More facts on Bed Bugs

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If you were to stop and ask someone walking down the street, “what is a bed bug?” they probably wouldn’t be able to give you the correct answer. They might say that it is an insect that crawls around in your bed, but would they know that this same insect also feeds off your blood. They probably would not, except if you stopped someone in New York City. New York City isn’t just one of the largest cities; it is also ranked among the cities with the greatest population of bed bugs.

So, let’s get back to the above question. Bed bugs are referred to by the scientific community as Cimex lectularius and can be discovered all over the world. Bed bugs are especially widespread in poor third world nations. Bed bugs were almost a thing of the past because of the pesticide DDT, but due to it being banned in the early 1970s bed bugs are creating a stir once again. With the ban of DDT and international travel, bed bugs are growing in numbers all over our country.

Bed bugs are about ¼ in. long and are a shade of brown with a hint of red. They have flat bodies and no wings. They sleep during the day and drink your blood at night while you sleep. A popular time for their feedings is between 3 am and 4 am. It’s not only your warm body that they are attracted to, but the bodies of your pets as well. Bed bugs stick their tiny beaks into your flesh and suck up your blood through two hollow tubes. You will not feel this because of the anesthetics in their saliva. Bed bugs typically live for a few months to a year, but can live as long as two years.

The first thing you will notice when you wake up in the morning is a line of welts that are inflamed and itchy. They are in a line because the bed bug will follow along your veins sucking your blood, just like feasting on a buffet. One positive aspect of bed bugs is that they do not pass along any harmful diseases. Infections can occur though if you scratch them enough. The best thing to do when you correctly identify your bites as those from a bed bug is to apply an anti-itch cream containing hydrocortisone and if needed a Benadryl.

If you discover that bed bugs have taken over your home there are things that you can to do get rid of them. Products which include diatomaceous earth have been proven to be strong and effective in destroying bed bugs. Be sure to purchase a product containing food grade diatomaceous earth. It is nontoxic and will save you the cost of a professional exterminator.

By: Bradley Skierkowski