Bedbugs don’t fly, but they move very fast over floors, walls, and ceilings. Hundreds of eggs are laid by female bedbugs, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust, over a lifetime.
Immature bedbugs as known as nymphs, shed their skins five times before reaching maturity and a meal of blood is required before each shedding. Under favorable conditions the bugs can develop fully in a period of as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.
Although they cause inconvenience, they are not thought to transmit diseases.
Where Bed Bugs Hide
Bedbugs may be entered in the home undetected through luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. The size of their flattened bodies makes it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces, about the width of a credit card. Bedbugs tend to live in groups in hiding places as they do not have nests like ants or bees. Mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards are their primary hiding places where they have easy access to people to bite in the night.
Over the period of time, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any protected location. They may also scatter and spread to nearby rooms or apartments.
As bedbugs live only on blood, having them in the home is not a sign of dirtiness. There are chances to find them in places which are filthy such as immaculate homes and hotel rooms
Bedbugs become active mainly at night and usually bite people when they are sleeping. They are feeding by piercing the skin and withdrawing blood through a beak which is elongates. The bugs feed from about three to 10 minutes to become swelled and then crawl away without being noticed
Most of the bedbug bites are not painful at first, but later turn into itchy welts. These are not like flea bites that are mainly around the ankles, bedbug bites can be on any area of skin that is exposed while sleeping. Also, the bites have no red spot in the center like flea bites do.
The itching and welts may be attributed to other causes, such as mosquitoes as people may not realize that it is a bedbug infestation. To confirm bedbug bites, the bugs themselves must be found and identified
If waking up with itchy areas which previously were not present when went to sleep, there might be bedbugs, particularly if a used bed or other used furniture has been bought around the time the bites started. Other signs that may indicate having bedbugs include:
- Blood stains on the sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusted spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
- Fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins of bedbug in areas where bedbugs hide
- An offensive, musty odor coming from the bugs’ scent glands
If an infestation is suspected, remove all bedding and check it carefully for signs of the bugs or their excrement. The dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing should be removed. The fabric should be peeled back where it is stapled to the wood frame.
The area around the bed should also be checked including inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. As bedbugs can attach to clothing, the closet must also be checked. If the signs of bedbugs are uncertain, call an exterminator, who will know what to look for.
If signs of infestation are found, begin steps to get rid of the bugs and prevent their return.
Cleaning up the places where bedbugs live is the beginning to get rid of bedbugs This should include the following:
- Bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing to be cleaned in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Items such as stuffed animals, shoes, and other items that can’t be washed to be placed in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
- A stiff brush should be used to scrub mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs before vacuuming.
- Vacuuming the bed and surrounding area frequently. After vacuuming, place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and place in garbage can outdoors immediately
- Mattress and box springs to be encased with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without any feeding, so keep the cover on the mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
- Cracks in plaster should be repaired and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of places bedbugs can hide.
- Clutter around the bed should be get rid
If the mattress is infested, a new mattress might be bought, but care should be taken to rid the rest of the home of bedbugs or they will infest new mattress.
Getting rid of bedbugs usually requires chemical treatments while cleaning the infested areas will help in controlling bugs. Because treating the bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is vital to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Unless the label specifically says to use them on bedding, the mattress and bedding should not be treated
Generally the safest and most effective way is to hire an experienced pest control professional for extermination of bedbug.