HOW TO IDENTIFY BED BUGS
Bed bugs are oval – shaped tiny pests with flattened body; their size and shape is quite similar to that of an apple seed.
A fully grown bed bug is almost 4 – 5 mm in size and possess off-white color but gradually develops dark reddish brown color as it keeps on feeding blood.
Bed bugs are wingless and adults though have wing pads, but they aren’t developed into functional wings, thus they can’t fly. They also don’t have the ability to jump and they crawl to move around. They are quite fast and can crawl up to 4 feet in a minute. They need blood to survive and they bite humans and other animals to get it. Bed bug bites are red bumps and they usually appear in a straight line.
Bed bugs are hard to locate because of their tiny size, their hideouts in small cracks and crevices and their light colour. But still there are signs which indicate bed bugs’ infestation at your place. Check for these signs to identify any niggling pest in your premises:
- Rashes and itchiness at various spots upon waking up
- Rusty spots on bed sheets, mattresses and walls – these could be bed bugs’ excrements.
- Blood stains on bed covers or on pillows
- Offensive, nasty odor
If you spot these signs, check your beddings in daylight and keenly examine them to trace bed bugs’ presence.
HOW DO YOU GET BED BUGS
These tiny blood sucking bugs has the ability to travel from one place to other by hiding in luggage, clothes, furniture, etc. Their small size and flattened body also aid them in hiding in small, hard to reach places.
If you visited any bed bugs’ infested place recently, like hotel, restaurant, a friend’s home, etc, they could have transported easily from there to your house by sticking to your own clothes, bag or even shoes. Moreover they have excellent ability to move from one apartment to other, so your neighborhood facing bed bugs infestation can result in bringing them to your home too.
Second hand clothes, furniture and mattresses are also a major reason behind the spread of bed bugs.
HOW TO GET RID OF BED BUGS
These defiant and stubborn insects are not easy to eliminate and complete bed bugs removal process will take several days. Here is how you can effectively eliminate presence of these troublesome bugs from your premises:
Cleaning and Washing
Start the bed bugs removal process with cleaning. Wash all your clothes, beddings, curtains, sheets and covers in hot water. Then dry them on the highest settings of the dryer.
Besides clothes, things like toys, shoes, stuffed toys which you can’t wash but could be providing hideouts to bed bugs should be placed in dryer for around 30 minutes at highest settings.
Vacuum the house and surroundings again and again. Focus more on the area around bed. Use disposable vacuum bags and immediately after vacuuming the areas, seal the bag and dispose it off to avoid spread of bed bugs. Vacuum the mattresses too and scrub its crevices with hard brush to get rid of any hiding bed bugs.
Fill the cracks
Fill up the crevices and cracks in walls and furniture to eliminate any possible hideouts of bed bugs.
Cleaning is essential but it won’t exterminate bed bugs. For complete bed bugs’ removal, spray pesticides directly on their hideouts (according to the instruction). For severe bed bugs infestation, it’s better to take help from professional exterminators.
LIFE CYCLE OF BED BUGS
Like most pests, bed bugs’ life begins with an egg. Female bed bug has the capacity to lay up to 500 eggs in her life time, ranging from 1 – 5 eggs per day. These eggs are about 1 mm in size and are of milky white color with grainy texture.
Female bed bug sometimes lays single eggs and sometimes in clusters; these eggs are usually placed in secure, hard to reach places, tight crevices and cracks to protect them.
Bed bug egg usually hatches within two weeks and the immature bed bugs or nymphs come out. Nymphs though look quite similar to adults but they are smaller in size and are off-white in color.
Upon hatching, nymphs immediately start feeding and for full maturity they need to molt up to 5 times. For completion of one molting stage, nymph requires one blood meal and thus completes its five molts after five meals. Nymphs develop into complete adults within five weeks.
After completing molting stage, nymphs turn into mature adults which are bigger in size and bear reddish-brown color. Adults don’t feed much and usually make weekly feedings.
PURPOSE OF BED BUGS IN THE ECOSYSTEM
Apparently these nocturnal blood-sucking bugs don’t have any positive purpose to serve in the ecosystem, but not a single thing in the universe has been created without any purpose, so are bed bugs. They play a considerable positive role by providing a valuable addition to the food chain. Several insects feed upon other insects and bed bugs also prove to be ideal prey for ants and spiders.
Bed bugs even are regarded as primary food source of spiders and their presence is essential for making earth habitable.
BED BUGS FACTS:
Take a look at some weird, wacky and little-known facts about bed bugs:
- These are tough bugs who can survive for several months without blood meal.
- Contrary to their name, bed bugs don’t live only in stuff related to bed, but they can survive nearly anywhere in your house like furniture, wall cracks, carpets, etc.
- In their search for fresh blood, bed bugs can travel up to 30 meters for one bite.
- Bed bugs bites are painless, but they’ll cause itchiness and rashes later. Bed bugs saliva has anesthetic components which make their bites painless.
- Bed bugs’ bites aren’t dangerous and they don’t transmit disease-causing germs.
- Bed bugs die at temperature higher than 50°C