According to a survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, “One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.” Do you suspect that your home is infested with bed bugs? Are you wondering what the causes, treatment, and preventive measures are? Read on for a basic understanding on everything you need to know about bed bugs.
1. What Are Bed Bugs And Where Are They Found?
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, flightless, and parasitic insects that feed on blood. Contradictory to its name, bed bugs can be found in other places in your home apart from your bed including suitcases, wallpaper, electrical switch-plates, and in some cases even shoes! Also, these bugs have been found in a large number of areas including hospitals, schools, movie theaters, and public transport vehicles. According
2. How Did The Infestation Take Place?
Your bed bug infestation could have been caused due to a variety of factors. Bed bugs are known to hitchhike in people’s luggage and even clothes so you may have perhaps brought them into your house yourself. Other entry points of bed bugs into your home include hosting house guests who may have bed bugs in their homes or even buying used furniture. Female bed bugs are also known to lay anywhere between 200-500 eggs causing
3. How To Prevent Bed Bug Infestation?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends some preventive measures against bed bugs including checking secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home, using a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs and eliminates hiding spots, reducing clutter in your home that provide hiding places for bed bugs, vacuuming frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers, and vigilance when using shared laundry facilities.
4. Do You Have A Bed Bug Infestation?
Apart from the red, bumpy bite marks that may appear on your body when you wake up, there are other ways to identify if you have a bed bug infestation. You may be able to identify them on your mattress
5. How To Tackle A Bed Bug Infestation?
If you have identified that you have a bed bug infestation, there are several treatment options you can consider depending on the intensity of the infestation and several other factors. You may be able to opt for a non-chemical treatment option which may include exposing your bed linens and clothes to extreme temperatures. Chemical treatment methods may include using EPA-registered pesticides with a label listing bed bugs. If you feel like the infestation has gotten out of hand, contact your local pest control authority and ask them to help you out.
6. What To Do If You’ve Been Bitten By Bed Bugs?
According to the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, “Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.” They don’t usually require treatment although you can use any antiseptic cream of lotion if you experience irritation.