Small, wingless insects known as bedbugs only consume the blood of warm-blooded animals. The two main species prefer to live with humans.
There are two bedbug species that have been identified as feeding on human blood. Scientific names for them are Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus. They have been discovered in the tombs of 3,500-year-old Egyptians.
Hatchlings or nymphs are the names for newly born bedbugs, which are tiny but noticeable and around the size of a poppy seed. When not feeding, adults have an oval form and grow to a length of around 0.25 inches. They can grow by doubling in size after eating. Adults, eggs, and nymphs can all be seen with the naked eye.
Due to their preferred living environment in human homes—sofas, bed mattresses, clothing, and other soft furnishings—they are known as bedbugs. They also favor the shadows.
In all kinds of housing, including private residences, dorms, cruise ships, army barracks, and shelters, bedbugs are viewed as an increasing concern.
Their hue might vary when seen up close, from white to a light tan to a dark brown or burned orange. A dark crimson or black lump may be seen inside their body after they’ve eaten. When startled, they hide in shadowy nooks and crannies.
Bedbugs are tiny, wingless insects that eat warm-blooded creatures for food.
The majority of bedbugs eat while their victims are fast sleeping.
Although they may take up to 14 days to become visible, bites can be spotted right away.
Regular feeding is required for bed bugs to lay eggs, reproduce, and survive.
A fragrance resembling coriander could be caused by bedbugs.
People complaining of bites that happened while they were asleep is the most blatant indication that bedbugs are present in the house. In such a case, check the bedrooms for bedbugs and indications of activity. Check closely for bugs or eggs in the bedding, mattress and box spring seams, and tufts. The eggs will resemble little, light-colored poppy seeds.
Underneath loose patches of wallpaper close to beds, in the corners of desks and dressers, in the laundry, and in drawers, bedbug activity can be seen.
Be on the lookout for bedbug droppings that stain bedding and mattresses and are dark brown or rusty in color. Excrement from bedbugs is a liquid with a light brown or black appearance that often either beads up or is absorbed by the surrounding material.
A large bedbug infestation may smell like coriander.
Where to Find Bed Bugs
Through clothing, worn beds and couches, luggage, and other goods, bedbugs may get into your home. They can squeeze into areas that are only a little wider than a credit card because to their flattened bodies. Infestations of bedbugs typically happen close to or around sleeping areas. They are present in:
- Box springs
- Objects near beds
- Under peeling paint and loose wallpaper
- Under carpeting near baseboards
- In upholstered furniture seams
- Under light switch plates or electrical outlets
Over time, though, they might disperse across the bedroom and hide in every nook and cranny. Additionally, they might spread to neighboring homes or flats.
Having bedbugs in your home is not an indication of cleanliness because they are blood-only creatures. They can be found in both clean and unclean residences and hotel rooms.
How do they get around?
By traveling on goods including clothing, luggage, furniture, boxes, and mattresses, bedbugs can transfer from one location to another.
In hotels or apartment buildings, bedbugs can move effortlessly across floors and rooms.
Whether their surroundings are clean or unclean is irrelevant to bedbugs. They only require a friendly host and lots of hiding places.
If you frequently frequent areas like apartment complexes, dorm rooms, homeless shelters, hotels, cruise ships, trains, buses, and refugee camps, you run the risk of getting bedbug bites.
When Bedbugs Bite People Bedbugs typically bite people while they are sleeping and are most active at night. They take blood through an extended beak after piercing the skin to feed. The bugs eat for three to ten minutes, becoming obscenely full before crawling away undetected.
The majorities of bedbug bites are initially harmless but subsequently develop into unpleasant welts. Bedbug bites can occur anywhere on the skin that is exposed while you sleep, unlike flea bites which typically occur around the ankles.
The bites also lack the red mark that flea bites have in the middle.
People who don’t know they have bedbugs may blame other pests, such as mosquitoes, for the welts and itching. You need to discover and recognize the actual bedbugs in order to confirm bedbug bites.
You may have bedbugs if you wake up itchy in places that weren’t itchy when you went to sleep, especially if you recently purchased a used bed or other used furniture around the time the bites first appeared. Additional indications that you have bedbugs include:
- Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
- Dark or rusty spots of bedbug excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
- Bedbug fecal spots, egg shells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide
- An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands
If you think there might be an infestation, take out all the bedding and thoroughly inspect it for bugs or waste. Examine the seams in the wood framing by removing the dust cover covering the bottom of the box springs. Where the fabric is tacked to the wooden frame, pull it back.
Additionally, look inside books, phones, radios, the carpet’s edge, and even electrical outlets in the area around the bed. Because bedbugs can attach to clothing, check your closet. Call an exterminator if you are unsure of bedbug symptoms because they will know what to search for.
A pencil eraser is larger than bedbugs, which are only 5 millimeters across. These bugs are intelligent, hardy, and procreate swiftly. Bedbugs can go months without eating and are aware of where to hide to evade detection. 500 eggs can be laid by a female in her lifetime.
It should come as no surprise that these tiny bloodsuckers can get very messy in your house. They may leave red, itchy welts all over your body if they join you in bed.
Bedbugs can be eliminated. Try to have patience, as getting rid of bedbugs frequently requires some time and work. If your infestation is severe, you may need to attempt a couple of different chemical and nonchemical methods.
Bedbug removal may be more challenging due to some variables. If your home is cluttered or if you frequently travel and bring new bedbugs home in your luggage, it could be harder to get rid of them.
You might need to hire an exterminator if you are unable to get rid of them on your own. Continue reading for a step-by-step tutorial on bedbug removal.
Locate all sites that are infected
If you have bedbugs, you should locate them as soon as possible before they begin to multiply. A minor infestation is significantly simpler and less expensive to treat than a large one. Smaller infestations, however, may be more difficult to find.
You can perform a DIY bed insect inspection or contact a professional to conduct one. Some inspectors use trained dogs with specialized noses to find bedbugs.
Bedbugs can fit into tight spaces like the folds of curtains and the seams of a mattress or couch because of their thin and narrow bodies.
Additionally, keep an eye out for them:
- near the tags of the mattress and box spring
- in cracks in the bed frame and headboard
- in baseboards
- between couch cushions
- in furniture joints
- inside electrical outlets
- under loose wallpaper
- underneath paintings and posters on the walls
- in the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet
Examine each of these regions with a flashlight and magnifying glass.
Bedbug symptoms include the following:
- live bedbugs, which are reddish and about 1/4-inch long
- dark spots about the size of a period — these are bedbug droppings
- reddish stains on your mattress from bugs that have been crushed
- small and pale yellow eggs, egg shells, and yellowish skins that young bedbugs shed
When a bedbug is discovered, place it in a sealed jar with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. There are numerous bugs that resemble bedbugs. Bring any bugs you’re unsure of to an entomologist or exterminator for identification.
Step 2: Defend against the infestation
Once you’ve identified your bedbug infestation, you must keep them contained until you can eradicate them. Using your vacuum to capture bedbugs is a quick and simple method. Search for any potential hiding places using the vacuum.
You are included in this:
- electronics, like TVs
The vacuumed contents should be placed in a plastic bag before being discarded. The vacuum should then be completely cleaned.
Until you can wash them, place all of your linens and damaged clothing in plastic bags. After that, set a washer and dryer to the highest temperature setting. In the event that something cannot be washed, dry it for 30 minutes on the maximum heat setting.
Put everything in a plastic bag if it can’t be cleaned in the washer and dryer. If you can, leave it there for a few months to ensure that all the bugs are dead. Throw away furnishings that you are unable to clean. To prevent anyone else from attempting to take it home, first tear it up and spray-paint the term “bedbugs” on it.
Step 3: Get ready to cure bed bugs
Make a little preparation before you begin treating your house to increase your chances of success. Ensure that all of your clothing, linens, carpets, draperies and other hiding spots have been cleaned or disposed of.
Eliminate bedbug hiding areas next:
- Pick up books, magazines, clothes, and anything else that’s lying on your floor and under your bed.
- Throw out whatever you can.
- Do not move items from an infested room to a clean one — you could spread the bugs.
Seal up any open areas:
- Glue down loose wallpaper.
- Caulk cracks in furniture and around baseboards.
- Tape up open electrical outlets.
Finally, to prevent bedbugs from climbing on your bed, move it at least 6 inches away from the wall.
Kill the bedbugs
How to eliminate bedbugs in your home
You can start by attempting a chemical-free bed bug extermination. High heat at 115°F (46.11°C) or extreme cold at 32°F (0°C) can easily kill these insects.
These techniques can be used to treat bedbugs in the following ways:
- Wash clothing and linens for 30 minutes in hot water. After that, dry them for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting on a dryer.
- Steam mattresses, couches, and other areas where bedbugs hide with a steamer.
- Place contaminated objects in black bags and keep them in a locked car or outside on a hot day that exceeds 95°F (35°C). It can take 2 to 5 months to eliminate sealed-up bugs in cooler climates.
- Store bags containing bedbugs at 0°F (-17.78°C) in the freezer. Check the temperature using a thermometer. Keep them there for a minimum of 4 days.
Make the area uninhabitable for any remaining bedbugs once you’ve eliminated any that are visible. Your mattress and box spring should be covered with bedbug-proof material. All the way up, zip these coverings. The imprisoned bugs within will perish, and new bugs won’t be able to enter.
You might need to try an insecticide if these techniques don’t completely get rid of the pests.
Chemical and non-chemical therapies
Bedbugs can be removed from your home with insecticides. Look for items that have been registered with the EPA in the United States and are designated for use on bedbugs.
You can try the following insecticide varieties:
- The most popular pesticides for killing bedbugs are pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Some bedbugs, though, have developed a resistance to them.
- Pyrroles, such as chlorfenapyr, kill bedbugs by causing cell disruption.
- Neonicotinoids are nicotine analogs. The neurological system of the bugs is harmed. These chemicals are effective against bedbugs that have developed a resistance to other pesticides.
- Desiccants are compounds that remove the bugs’ outer layer of defense. The bugs would dry out and perish without this coating. Diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel (Tri-Die and CimeXa) are two examples of desiccants. Desiccants have the benefit of not developing resistance in bedbugs, but they function slowly. It may take a few months for these solutions to completely eradicate all pests.
- Bedbugs can be killed by foggers or insect bombs, but they cannot reach the gaps and crevices where they hide. If used improperly, they may potentially be toxic to people. Analyze the label thoroughly. Don’t use a fogger until you have left the room.
- Plant oil-based products that target bedbugs, such as EcoRaider and Bed Bug Patrol, are less hazardous than chemical insecticides.
It may take some time to eradicate bedbugs. You need evidence that the bugs have left the area before you can be sure that your treatment was effective. About once every 7 days, check the infected regions for activity.
Placing bedbug interceptors under each bed leg will help you find any remaining bedbugs more easily. Bedbugs will be captured by these gadgets before they can enter your bed. The interceptors may need to be checked for an entire year.
Bedbugs are resilient animals. When you believe you have eliminated them, you can come upon them again. To get the infestation under control, you might need to attempt a few different treatments. And if they still don’t leave, you should hire a specialist exterminator.
It’s time to call in the experts if you are unable to completely eradicate bedbugs on your own.
The use of pesticides and other treatments that are not available to you is a benefit of hiring a pest control company. They have pesticides that kill bugs instantly and remain inside gaps and furniture to kill bedbugs over time.
Additionally, companies that deal with pests might heat up a whole space. In order to eliminate bedbugs, they bring in specialized equipment that raises the temperature in the room to between 135 and 145°F (57.22 and 62.78°C). You should receive preparation instructions from the pest control firm before they come to your house. You’ll have the greatest chance of eliminating the bugs if you properly follow their instructions.
You’ll want to take steps to ensure that bedbugs don’t return once they’ve been eliminated:
- Eliminate any clutter. Do not leave any items on the floor, including magazines, clothing, or documents.
- Place a bedbug cover over your mattress and box spring and fully zip it up.
- Frequent vacuuming and washing of carpets, furniture, curtains, and bedding.
- Fill up gaps around electrical outlets, baseboards, and light sockets to prevent bedbug entry.
- When traveling, make sure to check hotel rooms for bedbugs to prevent taking them back home.
How Bed Bugs Spread
Small, oval-shaped, and without wings, bed bugs are insects. They are just around one-eighth of an inch long as adults.
These insects are widespread and can endure temperatures of 46 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. They typically reside within eight feet of a bed and are close to where people sleep.
Blood is what bed bugs eat. Although they are an annoyance and their bites can be unpleasant and annoying, they do not transfer disease. Bed bugs can only move by crawling because they lack wings. But frequently, people unknowingly transport bed bugs from one location to another. However, there are several measures you may do to curb the spread of bed bugs and aid in their prevention.
Five to seven eggs are laid weekly by female bed bugs. With proper feeding, this adds up to more than 250 eggs throughout a lifetime.
It takes the eggs about 10 days to hatch. Before becoming adults, bed bugs go through five nymphal (youth) stages after hatching. They shed (or molt) their exoskeleton between each stage. Bed bugs can feed up to once each day, but they need to eat at least once before each molt. Bed bugs mature into adults in a period of two to four months.
Since bed bugs lack wings, they can only move about on their own by crawling. This implies that infections may occasionally spread gradually. But they are able to go inside walls, through gaps in the floor and ceiling, and on pipes.
However, the majority of bed bug outbreaks occur when they infest people’s clothing, linens, furniture, or luggage. Bed bugs will therefore be spread by people far more quickly than they could by themselves in new regions.
Unlike lice, which move from person to person while being carried on the body, bed bugs do not.
However, they can move around on clothing. In this manner, people can unknowingly transfer bed bugs to others.
The easiest approach to stop bed bug infestations from spreading is to periodically check for early warning symptoms. In this manner, you can eliminate any bed bugs before they spread. In order to prevent the spread of bed bugs, you should also:
- Keep your bedroom tidy and free of items that bed bugs might hide in, particularly clothing.
- Steer clear of used furniture. If you do, thoroughly inspect it for bed insect traces before bringing it into your house.
- Put a cover over your mattress and box spring for protection.
- Regularly vacuum your home.
- When traveling, check the sleeping area.
- In hotels, use a luggage stand instead of placing your bag on the floor or a bed.
- Before returning home after a trip, check your clothing and bags.
- If you use communal laundries, bring your clothes in a plastic bag. As soon as the dryer is finished, take the garments out and fold them at home.
- Fill up any gaps or cracks in your home’s walls.
- How to identify bedbugs in your home
- You can check for bed bugs by looking for:
- rust-colored stains on your mattress, pillows, or linens (which may be crushed bed bugs)
- Poppy-seed-sized dark patches on your linens, pillows, or mattress (which may be bed bug excrement)
- Tiny eggshells or bed bug eggs
- little yellow scales (these are the exoskeletons bed bugs shed as they grow)
- a musty smell near your bed or clothing piles
- the actual bed bugs.
If you begin to get bitten, you can also discover you have bed bugs. Typically, bed bug bites are tiny, slightly swollen, and red. They can show up to 14 days after being bitten, and they might be itchy. However, the severity of a person’s response to bed bug bites varies. Either you develop a large red welt or you don’t.
- Many bites
- Skin infection (bites feel tender or ooze discharge, such as pus)
- An allergic skin reaction (skin red and swollen or hives)
Infestations with bed bugs can be exceedingly irritating. You could wind up covered in itching, and red bites even though they don’t spread disease. However, you can take precautions to stop the spread of bed bugs, such as routinely examining your room for indications of the presence of bed bugs, screening your clothing and luggage when you travel, and clearing your room of any mounds of clothing where they can hide.