How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Fast For a Peaceful Sleep
If you’ve ever had a troubled night because of bed bugs, then you know how uncomfortable it can be. Only the name “bed bugs” is enough to instill fear in the hearts of anyone who has encountered them. Otherwise called Cimex lectularius, they are common household insects. They have existed with humans for centuries. They used to feed off bats when they dwelt in caves. Humans moved to caves, and the tiny insects changed their meal plans to human blood. By the time civilization came and humans had to move out of the caves, the bed bugs moved to their new dwellings with them. They were so comfortable due to the warmth they enjoyed from human shelters that they multiplied and spread across the lands. If you have fumigated your room or house, and when you lay on your bed at night, some insects still bite you in your sleep, what could be the cause? Could there be insects that are immune to fumigation? Or were they hidden in a place you didn’t fumigate, like in your bed?
Your guess is as good as mine. They must be bed bugs.
So, what do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are oval, brown-colored, small insects that feed on the blood of higher animals. A full-grown bedbug has a flat body that is as big as an apple seed. When they are done feeding, their skin color changes to reddish color, and their bodies become swollen. These tiny bugs cannot fly but move very quickly across floors, ceilings, and walls.
These insects have six developmental stages of life. At the time their eggs hatch, they are straw-colored, very tiny, and almost invisible to the naked eye. After this first stage, they complete five more cycles as nymphs or sub-adults. They are exoskeleton creatures (having their skeletons on the outside of their bodies), which explains why they need to shed skins in order to grow. This is a process called molting, and it happens in many other exoskeleton creatures, and requires blood to feed on before they shed. After the sub-adults or nymphs must have fed depending on the hosts available, they shed and move on to the next stage. During this time, the nymphs may look like adults; only they are lighter in color and smaller. After completing the five stages, they reach adulthood. If the access to hosts and temperatures are favorable, an egg can take around seven weeks to mature into an adult bed bug. Still, under unfavorable conditions, the process takes much longer. Once these eggs have reached adulthood, both the females and the males need regular meals of blood to be able to reproduce properly. The females are capable of laying hundreds of eggs during a lifetime, and the eggs are as tiny as specks of dust, coated in sticky substances to help the eggs stick in between cracks or adhere to solid surfaces. The eggs are laid in secluded places, maybe two or three eggs per day. The adults also emit an unpleasant odor from their glands. If the conditions are favorable, bed bugs can reach maturity in a month or less, making it possible for them to produce three or four generations annually. They are known to cause great discomfort but have not been found to transmit diseases.
Bed bugs are mostly active at night, making them nocturnal. During the daytime, they hide in crevices and cracks very close to where their hosts sleep. They find their hosts, mostly humans, through body warmth, carbon monoxide, and other body chemicals, and can squeeze their bodies into those areas where they find an unsuspecting sleeping host. Even though they do not have dens, hives, or nests, they can meet in large numbers in feeding and hiding spots they find through airborne pheromones. They can come out to feed in five to seven day’s intervals, meaning they spend most of their lives in hiding spots.
These bed bugs can be very resilient, so it is challenging to stop or control an infestation. Their main diet plan is blood, and it is necessary for them to feed to produce, so you need a bed bug repellant. It is, however, surprising that the adult bugs and nymphs may survive for months without feeding. When temperatures are cool, they can hibernate as long as a year without feeding. They are also very resourceful, working hand in hand with bugs from other hiding spots to look for meals before returning to their homes, or hiding spots in this case. When these bugs try to feed on you, they leave something known as the bed bug rash.
Now, we have answered the question of what do bed bugs look like, the next question is:
What causes these bed bugs?
People have believed this notion that a lack of proper hygiene causes bed bug infestation in homes and dwellings, but it is not valid. They infest homes or dwellings when they attach themselves or some of their eggs to surfaces of items that are brought into the homes or dwellings. You might unknowingly pick up the eggs or the bed bugs themselves when you bring infested items into your home or when you visit infested areas. They can also come into your houses through false ceilings, ducts, wall cracks, etc. from any infested apartment close to yours. Some of these bugs develop resistance to pesticides, increasing the chances of an infestation.
How Do You Check For Bed Bugs?
If you feel like there are bed bugs in your home or dwelling, there are some easy tips to find out for sure. The most crucial step is knowing where to look for them. They are not so difficult to find because they always prefer to hide in spots that are very close to their host while trying to avoid detection the best way they can. So, using this logic, you need to check crevices and cracks around the room. These would include headboards, mattress seams, pillows, box springs, dressers, bookcases, bedside tables, junctions in walls, and loose paneling. You should also note that they are not restricted to bedrooms. So, you can still find them in any part of the house, and other places like loveseats, recliners, and sofas. They also find hiding spots in appliances, furniture, electrical outlets, and light switch plates.
So, you know where to look, the next step is answering the question, How do you check for the bed bugs during Bed bug treatment?
Since these bugs are nocturnal, it would be very difficult to see them in the day. You will do well to look for any detritus or marks they may leave behind. If you are very observant, you may see:
- Fecal spots: Every living thing poops, including bed bugs. Funny right? They tend to leave particles of digested blood behind, which may be black or brown. These spots are prominent where their hiding spots are.
- Smears of blood: During feeding, a bed bug may be crushed unknowingly or could even expel blood. If they are crushed, a blood smear appears, which is gotten from their bed bug bites, and it is darker than the red you see from a fecal spot.
- Molted exoskeletons: Bed bugs leave their molted exoskeletons behind whenever they molt, and it is the main marker of the insect. The molted exoskeletons or Exuviae resemble clearer versions of the bugs. They vary in size depending on the stage the insect was in when it molted.
- Eggs and dead bed bugs: Like it was stated earlier, eggs of bed bugs may be invisible to the naked eye. If you spot them, however, then their presence is confirmed. They are pearly white, about one millimeter in length, and can be seen in twos and threes. Every living thing also dies, so the dead bugs can also be spotted. Seeing one dead bug means they may be close by.
You may even discover a large number of bugs together. This occurs mostly when the infestation is a little advanced. It is also possible to catch the bugs unawares, maybe during an impromptu search. To find these bugs, though, you just have to follow the trails they leave behind. It is possible to know how old an outbreak is by the clues you may find. It merely means you can figure out how long the bugs have inhabited the area and how bad it has gone. The life cycle of a bed bug can also be used as a measure of time to calculate the period of an outbreak in these ways. These ways are:
Exoskeletons: The process of moths can always be used to check the time of the outbreak. With blood supply and favorable temperature, the duration between one stage and the next is a week. So, the number of moths can determine its age.
Eggs: At a favorable temperature, an egg can hatch in ten days. You can guess that the bugs have been there that long.
Presence of adults: The number of adults present can show how long these bugs have been in a dwelling. It takes about six to seven weeks for a full-lifecycle of bed bugs. So, the number of bed bugs may point to the fact that they were in the dwelling for a long time.
Fecal spots are a lot harder to use for aging because they indicate how much the bugs have fed recently, not how long they have stayed in a hiding spot. However, a higher volume of these stains came from bed bug bites, and spots indicate a larger population of the bed bugs.
Even though some patterns may not be entirely accurate, they can give some information about the bed bugs for proper pest control.
How Do You Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Home?
Bed bug treatment and bed bug repellant tactics may go a long way in getting rid of these blood-sucking bugs. The safest steps to take are to discourage the spread of the bugs, clean your rooms, and wipe out their own homes. You can do that by:
- Decluttering your home or dwelling to avoid bed bug infestation. Since the bugs thrive in tight spaces, they will not be able to cope with open ones.
- Cover your mattresses with encasements to avoid the bed bug bites and bed bug rash.
- Wash your clothes at hot settings, and dry at the same temperature to kill the bed bugs off.
- Vacuum as much as you can to fend the pests off in your Bed bug treatment.
- Apply chemicals like bed bug spray to crevices and cracks you may notice in door frames and walls, and also bed bug repellant as a form of Bed bug treatment.
- Contact a specialist in pest control if your efforts are not yielding positive results.
How Much Does It Cost To Eliminate Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs do not behave like the other insects, so the traditional ways of eliminating insects may not work on them. Most people seek professional help to carry out this elimination task. This makes it more expensive to get rid of the bugs. Professional pest removal takes an average of $2000. This covers the cost of the bed bug exterminator and everything he may need. These professionals use different technique combinations e.g., bed bug spray to find the pests, determine their action plans, and begin extermination. It may be necessary to follow up with inspections and treatments to confirm the complete elimination of the bugs to avoid bed bug rash. Property damage due to the various processes used, emotional impact, and health risks due to the bed bug repellant or bed bug spray used in the process may be part of the collateral damage suffered in the process of elimination of these bugs.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?
It depends on the elimination process used. Bed bugs die within about ninety minutes of being exposed to temperatures of 48 degrees to fifty degrees. However, for the total elimination of bed bug infestation, the heat treatment takes an average of seven hours, depending on the area. The only downside to it is your home can be infested easily after a heat treatment if caution is not taken. The chemical treatment using insecticides. This treatment takes a little above two hours, depending on the condition and size of the room. It tends to be more productive, and there will be no bed bug infestation for a long time. The downside, however, may be its health effects.
In conclusion, bed bug bites and bed bug rash are a nuisance to a good night’s rest, so eliminating them through whatever means possible should be top of your list. No matter the level of infestation you have, a night of peaceful sleep is still possible.