Preying on you when you are most vulnerable, bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on the blood of human hosts.
Although bed bugs have made a strong comeback in recent years, history tells us that they have been afflicting humans since 400 BC.
Today, bed bugs continue to plague Americans as well as numerous other peoples throughout the world.
- While bed bugs are primarily active at night, they are willing to feed whenever a food source (human blood) is available.
- Much like a mosquito, a bed bug will bit a human host and inject a numbing agent which makes difficult for a human to feel that he or she has been bitten.
- Reactions to the bites vary depending on the house; some will see visible signs, specifically several welts in a row that are often very itchy.
- Others, however, have no reaction at all. It is important to note that reactions can take up to 2 weeks to appear on the skin which can make it very difficult to determine when and where the problem started.
- While bed bugs prefer to feed every5 to 10 days, they are able to live for over 1 year without feeding on a host. This hiberatin occurs when ideal feeding conditions are not met.
Bed Bugs are not always easily identifiable as they appear in different shapes and sizes throughout their life cycle.
Eggs are extraordinarily small and translucent in color.
Nymphs are tiny and range from translucent to light tan in color.
Adults are typically tan to a dark red color and are compared to the size of an apple seed.
For a bed bug to molt and enter its next stage or life, it must feed on a human host.
Read More: Meet the Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Prevention
Because it is so difficult to try and prevent bed bugs from entering a living area, the best thing to do is educate you.
Know the signs that indicate the presence of bed bugs and be vigilant when you visit a friend?s house, hotel, shelter, movie theater, store, and just about anywhere else you go.
Know the types of stains that bed bugs leave behind and where they are most likely to hide.
Some of the most obvious signs include their fecal matter, which are black spots that resemble specs of black pepper, and tiny red dots on sheets or mattresses which are blood stains.
Do not put any of your clothes in bureaus at a friend?s house or a hotel room.
When you arrive home, place all of your belongings into your dryer at the hottest temperature possible for approximately 20 minutes; this will kill any unwanted visitors who may have been brought home with you.
Bed Bug Treatments
Steam and Vacuum Service
One option to eradicate bed bugs is a steam and vacuum DIY.
In addition to being an eco-friendly treatment, it is also a safer option as there are no chemicals involved.
Although this is a time consuming and invasive treatment, it is highly effective.
Bed Bug Prevention
Being proactive plays a large part in the early identification of a bed bug issue and ridding yourself of these intrusive pests, and, perhaps, even avoiding a problem altogether.
Bed bug detection canines, are very helpful when trying to determine if you are currently having a problem with bed bugs, regardless of whether it is a small or large infestation.
Employing the use of Climb-Up Interceptors is a great way to monitor high risk areas for bed bugs, particularly if you have previously had a problem with the insects.
Climb-Up Interceptors are circular cups that are placed under the feet/posts of your beds, chairs, tables, and anything else that you may have a concern about and they can be left under the posts forever.
This is only a monitoring device, however.
There is no chemical in the cups; they are simply a tool to help you identify if you have a bedbug problem.