Bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood. The bed bug is best known to feed on human blood.
Bed bugs. Just say the name and most people will make a face of disgust. No one wants to think about tiny little bugs living in their mattresses and other furniture, but unfortunately, you can’t always have a say in whether you have a bed bug infestation. If you live in an apartment, with roommates, or travel a lot, bed bugs might make their way into your living space.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Cimex Lectularius or the common bed bug is a parasitic insect that feeds on the blood, especially of humans. Its common name is derived from the fact that it dwells mainly in warm houses, near or inside the beds, and other sleep areas.
The bed bugs feed on human blood with ease, as they are not noticed during their activity. They prefer to take their meal during nighttime, although they are not considered nocturnal insects. These bugs have been creating problems from thousands of years, and they are dwelling continuously due to increased infestation of habitats. Because of their prevalence, the bug bites and other related problems are on rise.
These insects do not fly, but they move quickly over the walls, floors, and ceilings. During daytime, they hide in the cracks of walls, bookshelves, bed frames and their other hiding places. Hundreds of eggs are laid by female bed bugs and the young ones develop into adults within a month.
According to the reports given by ‘National Pest Management Association’, the calls related to bedbugs have increased ‘by 81 percent in the last 10 years and 57 percent over the last five years’.
If you know what to look for when it comes to bed bugs, you can stop them before they become a huge infestation. There are a few telltale signs that this pest has entered your house and as long as you’re on the lookout you can spot them quickly.
Sign 1: Itchy Bites
This is one of the most obvious signs of bed bugs. If you find red and itchy bites on exposed parts of your skin, you might have bed bugs. While it can be difficult to differentiate bed bug bite from other bug bites, they do have a unique pattern. If the bites are in clusters or a zigzag pattern, this is a good indication of bed bugs.
Also, if you find that you wake up most mornings with bites or a new cluster of bites, you probably have bed bugs. Bed bugs are more active at night while you’re sleeping, so it is common to have more bites in the morning than at other times of the day.
Sign 2: Stains, Spots, and Other Debris
Bed bugs aren’t the cleanest of pests and will usually leave a visible trail. If you notice dark red stains on your mattress, sheets, or other bedding that is a sign of bed bugs. When bed bugs are crushed or squashed they leave behind a rust colored stain. Their waste also leaves behind tiny blood like stains that bleed like a marker would.
If you see tiny pale or yellow skins that are usually one millimeter in size, that is another symptom of bed bugs. After bed bugs lay their eggs and they hatch the larvae will spend time feeding and growing. Eventually, they will get too big for their skin and will shed it to grow. The skins will be left behind, usually around their hiding places like mattresses and other furniture.
Sign 3: A Certain Smell
Just like bed bugs will leave behind a lot of debris and waste, they will also have a distinct odor. In order to attract mates, bed bugs will release pheromones to let other bugs know where they are. These pheromones are often very pungent and if you have a lot of bed bugs, the odor will become very strong. It’s often described as a musky smell, so if your home has a new unpleasant odor bed bugs might be the culprit.
Sign 4: Sleepless Nights
If you notice that you have been tossing and turning a lot at night, it may not be insomnia. As stated before, bed bugs hibernate during the daytime and become more active at night. Bed bugs are parasites and they need to feed on blood in order to grow and move through the various stages of their life cycle.
During their most active times, when it’s dark, they will feed on you while you sleep. When you’re sleeping you’re an easy target and bed bugs will take advantage. You might not wake up completely while they bite you, but you can still feel them bite and toss and turn. If there is no other reason for you to have restless nights and you’re covered in bites afterward, it’s time to start looking for bed bugs.
Sign 5: Actual Bugs
This might be the most obvious sign of bed bugs, but if you notice tiny little bugs scurrying around they could be bed bugs. If you have all the other signs of bed bugs in your home, then it’s time to start looking around to see if you can find the bed bugs.
Start with your mattress and bedding because that is where they are most likely to be hiding. Take your sheets outside, preferably to an area that is well lit and light in color, and shake out the bedding. If little bugs or any other debris or waste fall out those are probably bed bugs. If you don’t find anything, start looking in other furniture. Places like the seams of couches or chairs, around doors and windows, and even electrical sockets can be great hiding places for bed bugs.
Once you notice even one of these symptoms, you need to act fast. The quicker you respond the better chance you’ll have of totally eliminating the problem. Call a professional as soon as possible so you can get your home and your life back on track.
Health problems Related to Bed Bug bites
The bites of bed bugs are harmless, not infectious. But some times, the itching on skin becomes so severe that it creates chances of getting severe infections.
1. If your body is sensitive to any kind of allergies, you may get this allergy from
the bites of bed bugs. This allergic reaction could be from to more severe condition.
If you are getting problems from itching, irritation and redness of bites, you should
consult your doctor for anti-
2. Scratching on the bites can cause breaking of skin, thus increasing the chances
of bacterial infections. Again, you should consult your doctor for their treatment
or you can use some antibacterial ointments that are generally available over-
3. If any person suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of bed bugs in house makes that disease even worse. The dry, shed skin of bed bugs and their fecal matter create airborne diseases and aggravate the respiratory problems.
4. If any member of your house has risk factor of anemia, the presence of bed bugs makes this disease more severe. As the bed bugs draw a lot of blood in routine, any person can become anemic due to this, but if he is already suffering from the problem of anemia, then you should take proper precautions to eradicate the bed bugs.
What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?
As the bed bugs are blood-
Unlike other blood sucking insects, such as mosquito and lice, the bed bugs are not known to transmit infectious diseases. But they cause a variety of physical, mental and economic problems.
To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their
surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing. If you
think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional. This
is not a pest that can be controlled with do-
How does one control bedbugs?
Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection
by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may
be harboring. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-
The bed bugs bite mostly during night time, when the people are asleep. The bugs pierce the skin and withdraw the blood with the help of their elongated and sharp beak . Most often, they draw the blood from exposed areas.
The bugs inject their saliva in to the skin. Their saliva consists of anticoagulants (that prevents coagulation of blood), and an anesthetic that prevents the person from feeling the sensation of bite.
The young bed bugs (nymphs) take about 3-
At first, the bed bug bites are usually painless, but after some time they become itchy. Mostly, their bites are often misinterpreted as bites of mosquitoes, fleas, and ants.
How do you know if you have bedbugs?
The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there.
Look also for these other signs:
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