Bed Bugs 101

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Bed bugs are very small insects that grow no more than ¼ inch in length when they are fully mature. Their main source of nourishment is blood, primarily human blood. There are bed bugs that drink the blood of bats and pigeons. The bed bugs that feed off of our blood also drink the blood of our four legged friends. Bed bugs do not have wings but they are able to circulate at a quick rate and are consequently subject to accelerated infestations.

Bed bugs originated on the Asian continent but have traveled to other areas of the world by way of ships and airplanes. They arrive in various destinations on luggage and clothing. An increase in international travel has also increased the dispersion of bed bugs. You can bring bed bugs home with you from a nursing home or your son or daughter can bring them home from their college dormitory.

It is vital that you rid your home of bed bugs as soon as possible. Female bed bugs lay at least one egg each day and can live for as long as two years. They can also go for months without feeding on our blood. Bed bugs rest during the day and suck our blood at night. You will realize you were a victim when you discover their signature bite marks in the morning, although on some individuals the bumps take a couple of days to appear. Your skin may also be tender in the areas that have been bitten.

The bumps will be pink to red in color and itch far worse than a mosquito bite. Infections can occur if you scratch them excessively. Bed bugs suck up our blood through a tube that comes out of their mouthpart which they pierce through our skin. They pierce another tube through our flesh which pumps in an anticoagulant an anesthetic. This tube is the reason we can not feel bed bugs biting us, coupled with the fact that we are sleeping.

Bed bugs are great at concealing themselves. We all know that they hide in our mattresses and bedding but did you realize that they like wooden furniture and paper too. You can often times discover them beneath wallpaper and if you lift the padding up under your carpeting. Pillows and stuffed animals can also be infested with bed bugs. Look behind framed pictures and in between the pages of magazines and paperback books. If you have lots of clutter in your home you need to go through it immediately. Bed bugs can be using it as hiding places during daylight hours.

Bed bugs are not only a problem for those living in poverty. Bed bugs don’t care if you are rich or poor, dirty or clean; they will gladly take residence wherever they can. Keeping your house clean does help in detecting these blood thirsty creatures sooner, thus prompting you to treat them before they get out of hand.

There are nontoxic products available on the market that specifically target bed bugs. A powerful bed bug fighting substance is diatomaceous earth and it slashes through the exoskeleton of bed bugs leaving them to dehydrate and die. Bed bug infestations can be controlled and treated with natural products containing diatomaceous earth.

By: Bradley Skierkowski