Bed Bugs: How To Treat For Bed Bugs Yourself
May 27, 2019
The year 2018 was the year of the bed bug. Most Americans fear they might have them. According to a survey done by the National Pest Management Association, 97% of all pest control professionals have treated bed bugs at least once for the said year. More than half of these, the report says, happened during the summer. It was also found out, to their chagrin, that most people confuse bed bugs with other pests. Actually, 84% of those pest control professionals that were able to handle bed bugs were initially called for another pest, only to find out that the problem, after all, was bed bug infestation. And what pest are they confused with? 71% of these called in to report fleas!
Most People Report Bed Bugs After Signs And Symptoms Of Bed Bug Bites Appear
This is probably the most alarming fact that came out of the survey. Most people - or 92% of those who reported the bed bugs to the pest control professionals - report bed bugs after bed bug bites appeared. This exposes the fact that there is little awareness about bed bugs, perhaps one of the most destructive pests around. Bed bug bites are the last thing one should look for as evidence of bed bug infestation. The reason for this is that bed bug bites would not appear until after several days of being bitten. The bed bugs would have increased in number by the time people report them after noticing the bed bug bites.
Bed Bug History In The United States
Bed bugs have been around since 3,300 years ago, as archeological evidence has proven. They made their way into America in the 1800s. Here, they thrived for decades, even inspiring the famous nursery rhyme: “Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”
However, by the 1950s, with the development of new methods and new pest control methods that were truly effective, plus the development of vacuum machines, the number of bed bugs went down until they were no more. Basically, improved technology did it for the bed bugs.
Unfortunately for humans, and fortunately for the bed bugs, they came back in the late 1990s. The resurgence of the bed bugs is mostly blamed on increased international travel, the same way they got here in the first place. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, and they latch on to luggage, clothes, and furniture.
Bed Bug Description
To be able to stop the bed bug dead on their tracks, we should learn more about them. Bed bugs have flat, oval bodies and are brown in color when unfed. After a blood meal, they swell and turn red. Adult bed bugs are about a ¼ inch long, the same size as an Appleseed. They feed solely on human and animal blood and can go for several months without any meal. They are nocturnal, meaning they are active only at night. While we sleep in our beds, these bed bugs attack. We do not feel their bites because they emit enzymes into our skin that are actually anesthetic.
Female bed bugs lay an average of 5 eggs a day or more than 500 eggs in their lifetime. They are like mosquitoes in that they are attracted to carbon dioxide coming from their hosts. Due to this fact, they tend to feed while their hosts sleep at night. They mostly depend on humans, but can also feed on other animals’ blood.
Bed Bugs As Health Risks
Though they are not known to transmit diseases, they are still considered a high health risk by certain government agencies like the Environment Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Center For Disease Control.
Bed bug bites can result in a number of effects to one’s health. It can cause a skin rash, itchiness, pain, and swelling. The problem though goes beyond the physical; it is psychological as well. Bed bugs are reported to have caused insomnia, stress, and depression.
People who have bed bugs are reported to suffer from insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder wherein a person cannot sleep, or find it very hard to sleep. If they do, they are awakened easily and not being able to go back to sleep. Sleep is an important factor in a person's ability to perform daily tasks; without it, not only does the quality and quantity of production suffer but also a person's quality of life.
People also suffer from stress due to bed bug infestation. Merriam-Webster defines stress as “a physical, mental, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental factor in disease causation.” People react differently to stress. For some, a little stress is beneficial, as it pushes them and challenges them to be better. But in the case of stress related to bed bug infestation, the only positive thing there is that it will push people to get rid of the bed bugs at once.
People with bed bugs also suffer economic losses. Bed bugs infest beds, mattresses, couches, and chairs. While sometimes these can still be salvaged, there are times that these things could not be saved anymore. Imagine having to throw away an entire sofa or your bed. You will have to buy one again, of course.
Signs Of Bed Bugs
Here are some signs that your house is infested with bed bugs. Knowing these signs will make it easier for you to get rid of them.
- Red to reddish brown fecal marks on your mattresses. Since bed bugs eat only blood, their feces look like blood.
- After molting, bed bugs leave exoskeletons everywhere.
- A sweet, musty odor on your bed. Bed bugs emit that kind of smell from their scent glands.
- Conspicuous bed bug bite marks on your skin. Bed bugs can manage to give you bite marks on a straight line on your skin, more like a pattern. However, these marks usually do not turn up until after 1 to 2 weeks. Swelling and itchy red welts are how it can be described.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
If you have bed bugs, do not fret. If the infestation is still not that bad, you can still do something yourself, and you would not need the services of the best pest control management in North Carolina just yet. Here are some ways to get rid of bed bugs:
- Wash your beddings, linens, mattresses, and clothes with hot, soapy water. After washing, dry them in high heat in a dryer, putting it on its maximum setting. Let it stay there for 30 minutes. Heat can kill bed bugs.
- Another way to kill bed bugs it to freeze them. Put your beddings or linens or any items with bed bugs in a freezer. Set at 0 degrees and leave the items there for four days. Monitor the freezer every now and then and make sure the temperature stays at 0 degrees.
- Try using diatomaceous earth. For those who are still unfamiliar with it, diatomaceous earth is composed of fossilized remains of an organism called diatoms. This is an effective way of killing bed bugs and other pests because its sharp edges are very abrasive. It absorbs the bed bug’s oils and fats, dehydrating them and eventually killing them. Just sprinkle some of them on places you see the bed bugs. You can purchase diatomaceous earth at a local gardening store near you.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the mattresses, sofas, chairs, the bed, and anywhere you see or think the bed bugs may be hiding. Afterward, throw away the bag outside the house so that the bed bugs that got caught in the bag would not be able to return. Make sure to seal the bag.
- Do not throw away the sofas, chairs, or beds that are infested just yet, try to salvage them first. However, if these can not be saved anymore, make sure to dispose of them properly. Put a sign that says “Bed Bugs”, or rip off the coverings. This will ensure that no one else would pick them up and re-use them. Make arrangements with the city’s trash collecting agency to pick these items up.
- If you live in an apartment, inform your landlord at once. Chances are, there might be bed bugs in the other units too. To stop further spreading, a pest control professional should be tapped to stop the spread of the bed bugs.
Go-Forth Pest Control
If pests are too much to handle, just call Go-Forth Pest Control. Go-Forth is a family-owned business that has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina. They have expert technicians who use only the latest and most advanced equipment in the business. This is why customers have rated us as the best in pest control. For more information, just click here or dial 336-841-6111.