With bedbug season around the corner, you need to get ready to combat these little devils. You need to be able to identify them, recognise their bites and know the solution to tackle the bed bug bites.
What do bedbugs look like?
Bedbugs are small and oval. They are mostly brown and feed off of blood. They can latch themselves onto humans and various animals as well.
Adult bedbugs are the size of an apple seed and dark brown. When they feed on their hosts, they turn plump and red because of the blood.
While bed bugs are unable to fly, they can scuttle across in a paced manner. The worst part is, that they can crawl on floors, walls and ceilings alike.
The reason there is an increased number of bed bug bites during certain periods is that the younger bed bugs, known as nymphs need to shed their skin five times, known as moulting before they reach adulthood. During the shedding, they need to be fed five times, and then they can grow up to produce three generations in a month.
Female bed bugs can lay about a million eggs at once, and they are microscopic so we can’t even see them.
How to recognise bed bug bites
Bed bug bites are easily recognisable. If you have been going to bed and waking up with itching and red marks all over your idea but no clue why that may be happening, chances are those are bed bug bites.
Apart, other signs that point towards a bed bug infestation include things such as blood on your pillow and sheets, finding bug faeces on your sheets and in your room and an invasive smell in your room that you cannot find source of. You should also check your closet as bed bugs tend to stick to clothes as well.
Keep checking for these signs and clean your room regularly so that you are on top of it.
If you are unable to find the bed bugs even though you have gotten bed bug bites, we recommend you call an exterminator.
More about bed bug bites
Bed bugs usually bite in whatever exposed area they can find. Bed bug bites are usually painless at first but can turn into red itchy welts that can keep flaring up with time.
Unlike mosquitoes that pierce you and leave, bed bugs take their sweet time. They usually feed for three to ten minutes and leave piercing spots on your body. You can usually find a cluster of these red spots on your body, as bed bugs move in groups.
While the bites look ordinary and some may even blame mosquitoes for it, if it keeps itching and you feel the rash get hurt and warm, it means they are mostly bed bugs. You need to look for signs, especially if you have children in your house as they won’t be able to recognise or tell you about the bites themselves.
There are many medicated creams in the market that you can apply to your bed bug bites to reduce the itching and redness. Consult a doctor if you are unsure about what to choose or else you can get ointments over the counter as well.
How to get rid of bed bugs
Bed bug bites are because bed bugs like to feed on blood and blood only. Having them in your house does not mean your house is dirty. There are many ways by which you can get rid of bed bugs and ultimately bed bug bites.
1. Change your mattress. This should be the first thing you should be doing.
2. Apart from that, you should clean your clothes, linens, curtains, carpets and other such fabrics.
3. Use a stiff brush for your mattress to comb out bed bugs, their excreta and eggs. Make sure you dispose of it all carefully, or else they may fester again.
4. When you are replacing your mattress, make sure you clean the bed, seal any openings and clean the entire room as well or else your new mattress will also get infested and you will not be able to escape bed bug bites.
5. If there are cracks in plaster in your house, or there’s an opening in wooden furniture, seal it all to make sure no bed bugs come out. Over time, they will all die.
6. If you are keeping mattresses, cushions and other such things away, make sure you pack them in air-tight bags. This will kill all the bugs and they won’t be able to escape either.
7. Keep your room clean and the area around your bed clean as well. Check the books on your bedside table and also the lamps. Make sure you change your sheets and furniture regularly and even sanitise it to the best of your capabilities.
When to call an exterminator?
While bed bug bites are not of immediate serious concern, if you keep facing the problem for a long time, it is time to call an exterminator. Keeping your house clean can only keep more bed bugs at bay but the ones that have already infiltrated our house will need to be chemically cleaned.
It is good to take all the measures possible because bed bugs will keep multiplying if you leave even just a few of them alive in your house.
However, one important thing you should keep in mind is that not all mattresses and cushions can be treated chemically. Check the labels and then only expose them to chemicals.
Ultimately, it is best advised that you consult expert exterminators to cure your bed bug bites situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are bed bugs the same as fleas?
No, the major difference is that fleas bite around your ankles whereas bed bug bites can happen anywhere on exposed skin.
2. Do bed bugs only live on beds?
No, they can cling to your clothes, sofa, carpets, linen, curtains and other such places as well. You can spot them in these places as well.
3. What to do when my house is riddled with bed bugs?
Try cleaning your entire house, vacuuming the cushions, mattresses and other surfaces and then as an additional precaution, call exterminators as well.