10 Things You Never Knew About Bed Bugs
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the Bed Bugs bite”,- this age old rhyme may sound cute while tucking your kids into bed at night, but now it has turned out to be a frightening reality. These pesky tiny insects that feed on human blood have made a comeback and are very common than ever before.
We need to get more educated and vigilant and learn everything thing we can to defend against them and in worst case scenario, prevent a bed bug infestation in our homes. These creepy parasites have a lot of secrets that you never heard of before and will make you surprised.
Here are ten facts you never heard about bed bugs:
1. Bed Bugs Can Live Anywhere
Most folks think bed bugs only live in hotels and motels. But the reality is that bed bugs can thrive anywhere – apartments, hospitals, college dormitories, family homes, schools, office buildings, trains, planes, buses, cars, and just about any place where humans live. In fact, it’s been reported that bed bug infestations are relatively common in single-family homes and apartments/condos with infestation rate of 89 percent and 88 percent respectively.
2. Bed Bugs Don’t Care About Cleanliness or Personal Hygiene
People often say bed bugs are found only in dirty places, overcrowded cities or third world countries. That’s not true. Bed bugs are found in all towns and cities of the world. In fact, incidences of bed bug infestations are three times higher in urban areas than in the countryside.
All bed bugs care about is access to lots of people. It doesn’t matter if you take a shower every day, or wash your clothes regularly. You may still have bed bugs clinging on your clothes or luggage.
In short, any densely populated areas or places like high-end hotels, shopping malls, dorms, movie theaters, are all at risk of being infested with Bed Bugs. Clean places won’t deter them.
3. Bed Bugs Don’t Transmit Any Harmful Diseases
Unlike mosquitoes, flies or other insects, bed bugs aren’t yet confirmed to be spreading any diseases when bitten other than itchiness and red bumps on the skin. However, doctors report that they can cause some mental problems.
Some people become so obsessed and fearful of them that they can’t get good sleep for weeks, miss work, spend hours on the internet about the subject and become paranoid. Bed Bugs are also said to aggravate the symptoms of allergy and asthma patients.
4. Bed Bugs Aren’t Always Nocturnal
Bed Bugs aren’t truly nocturnal creatures. It is true that most people report bed bug bites while sleeping during the night and they get scared when light, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t bite you in the daytime.
Bed Bugs are opportunists and crave for blood, and if they are hungry, they will come out and bite you during the day. Even more so, bed bugs are attracted to the body warmth of humans and to the carbon dioxide we exhale.
5. Bed Bugs Are Masters in Anesthesiology
Often, people wonder why they can’t feel the moment they are being bitten by bed bugs. The saliva of bed bugs works as an anesthetic which numbs the area of the bite and helps increase of blood flow in the area, making the feeding process smooth and almost painless.
After the feeding process is over, the bed bugs hide for 5-10 days in secluded places to digest the blood, mate and lay eggs. Also, bed bugs typically feed for 3 -12 minutes and gain as much as six times their body weight while feeding.
6. Bed Bugs Can Survive Without Blood For Up To 550 Days
Bed Bugs can live without a blood meal for days or even months. Adult bed bugs are found to survive for as long as 550 days straight without food. It’s an unbelievable feat indeed!
This means they can live in your mattresses, luggage, and furniture as long as they can to get in contact with humans again. Bed bugs can survive in extreme temperatures (zero to 122 degrees) making them harder to eradicate without a professional pest control service.
7. Don’t Throw Away Your Belongings
Most people say you can get rid of a bed bug infestation in your home if you throw away your bed, mattress, clothes, linens, carpets, and furniture. Well, that may help a little, but it won’t entirely help you get rid of them.
The answer lies in bed bugs’ dislike of extremely high temperatures. So, exterminators use a combination steam, chemicals, and dry cleaning to destroy bed bugs in your rooms and furniture. If your clothes get infested with bed bugs, just wash them in very hot water for around half an hour to kill them.
8. Bed Bugs Are Extremely Good in Hiding
Bed Bugs aren’t only smart; they are elusive too. They know when to stay out of view during the daytime and hide in the cracks and crevices in the walls, furniture joints, beds and mattresses, carpets, in picture frames, behind wallpapers and switchboards and electrical appliances. If your infestation level is low, you will miss the signs. In this case, you should consult a trained professional.
Some common signs of high bedbug infestation are black fecal spots found in the bed or mattress linings, bedbug skins, or if you are lucky (or unlucky), you can find an actual bed bug.
9. Don’t Use Home Remedies to Kill Bed Bugs
Don’t use any of the Do-It-Yourself bed bug eradication techniques you read on the internet. Don’t attempt to fumigate your rooms or house or use a bug bomb or a fogger even if it claims about their effectiveness.
The truth is most of these remedies don’t work, and some of these methods will scatter the bed bugs to areas of your dwelling or your neighbor’s house that previously weren’t. So, it’s better to call a trained professional to help contain and deal with the problem.
10. Bed Bugs Are Here To Stay
Since the 1990s, due to changes made in pesticides and insecticides regulations, lifestyle changes and the massive increase in domestic and international travel, bed bugs have made a steady comeback, and their populations have grown exponentially. Though the situation is manageable, we all have to accept the fact that bed bugs are here to stay and they will be with us every time we travel.