Bed bugs are real and not just a phrase from children’s poetry. Bed bugs don’t just live in your beds they can also live in furniture cushions or even the walls of your home. They are fast-moving insects that feed on humans or pets. They are oval in shape and brown in color. They are not known to spread any diseases but they will leave you scratching. They only come out at night and are very tiny so getting rid of them can become a problem.
There is not a 100% safe way to be sure that you don’t get bed bugs. You can ensure that you don’t get a huge infestation of bedbugs though. Bedbugs can be found everywhere including the cleanest houses. Bedbugs can latch onto luggage during a vacation and return home with you. They can live up to a year without a human host and the females lay 300 eggs hatching every ten days. To get rid of bed bugs you need to notice them before it becomes a huge infestation and then treat the bed bugs accordingly to get rid of them for good.
To help ensure that you do not get bed bugs there are a few things you can do. Most people will already have some signs of bed bugs and want to be rid of them. There is also information here on how to do that.
To help prevent bedbugs from becoming residents in your home:
- Inspect any antiques or other used furniture you may buy before you bring them into your home. Signs include rusty spots from dead bed bugs or from their feces in any corners or cracks in the furniture.
- Hire a professional exterminator. They will be able to prevent almost any type of bugs from coming into your home.
- Inspect any Hotel room you’re about to check into while traveling. Request another room if necessary and let the front desk of the hotel know why.
- When returning from a trip you will need to inspect your luggage for any unwanted bugs that may have tried to move with you.
- Changing your bed linens at least once a week and washing them in hot water is a good preventive measure when dealing with bed bugs.
- Vacuum your house at least once a week especially around your beds and well-used furniture.
- Caulk any holes in floors and walls. In case you do have bed bugs already you are then trapping them in the walls so they can not get to a human host.
- Take apart any old furniture, you can either throw the furniture away or you can use a variety of bug sprays to help. An exterminator would also be a good idea.
If you suspect that you already have bed bugs then you will first need to look for signs of the bed bugs in your home. You will most likely see signs before you see the bed bug itself. Bed bugs are great at hiding so some signs to look for include rusty spots on sheets or mattresses that occur from crushing the bed bugs.
You may also find the fecal matter of the bed bugs along with eggshells and shed skin. Most bed bugs are found in folds or cracks of your mattresses, chairs, and sofas. Bedbugs prefer wood and fabric and mostly live in the busier areas of your home.
Once you have discovered that you indeed have an infestation of bed bugs you will need to proceed with patience and consistency in getting rid of these nighttime pests. You will need to overturn all mattresses and furniture to clean them thoroughly. Washable items can be laundered in very hot water.
Items that can not be laundered you can set in a hot area like the sunlight. You want to raise the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours to kill any eggs. You can also vacuum or steam clean but any bags or canisters need to be thrown away or emptied outside the infested area to prevent more of an infestation. If your bedbug infestation is very large it may be a good idea to enlist the help of an exterminator.