Bedbugs are wingless, flat insects that feed on the blood of animals or humans. They usually hide in mattresses and bedding during the day and active at night when they feed. Remember that they can go on for weeks without feeding.
Bedbugs do not appear to spread diseases to humans. Nevertheless, the itchiness from the bites can be uncomfortable that some scratch up to the point of causing breaks in the skin that is at high risk for infection. In some cases, the bites can trigger an allergic reaction.
They are found all over the globe, most often in motels, hotels, shelters, hostels and apartment complexes where large numbers of people come and go. Since they hide in small cracks or crevices, they can enter the house on furniture, luggage, clothing, boxes, pillows and other objects.
Indications of bedbugs
The initial sign of bedbugs are itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the shoulders or arms. Take note that bedbugs tend to leave rows of straight bites.
Other indications include the following:
- Bedbugs along the seams of the mattresses
- Small-sized stains of blood on the mattresses and sheets
- Dark spots of droppings where the bugs might crawl into hiding places on walls, furniture and floors.
- Sweet odor from the scent glands of the bugs especially if in large numbers
Treatment at home can alleviate the itchiness and prevent an infection. The following measures can be done at home:
- Cleanse the bites using soap to reduce the risk for infection
- Apply calamine lotion or an anti-itch cream to reduce the itchiness. An alternative is placing an oatmeal-soaked face cloth on the itchy area for 15 minutes.
- Apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling
- A doctor must be consulted if the bites appear infected.
How to eliminate bedbugs
Bedbugs can be difficult to eliminate. They can hide in crevices and cracks, bed frames, mattresses and box springs. In addition, they can multiply in crevices and cracks in a room and lay their eggs. Due to these reasons, it is ideal to call in a professional pest control service for suitable treatment options. The widely-used treatment options include:
- Heat – this involves equipment that heats up the room to eliminate the bugs along with their eggs. The temperature should be around 50 degrees C.
- Insecticides – make sure that the product used is effective against the bugs
Other methods that can be used include vacuuming or laundering of items that might hide the bedbugs. They should be washed and placed in a dryer on the hottest setting to eliminate the bugs.