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Table of Contents
Get to Know Bed Bugs Physically
Bed bugs had been the most notorious and annoying parasite or insect in the 19th to the early part of the 20th century. It is believed that during and after the World War II in the United States in the 1940s, the country had totally been declared bed-bug free.
But travelers from other countries and continents where bed bugs may have continued to thrive made their return to the US possible. Usually, baggage and travel possessions serve as traveling ground or traveling spots for bed bugs from one area to another, from one country to another.
You should know what bed bugs look like, to be able to identify them. Bed bugs of course, are insects.
Bed bugs are so tiny, that sometimes, one can hardly see them with just the naked eye. But when bed bugs mature, they look like other insects. They can be as long as a fourth of an inch.
Bed bugs look like other wingless insects. Hatchlings or newly hatched bed bugs are about as small as a poppy seed. Looking or viewing bed bugs, from top to bottom, they are usually flattened.
Bed bugs may sometimes look like ants or termites, except that when looked at closely, they have their own physical attributes.
What color are bed bugs?
Bed bugs, like humans, have different colors. It can be funny, but bed bugs look like they also have races! Bed bugs’ colors usually are deep brown.
However, there are bed bugs that look like biting ants---burnt orange, while there are those that have light tan complexion to almost white.
When bed bugs are hungry, they exhibit a different color than that when they are fully fed. Bedbugs with blood in it look like balloons, but what is inside them is not air but blood.
The host or victim’s precious blood may look like a black mass or dark red mass inside the bed bug’s tiny body.
Bed bugs also do excrete. When they do, they produce small amounts of liquid that almost look like blood. Thus, beds or surfaces where bed bugs may have inhabited may be stained with tiny red spots. These spots most of the time have stinky smell, but sometimes, they are not sensed by our olfactory glands.
How can bed bugs be found?
Because they are so, so tiny and are always crawling at very unnoticeable speed, bed bugs can not easily be detected or seen. During daytime, they stay within their protective habitats or hiding places.
Bed bugs look like small creeping objects in crevices and small holes in the floor, the walls or even your bed.
If you are observant enough, bed bugs may look or seem as if they are vampires. They may not have the physical characteristics that may scare you the way Dracula does, but they suck your blood. And they can never survive without it.
How to exterminate bedbugs
Bed bugs, like any other pests, are so persistent. You can hardly control bedbugs in your room without the professional help of pest control operators or providers.
If you have been applying pesticides and harmful pest control substances in areas suspected of having these parasites, chances are greater that you will fail.
It is because most of the pesticides in the market are repellant to insects. It means, when you have used one, bed bugs will not be killed. But they will be repelled or they will avoid getting at or near the surfaces or areas where the pesticide is applied.
Through that, bed bugs start to wander. Thus, the spread of bed bugs is accelerated. They will start transferring from one spot to another. Or worse, from one household to another.
Thus, attempting to control bed bugs on your own may look like attempting to get rid of bed bugs in your home and ushering them into your nearest neighbor. If you have the conscience to allow that to happen, or if your neighbor will not bug or sue you, then go on.
But exterminating bed bugs can entail great responsibility and consideration to others on your part. Professionals know better, so leave the job to them.
Besides, you may not want to kill yourself through poisoning along with the bed bugs, right?
Bed Bug Rash and Bed Bug Odor
Do you know that there is a 90% chance that a famous hotel -- a presidential or suite room in a five star hotel -- may have bed bugs? Your favorite hotel may even have bed bugs infestation too without you knowing about it.
So, you now ask, how would you know if your hotel have bed bugs? What are the signs and symptoms of bed bugs infestation? If your hotel has bed bugs, what should you do so that your home won't be infested when you get home?
Here are the common signs and symptoms of bed bugs infestation:<br><br>
* Bed Bug Rash
The first sign is itch. Bed bug rash starts with an itch but the rash won't be visible yet when you feel the itch.
Bed bug bites are more itchy than mosquito bites. With mosquito bites you will feel its sting and sucking of blood while it is up to it. But with bed bugs, the itch will only be felt an hour after the skin has been bitten. This is because of the anesthetics in bed bug's saliva. Bed bugs inject anesthetics and anticoagulant, to avoid blood clotting, before it will suck blood from your skin.
Bed bug rash will appear an hour after you were pierced. But to some people, the bed bug rash appear only after some days or week from being bitten. This depends upon the body's reaction to chemicals being secreted by bed bugs.
How does a bed bug rash look like? Bed bug rash starts with a single, small, red (from being inflamed) round, bump which look more swollen than mosquito rash. Bed bug rash when it becomes visible, may just be a single, swollen bump. Days after, the bed bug rash will multiply. This only means that the other bed bugs are biting you. But for some people, bed bug rash look like an in-line bite marks. This kind of bed bug rash are seen on people who moves a lot when asleep. Bed bugs return fast to their hiding place once they have noticed any movement around them.
When you have a rash that you suspect as a bed bug rash, observe it for some days. Bed bug rash are itchy even after days that the bed bug rash appears. Also, bed bug rash does not heal as fast as mosquito bite marks. It stays swollen for weeks.
* Bed Bug Odor
Next sign to look for after the bed bug rash appears is the bed bug odor. How does bed bug odor smells like?
Hotel with heavy bed bug infestation has this offensive, sweet-like, musty odor that bed bug releases. You may search for this odor under the mattresses and headboard. If your hotel has a wooden chair or a sofa with crevices, smell them too for a bed bug odor.
Hotels with minimal or light infestation, the bed bug odor is not easily detectable.
* How to avoid infesting your house with hotel bed bugs
The night before you check out, remove every item from your suitcase. Bed bugs are effective hitchhikers. They can survive for years without food and if they hitched in your luggage, they can start an infestation in your home.
Check your wooden items with bed bugs. Bed bugs like wooden items, cloth and paper. These are the material in which they create their habitat.
Spray on a water based insect killer around your suitcase. Shake off your clothes for any bed bugs. Wipe your bath tub dry and put your items and clothings in there. Bed bugs won't stay on tub crevices since a tub is made of ceramic or marbles and it usually gets wet.
For your used clothing, have it washed before you leave for home. Remember, this is not a simple matter. Once your bedroom has been infested with bed bugs, it will spread fast to neighboring rooms. Getting rid of bed bugs is a very tough job. You even need to throw away your bed and sofa to wipe your house clean from any trace of bed bugs.
Bugged By The Bugs
The notoriety of bed bugs show that vampires are not the only popular blood suckers in society. Scientifically known as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are tiny, brownish flat-like insects that operate mostly during nighttime. During the day bed bugs prefer to situate themselves in areas people normally sleep on. Their small bodies enable them to fit in the narrowest of spaces, especially those related with headboards, box springs and mattresses. Unlike ants or bees, bed bugs do not congregate in a single area.
The problems on bed bugs are even documented in writings about medieval Europe and classical Greek during the time of Aristotle. Bed bugs were already known to feast on wild hosts mainly birds and bats.
Bed bugs were a big problem especially before World War II due to the poor focus on cleanliness and proper hygiene. However, the bugs nearly vanished in the 1940’s and 1950’s because of the widespread use of various pesticides. However, less effective pesticides and reforms in pest control methods enabled these creatures to make a comeback and again become a pest in society.
The Big Bugs
The adult bed bugs are normally mistaken as ticks or cockroaches, as they are approximately ¼ inch in length with flat and hard bodies. These insects can move swiftly in floors, ceiling, walls and other surfaces but cannot fly. The female bed bugs can lay as many as 500 eggs during their lifespan and choose secluded areas to make their move.
When the eggs hatch, the baby bugs or nymphs can fully develop as fast as a month. Cool areas or where there is no access to blood will prolong the development time. The nymphs can live for several months without feasting, while the adults can last for around a year.
People in deep slumber are normally the prime targets of bed bugs. A person who is being bitten may not even notice that he has become dinner for the bed bug, as engorgement normally lasts for around three minutes or even less than a minute. Bite scars result in a red welt or slight swelling of the skin.
People that travel frequently, do not regularly clean their beds or use pre-owned beds should be concerned that they will be eventually attacked. However, bed bugs are not considered a serious disease threat, as there is only a small chance that they can transmit any harmful virus to humans. Those that want to prevent complications from bed bug bites should spread antibiotic cream or antiseptic to the infected area of the body.
In addition, it is best not to scratch the infected area. Similar to mosquito bites, scratching only makes the infection worse.
Control ‘em bugs