So what is a bed bug?
A bed bug is a tiny parasitic insect that likes to feed on human blood like a vampire. It got its name due to its tendency of being found in the places where people normally sleep such as under the mattress, on the mattress, or within the frame of the bed.
These bugs are nocturnal insects which means they normally get out at night to do their blood-sucking business, though they are not nocturnal all the time; sometimes they come out during the day.
How do they look like?
They are very tiny wingless insects though they are visible to the naked eye. Adult bedbugs are as tiny as a quarter-inch long and have a rusty reddish-brown body that is almost flat in shape. After feeding on blood their body color changes to a deep red-brown and their body size increases. Newly hatched bedbugs have a translucent body that changes color as they mature.
What effects do they have?
- They can cause anemia since they feed on human blood.
- They can cause sleepless nights due to itching after bites.
- They can cause body rashes on the skin when they pierce the surface of the skin.
- In some people, they can cause an allergic reaction.
- They can cause skin infections.
Where do they like living?
- On or under the mattress.
- Cracks and crevices on the bed frame.
- In clothing, curtains, carpets, beddings, rugs, and linens.
- In dark warm places such as cracks and crevices.
What attracts them to your home?
For one to properly exterminate these creatures, you need to know what brought them in the first place. The following are some of the main factors that attract bed bugs:
- These insects love to feed on animal blood so can be normally found on most warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, birds, bats, etc. especially those with poor hygiene like wild animals.
- Bed bugs are attracted by human body heat and smell.
- They can also be brought in by infested furniture, boxes, carpet, clothing, and electric appliances.
- They are attracted by dark warm places, which is a suitable environment for them to breed.
How can one get rid of them?
There are a lot of effective methods one can use if they suspect to be having bed bugs within their premises. The following are some suggestions one can follow:
Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the bed bugs in places where there have established a habitat such as beneath the mattress, the bed frame, furniture, carpet, and rugs. For effective removal use a brush to dislodge the bed bugs together with their eggs.
2. Rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a toxin to bed bugs and kills them and their babies on the spot. Use a sprayer to spray the alcohol on the bed bug-infested regions or use a dish brush.
Wash your house regularly especially the bedroom. Remove your bed sheets, blankets, sleeping clothes, curtains, and carpet and wash them in hot water or steam and dry them in high heat. Also if you have any pets wash them regularly with antiseptic soap and dry them up with a hair blower.
Insecticides are a very effective means of killing and repelling bed bugs. They come in various forms such as sprays, powders, liquids, and solids. But make sure to choose an insecticide that has no harmful side effects to humans.
You can also take your infected clothing, bed sheets, curtains, and rugs and wrap them in an airtight bag and throw the bag into a deep freezer if your deep freezer is spacious. Bed bugs are vulnerable to low temperatures hence they end up suffocating and freezing to death.
Mint contains an active ingredient that acts as a neurotoxin to bed bugs, so take the mint extract and mix it with water and spray it under your mattress, on your bed frame, bedsheets, and any other infected material.
Seal off any cracks and crevices on your bed frame, on the wall, on furniture, and any other place where bed bugs tend to hide.
8. Wild animals
Get rid of any wild animals that may be staying within your homes such as bats, rats, mice, or wild birds and if the wild animals happen to have a nest nearby then destroy it.