What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed exclusively on human blood, and their name stems from their preferred habitat – the sleeping area. Though there are several kinds of bed bugs, some of which feed on animals, the bed bugs that have proven to be the most problematic are the ones we have to deal with in our homes. This parasitic bug is attracted to warmth, so a nice warm house is a perfect home for it. Bed bugs generally hide in sleeping areas, or literally inside or near to the bed.
These hard to get rid of insects are mostly nocturnal, though they can be active during the day too. The problem is that their bites are almost unnoticeable, so they can nest and feed in your house and on your blood for a good while, and you will only notice them once they have significantly increased in numbers. In most cases, that is already too late to try to prevent them to nest in your home and you have to consider how to get rid of them and not how to prevent them at that point.
Bed bug bites are not especially dangerous for most people, but there is a part of population that will have mild or severe rashes, allergic reactions that can be quite dangerous and a number of skin infections and diseases.
Once you have bed bugs in your homes, there is also a high risk that you will be nervous due to sleeping issues, as the presence of tiny insects in your bed certainly does not help you sleep better. Actually, some people report going through a severe psychological toll due to these hidden critters, and even after they are finally rid of them, they say it is hard to fall asleep in the same bed. Fortunately, you can prevent bed bugs and if they are already comfortably enjoying the warmth of your homes and beds, you can get rid of them using several methods we will talk about.
As it is, it is always better to prevent something before it happens than to worry about it when it is more or less too late, so it is thus recommended to have some awareness on how to prevent bed bugs in the first place. If you are sure you were careful but you still have these unwelcome guests in your homes, sharing your bed with you, then you can consider some steps such as purchasing a good hand vacuum that can pull all of them out of your bed or calling the bed bug exterminators.
The problem with bed bugs is that sometimes no matter how well you understand how you can accidentally get them in your home and what conditions are friendly and unfriendly for them to thrive, there are instances where there is nothing you can do to stop someone else from bringing them in. In these cases, there are many things you can do to prevent them from multiplying and infesting your home.
How do bed bugs look like?
First thing you need to know when dealing with bed bugs is how they look like and where to find them. These critters are relatively small but they can reach up to a fifth of an inch in length, and they have an oval shaped body that is reddish brown in color. However, there are bed bugs that have a completely different color than the norm, and they can even be white. The key to identify a bed bug is by recognizing it by its body shape, as it is hard to confuse a flat oval insect with any other species. Once you are sure you have bed bugs in your house, you can take measures.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs do not have to literally be in your bed, though they are known to hide in the sheaths and inside of the mattresses. They will usually be in the vicinity of the bed and the sleeping area, and they will eventually spread throughout the whole house if not dealt with promptly and accordingly as soon as possible. Generally, you will find bed bugs in dark crevices near the sleeping area, such as behind the furniture and under the bed, and they typically lay their eggs in fabric.
How to prevent bed bugs?
Bed bug prevention is definitely more important than bed bug extermination as it is always better not to deal with these insects than to think about how to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do in order to prevent bed bugs from ever entering your house, and also some really good and easy methods to create an unfriendly environment for them inside the comfort of your home. The first logical step is to become aware of how you can accidentally get bed bugs into your house.
9 things which prevent bed bugs
1. Monitor your clothes and belongings
While you may not have bed bugs at home, this is not a guarantee that your friends and associates do not have bed bugs at their homes or work places. If you are visiting someone make sure to check your jacket or anything you might have left on a coat hanger for example, as there might be some clues there. Look for small blood stains and spots as these are left by bed bugs. If you find any, you will have to wash your clothes or items in hot water in order to kill any pests or eggs that might have been hiding there.
2. Bed bugs in shops
When shopping, especially for clothes, follow the same rule – look for each item carefully and if there are bed bug spots or stains return the item on the shelf immediately and do not buy it because you may get a bed bug for free. If you are trying on a clothing item, check the dressing room corners and look for bed bugs and the same stains and spots. If you suspect anything, do not risk it and simply return the item to the rack and go home. Wash your clothes in hot water.
3. Bed bugs in hotels
If you are staying in a motel or a hotel, make sure to check the mattress and all the fabrics you can find. If they are unhygienic, you should immediately change the room or the establishment. Keep an eye open for small spots and stains, and if you find any, do not stay in the place.
4. Bed bugs at work
Your office may be a place where you can pick up a bed bug or a bed bug egg and take it home. The problem with offices and work places in general is that there are a lot of people there and one of them may have bed bugs at home. The way to go about it is to make sure everyone has a high awareness about the dangers of these bugs. The office or the working area must be vacuumed regularly and thoroughly, and any kind of cluttering must be avoided as many things stacked in one place will provide a perfect lair for the bed bugs.
5. Buying new things
No matter how good and hygienic the condition of the shop where you bought a new clothing item or a furniture piece was, you still have to clean the furniture and wash the clothes as soon as you get home. For newly purchased clothing items it is recommended to immediately put each item in a separate plastic bag in order to prevent a bed bug that might be in there from escaping, and then to wash the item as soon as you are able to and at the highest possible temperature the clothing can be washed at. For furniture, make sure to wipe it clean and inspect it one last time before placing it in the desired area.
6. Do not push furniture into the wall
It is crucial to leave a bit of space between furniture and the wall because this will give the bed bugs one place less to crawl into and nest. This is especially important in your bedroom – keep some space on each side of the bed.
7. Capture the bed bugs
You can put some mineral oil into a regular cup or a plastic cup, and then place a cup under each bed leg. This will make bed bugs fall into the oil when they are going up and down the bed legs, and you will be able to throw them out regularly.
8. Heat treatment
If you suspect having bed bugs, you can wash everything that can be washed in high temperatures, as bed bugs die in hot conditions. This means that you can literally go through all your clothes and exterminate any bed bugs that might have been in there. Then you can move on to drying the rest – anything that can’t be washed in high temperatures should be put in a dryer for about 20 minutes at a high temperature, as this will kill all the bed bugs in, for instance, your pillows and sensitive clothes and items.
9. Vacuuming (most important!)
When dealing with bed bugs, one of the most important steps in preventing them from appearing and reappearing, and even a good measure to destroy them, is regular vacuuming with a good vacuum cleaner. It is recommended to get a vacuum that is specifically made for bed bug extermination and prevention, as these are no longer that costly and hard to use. In fact, these vacuum cleaners are mostly hand held and compact, and are a good investment for your struggle against bed bugs.
Selected CleanWave Bed Vac By Verilux
Selected CleanWave Bed Vac is a vacuum cleaner against which the bed bugs do not stand a chance. This is actually an ultimate cleaning vacuum, as it fights not only bed bugs and bed bug eggs, but also many other parasites, bacteria, viruses and even nasty smells. Selected CleanWave Bed Vac By Verilux is an affordable way to become a home edition of a bed bug exterminator as you will probably not have to deal with them for a long time after you manage to vacuum every nook and cranny of your home with this cleaner.
The way to go about vacuuming your entire house with Selected CleanWave Bed Vac is to first make sure that your bedroom is perfectly vacuumed. You will need to overturn your mattresses to vacuum them from all sides, and then move around the furniture and get all the corners. Make sure to go over all the dark places and crevices in particular, as the eggs will be hidden in places such as these. The Selected CleanWave Bed Vac will do the rest and you can consider all and any bug or egg that had contact with this vacuum dead and gone.
UNILUTION 75218 / Handheld Vacuum – 300W
UNILUTION 75218 Handheld Vacuum is another very good hand held vacuum cleaner suitable for exterminating and preventing the appearance and reappearance of bed bugs. This vacuum also exterminates a myriad of germs and bacteria, viruses, allergens and so on. It deals with nasty odors and many parasites – including dust mites and bed bugs. It is a good purchase for anyone who has a family member with allergies or asthma, or any house that has issues with the parasitic bed bugs.
UNILUTION 75218 / Handheld Vacuum is a light portable vacuum which is easy to use and very effective against bed bugs and their eggs. It does not use harmful chemicals and that is a definite advantage, and it uses vibrations and ultraviolet light to do its magic. The way it works is simple – the vibrations make all the dust and any other particles come to the surface and the ultraviolet light kills any bacteria, germs, bugs or anything before sucking them in. This ensures that your home will be freed from any parasitic critters including bed bugs after several times of thorough vacuuming.
Calling in the pest control
Sometimes no matter what you do, it is not enough. If you are experiencing severe bed bug infestations and have several bites on your body at the time of reading this, it is time to call the professionals. Bed bug exterminators should be contacted to ensure that your house is rid of these insects. However, after they are gone, it is recommended that you follow the steps above in order to prevent the bed bugs from ever reappearing in your home.
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on the blood of humans and they typically nest and crawl around near the sleeping area in a house. These insects can be very annoying but also dangerous in case you have sensitive skin, allergies or if you have insect phobias. Bed bugs are definitely unwelcome guests, but sometimes no matter what you do they still manage to somehow get in your house and spread.
A good idea if you suspect that you may have bed bugs is to immediately heat treat all your clothes and dry the rest of the items in high temperatures. We have mentioned the portable vacuums that specialize in determining bed bugs, their eggs, parasites, bacteria and smells, so it may be a good idea to purchase one of them as they are not costly. Buying a vacuum for this purpose will in fact cost less than calling in the exterminators to rid you of bed bugs.
In order to prevent bed bugs from appearing, there are several steps to always follow such as checking your clothes when visiting someone, checking the stores you buy your items in and generally being careful about transporting a bed bug or its egg in your bag, luggage or even your computer. Bed bugs hide in warm places, so be careful of warm and dark areas. If you have all of the above steps in mind, you should be fine and free of bed bugs, but always keep in mind that you have to be careful at all times as one slip of your attention may get you an unwelcome guest in your bedroom.