Much to your chagrin, it’s quite unbelievable that a single, tiny bed bug larvae worm can change alter your lifestyle.
But, this bug phenomenon, otherwise known as bed bug infestation, happens every single day in millions of homes to many unsuspecting victims.
To fully understand these small pests you need to learn the life cycle of being bed bug larvae first.
Little creatures as they are, bed bugs feasted on the blood of bats as well as the primitive cavemen. But when the primitive cavemen abandoned the caves, they too were gone.
Another interesting thing about these sucker pests is that their sense of smell is super sensitive enabling them to follow any mortal that gives off carbon dioxide.
A better understanding of these bug’s life cycle will give us more insight into what we are contending with:
The actual larvae go through 5 different stages to complete an entire life cycle and become an adult bedbug. This process takes approximately a month if they are at the right temperature and have a good amount of hosts to feed off of, such as animals and humans.
This is because of these bugs only feast on blood, warm blood immediately extracted from their hosts.
One thing to keep in mind when you are in the actual treatment stages is just because you have not gotten a bit in a month or so does not mean they are gone. Adults can actually survive well over a month without a meal.
These tiny pests originate from their eggs, akin to other insects. The egg’s size is around 1mm long and within 2-7 days, the egg will hatch and this hatchling will turn into bed bug larvae. This 0.5 mm-long maggot can already draw blood from you at this point and your blood will nourish it turning its translucent body into crimson.
Prior to becoming mature, the maggots of these pests go through five nymphal phases that will somewhat last from 32 to 45 days. A mature pest takes about 7 months before it can lay scores of eggs estimated between 300 to 500 eggs per adult pest.
At this rate of reproduction, they can populate and infest our homes in just a few months giving us additional tiny creatures to deal with and more itchy bites to scratch.
Hundreds of bites caused by mature and bed bug larvae can result in paleness due to loss of blood finally leading to anemia.
Then you get to wonder how was it possible that you do not feel anything when these tiny pests were feeding on you? It is because these small pests inject some sort of anesthetic through one of their feeding tubes together with an anti-coagulant so your blood will not clot.
This is the reason why you do not feel anything until your body reacts to the foreign fluids left by these mature pests and their maggots.
A pest control service is strong enough to be able to eradicate the adult pests as well as their maggots that last a long, long time.
Knowing where to find bed bugs, eggs are often located and often grow can help a lot in dealing with the infestation. In looking for these pests, there are several things that a person should take note of.
Bed bugs alone are not evidently visible to the naked eye. Basically, a typical bed bug is reddish-brown in color and spans around less than an inch. However, if there’s one thing to note about these bloodsuckers is that they keep their eggs inside their bodies.
Bed bug eggs are often found in places where these bugs sleep or mostly dwell. Thus in looking for bed bug eggs that then it’s best to check places that are often hidden, well protected and dark.
Do You Have Any Idea What Bed Bugs Look Like?
If you don’t, then you need to go over this article so you’ll know what you’re dealing with once you encounter these bloodsuckers.
Here are some of the main physical features of bed bugs:
- They are flat, oval-shaped and very small in size;
- Their hatchlings can be compared in size to poppy seeds;
- Grown adults are about an inch long;
- These bugs have slender legs along with medium-sized antennae at the top of their head, They do not have wings.
These bugs don’t just wander around so locating the source of infestation requires careful inspection of every possible hiding place. The easiest way to locate where they are hiding is to find signs of fecal material.
The following places/items should provide a hint on where bed bug infestation is often found and where it will likely thrive:
- These bloodsuckers often hide inside crevices and cracks inside headboards and footboards. It may also be good to search inside supports and railing for such infestation.
- Mattresses – as their name implies, bed bugs have made name for themselves because they specifically and usually thrive on mattresses. Bloodstains and signs of fecal material on the bedsheet are sure signs of infestations.
- Wall decorations such as posters and wall pictures – picture frames and posters do well to hide these bugs. Since the area between the wall and the poster or picture frame is hidden, it becomes conducive for these bugs to grow.
Pictures and posters on the wall also do well to hide cracks so it’s must to thoroughly check these areas.
- Electrical Appliances – inspecting electrical appliances such as phones and radios is a good thing to do. Electrical wiring and the racks between speakers also serve as a good hiding place for them.
- Baseboards, tack strips, and carpeting – underneath carpets and within tack strips are completely hidden areas. The protection these areas provide bugs make them extremely susceptible
Once the inspection is complete and once bed bug infestation is certain, then it’s time to treat the problem.
There are many ways to deal with bed bug infestation but more importantly, it’s necessary to call in professional help to see how severe the situation is.
On how to kill bed bug eggs infestation, you have to go to the source: the bed bugs’ eggs themselves.
But did you know that a female bed bug can lay and hatch up to 300 eggs in just ten days? So to eradicate an infestation, you really have to put some effort into getting rid of their eggs.
Otherwise, a new generation of bugs will just arrive to replace the ones you so zealously exterminated in the first place.
But getting rid of the eggs is easier said than done. The eggs produced by females are about the size of a mustard seed.
From the egg, a larva is hatched which is about the size of a grain of sand. So to make life easier for you, here are 5 tips to help you get rid of bed bugs’ eggs:
Tip No. 1: Use Hot Water
Use hot water in washing the beddings. You also have to include anything that has been on the bed. Any other items found in the bed should be sealed in a plastic bag to be left there for 3 to 4 weeks. You can also try exposing them to direct sunlight. Then use a dryer, set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, to dry the beddings.
Tip No. 2: Vacuum
Next, it is important to vacuum the entire bedroom including the:
- Bed frame
- Any furniture located near the bed
To make your work easier, use the crevice tool of the vacuum set when vacuuming the bed frame and baseboards.
Tip No. 3: Use a Bed Bug Killer
Use a pesticide that contains pyrethrins as one of the ingredients listed on the label.
Some pesticides can be harmful to people and pets so it is advisable to wear protective clothing, goggles and a respirator. Read carefully the directions on the label. Once the pesticide has been sprayed, keep your kids away from the area depending on the length of time stated on the label.
Tip No. 4: Expose Them to Extreme Heat
The best way to kill their eggs is to expose them to temperature over 450 degrees Celsius. This can be achieved quickly and efficiently through the use of steam.
The advantage of using steam over most insecticides is that it not only kills the adult bugs but bugs at all stages of development from the eggs, larva, and nymphs.
Tip No. 5: Learn to Identify Bed Bugs’ Eggs
Lastly, you have to know how to identify their eggs which can easily be seen by the naked eye. Cracks and crevices are the areas where the eggs are often laid.
The eggs are opaque and pearly in color while the hatched ones are translucent and opalescent. Depending on the ambient temperature, the incubation period of the eggs may vary.
To defeat bed bugs and prevent them from infesting your homes, it is important to know how to deal with bed bug eggs which are not always killed even with pesticides. You also need perseverance and faith so you can defeat these pests.
Bug spray for house is a great way to get rid of ants, bees, flies, and pesky spiders. These are insecticides with a high concentration of toxic components that are harmful to humans and animals when used without proper precautions.
This type of spray is normally homemade with organic ingredients that are proven to repel bugs around the home. For the most part, these sprays bring immediate relief from getting bitten by those tiny, annoying bugs we come across on a daily basis.
You can use alcohol for a bug spray. The idea of using alcohol for plants has been around way back then. In fact, this substance can cause Apple trees and African Violets.
This type of spray works best on mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, scale insects and aphids. You can also use alcohol spray on tropical foliage plans and even on houseplants. When preparing your alcohol spray, you have to use 70% isopropyl alcohol and mix it with a quarter of water.
You may want to add in insecticidal soap spray according to the dilution on the label. Before using the alcohol spray, you can test your spray on the plant first.
Another bug spray that you can prepare is one made of garlic. Organic gardeners are aware of the toxic effect of garlic when used as an insecticide. This insect spray is excellent for aphids, leafhoppers, earwigs, whiteflies, and cabbage loopers.
What’s good about this spray is that it doesn’t appear to harm adult ladybugs. It is also found out that garlic sprays don’t work against grasshopper, sowbugs and red ants.
Another substance you can use is nicotine. This type of spray can be relatively hazardous to lady beetles and bees. This spray works effectively against leaf miners, thrips, immature scales, and aphids.
When preparing your nicotine spray, you would have to brew the nicotine tea by soaking tobacco leaves and cigarette butts in water. Simply soak 1 cup of dried, crushed tobacco leaves in one gallon of warm water with ¼ teaspoon pure soap added.
The solution will keep for several weeks if stored in a closed container. For its use, you simply pour the spray onto the soil in the area of the root zone. The nicotine spray will then be absorbed by the plant leaves and its effects will become visible within several days.
Another substance you can use for a bug spray is pyrethrin. This substance, when used as an insecticide, has a quick knockdown effect on insects and other bugs.
If you spray pyrethrin on insects, they will surely be paralyzed. They can also kill lady beetles but they don’t seem to be harmful to bees.
On the other hand, Pyrethrin can be very toxic to other animals and aquatic insects.
Always keep in mind that when preparing pyrethrin spray, its concentration is at its peak when the flowers are in full bloom. After picking the flowers, you have to hang them in a secluded, dark spot to dry. Once the flowers are already dry, you can now grind them to a fine powder.
Signs you have bed bugs can mean early detection and elimination. These are parasitic types of insects that feed themselves by sucking blood. The effects you can get if you have been bitten include rashes, allergy, and others.
Asking a dermatologist to analyze the welts may be time consuming and inconclusive. Labs typically classify the bites as coming from “mites.”
Clues You Have Bed Bugs:
- What is unique to bed bug bites is that they come in clusters or lines, as opposed to isolated bites in different areas of the body.
- Look for their signs, which should be relatively easy to spot. They shed skins as they grow. These look like the outer skin of an onion. Another telltale sign is small blood smears, which may be caused when the bugs are crushed.
These bugs are characterized by a reddish or light brown color and an oval shape. Having bed bugs in your home is not safe for you and your family. They can cause some health issues so it is important to learn their signs:
When they bite, you can see a little red spot on your skin. You will not feel that you have been bitten until a few minutes after their feeding is completed. They can continue feeding for ten minutes and usually attack at night when you are asleep. Bites normally appear in rows or clustered together. For a vast majority of people, this is the first sign of bed bugs.
They shed skins as they grow and mature so look for these. Check for blood stains or feces from the insect which can be seen on your mattress. Stains or feces are commonly seen in the inner part of your mattress around the box spring or linen. Eggs are more difficult to spot, as they are light in color and about the size of grains of salt.
- Nymphs or Live Bugs:
You should look in the possible spot where you think they will hide. They look like tiny cockroaches about ¼ inch in size. They love to hide in mattresses, linens, and furniture. Check every possible hiding place so that they can all be exterminated.
To catch them in the act can work as well. Have a flashlight with you in your bed and before dawn, turn it on and try to observe the sheets for certain movements. Bed bugs come out only once a week which makes spotting them much less likely.
The young ones (nymphs) are smaller and lighter in color making them extremely difficult to spot.
If you confirmed that there you really have these bugs, then, the next thing you should do is get rid of them. Using an insect killer or using a vacuum, you can get rid of all the bugs with repeated applications.
However, most people rely on exterminators to do the job right the first time. Knowing the signs of bed bugs can help you in early detection and prevention of a massive infestation.
Most important, you will avoid the unpleasant rashes and itches that they cause.
Today, a lot of people are having problems with bed bug insect infestation. These adaptable little flat insects are one of the world’s prolific travelers that can be transported on and within suitcases giving them free rides around the world.
They will get into any cracks in the wall in skirting boards and they wait for the right opportunity to visit you when you are asleep at night. Bed bugs can smell the carbon dioxide you exhale and this leads them straight to you.
Why are they attracted to you? It is because you have what they need to feed off to survive and that is your blood.
These pests go about their work to extract your blood and so that you don’t disrupt them while they are working they will inject you with an antiseptic so you don’t feel them piercing your skin and also the bed bugs have in their bag of tricks is an anticoagulant that they expel when they are extracting your blood so that your blood will run freely.
The bed bug once he has fed enough he will leave you looking a dull red and where he was flat he is now round and full of your blood. He will return another night to feast again.
In the morning you may be unsuspecting of any bugs until that is you may find spots of blood on your sheets in the morning as one of the telltale signs that you have been visited during the night by these pests.
Or, you may have several spots on your sheets that may mean that several of the bed bugs mates were also feasting at the one time.
If you are unlucky enough you might also get a reaction from the bites and come up with welts at the bite site that is itchy and red looking. Pay attention to small children and pets that could also be the target of the pest.
Simple Treatments If You Discover Bed Bugs:
- Strip all bed linen wash the sheets in the hottest wash
- If you have clothing that can’t go through a hot wash, place garments in a sealed plastic bag and put this in the freezer – this will kill any bugs
- Place blankets outside in direct sunlight along with pillows
- Vacuum the mattress and if possible put this out to the sun
- A thorough vacuuming lifting all rugs and cushions on the lounge
- Seal all crevices and cracks
If you have noticed that the above steps made little or no difference, you may have an infestation problem. Rather than waiting another minute, it is better to call in a specialized bed bug pest control company that will be able to fumigate your home in one treatment.
If you are not sure what are the signs of either bed bug or other pest problems, a home inspection is just necessary.
If you went to sleep and woke up with itchy bite marks on the arms and on other parts of the body, it is often blamed on mosquitoes. And while mosquitoes are notorious for biting us in our sleep, bed bugs too operate in the night when it is dark and when you are asleep.
Unlike mosquito bites which appear randomly, bedbug bites have a tendency to follow a straight line. The bites are also excessively itchy and can easily become a small wound with frequent scratching. Such small wounds can easily become infected leading to other undesired complications.
Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood. They are oval shaped and about the size of an apple seed. When they have not fed, they appear flat with a brown color. When they have fed they assume a rounder shape and their color changes to reddish brown. Bed bugs have a musty offensive odor that comes from the bugs scent glands.
Where do bed bugs hide?
These pests can play mind games on you if you have never encountered them before. You may be certain that some things are pricking at your skin while you are asleep, but when you rise up to put on the lights and inspect the bed, you can’t see a thing.
That’s because they are extremely good at hiding in all manner of places including the seams of linen. If you suspect bed bugs on your bed, using bright linen helps increase the chances of seeing one. As the infestation grows, you might see a splutter of blood on the sheet on a bed bug that you might have managed to squash as you were turning in the night.
Bedbugs tend to hide in close proximity to the bed where they have access to their host at night when they are sleeping. So they will typically hide on the mattress seams. If the mattress cover has a hole, they will camp and breed inside the mattress where it is so hard to teach them.
Because of their shape and size, bedbugs can fit in very tiny crawl spaces the size of the edge of a credit card. Such places include:
- Furniture cushions
- Furniture joints
- Bedside Drawers
- Chest of drawers
- Edge of carpets
- Sockets near the bed
- Wooden wall skirting
How do you know you have bed bugs in your home?
- If you are waking up with bite marks on your arm and other parts of the body in the morning that you did not go to sleep with the previous night
- Bedbug poop may be visible on the wall, linen and sheets. It appears as rusty spots
- Blood stains on sheets and pillows
- Musty unpleasant odor that bed bugs emit from their scent glands
Because of their ability to hide and quickly spread from one room to another infesting mattresses, sofas and so forth. Containing bed bugs as soon as possible before an infestation grows is imperative. But it requires systematic approach that involves containment, curtailing the spread of the vermin and killing of their offspring.
While doing things yourself will bring some relief, the problem often tends to recur. Engaging a licensed pest officer, will help you formulate the best action plan that will totally get rid of them.
Bed bugs are easily one of the most feared pests in homes. That is because they are so adept at hiding. Being the nocturnal pests that they are, they sneak out of their hiding places at night when you are asleep, choose a host and suck on their blood to their hearts content. The thought that you may have them in your house is sickening.
Why they are so good at hiding
An adult bed bug measures 4-5mm and is oval shaped. Contrary to popular opinion that bed bugs are to small to see, an adult bed bug is easy to spot in the light. They have a brown shape but will turn to reddish brown when they have fed on blood. If you manage to catch one after feeding and press it using your thumb against a hard surface such as a table, the bug will burst open and splutter blood while giving off a distinct bed bug smell.
Their oval shape and color allows them to fit into very tiny spaces such as on the seam of mattresses and on wood joints. One thing that causes dread among many people when it comes to bed bugs is their ability to hide in hard to reach areas and therefore it becomes difficult in killing them and their eggs.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs have earned that name for a reason and that is because they will often hide within 8 feet or so to you sleep or recline. More often than not, if you have an infestation, these creatures will be found in the joints of a wooden bed or the hollow of a steel bed.
They also love to occupy the mattress seams. Where things get complicated is if your mattress has a hole, beg bugs will take advantage to live and breed in there out of your reach. Given that they populate so fast, your place of sleep will be overrun with them as soon as the lights go off and you fall asleep.
Other common places for bed bugs to hide is in linen seams, curtains, cushions, drapes crooks and crannies that may be located near your bed.
This includes area sure as wall sockets and the framing if wall artwork. Joints and drawers of any wooden furniture near your bed is also suspect.
How to get rid of bed bugs
While doing it yourself may work if you have only but a small infestation, half the time it does not work at all. To save you some valuable time and headache, it’s best to get in touch with a licensed pest officer.
They will inspect your premises to see the extent of the infestation and the areas of challenge. They will then formulate a plan that can systematically and effectively work on getting rid of the bugs.
As every individual infestation is different, solution may involve sealing mattresses with socialized insulation that locks the bed bugs in and eventually starve them to death while preventing further spread of the vermin into other parts of the house. In short, successfully getting rid of a bed bug infestation is very involving and needs meticulous planning and execution.
A licensed pest officer will formulate a workable plan together with you on how to effectively combat the bed bugs based on your unique situation
The dreaded bed bug puts the fear of the itches in grown men and women across the globe. It doesn’t matter where you are the thought of a bite from a bedbug can cause you sleepless night and the actual bite can drive you to the nearest exterminator at the crack of dawn. And the paranoia surrounding these little terrors has caused humans to give them super natural powers like the ability to fly.
Do bed bugs fly? No, they don’t.
The anatomy of a bed bug
The bed bug is a wingless insect meaning it is completely incapable of flight which is why it is adept at hiding from human beings. Also they are not able to jump from one place to another like most wingless insects are able to. So that leaves crawling which is the primary mode of travel and movement for bed bugs. The anatomy of a bed bug features the head, protonum, wing pad, abdomen, leg and antennae.
Crawling seems a very basic way of getting around for these insects and their infestation makes it seem like they have more efficient means of traveling. Well they do. Human beings. Bed bugs are carried from one place to another by human beings because they will hide in your clothing, luggage, car, gym bag or even purse and before you know it you have welcomed home a bed bug.
Bed bug bites
One thing that is for sure is that bed bugs bite and their bites can be very irritating and in some people the bite can cause a severe allergic reaction. Since they feed solely on human blood they will sooner or later come out to feed. Their bites feature a raised welt with a distinct center and overall swelling in the surrounding area.
A bed bug tends to make several bites across the same area leaving you with a few distinct bites which have make a series of welts. Applying some hydrocortisone cream will help with the itchiness and inflammation that accompanies a bed bug bite. But this is a palliative measure that needs to be followed up with a full on extermination of the bugs. The truth is that it is extremely difficult to sleep in a bed infested by bed bugs as you are literally their food on a daily food.
How to get rid of bed bugs
You can use some store bought pesticides to get rid of bed bugs but in the long run the most effective way to eliminate bed bugs from your space is by having a professional come into your space to get rid of them. Professionals where to look and uncover the breeding ground of bed bugs and hey have more sophisticated equipment that helps them do a better job of eliminating these bugs.
Millions of homeowners are frequently confronted with misinformation regarding Cimex lectularius, the common bed bug. In cases of infestation, the call for bug inspection by professionals is deemed quite necessary.
Homeowners should only use natural methods or conventional materials currently registered for use against these bugs in their geographic locations and use them strictly according to label directions.
One thing we can be relatively sure of is that bed bugs represent another in the long list of serious threats to American homeowners that must be addressed without delay.
Listed below are the 7 most common misconceptions about bed bugs:
- Bed bugs only occur in filthy conditions. While cluttered and dirty conditions make it more difficult to effectively control them, the truth is that bed bugs don’t care about their living conditions. As long as the temperature is between 32 and 120 Fahrenheit, the only requirements they have are a warm-blooded human being from which to draw a blood meal at night and a secure place to hide during the day.
- They are resistant to most pesticides. This blanket statement is unsubstantiated. What is true is that they do exhibit resistance to some pesticides. However, chemical controls are still effective, by and large. Technicians routinely and successfully treat for bed bugs with pesticides. There is evidence to support the idea that, toward the end of its use, some populations of Cimex lectularius were exhibiting some level of resistance to DDT, but after that time they were still well controlled with the remaining organophosphates. It is also true that some populations are beginning to show resistance to pyrethrums.
- We don’t know why they are returning. The resurgence of the infestation is no mystery to those of us in the industry. The banning of DDT and other organophosphates, increased international travel, the modern lack of familiarity with this pest and social stigma, resulting in the lack of willingness, by some folks, to request help, have all been contributing factors.
- Climate change is responsible. No, global climate change, whether you believe it exists or not, is not responsible. Bed bugs live in human habitations. Since these structures are typically climate-controlled, bed bugs are unaffected by conditions outside.
- The ones we are encountering today are the descendants of those who survived DDT. This is only partially true. While some populations are almost certainly comprised of such descendants, others are not. Not all populations of bed bugs were exposed.
- These Insects Don’t Transmit Disease. This statement is true as far as the knowledge we have so far. The only concern is that, although they haven’t been proven to act as disease vectors they can contain disease organisms within their bodies and mouthparts. It may just be a matter of time before it happens. Any organism that feeds on the blood of one host then feeds on another has that potential.
- Cimex lectularius can’t survive temperatures over 115 Fahrenheit. According to the University of California, the actual temperature is 120.
This is why a hot washing and drying of clothing and other fabrics is effective at eliminating all bed bug life cycles, including the eggs.