Bed bugs infestations. What to do with such a serious problem?
When faced with bed bugs infestations, many people seek to know all about bed bugs. This way, they can at least find solutions to the problem. When you take a look at the bed bug reproduction, then you will appreciate the nightmare of having an infestation!
- 1 Bed bugs infestations
- 2 Causes and solutions
- 3 How bad is my bed bug infestation?
- 4 Does one bed bug mean an infestation?
- 5 Bed bug infestation timeline
- 6 How to stop bed bug infestation
- 7 How do you get bed bug?
- 8 What are bed bugs?
- 9 How to tell that you have a bed bug problem
- 10 How do you get bed bugs in your bed?
- 11 Signs of bed bug
- 12 What causes bed bug infestation?
- 13 Where do bed bugs come from?
- 14 Getting rid of bed bugs
- 15 How to get rid of bed bug bites
- 16 Home remedy to get rid of bed bugs
- 17 How to get rid of bed bugs fast
- 18 Bed bugs removal
Bed bugs infestations
A female bed bug can lay well over 200 eggs in its lifetime. It is capable of laying 1-12 eggs on any given day. Now imagine all the eggs bringing forth more bed bugs-the nightmare! As if that is not enough, as long as there is blood for the female to feed on, it is capable of continuing to lay eggs thus more bed bugs! Bed bugs have a lifespan of up to 18 months which is another nightmare all together!
As for hatching, bed bugs eggs can be hatched in 6-17 days, with the nymphs being able to start feeding instantly. Typically, a nymph will develop into a full-grown bed bug within 21 days as long as it is well fed and is within an ideal temperature of 86 degrees. In case the temperatures are below, say 65 degrees then the entire process is slowed down and may take 120 days.
Going by the number of eggs a female is capable of producing, the number of days it takes to hatch and the number of days it takes a nymph to become a full grown bed bug and the process repeats-an infestation is more than likely.
Causes and solutions
If you have not physically seen a bed bug at your premise, then you may rejoice that you don’t have a bed bug problem. Unfortunately, there are times when this is false hope simply because you don’t know how to tell if you have bed bugs. When bed bugs bite, their bites may be mistaken for other bugs such as mites, mosquitoes or fleas.
How bad is my bed bug infestation?
Really bad bed bug infestations are the ones one where you notice a huge chunk if not all your mattress is covered in tiny black spots, you have a real big problem on your hands. That is not to say that few spots mean that you are off the hook. Considering their reproduction cycle, yours can easily turn into a nightmare in a matter of days as well.
Does one bed bug mean an infestation?
If you notice the only one-bed bug in your room, you may think that you don’t have to worry about an infestation. If it is a male bed bug with no female in sight, then you may not have to worry about an infestation. If it is a female one, however, then you definitely should worry about an infestation. The problem gets worse if it is a lone pregnant female considering the number of eggs it is capable of producing and the amount of time needed for the eggs to become adult bed bugs!
Bed bug infestation timeline
When faced with a bed bug infestation, one of the things that come to mind is how long before the problem becomes a nightmare and this is easily answered by the reproductive cycle mentioned above. Matters are not helped by the fact that bed bugs are capable of surviving a full year with no feeding as they lay in wait for the next victim!
How to stop bed bug infestation
- If you are a serial traveler then you can take steps to ensure that you don’t bring bed bugs back home. Thoroughly inspect the rooms you stay in your travels and keep your luggage off the floor, properly wrapped in plastic bags. When you get back home, be sure to wash your clothes in hot water, seal and freeze items from your luggage that you suspect may have transported bed bugs and also thoroughly vacuum your luggage. When unpacking, ensure that you do so in an open space away from things such as your carpet, mattress or couch.
- Limit purchase of second-hand furniture and appropriately inspect said furniture before bringing it home.
- Ensure that you live in a clutter-free environment that you keep as clean and tidy as possible.
- Make use of a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer or heat gun to introduce extreme temperatures to your mattress in a bid to get rid of the bed bugs.
- Use hot steam.
- Use caulk to seal any cracks or crevices around the house.
- Use homemade sprays with essential oils such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around problem areas.
- Use tight zipper covering to properly wrap your mattress or box spring so that any trapped bed bugs may not escape until they eventually die.
- You can seek the help of a professional to help with the infestation.
How do you get bed bug?
In the past, people believed that bed bugs could only be found in dirty places-motels, hotels, or apartments. Studies, however, show that bed bugs will make themselves at home in literally any environment, clean or dirty as long as there is blood to feed on.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat, oval-like insects that take pleasure in feeding on human or animal blood. One pregnant female is capable of causing havoc when it starts laying eggs since it is capable of laying well over 200 eggs in a matter of weeks!
Bed bugs are small, measuring approximately ¼ of an inch in length. They have six legs, cone-like eyes, and visible antennae. Since they love blood, they can be found near a blood source. This means that when searching for hiding places, start with those near where humans or animals usually reside.
How to tell that you have a bed bug problem
Since bed bugs love feeding on blood, the first tell-tale sign is a bite mark or two on your skin. Bed bugs tend to feed on exposed skin. That means that bites can easily be found in places such as your face, arms, hands, ankles or neck. Although bed bugs generally feed on sleeping humans, they are also capable of feeding on a human that is only sitting or lying down.
The person will not feel the bed bug on their skin, and they will not even feel the bite only because bed bugs inject an anesthetic to the skin through their saliva before proceeding to feed. As such, you will not know that the bed bugs are feeding until well after the fact when you notice the bite marks or when your skin starts to itch and swell.
Blood stains on your bedding, dark colored stains or a sweet, musty smell are good indicators that you may have a bed bug problem. That in addition to fecal matter stains, bed bug bites and shed bed bug skins.
How do you get bed bugs in your bed?
Bed bugs are flat, small crawling insects that can quickly climb into your bed as long as they get blood to feed on. There are some other ways that bed bugs can make their way to your bed. You can transport them there yourself from your travels, or your pet can carry them there when they hop onto your bed!
Signs of bed bug
There are certain signs that are indicative of a bed bug infestation and these include:
- Take a look at potential hiding places around your home such as cracks, crevices, and joints of your mattress since bed bugs love to hide when not feeding on your blood! You may need to make use of a bright torch to search for potential bed bugs around your home. You may also need a magnifying glass if you are to find the eggs and nymphs as well.
- When you wake up and notice bites on your skin, you should check the pattern to tell if it’s a bed bug bite or not. Although there is no particular pattern to look out for, typically bed bugs bite in circles or follow a straight line.
- When you notice tiny spots on your mattress then it is possible that you are looking at bed bug dried poo. This is because as they feed, bed bugs tend to poo.
- When you notice bed bug shells on and around your mattress.
- When you see blood spots on your bed sheets
- When you notice a musty scent in your room over time.
These signs when combined-either one or two or when all are noticed should tell you that you have a bed bug problem.
What causes bed bug infestation?
As long as there is blood to be fed on, there is a possibility of a given place to have bed bugs. This means that whether the place is clean or not, bed bugs may make themselves at home. In addition, if there are plenty of hiding spots in a given area in addition to potential blood then the result is likely a bed bug infestation.
Where do bed bugs come from?
There is no particular place that bed bugs come from. This is thanks to their reproduction and feeding habits. Considering their size and ability to hide, bed bugs can come from literally anywhere and be transported literary anywhere!
Getting rid of bed bugs
There are some ways to get rid of bed bugs. You can make use of natural methods or artificial methods to solve the bed bug problem.
How to get rid of bed bug bites
Why do bed bugs bite? Bed bugs can’t help but bite to feed and survive in this world! Different people react differently to bed bugs bites. While some may simply notice the bites, others may develop welts and an itch or ten!
There are some natural and artificial ways to get rid of bed bug bites. You can use an anti-itch cream to help relieve the itching.
Natural ways to get rid of bed bug bites
- Apply lemon juice-ensure that there are no open wounds!
- Applying essential oils such as peppermint oil
- Making use of cool compresses
- Making use of oatmeal batches
- Apply Apple cider vinegar, leave for a few minutes then wash off with water
- Apply toothpaste, leave for a few minutes before washing off with water
- Chill a piece of cucumber and apply it on the affected area for a few minutes
Artificial ways to get rid of bed bug bites
- Over the counter hydrocortisone
- Anti-itch creams
- Epinephrine medication for severe reactions
- Injectable corticosteroid also for severe reactions
Home remedy to get rid of bed bugs
If you don’t wish to use chemicals to get rid of bed bugs, then you can make use of any one of the home remedies mentioned below:
- Through freezing: Make sure that the items you intend to freeze won’t get spoilt during and after the process. You also need to ensure that the temperatures are kept at 0°F and below if you are to kill bed bugs successfully.
- Thorough vacuuming is another great natural way to get rid of bed bugs. Be sure to vacuum problem areas such as cracks and crevices around the house.
- Streaming which is usually a follow-up to vacuuming
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the infested area.
- Use homemade sprays with essential oils such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil
How to get rid of bed bugs fast
Diatomaceous earth is a relatively fast and natural way to get rid of bed bugs fast. This is because whenever bed bugs come into contact with the powder, they tend to dehydrate and die. Diatomaceous earth is not a short-term solution to the infestation since it can continue working days or even weeks down the road as long as it remains dry.
Another way to get rid of bed bugs fast and easily is to steam a given room, mattress, couch or furniture. You could also consider washing clothes and beddings in boiling water to kill the majority of the bed bugs.
You can also search for and use effective chemicals and sprays to get rid of bed bugs.
Bed bugs removal
Besides vacuuming, steaming or sprinkling diatomaceous earth, there are some other ways to ensure that you remove bed bugs from your home. You can make use of essential oil sprays such as peppermint oil or you can utilize commercial sprays or powders.