The nemesis of hotels and frequent travelers, bed bugs are notorious for hiding and spreading from place to place among suitcases, bedding and belongings. A good safety precaution is to check luggage and clothing thoroughly after going on a trip before bringing these items into your home. Have you ever heard the childhood rhyme, “Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite?” Yes, children have been warned about these little blood suckers for generations! These nasty creatures are small and parasitic and survive solely on consuming the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are found on every continent in the world, and are not restricted to establishments that seem rundown or unclean. Bedbugs can be found in the nicest of 5-star hotels, as well as in your own home! It isn’t dirt or food that attracts them but the presence of their food source: us.
What do they look like?
Identification is key when it comes to bed bugs, so that treatment and elimination can occur as quickly as possible and the outbreak can controlled rather than spreading to other establishments or residences. These reddish brown bugs are small and flat, often about 5 ml in length but can be smaller.
Where are they found?
Bed bugs tend to live within 8 feet from where people sleep. This is not just hotels, buses, trains or cruise ships, but also apartments, shelters, dorm rooms, and homes. They hide during the day and feed at night, and so detection will have to be deliberate. Check places such as mattresses and box springs, bed frames and headboards, night stands and side tables. Don’t forget these guys are small and flat and they easily hide in cracks and corners, or behind clutter or objects commonly kept near your sleeping area.
Health risks, signs, and symptoms
Although the most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation is the bite marks, this can not always be relied upon for diagnosis of an infestation. Unfortunately these bites could take up to 14 days to show themselves. Bite marks may be on face, neck, arms, hands or other exposed body parts, but it could be other areas as well. In the meantime, if you suspect you make have come in contact with and become infested with bedbugs, other signs include rust marks on the bedding resulting from the bug’s blood filled fecal matter, tiny exoskeletons from molting, and a musty odor.
Bed bug bites themselves cause differing levels of harm depending on the person bitten. Symptoms can range from itching and redness in a slightly swollen area, to more severe reactions such as anxiety, extreme itching, skin damage, and more severe skin reactions. In some rare instances, severe allergic reactions have also occurred.
If you think you have encountered bedbugs and are worried about your home or business being infected, a professional pest control company in your local area can help. There are really no successful DIY solutions or home remedies for such resilient, and well hidden pests. Get professional bug removal experts that are experienced with bed bug infestations to help as quickly as possible.
Prevention and Elimination
Prevention is key when it comes to rodents. Sealing up entry points such as plugging or repairing small holes on the inside or outside of your home. Eliminating attractive nesting sites will also help such as clearing away deep mulch or leaf piles, and bagging garbage before putting in an outside bin. Our homes are particularly vulnerable to these pests during fall and winter months, and they begin seeking warmth and shelter, so vigilance is especially critical at these times. Your local professional pest control company plays an important part in both prevention and elimination if an infestation has already occurred.