Cockroaches, rodents, spiders, termites and fleas have been some of the most notorious pests since ages. Along with them, bed bugs are also a nuisance in our houses. They are the tiny insects that are almost becoming an epidemic. What actually are these creatures? Well, they are small (0.25 inches), oval and brownish insects. They cannot fly and are wingless. They belong to the family of Cimicidae (an insect family).
This family includes insects that bite people or their hosts. They are parasites and need a host to feed on. Mostly they spread to different places through their hosts, that unknowingly carry them around. Bird bugs and bat bugs are two other species of bed bugs that feed on birds, bats and other animals; unlike bed bugs that mostly feed on humans. Usually, they survive for a year. Reproduction is high among them, and a female bed bug lays nearly 300 eggs at a time.
Their breeding places are not hidden from people, whose houses have already suffered from bed bug infestations. Cracks of furniture, wooden frames, beds, carpets, kitchens and what not; they reside in every possible nook and cranny that they find suitable. Generally, they feed on human blood and use their beak-like mouth to pierce the skin of the host. Whether bed bug bites has any adverse effect on human health, solely depends on the individual. Many people don't have any effect, whereas many show symptoms of inflammation and irritation on their skin.
How to Kill them
Killing of bed bugs becomes crucial if they cause widespread trouble. Normally, when it is known that an area is infected by pests, we tend to use pesticides and spray them all over the affected area. This is an easy, but dangerous practice and may cause health hazards for the residents. The best solution is to consult pest management professionals and work according to their instructions. The pest control team will first minutely examine the house/hotel and then mark the infected area carefully. This is an important step because if any infected area goes unmarked, it may lead to another infestation within a few days.
The pest control team uses equipment such as fogging machines, dust sprays and various pesticides, depending on their needs, and kills the bed bugs. Fogging is a good option to kill them if they are in the open areas and if they can be easily traced. Still, if they remain hiding in cracks and other areas, we may need more effective methods. Drione dust is useful for those who hide in various cracks and corners of the home. There are various insecticides that are employed for killing these insects such as deltamethrin, suspend SC, tempo SC and BP100-Plus, but it's better to use them by consulting pest control experts.
How to Control their Spread
The most difficult task, is to keep the spread of bed bugs under control. Generally, they are not completely eliminated in one treatment only, so it's imperative to be vigilant, to keep a continuous check on them. What can we do? Well, cleanliness and hygiene are the essential steps that we must take. Using vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner, is advisable. Clothes and other similar items should be washed in hot water and dried in the sun.
Infected materials such as carpets and mattresses (kept in plastic bags) must be exposed regularly to sunlight, for several hours. If the infestation is serious, it is best to discard the carpets and mattresses (sorry if it's a expensive one!!). General sprays and aerosol insecticides can be used, but it is best to consult pest control professionals before going for a do-it-yourself method. Usually, empty rooms and stores in the house become easily infested with such pests, so it's good if occasional cleaning of such rooms is undertaken.
Patience and persistence are the keys in the project of extermination. Maintaining a healthy environment and keeping an eye on the potential sources of bed bug spread can go long way in eliminating them. So, today when you go to bed, remember this famous good night greeting 'Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!!'