If there’s one downside to going on vacation, it’s the dread of coming back home with a suitcase full of bed bugs. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they make themselves comfortable in your home. The best way to tackle your enemy is to learn all you can about them. Knowing everything about bed bugs can help you avoid another infestation. For example, did you know bed bugs aren’t just found in strange hotel rooms, but also in buses, trains and dorm rooms? Here are five lesser-known facts about bed bugs.
1. They’re Tough Little Creatures
Forget cockroaches, bed bugs could outlive all of us in the event of a disaster. While most bugs live only for a few weeks at the most (or in the case of the poor fruit fly, a day), bed bugs often live up to 24 months. Of these 24 months, bed bugs can survive up to 12 months without any food (and you can barely make it to lunch time without grabbing a snack). Bed bugs are also excellent at proliferating their species. A bed bug will lay an average of 300 eggs in their lifetime, each of which take only about 10 days to hatch. So if you invite even a few bed bugs into your home, they can take over the place very easily.
2. Their Bites Are Usually Found In Clusters
At first glance, it can be difficult to tell a bed bug bite from any other type of bug bite. If you’re spending the night in a strange place especially, how do you know if that red lump on your hand came from a mosquito or a bed bug? While this isn’t always the case, most bed bug bites appear in clusters. If you notice a series of red bumps very close to each other, they might be from a bed bug. In fact, bed bug bites are often called ‘breakfast, lunch and dinner’ because they often appear in threes. Further proof of the fact that bad things come in threes. However, not every person will respond to bed bug bites in the same way. Depending upon how sensitive your skin in, you might not even develop a rash or you might break out in severe hives.
3. They Come Out To Feast At Night
Bed bugs are largely nocturnal because they’re devious little creatures and know that the best time to attack us is when we’re asleep. During the day, bed bugs crawl into dark crevices in your mattress, wallpaper, cupboards and other places to hide. When night falls and you’re asleep, they come out of hiding and drink their fill of blood from you. This is why if you search for bed bugs during the day after getting bitten at night, you probably won’t find anything. Instead of searching for bed bugs in vain, pay close attention to the bites. If they look like a rash or are present in clusters, then you have good reason to suspect bed bugs were behind them.
4. You Won’t Feel Their Bites
When you wake up with bed bug bites all over you, you might wonder how you were able to sleep through it all. This is because when bed bugs bite you, they also secrete an anesthetic substance which prevents you from feeling anything. On one hand, this means bed bugs aren’t as annoying as mosquitoes who really couldn’t care less about waking you up in the middle of the night. However, this also means that bed bugs can drink their fill of your blood without worrying about being swatted mid-gulp. Bed bugs have often been recorded to drink blood for 15 minutes straight. After this, they retreat to lay their eggs, so their babies can take part in the feast as well.
5. There Are Special Measures You Can Take Against Them
You don’t have to resign yourself to a bed bug invasion every time you sleep in a questionable hotel or travel in a bus. There are a few precautions you can take to keep bedbugs away from your home. When you’re travelling, always keep your suitcase on the luggage rack because bed bugs are often found on floors. If you suspect you might be carrying bed bugs, throw all your clothes into the washing machine immediately and dry it on the highest heat setting to kill all the bugs and their eggs. You should also air out your luggage under the hot sun to kill any bed bugs or eggs that might be in them.