The Battle Against Bed Bugs

The Signs

Experts say each of us sleeps about one third of our lives. The last thing we want to do is share our bed with bugs. According to Citybugs.Edu, 70 percent of all bed bugs hide in the mattress, box spring and bed frame. These nocturnal insects are also known to bury themselves in chair and couch cushions, drawers, electrical outlets and appliances, and cracks in the walls and floor. They’re also known to travel on backpacks, luggage, shoes and furniture.

The Battle Against Bed Bugs

The quicker you find them, the easier and cheaper it is to get rid of them. A warning though; while you can do-it-yourself, it will take persistence and hard work. If you miss even a few, they will multiply and move to other areas of your home or office. The most reliable solution is to hire a pest control company like Sure Shot in Tulsa. If you live in an apartment, notify management and your neighbors immediately and consider other places to stay until the bed bugs are eradicated.

To identify bed bugs early, look for these signs when changing bedding and cleaning the house:

  • Bugs living on the carpet, chairs or ceilings.
  • Red bite marks on your arms or legs in a pattern or a row.
  • Tiny eggs, eggshells, and yellow skins shed by the nymphs as they grow into adults.
  • Tiny dark spots that are actually bed bug excrement.
  • Small rust spots or stains on the bedsheets from feeding.
  • A strong, pungent, musty odor like that of a wet towel.

The Bug

Bed bugs are small, flat brown insects that feed on the blood of humans or animals while they sleep. The adults are about the size of an apple seed. After feeding on human or animal blood, their bodies swell and become reddish. Bed bugs don’t have wings, so they can’t fly. But they can move swiftly, about one meter a minute, over the floor, wall, and ceilings.

Bed-Bug-Life-Cycle

Female bed bugs may lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime that are the size of a speck of dust. Immature bedbugs shed their skins five times before maturing and require a meal of blood before each shedding. The bugs can develop completely in less than a month under favorable conditions and can produce three or more generations in a year.

While disgusting, there are no reported cases of bed bugs transmitting diseases. However, the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases reports bed bugs harbor as many as 27 human pathogens, viruses and bacteria. Also, their bites can lead to secondary infections, anxiety and sleeplessness.

The Battle Plan

Experts say over-the-counter pesticides and bed bug bombs won’t work on bedbugs because of pesticide resistance. Other strategies include extreme heating or freezing the areas for long periods of time. Here are some other steps you can take yourself:

  • Wash clothing, bedding, and curtains in hot water and dry them on the hottest setting possible.
  • Scrub your mattress to remove bed bugs from all of the cracks before vacuuming.
  • Vacuum your home frequently.
  • Isolate your bed from the rest of the house until you’ve eliminated all bugs.
  • Don’t bring second-hand items like furniture and clothing into your home until you’ve inspected and treated them for bed bugs.
  • Throw out anything infested.
  • Use bed bug traps.

If you use pesticides, use them with caution, follow directions carefully, and keep the poisons away from food, people and pets. For a safe, reliable treatment, seek the help of experts from bed bug pest control services.