Bed Bugs: Do-It-Yourself Control Options
May 22, 2019
Having bed bugs in the house can really be embarrassing. When bed bugs get to your bed without you knowing it, they can simply operate on you while you sleep. They are nocturnal, meaning they are asleep during the day and active at night. When you wake up in the morning, well, surprise! You probably would have bed bug marks on your skin. Bed bug bites ate unfortunately conspicuous. They bite only on the exposed part of your skin. Their bites are also formed in such a way that they are grouped together, most of the time in a straight line. You would not feel a bed bug bite you, because they excrete an anesthetic enzyme on you. This is one of the many reasons you would want to get rid of these bed bugs.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects that are considered high health risk pests. The adult bed bug is the same size as an Appleseed, though they bloat after having a blood meal. They are about 5 mm to 7mm in length. Brown in color - though again after a blood meal they turn red - and a flat, oval-shaped body. They have beaks with three segments and antennae. They have wings but they cannot fly. Another specific characteristic of bed bugs is their musty-sweet odor that is produced by the glands on their bodies.
Bed Bugs Are Public Health Risks
Bed bugs feed solely on human or animal blood. They can survive for months without feeding. Even though they are no capable of transmitting diseases - like their fellow pests mosquitoes, cockroaches, and mice - they are considered high health risk pests by some of the government agencies in the United States, like the Center for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Agriculture. Not only do they cause itchy and painful bites that are visible to the eye, but bed bugs also a myriad of negative mental and economic effects.
Mental health problems caused by bed bugs are stress, anxiety, insomnia, and even depression. There are even cases of social isolation.
One obvious effect of bed bug infestation is insomnia. Insomnia is simply a condition in which a person finds it hard to sleep, or even if they do, they get awake easily and could not go back to sleep. A person becomes anxious, not knowing where bed bugs are on their mattress, at the headboard, or at the foot of the bed. When a person is anxious, they cannot relax and maintain focus on everyday tasks.
Social isolation is also common for those who are victimized by bed bugs. Friends of people with bed bug infestation try to avoid them or avoid going to their house for fear of getting bed bugs themselves. And this fear is not unfounded. Bed bugs are very good hitchhikers. They can latch onto luggage, bags, clothes, and furniture.
Signs Of Bed Bugs In Your Home
To know if you have bed bugs, you should look for these signs:
- Physically look for bed bugs in your bedroom. They could be on your mattress, on the headboard, at the seams of the mattress, in box springs, and in the cracks on the headframe. If your room or the house is heavily infested, you may find them on the couch, on the chairs, between the cushions, in the folds of the curtains, in electrical appliances, and under loose wallpaper. They can also fit into very small cracks on the wall.
- Bed bugs also have that sweet-musty odor.
- Bloody stains on your mattress may indicate bed bug presence. You may have crushed them to death, or these may also be bed bug feces. Keep in mind that all they feed on is blood.
- Bed bug bites are not an accurate way to tell if you have bed bugs. For one, bed bug bites appear about 1 to 2 weeks after the bite. Definitely too late to be an indicator.
The Role Of Bed Bugs In Spreading Chagas Disease
Chagas disease is a disease caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. This disease has two stages, the acute and the chronic stage. In the acute stage, the patient may or may not have any obvious signs. Those who show symptoms have a fever, body aches, headaches, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. For the chronic stage, patients develop an enlarged heart or even heart failure.
People get this disease when they are bitten by a triatomine bug, or more commonly known as the kissing bug. However, a study conducted by researchers from Penn Medicine in 2014 revealed that bed bugs can also transmit the parasite that causes Chagas Disease. Bed bugs can transmit this disease through their feces.
Whether further studies would prove this as true or not, the best thing to do is to get rid of the bed bugs.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On Your Own
Although it is much easier and more convenient to call the best pest management control in North Carolina to get rid of bed bugs, you may want to do it yourself to cut on costs a little bit. If you are planning to do it yourself, careful planning should be done. Make sure that safety is your primary concern. Here are a few of the DIY bed bug control options for you.
- First, if you live in an apartment with several units, you better seek professional experts. Bed bugs spread quickly, and it is possible that the other apartment units might have bed bugs too. It would take a large-scale control system to get rid of the bed bugs. Tell your landlord of the bed bugs’ presence.
- Try to inspect first which areas are infested with bed bugs. This will help you know what the extent of the infestation is. Usually, the bedroom is where you find the bed bugs, however, any place in your home where people sleep can be infested by bed bugs as well. Check the living room and the sofas to see if there are bed bugs. Remember, the sooner you find the bed bugs, the easier you can get rid of them.
- Try using a vacuum cleaner and vacuum the mattresses, sofas, chairs, the bed, and anywhere you see or think the bed bugs may be hiding. When you are done, seal the bag and throw it outside the house. This will ensure that the bed bugs that got caught in the bag would not be able to return.
- Wash your bedding in hot, soapy water. This will kill the bed bugs. After washing, dry it using a dryer and place it on its maximum setting. Do this for 30 minutes.
- Invest in bed bug proof mattress encasements. These are fabric sacks in which you can slide your mattress or even your box springs into. This will provide you very good protection from bed bug bites as they would not be able to pass through it, plus these encasements are very smooth on the outside and there will be no place to hide for them.
- Freezing bed bugs also kills them. If your bedding has bed bugs, put it in the freezer. The temperature must be 0 degrees. Leave the item there for 4 days.
- If your bed or sofa is infested, do not throw them away yet. If you can still salvage the items, then do so. Treat these items if you still can. If they cannot be saved anymore, then discard responsibly. Put a sign on the sofa or the bed that says “Bed Bugs”. Or rip the coverings off. Just make sure no one would pick it up and re-use them.
- Use Diatomaceous earth. These can be described as something like little shards of glass that can cause tiny cuts on insects, including bed bugs. Put some of these on areas where you think have bed bugs. Once these bed bugs crawl on these, it will cause tiny cuts which then cause them to dehydrate and soon die. You may purchase diatomaceous earth at a local gardening shop near you.
If in case you find the presence of bed bugs in your home too overwhelming, do not worry. You can easily hire the services of the best pest management in North Carolina, Go-Forth Pest Control.
Why Go-Forth Pest Control?
Go-Forth Pest Control is the superior pest control company in North Carolina, with more than 50 years of experience exterminating all kinds of pests like bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mice, flies, and many others. They have a team of expert professionals who can get the job done using the only state of the art equipment.
Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina since 1959. Say goodbye to your bed bug problems.
For more information, or to set an appointment, just click here or dial 336-841-6111.