bugs

      Prevention is the key to solving your bed bug problems, but we’re aware that doesn’t mean much once you have bed bugs.  However, let’s talk a bit about prevention for the future of your home.

      Bed bug prevention is important, as bed bug levels have reached an all time high according to epidemiologists worldwide.  It can cost a lot, up to $1200 to get rid of bed bugs once you have them, so the conversation about preventing then is definitely necessary for all families.

      Remember, almost any environment can provide a haven for bed bugs, so no home is exempt!

      The first step to preventing bed bugs is to check for them the next time you are in a hotel room.  Away from home, believe it or not!  Bed bugs often come from other environments, so make sure your bed at your next hotel is safe.  Bed bugs can be seen along the seams or you can also see tiny blood specks on the edges of the mattress that could indicate bed bugs have been there. Change rooms immediately if that is the case!

      If you ever have any indication that bed bugs may have hitched a ride onto your clothing, make sure you separate the clothing from anything else in your home and treat it immediately.  Whether throwing it in the dryer on the highest setting or taking it to the dry cleaners, you want to make sure you keep it away from the clean items in your home.

      Another step in prevention: take very close care of bringing in any used furniture or clothing into your house.  Inspect it carefully for bed bugs or any other infestation.   Make sure that you check all of these items before bringing them into your house.

    • What Allergies are caused by Bed Bugs

      Bed bug bites can look and feel different depending on their victim, like any other bug bite.  Allergic reactions will vary depending on the victim.

      Bed bug bites can be mistaken for allergic reactions because of their appearance.  Their bites can appear as itchy bumps, grouped in a line that shows the pattern of feeding.  Their coloring also can change with the bumps being redder in the morning and fading throughout the day.

      Most people are not allergic to bed bugs.  That doesn’t mean their bites are not uncomfortable!  However, there are rare circumstances of anaphylaxis that have occurred, but in general they are just uncomfortable to deal with.

      Whenever bed bugs are incorrectly diagnosed as an allergic reaction, the physician will often prescribe an antihistamine.  This might help with the itching but it won’t make the rash go away.  A better treatment method would be a steroid cream which will help the itch and the rash resolve quickly.

      It is important to treat the bed bug bites so that your scratching does not get to the point of breaking your skin.  At this point, the skin can become infected.  The area will have increased pain, redness and possible oozing at the site.  At that time, medical attention will definitely be needed.

      Though rare, it is also possible that bedbugs can transmit other viruses such as Hepatitis B, which has been found in bed bug droppings.  That is why it is best to get rid of your infestation and treat any infection on your body as quickly as possible.

    • What are Bed Bugs?

      Let’s get specific and learn exactly what are these pesky creatures called “bed bugs”.  Bed bugs, similar to mosquitos, feed exclusively on blood, human or otherwise.  However, it does prefer to feed on human blood.  There are other similar species that choose to feed on animal blood, for example the “cimex pipistrelli” which prefers bat blood, but the bed bug prefers to feed on humans and will always seek that source for sustenance.

      The name came from their preferred home which is similar to any humans preferred home; a warm house that is insulated, and inside any kind of sleeping area.  They are also mainly active at night, but are not exclusively a nocturnal animal.  Unlike mosquitos however, bed bugs can feed off their victims typically without the victims noticing.

      What do bed bugs look like?  They are small, oval and brown in color.  Adult bed bugs have flat bodies about the size of an apply seed, but once they have fed their bodies swell and are reddish in color; imagine that!  They cannot fly but they can move quite quickly over floors, walls, and ceilings.

      Female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime, each about the size of a speck of dust.  Immature bed bugs, also called nymphs, shed their skin five times before reaching maturity, but first require a meal of blood before shedding their skin.  Under the best conditions, bed bugs can develop fully in as little as a month and then continue to produce three more generations each year.

    • What Illnesses Do Bed Bugs Spread

      We all know that bed bugs can leave bites on your skin.  But so do many types of insects, and is this really a cause for concern?

      It’s not entirely certain if bed bugs can spread other diseases to humans, such as leprosy or oriental sores.  Cases of these are poorly documented, however being bitten by a bed bug is a cause for concern, whether as an infant or an adult.

      The greatest risk, for certain, would be irritation of the bites.  Not all people react the same to bed bug bites.  Typically, a bed bug bite will not become visible until a day or two after the actual bite from the bug.  However, sometimes the bites do not show at all, since some people do not react to being bitten.  For people who are very allergic, large wheals can appear that will gradually shrink.

    • What Is a Bed Bug infestation?

      Bed bugs do not just come out of thin air.  They are brought into our home, usually by our own or someone else’s luggage or clothing.  So what is your first notion that you may have an infestation?

      Often a person will start with some unidentified bites on their body.  Since bed bug bites start with a venom that causes paralysis to the pain site, recognition of the bite usually comes later.  A person will go to bed feeling fine and then wake up to itchy bites.  However, just waking up to some bites on your body doesn’t accurately identify an infestation.

      Adult bed bugs can be seen by the naked eye.  They are reddish brown in color, wingless and about the size of an apple seed.  Immature bed bugs can also be seen with the naked eye but they are much smaller than the adults and whitish yellow in color, which makes them more difficult to see.

      Another thing to look for would be the bed bugs molted skin.  In order for the bugs to grow, they must shed their skin a total of 5 times, leaving thousands of these skins present in the inner corners of the mattress.

      There are several different places to look for the bugs or their skins.  Those include:

      • Mattress seams
      • Behind head boards
      • In the junction between the ceiling and wall
      • Along baseboards
      • Stuck to personal belongings

      One other thing to look for is fecal spots.  Bed bugs will leave these every 5 days of feeding or so and can be found in the same places as the bed bugs themselves along with the following:

      • Behind pictures
      • At electrical outlets
      • In curtain seams, or gathered around the rod
    • What to do when you get Bed Bugs

      The first thought that comes to mind in most people once they discover their home has become a nesting ground for bed bugs is to get rid of them.  But before you reach into your cabinet for an old can of bug spray and start covering the whole house with it, there is one important task you need to take care of first, and that is identifying the source of the infestation.

      The first location that comes to mind when identifying the source of bed bugs: the bed of course!  And although that is a valid location to start out, you will also need to look under the tufts, seams and folds of the mattress as well.

      Now despite their namesake, Bed Bugs are not only found in beds or under mattresses.  Parasites can make a home in almost any area of your home.  You can find them hiding in droves beneath your carpets or in shag rugs.  You can find them crawling through the clothes in your dresser or closet.  You can also find them crawling around anywhere from the cracks in your walls to the light bulb shrouds beneath your celling fans.

      Bed bugs, despite their cozy sounding name, are still creepy crawlies and they can be found in any area of the house.  So even if you think you may have only a small infestation of bugs you should probably still consider calling pest control to handle your infestation.

    • Where do be bugs come from?

      The biggest question asked by many annoyed homeowners with bed bug infestations is where do bed bugs come from?  Even homeowners that maintain the highest standards of hygiene and order come into contact with these bloods sucking parasites, but how?

       

      For starters, there is not a single country in the world that has not been visited by bed bugs. Since the early epochs of history bed bugs have always managed to stow themselves away in the bags of unsuspecting travelers.  Bed bugs being just ¼ inch in size can easily sneak into baggage, luggage, clothes, trailers, planes, trains, buses, anything and everything without being noticed.  If you have recently traveled or had a visitor staying in your home, chances are that the bed bugs have hitched a ride in the travel luggage or baggage.  They tend to hide in the seams of baggage and become uninvited guests in your home.  If your next doors neighbors have a tendency to visit you, it’s possible they’ve brought a few bed bugs into your home.  Your laundry room may also provide a way for bed bugs to enter your home.  One day, if you’re allowing a friend or neighbor to use your laundry room chances are that they have passed on a few bed bugs to you without you knowing it.  Many people launder their bed linens and clothes in case of an infestation and may unconsciously bring along some bed bugs in their laundry bags.

      The bed bug is a well-traveled parasite and can always find a way to make a person’s home their home. 

    • Why bed bugs have Infested Cities in U.S

      Bed bug infestation is a menace which is haunting many cities in the U.S. Health officers are trying to come up with ways on how they can control this. But to some extent, it seems that they are unable. But how comes U.S cities like Indianapolis, New York, Cleveland, Miami, Houston just to mention but a few have been listed to have worst bedbugs? Are these areas prone to be infested with bugs or how bugs were found in these areas?

      It is most likely that these bugs were brought here by summer travelers who come from areas where there are bugs. But again, how did they carry these bedbugs? Bedbugs can even hide beneath the collar of your shirt. Since they are tiny, you might not be able to spot them especially if the color of your shirt resembles them.  Alternatively, these bugs are carried from one city to the other through buses. Since bed bugs’ hidden dark places, they may find perfect breeding areas which are between seats joints in buses.

      Lack of proper way to control these menace is also contributing to these bugs to continue disturbing many Americans. Though they don’t cause diseases, the agony that they cause to the victims is unbearable. The bites from bed bugs- if they prolong without control can lead to one suffer from anemic conditions. You cannot deny that you can’t be infested by bedbugs because they are capable of being carried from one point to another without your knowledge. That is why U.S cities have been infested with the menace of bedbugs.

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