Bedbugs are hematophagous insects, which means they feed on blood.
If after a long day you feel tired and can’t wait to rest in a comfortable, cozy bed, know that you may not be alone. Nested between the sheets, the Cimex Lectularius, this is the technical name, are waiting for the opportunity to feed on their favorite prey: man.
But, how do they get into your bed? And how do you notice them?
The spread of this insect is greater in hotel rooms and similar, because they are often carried by suitcases and old furniture. However, it doesn’t mean your house is immune to it, on the contrary.
That’s why, knowing what they are and how to prevent an infestation of bedbugs will make your rest at home more peaceful.
What are bedbugs and how to find them
Bedbugs are small insects that are particularly active at night because they are attracted by the carbon dioxide you emit while you sleep.
In adulthood, they reach a size between 5 and 10 millimeters and a rust tinted coloration, which makes them more visible. However, eggs and bugs of the newborn beds are tiny and white, almost transparent.
Therefore, detecting them at the beginning of the infestation is a difficult task, and you may find yourself dealing with bedbugs without realising that they have been wandering around the bedbugs for weeks.
These reddish insects are particularly infesting, because they can lay even 5 eggs a day, and survive even 1 year without food. Unlike lice, they do not need to cling to their prey and only seek contact when they want to feed.
The bedbug takes about 6 weeks to reach the adult stage. During this time it can escape you easily, because it is used to living sheltered from the light, nested in hidden places.
Who looks at the bedsprings or carefully examines the slats? No one.
Although there is no evidence that they can transmit diseases, it is certainly not pleasant to think of sleeping in a bed where an insect will feed on your blood. So, the first thing you need to know is where they nest.
How to find bedbugs: where they nest
Whether you suspect that you’ve been stung by bedbugs, or want to sleep without that thought tormenting you, the hunt begins immediately.
Here are the places bedbugs could be nesting:
- mattress and pillow seams;
- wooden staves;
- bedside tables and furniture in general;
- carpeting and curtains;
- skirting board;
Remember they hate the light, so they’ll be nested in places that are hard to spot. You’ll need to do a thorough search and evaluate possible evidence of their presence.
What are the clues I can make you think you’re facing a bedbug infestation?
To find out if you’re fighting this bloodsucking insect, pay attention to these clues:
- small black spots on the sheets or around the bed, they could be bedbug droppings;
- traces of blood on the sheets, you might have crushed one while you were sleeping;
- acrid smell of their secretions, although, having never smelled it before or if you use room deodorants, it’s hard to detect;
- white spots around or under the bed, could be the “wetsuits” or the “eggshells”;
- itchy bites and bulges on the skin.
You may not notice that you have been stung, because the “bite” of the bedbug does not cause pain, but immediately afterwards you should feel itchy.
The discomfort is more persistent than a mosquito bite, and the papules, the small reddish swellings on the skin, look a lot like flea bites.
Usually, the bugs do not exhaust their action with a single bite, but move with a linear movement, to suck repeatedly. The areas of the body most affected are those that remain uncovered during the night: hands, arms, neck and face.
What not to do during the infestation of bugs
The bedbugs are also able to move in other rooms of the house, because they can travel several meters. So, if you suspect that you are in the presence of an infestation, and you do not know what to do, it is better to call a company specialized in pest control.
Acting with a method – do it yourself – can degenerate the situation. Some solutions, which make sense to you, can turn into counterproductive actions. So, avoid:
- Move objects, such as books, suitcases, clothes or sheets, to other rooms, because you might run the risk of infesting them.
- Use common insecticides, which might just snide them and make them get married in other parts of the house.
- sleep on the sofa or in other rooms. The bedbugs feed on your blood and can follow you, to come and infest the place where you have moved to sleep.
Now, you know what bedbugs are, where they nest, how to spot them and what not to do to avoid aggravating the situation. But how do you keep them from settling in your house?
How do bedbugs get into your house?
Bedbugs don’t fly or jump, they’re crawling bugs. They can sneak into your mattress by climbing on the sheets that touch the floor, or they can use the wall to get to the head of your bed. But the question you should be asking yourself is, how did I get them home?
The possibilities are many, but they certainly entered your home through an external vehicle. For example, if you stop to sleep in a bedbug infested hotel room, your suitcase leaning against the floor could be the passage they were waiting for.
Because bed bugs don’t need a poorly maintained or unsanitary place to settle and proliferate, any environment can become their residence. So, every time you stop to sleep outside the house, you should have the foresight to inspect the room.
Take 5 minutes for a check between the sheets, look for clues that could lead back to the presence of bedbugs. Move the pillows, discover the mattress and look between its seams.
Inspect the slats, the frame and the headboard. Peek behind the hanging pictures and check the bedside tables. Any books or magazines on the shelves, especially when close to the bed, can also be bedbug infested. And don’t forget to look at the wallpaper, especially torn wallpaper, skirting boards near the bed and sockets.
Looks like a lot of work, but you’ll need a quick check to see if there are any traces left by bedbugs. Until you are sure of their absence, don’t put your clothes on the bed and keep the suitcase on a chair, away from the floor. 5 minutes on the spot to sleep without a thought.
How to disinfest bedbugs
There are natural solutions and small expedients – do it yourself – to eliminate or remove bedbugs, but no one can offer you guarantees, such as professional intervention.
Some recommend using sheets in colors that should annoy the bedbugs, or washing everything in the washing machine at least 50%. Others advise you to pass the whole bed, from the mattress to the frame, with steam systems, because the bedbugs can’t withstand high temperatures.
These are all great tips, but you’ll never be sure you’ve got rid of them. Just one bug escapes you, or resists your actions, and the problem will happen again very soon.
If you suspect that your bed is infested with bugs, hire a professional exterminator and go back to sleep.
Bedbug pest control is fast and minimises the inconvenience of personal insect control. In addition, a professional can give you all the advice you need to prevent it from happening again. Contact us for a survey and get it over with.