What Are Bed Bugs And Do You Have Them?
Do you stay in hotels when you travel? Do you purchase used furniture? Do your kids have sleepovers? When it comes to bed bugs these are the questions one may have to ask themself as bed bugs can end up in anyone’s home due to the fact that they can go wherever people do. It’s not a pleasant thought as bed bugs can quickly become a problem that no one wants to deal with.
- What Are Bed Bugs
- Common Ways People Get Bed Bugs
- How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs
- Tips On Preventing Bed Bugs From Entering Your Home
What Are Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are insects that feed off of humans and animals typically while they are sleeping in the same place bed bugs are nesting. They are about the size of an apple seed and are reddish-brown in color. Categorized as parasites, these insects feed at night on exposed areas of skin where the bites can cause skin rashes, allergic reactions and create psychological effects. They are not disease carriers but are known for public health and economic issues.
Common Ways People Get Bed Bugs
Anyone can get bed bugs but the more time you spend staying in places with high turnover rates of nighttime guests like hotels, hospitals and homeless shelters the more at risk you will be at getting them. However, there are some other ways people come into contact with bed bugs that often get overlooked. Since bed bugs can travel wherever you go all that is needed is a vehicle of transportation for them to get from one place to another. This means that they can travel via furniture, overnight bags, sleeping bags, tennis shoes or any other item they can crawl into. For instance, if a child has a sleepover at someone’s house that has bed bugs where the child is sleeping they could come back home with them via their overnight bag or bedding that they brought over.
Hotels are one of the most common places where people discover bed bugs and it is just as common to bring these parasites home with you via your luggage. Homeless shelters often deal with bed bug infestations as well. These parasitic insects like to hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box springs, headboards, bed frames and even along the baseboards of a room. If the infestation gets out of control they will spread to other areas of the room where they can hide like dressers, clothing piles, night stands and the list goes on. All bed related items of course are the most common as they wait for warm bodies to signal to them that it is time to feed.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs
It can be challenging to distinguish bed bug bites from other insect bites but bed bugs typically bite in a pattern. Red, itchy dots that are arranged in a rough line or cluster are the typical sign that you have bed bugs. These bites are commonly seen on the face, neck, arms and hands and a darker red spot is often seen in the middle of all the bite marks. If someone has an allergic reaction to a bed bug bite they can experience excessive itching, blisters or hives.
If you suspect you have bed bugs you will want to look in the creases of your mattress as well as underneath along your box spring. Look along the edges of your bed frame and areas of your headboard where bed bugs can hide. You can also look along the edge of your carpet, pulling a little of the carpet back to see if bed bugs are hiding underneath. This is also a good time to check along your baseboards where they can hide within the crevices. Discovering you have a bed bug infestation is when many turn to a bed bug control expert.
Tips On Preventing Bed Bugs From Entering Your Home
You may think that having a clean home is all that is needed to keep bed bugs at bay but the unfortunate reality is that even the cleanest house can still get bed bugs. There are however a few things you can do to place you at less risk.
- When traveling be sure to check your room for bed bugs before getting situated. Looking underneath the mattress by pulling back the edging to see if any are hiding is a good start. Check along baseboards and headboards with a flashlight to see if bed bugs are present. Keeping luggage and personal belongings up and away either in a closet or on top of tables can also help keep bed bugs from hitching a ride home with you if they happen to be sharing a space with you.
- After you arrive home from traveling, wash everything you can in hot water. Bed bugs cannot withstand hot temperatures so hot water is essential in killing any bugs that may have traveled home with you. A high heat dryer setting is also recommended.
- If you like to buy used furniture make sure you investigate each piece before bringing it into your space. Bedroom furniture is especially vulnerable and if possible you will want to look in between every crevice where bed bugs could be potentially hiding as these bugs like to hide where it is dark. Having furniture professionally treated is also an option that may be worth it in the long run as bed bugs can be very difficult to get rid of.
It may require some extra effort on your part to ensure that bed bugs do not come into your home but the time you spend will be well worth it. Bed bugs can live up to 400 days in cooler settings making them extremely difficult to get rid of. Inspecting all of your personal items when traveling or bringing in used furniture will pay off. The last thing you want is bed bugs making a new home in your living space.
Featured photo Photo credit @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sanmartin/