What is a bed bug?
Bed bugs are small "nesting" parasites that feeds on the blood of humans and animals. They are called "nesting" because they live very close to where you sleep or rest for long periods. Bed bugs are hitchhikers hiding in the clothing and luggage of travelers. Bed bugs are also prolific breeders and one bed bug can become thousands of bed bugs in just a few months
Bed bug bites altough are not painful, their saliva causes allergic reactions in people which in turn causes, severe itching, red swelling sores that can lead to scaring. People don't become immune to bed bug bites they only get worse.
Bed bugs have made a dramatic resurgence in the last 10 years since being wiped out in the 1960's from DDT pesticides that also severely impacted the environment. Many pest control workers have only recently seen a bed bug in the last year or so.
They are most often found in the folds and crevices of mattresses, bedding and carpets. They can also be found inside clothing, purses, furniture and other dark crevices. Because bed bugs can survive for more than a year without feeding, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Bed Bug Facts
Bed Bugs are tiny creatures – the adult is smaller than a quarter of an inch in size – that feed on the blood of animals and, most often humans.
Although not a flying insect, bed bugs do possess the ability to spread very fast via rapid breeding and are prone to rapid infestation as a result.
Bed Bugs are a widespread concern, as these minuscule creatures are known to have traveled from their natural Asian orgins to the remainder of the globe.
It is not unusual to have an infestation of Bed Bugs, but what is vital is that we know where they live, how to find them and what to do about them.
Female Bed Bugs will give up eggs every day; as bed bugs can live for considerable lengths of time – over a year – this results in a quick explosion of the Bed Bug population.
The bed bug is alive at night – when we are sleeping – and the initial clue to the infestation of Bed Bugs is the presence of bites on the skin in the morning.
The bed bug will eat during the night, and as it feeds on human blood it leaves behind signs of its existence.
Bed bugs feed by spearing the skin and inserting a tube with which it draws out the required blood, and as such the victim will rarely be aware they are being bitten as they are generally asleep.
After feeding – which could be as long as ten minutes – Bed Bugs leave behind a red mark or bed bug bites, which could swell and will irritate continually, bringing irritation and discomfort to the individual.
The problem regarding diagnosis is that the symptoms of Bed Bugs are very similar to a number of other skin problems.
Scabies shows very similar signs to bed bug infestation, and some insect bites such as mosquito can also leave behind a similar tell tale mark.
Bed bug bites will most likely be seen on skin that is exposed while we sleep – the arms and legs, face and neck are all frequently bitten – and it is to these areas we should be vigilant when looking for signals of the creatures.
Bed Bugs are a night active creature and it likes to dine on our blood; bed bugs also likes to hide and this is why it lives in our beds and furnishings.
While Bed Bugs do nest like a number of other insects, it does fall to suitable places in great numbers will hide together in the crevasses of a mattress, the inside of covers and linings and any dark and secure places.
Bed Bugs are frequently brought into the home by persons who have been travelling and have usually slept on a number of varied and frequently used beds.
A Bed Bug problem is not necessarily a case of poor hygiene, however, as any number of hotels and guest houses have also been the source of the problem.
Bed Bug infestations increase very fast; with one female insect laying around five eggs per day it is simple to see how rapidly the colony can grow.
To eradicate Bed Bugs you also need to throw out of the infected mattress and any other things that may be home to the creatures.
As bed bugs are very prolific and hard to find, eradicating all the eggs and mites with off the shelf routines may not be entirely successful.
During an infestation of bed bugs, all clothes, covers and linings that have been close to bugs – or you think may have been – should be thoroughly washed; if possible this must be done on the hottest setting possible to be sure to kill the bed bugs.
Last update: 11:50 PM Sunday, September 19, 2010