Bed bugs are one of the nastiest pests ever existing. Although not too dangerous, the insect becomes a real pain in the neck when infestation is full-fledged. Find out unknown and surprising facts about this creature, and methods to get rid of it naturally.
- 1 Why Bed Bugs Happen?
- 2 What Bed Bugs Look Like?
- 3 Where Do Insects Hide?
- 4 When Bed Bugs Come Out?
- 5 Where Bed Bugs Live?
- 6 Do they exist in wild nature?
- 7 Where Did Bed Bugs Come From?
- 8 Which Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
- 9 Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
- 10 Do Bed Bugs Move Fast?
- 11 Can They Jump?
- 12 Will Bed Bugs Live On Dogs Or Cats?
- 13 How Long Their Lifespan Is?
- 14 Will Bed Bugs Die In The Washer?
- 15 What Are They Attracted to?
- 16 How Do They Bite?
- 17 What Does It Look Like?
- 18 Are Their Bites Painful and Dangerous?
- 19 I Have Rash After Bites. What to Do?
- 20 Will Bed Bugs Get In Your Hair?
- 21 How to Prevent Infestation While Travelling?
- 22 What Are The Signs Of Infestation?
- 23 How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally?
Why Bed Bugs Happen?
Since these pests are tiny, it is hard to reveal infestation and define the presence of insects. You can take these little guys home form almost anywhere – hotel, restaurant, gym, etc. They are usually transmitted from one residence to another via luggage, personal stuff, bed clothing and even on people themselves (however, this is a rare occasion, because they don’t like heat as lice or fleas).
What Bed Bugs Look Like?
These insects have flat oval red-brown bodies 4-5 mm long (size of a seed) that slightly narrows to the back end. Three pairs of legs and short antennae are almost invisible, but you can see an insect with a naked eye. Adult species have wing pads, but do not fly. After blood meal, a bug becomes red and swollen, so it is easier to detect. Nymphs are 1-4 mm long, can be slightly yellow, or without color.
Where Do Insects Hide?
These sneaky creatures often find shelter in bed clothing and mattresses, bed frames, furniture, electrical plates, behind baseboards. When travelling, they usually reside in personal belongings, purses, clothes, under car seats (which is typical of public transport).
When Bed Bugs Come Out?
These are nocturnal – they leave nest to get blood meal while you are sleeping. Usually an insect eats once a week, so it doesn’t disturb people often. But considering the number of pests in colony, their attacks take place every night. However, if an insect is very hungry, it may get up during daytime to search for nutrition.
Where Bed Bugs Live?
This species is spread around the world – it can be found in every country. Pests are bigger problem in developing countries, because their huge populations are hard to control without proper treatment. People either don’t have money for insecticides, or access to remedies.
Rate of infestations was at its high during 30-80’s – it was caused by raised resistance to insecticides (bugs can become immune to chemicals) and international travel. Today, bugs affect people in developed countries, too – and ritzy dwellings can be infested as well as shabby homes.
Do they exist in wild nature?
No. Since insects feed on blood solely, they are found in man-made buildings that serve as shelter for their hosts. They have been known to drink blood of bats, but modern species parasite on people mostly.
Where Did Bed Bugs Come From?
Which Bed Bugs Lay Eggs?
Females are responsible for reproduction. One insect lays about 200-500 eggs in a lifecycle, it is 2-5 eggs a day. Males use copulatory organs to pierce female’s abdomen and fertilize eggs. They hatch in 10 days and turn into larvae which will become adult in 4-6 weeks.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Despite common belief, this insect is not very dangerous for people, because it does not transmit diseases. Although numerous research proves there are microbes and protozoa living on pests, they have never been reported to cause infections in humans.
Do Bed Bugs Move Fast?
At the first glance, pests crawl slowly. For this reason, they travel only up to 20 feet from their shelter to food source, but usually hide somewhere 3-6 feet away from the host. But when searching for food or running away from danger, they can reach speed up to 5 feet a minute, which is considerable for such a small pest.
Can They Jump?
Since insects don’t have wings and their legs are quite short, they cannot jump. They crawl and climb instead, and are capable of reaching ceiling to fall onto victim.
Will Bed Bugs Live On Dogs Or Cats?
Theoretically, an insect may sponge on any warm-blooded animal which means it can bite your pets, too. But it does not live on humans or any other creature, preferring to hide in dark discreet places to organize nests. Besides, it does not like temperatures higher than 20 °C.
Interestingly, pests are often found living side-by-side with bats and eating on them, Perhaps it can be explained by the fact that humans shared caves with these creatures.
How Long Their Lifespan Is?
Under normal conditions (enough food supplies, optimal temperature, absence of chemical treatment), bugs may live for more than 300 days. Some scientists claim adults can survive up to 1 year without food, but it is possible at highly beneficial conditions only, being a rare occasion.
Will Bed Bugs Die In The Washer?
The insects are afraid of high temperatures, and it is recommended to wash bed sheets and clothing at highest temperatures for at least 10-20 minutes. Add detergent, and that will accelerate the death of pests.
What Are They Attracted to?
To find a host, these creatures use their strong sense of smell. They are usually attracted to:
- body warmth;
- human odors;
- smell of carbon dioxide.
Insects make no difference between clean people and ones who need to take shower – personal hygiene plays no role for them.
How Do They Bite?
The insect has two beaks, one of which is used to inject saliva that numbs skin. It allows for bug to stay undetected. The second beak pierces the skin and is used to suck blood. As a rule, five minutes is enough for a pest to saturate his stomach, and as soon as meal is finished, he quickly leaves.
What Does It Look Like?
Are Their Bites Painful and Dangerous?
As far as pests usually feed on us while we are asleep, their bites pass undetected. Diseases are not transmitted this way. But insects’ saliva contains proteins that may cause allergy leading to itching, redness and bumps. Severity of reaction depends on person – some may be immune to it, while others suffer from it considerably. It is estimated that 70% of people do not develop any reaction to primary bites. Sometimes reaction is delayed, and itching starts after a few days. Bites may also cause welts that swell and lead to serious skin inflammation. In case of hard infestation, some kids were reported to have iron deficiency.
Generally, bites are not very dangerous. But from psychological standpoint this issue is quite problematic: most people are disgusted and dreaded by thought of being eaten while they sleep. Realization of having parasites around causes stress in vast majority of victims.
I Have Rash After Bites. What to Do?
The most sensible solution is to consult your doctor. Most likely, he will prescribe antihistamine remedies and soothing lotion. In most cases these remedies are enough to eliminate skin irritation.
Will Bed Bugs Get In Your Hair?
Unlike lice, crums do not live on host, preferring to hide in dark corners. It is conditioned by several reasons:
- They don’t like heat, and temperature of human body is too high for them.
- Pests usually never drink blood every day, there is no urgent need to be near the host all the time.
- Light and constant movement scares this creature.
Relax: this insect will not live in your hair, and is not likely to bite on your scalp. However, if you see bugs on your head, it might be fleas or lice.
How to Prevent Infestation While Travelling?
If you think that reserving a suit in a 5 star hotel guarantees absence of insects, you may be wrong. Sanitation is not the issue in this case – they can appear anywhere! So be attentive and take the following measures to avoid taking pests to your dwelling.
- Examine your room upon taking up your temporary residence. Look for bugs in mattress crevasses and seams, bed framing and pillows, check for blood stains on bed clothing.
- If you feel a musty sweet scent, it may be a telltale sign of infestation.
- Small brown and red dots are insect feces, these can also indicate infestation.
- When leaving the room, check your luggage and personal belongings for pests. Arriving home, you may leave bags in your garage, wash clothes in hot water, and only then unpack, thoroughly examining all items.20 minutes in dryer are enough to ensure 100% safety.
What Are The Signs Of Infestation?
How to make house revision to fins pests? Be attentive and search for them in different discreet places: behind wardrobes, baseboards, picture frames, clothing piles, mattresses, etc. Not only insects can be found out, but the traces of their activity, too. For example, you may find brown and red spots – poop – in places where pests hide. Sometimes cast skins may be scattered near their nests – they are shed before each life stage.
Other signs include: bites and musty odor. Of course, if you accidentally see several insects on open surface (walls or furniture), it can also be the mark of beginning infestation.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally?
If you are not ready to get help from pest control service companies, you can try to eliminate infestation by safe and natural methods:
- First of all, clean mattress (box spring) and bed frame – remove bugs and their feces totally. You can use vacuuming together with light insecticides. Do not wash mattress: if it becomes wet inside, mold may start developing, which is a far worse problem than crums.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in places where insects thrive in. It will dehydrate pests and their eggs, being totally harmless for family members. Leave the powder for a day or two, and then vacuum thoroughly.
- Small critters can be scared away with the help of essential oils (lavender, cedar, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, etc.). These remedies have been used for centuries to keep different pests at bay. Just apply a few drops of oil on corners of your bed or furniture items, and strong smell will persist for several days, killing bugs with eggs and bringing sensual joy to you.
- Keep your dwelling clean. Vacuum curtains, mattresses, furniture, space behind it, and other obscure corners. Insects may hide anywhere, even in electric appliances, so inspect every place.
- Wash bedding and clothes at highest temperatures, and add detergent. It will kill bugs, their eggs and bacteria. After that, put them in dryer to ensure that insects are exterminated. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil on bedding and carpets is a good idea: it as strong antibacterial properties and smells great.
- Steam clean soft furniture and fabrics in your house. You can either lease equipment in home improvement store, or use professional services.