Bed bugs are small, elusive, and parasitic insects, usually found in bedding material and other common areas where people sleep. They cause bed bug bites in humans, which may lead to various skin allergies.
Bed bugs belong to family Cimicidae and species Cimex. They solely feed on blood of humans and other warm blooded animals. The term ‘bed bug’ is derived from the insect’s most preferred habitat i.e., beds. They can also be found thriving in other places like furniture, mattress, luggage, bags, etc.
These live in places, where they have easy access to unsuspecting hosts. The bugs are small in size, about 5 – 7 mm in length, and have mouth parts modified for piercing. Hence, when they pierce human skin, bed bugs inject anticoagulant and anesthetic compounds containing saliva, and later lay their eggs in the bed, which hatch in 4 – 5 days.
Bed bugs usually get attracted to carbon dioxide you exhale while sleeping, and with their antenna, feel the heat expelled by your body. Though their bites are small, they pain can lead to skin irritations, itchiness, redness, etc. Bed bugs are not strictly nocturnal, but are highly active at night, especially around 3 – 5 am, several hours after you sleep.
Once infested, it becomes very difficult to get rid of them, and a lot of time and efforts are required to eliminate them thoroughly. Though there are different home remedies for the removal of these insects, the most effective and quick way to eliminate them is to use repellents.
Best Options as Repellents
Vacuuming of cracks, and other areas where these insects hide is an important part of a bed bug eradication program. A combination of odorless insecticide sprays and insecticide dust is required to remove bed bugs, along with dusting all of their hiding places.
Insecticide dust spray can be used on carpets, furniture, and baseboards to cut down the insect population. For stubborn or re-occurring bed bug infestations, a strong fogging solution like BP100-Plus can be used. It contains a high amount of natural pyrethrins (1.00%), and an IGR called hydroprene, which is extremely effective in killing these insects.
A repellent spray called Suspend SC, which is water safe for fabrics is commonly used for elimination of the bugs. You can use spray on carpets, flooring, rugs, and baseboards, but avoid spraying on bedding, mattresses, pillows, etc. Other commercial sprays are Tempo SC and Demand CS, which are as good as Suspend SC, and have little to no odor.
After spraying, it is essential to apply insecticide dust in the cracks and crevices, where these bugs usually hide. Drione dust product is very effective in killing the hidden ones by targeting into their body as poison. Besides these sprays, you can also prepare strong smelling herbal repellents lotions that will work to repel bed bugs.
Homemade repellent creams or lotions containing herbs like rosemary, lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, essential oils, and water can be used to drive away these insects. Alcohol is another repellent for skin, and can be applied all over the body before sleeping at night. Petroleum jelly can also be used for the same purpose.
In case of severe infestation by these insects, wherein the aforementioned repellents are not helpful, seek assistance form professional pest control service providers for complete eradication. However, by keeping your house clean and by maintaining proper hygiene, one can surely stop a bed bug infestation.