It will now make sense why this goodnight message has been for years, the most familiar parting message from parents after they'd tuck us in at night; "goodnight... sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite". Bed bugs were a bothersome spread of insects, that raided homes, and hotel rooms with their pesky infestations. It wasn't until later when towns were sprayed with pesticides like DDT, to get rid of the growing numbers of bed bugs, that they finally stopped returning. While most of them were killed and taken care of, statistics show that the bed bugs have returned like an old biblical plague, being once again as big a pain as they were back in the day.
How to Look for Bed Bugs
A bed bug is easy to spot, being reddish-brown in color, but very tiny in size. They will leave a trail of red blood spots, or dark brown feces all over their area of infestation. Have an exterminator come over to inspect the insects (if you manage to find any), so that you know exactly what you are dealing with.
◘ Bed bugs cram themselves within wall spaces and pipes, making it easier for them to travel from one home to the next.
◘ They appear in places where a lot of beds are present, like in dorms, buildings with multiple apartments, or hotel rooms. The buildings could be quite old, or will have bedding in them that haven't been changed or cleaned recently.
◘ Look closely into crevices or tiny cracks around your home, even between the spaces of your furniture and around cushions. Being as tiny and flattened as they are, it makes it easier for these insects to squeeze into tight spots.
◘ If you whiff the air and get a strong plant-like smell, you are likely to be facing an infestation in your home. They depend on warm conditions to breed, and tend to get quite snug in electronic devices as well.
◘ Check for spotting left over from blood specks or feces, like previously mentioned, so that you are aware of having a bed bug problem on your hands for sure.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs and Avoid a Future Infestation
The first thing you need to do is to immediately get help in cleaning out your home, so as to prevent them from growing in number. If things get out of hand, get a pest controller to do the needful, and do your part in being careful of what you bring into your home in the future. Bed bugs tend to hitch rides from anything, including travel bags, garbage disposal bags, public transportation, and even clothes. Let's find how you can avoid bed bugs, and get rid of them when spotted.
✔ Check your mattresses by first inspecting your bed covers for any bed bug presence, and then peel it off carefully before looking into your mattress material. Using a magnifying glass would be helpful if you spot an area you're unsure about. Learn how to identify these insects as well, so that you can confirm their residency. Be sure to look along the bed springs area, including the edges where the tight stitching work comes in.
✔ You can use a mini vacuum cleaner to clear up the bugs, making sure you immediately empty its contents far away from your home. Use a reliable bug spray in crammed areas, like cracks and crevices, to kill any sitting eggs and concealed bed bugs.
✔ Check the headboard of the bed, your pillow cases, and the pillow itself for any bugs. Try using light-colored pillow cases and bed covers, to easily spot these insects in the future.
✔ Vacuum any carpeted areas in your home at least thrice a week. Dust them out in the backyard and send them off to the dry cleaners for a good cleaning once a month. Wash out your clothes using a good spin cycle to get rid of any nesting bed bugs.
✔ After returning from a trip, avoid placing your luggage or handbags on the bed and furniture, including tabletops. Dust it off first in the bathroom (which is necessary if you have frequent or present bed bug problems), and then bring it into your room.
✔ Always remember to keep fabric covered items clean, sending off what you can to the dry cleaners. Include cushions and sofa covers as well, to get rid of anything that may have entered your home.
These tips will help you in preventing bed bugs and keeping your home insect-free from these pains in the neck. If you notice frequent welts and bite marks on your body, that should be another sure sign of bed bugs. Use corticosteroids or topical creams to help with the bites, or take oral medicines meant for the same.