The bed bug is a pest of shame. Most people would rather confess to a crime they have never committed than admit that they are experiencing a bed bug infestation. In my neighborhood I have seen bed bug exterminators that I have previously worked with come into some homes robbed like priests. Everyone wants to know how to get rid of bed bugs but nobody wants to admit that they are infested with bed bugs. In my college years when was tired of the constant visits by my roommate’s girlfriend i simply planted a Bed Bug on his bed prior to her arrival and made sure that they notice it. The tactic worked well.

Societal attitude on bed bugs is what gives the pest such great leverage against us. The bug mocks our efforts to tidiness and the end result is that people spotted with bed bugs are considered untidy. Yet that ought not to be the case. Bed bugs have been spotted even in presidential villas and executive hotel rooms. Their presence in an area is not a sign of untidiness as popular opinion would make us believe. To understand more about bed bugs and learn its ultimate control and prevention measures you need to read this article to its logical conclusion. See also, DIY Pest Control

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects that are oval in shape and brownish in color but which turn red immediately after consuming blood. They live entirely on the blood of humans and animals and will shrink and flatten if they go for long without blood.

Bed Bug Pictures

Below are bed bug images. The first image shows a bug that has just sucked blood. The second image shows a bug that has taken long without blood. You might think it is dead but it can survive in such state for close to 12 months.

bed bug after feeding blood

Image Courtesy: National Pest Management Associations

bedbug before feeding

What causes Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs have the ability to colonize an entire city for the mere fact that they are easily transferable from one location to another. The first bugs that I fought in my house were picked from a cheap downtown hotel where I had spent a night in the hope of saving a dollar. Some people have picked bugs from public transport systems like buses or trains. Old furniture bought off the street are also a source of bed bugs. Sleazy landlords have been known to intentionally bring in infected carpets to the room of a tenant for whom they have developed a dislike for. This is to compel them to leave. Bugs can also be transferred to humans from pets such as dogs or cats and from fowls such as hens. Read How Do You Get Bed Bugs for more info.

Can you see bed bugs?

Bed bugs are difficult to spot during the day. Like the mythical vampires, they love blood and hate the light. Even in the night they will probably not crawl out of their hideouts until the bulb light is turned off. The bugs suck blood for about ten minutes and then crawl back to the dark spots like crevices that are often difficult to reach. Read What Do Bed Bugs Look Like for more info.

How do you know if you have bed bugs?

Just like bank heists that never lack a loophole, bed bugs too suffer a disadvantage in their quest to keep their truck clean after sucking your blood and retreating to their hideout. There are a number of things that you will easily spot in your mattress and bedding's that will help you know that you have bed bugs in your house. They include,

Exfoliated shells from bugs shedding off their skin

Most people mistake these shells to dead bugs

bed bug shells

Fecal Stains On Your Mattress And Bedding

The fecal stains are tiny black spots

bed bug fecal stains on bed sheet

Blood stains on your Sheets and Pajamas

These are mainly caused by bugs that you unknowingly crush as you turn in bed during your sleep

Awful Bed Bug Stench

If you place your nose around the joints of your bed you will smell a rather odd substance. That denotes the presence of the bugs.

bed bug stench

How to Check for Bed Bugs

Lift your mattress, scrub through the tiny joints of your furniture, and pour hot water into the tiny joints. The water will run down with a couple of bugs if they are around. You should take the mattress to an open ground and open the cover to inspect whether the bugs are living inside the mattress.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like

There are small red marks on any part of the body and are often itchy. Unusual itchy and small bumpy spots in form of rashes on your skin could also be a sign of bed bug bites. The spots can actually be found on any part of the body because the bugs bite at any part of the body wherever they can access. You should however start the inspection at the neck area since it is the likeliest place that you fail to cover when you go to bed. The rest of your body is covered in pajamas.

How to Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

It is easy to kill a single bed bug. Simply crush it using any object and it will be dead. But it is a herculean task to kill and exterminate the bugs entirely. You could use common insecticides or prey with the guidance of a pest control expert or employ some do it yourself methods. There are a couple of ways to kill bed bugs. They include:

Bed Bug Spray

The bed bug spray is often advertised as an instantaneous death machine. A lot of people think that this is not true because repeated use of these kinds of sprays has not offered any positive effects as far as their attempt to fighting bed bugs is concerned. Repeated use of the spray implies that the bugs have become resistant to its effect, which promotes another big problem to one’s health. The problem lies in how people conduct spraying.

In a huge residential area like a flat, one person spraying his house will not guarantee success. It have to be the combined effort of all neighbors. All houses or rooms must be sprayed to make sure that the bugs do not find another room to hide before they start to spread out again. Spraying should be conducted on a single day on the house, pets, and automobiles. If you share a cloth line with neighbors chances are high that the bugs have spread to their homes and they too should spray on the same day. You can all use the services of a single spray expert because it will cut the cost.

The following Product is Very Effective for Fighting against Bed Bugs:

Bed Bug Powder

The bed bug powder is spread across joints or underneath the mattress. The disadvantage with the bug powder is that it cannot penetrate to the secret corners where the bed bugs live. Where it reaches the bugs, they simply run away before the powder can have any effect on them. According to my experience the powder is actually the least effective way of fighting away bed bugs. It is also unsafe in that it could be inhaled and children can easily mistake it for any substance.

The following Product is Very Effective for Fighting against Bed Bugs:

Home Remedies for Bed Bugs

Home remedies are my favorite way to exterminate bugs. When I realized that I had a bug problem I dismantled my bed and placed it outside the house. Then washed it thoroughly with extremely hot water making sure that every part was clean of any bug. I took all my clothes and garments and dipped them in extremely hot water. After that I disposed my old mattress. The tactic worked for I have never seen the bugs again. Please not that in this case I was certain that my neighbor’s had no bug problem. A neighbor later told me that I could have also used hot steam. It also has great effect on Bed Bugs.

Check out the Bed Bug Treatment for detailed information on killing the Bed Bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

There are a number of Natural ways to control or get rid of Bed Bugs. These doesn't just help you get rid of Bed Bugs. They also helps to control home pests.

Change Residence

change residence

At times the place you live could be the number one reason why you are facing a bed bug infestation. Apartments with too many residents are prone to bug attacks than single housing units. If you can afford it why not move?

Dispose of the Mattress or Furniture

The mattress is the most commonplace hideout for the bugs. This is especially the case in instances where the mattress is too old. The bed bugs easily retreat into hiding through the open holes to places where your eye or a spray cannot reach. Disposing such mattresses and furniture is the best way to fight the bugs.

disposing mattress and furniture

Wash your Bedding's and Clothes in Hot Water

Bed bugs are extremely susceptible to heat. By dipping your clothes in extremely hot water before the wash you ensure a quick death. Hot water is safer for your garments unlike the ordinary sprays.

Iron your clothes

ironing cloths

Iron all the cotton garments. This includes all your bedding's and clothes. The heat of the iron box will kill any bugs that survived the wash.

Encourage spiders in your home

Bed bugs are a fine delicacy for spiders. You can cancel the urge to destroy any spider’s web body you find in your home. You should however note that spiders cannot clear all the bugs in your room.

Destroy the Bugs Larvae

The bed bugs’ larvae are tiny white substances. Destroying the larvae helps you do away with an entire cycle that is yet to hatch and multiply further. After you have disposed of the mattress wash the bed with hot water to clear away any larvae. You will never spot the bugs again.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

Taking cautious preventive measures against bed buds is the most effective way in fighting the pests. There are a number of things that you can do to see to it that your home is free of bed bugs.

Demand that your landlord sprays the entire Building Annually

It is never wrong to err in the side of caution. Let the building be sprayed once every year. A building with many tenants has the highest probability than a small residential home. Insist that your landlord-tenant contract has an annual spray dead.

Avoid the Random Adoption of Pets

random adoption of pets

You should first of all make sure that the pet you keep at home is not a bug career. Take the dog and cut for occasional bodily grooming to kill any pests it may be carrying. Check that the neighborhood does not have stray dogs or cats that could transfer bugs to your dog or cat. It would be great to not let your dog or cat roam around the neighborhood. This reduces the chances of interacting with any stray animals carrying bed bugs.

Avoid Buying or Picking Used Furniture Off The Street.

They are in the street for a reason. Most college finalists will sell good furniture at a throw away price simply because they are bug infested. You must examine the furniture before you take it home. As author Laura Warren says; “it is not a bargain if it has bed bugs.”

street side furniture

Be Critical About The Conditions Of The Inns, Motels or Hotels

quality motels

Most of the mattresses in those rooms have spent years without a change and the rooms have housed all manner of guests. Be careful with the blankets for you do not know when they were last washed and ironed.

The old saying that prevention is better than cure has not lost its efficacy. Rather be cautious than pay the huge price that comes with having to control bed bugs. It's really costly to do Home Pest Control by professionals. Bed bug infestation wounds you financially and is detrimental to your psyche. You become ashamed to even invite friends to your home. This is expected because dignity as we understand it has no concession. Health wise the bug could also be a dangerous pest. Scientists say that the night interruption from bug bites might even lead to insomnia. Be on the lookout. The author Bauvard once wrote that "Strangers make restless bedfellows, especially when bedbugs are your only acquaintance".

One Comment

  1. Deborah Oates

    I have been dealing with bedbugs and can’t seem to get rid of them. Especially when I have a bigger pest(just kidding) who lives with me. Thanks to my boyfriend who let his 4 friends (family) stay with us for 5 months. Anyway I’m trying to figure out what is better than the sprays that are out there. I’m going to wash everything and put them in totes. Next bomb this place. And if that don’t work throw everything out.

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