What are bed bugs?

Bed Bugs have made a come back!

Okay, this is not a pleasant topic to talk about, but is a growing issue in the US. Watch the below video from National Geographic showing these pests biting someone while sleeping. 

How did they get here?

  • Even if you have a clean house and clean bedding doesn’t mean you’re safe against these pesky creatures.  They are picked up in hotels, public transportation and just about any area where people are.
  • Bed bugs likely been around as long as humans. They have followed us around and have been a nuisance ever sense.
  • Bed bugs, in developed countries, were virtually eradicated in the 1940’s primarily due to potent pesticides. With the more frequent international travel (often to 3rd world countries) they have found their way back to the US. Bed bugs have also developed resistance to today’s pesticides. So, they are back in full force.

What are they and what else do you need to know?

  • Bed bugs are a parasites that live off blood; they also enjoy a warm home. Your bed is an ideal place for them to dine.
  • Bed bugs are nocturnal which compounds the problem. Studies suggest that a bed bug typically sleep in small protected spaces such as small cracks in walls, electrical outlets or small crevasse found in your bedroom. They often go undetected until they have raised a family in your bedroom. At night however, they leave their safe haven and instinctively find their way to the food source.

Bed bugs have made a come back in the US

Bed bugs will travel as far as 100 feet to find you.

  • Look around your bed, there are likely hundreds of places within 100 feet of your bed where they can safely hide forever.  
  • The bug ranges in size from between 1/8” to 1/4” in diameter and are flat. They can find you based on three criteria – the carbon dioxide you emit when breathing, your body warmth, and chemical odors that may exist in your bedding and skin.

Magnified image of bed bug

A bed bug typically eats about every 5 days but have been known to live as long as a year without food and as with most insects, they are prolific.

  • When a bed bug bites someone, the bite is often not felt by the victim as the bug injects an anesthetic in your skin. Bed bugs are not believed to spread disease, however can leave a nasty rash.

Bed bug bited

How to get rid of them!

So what do you do if you find they have infested your bedroom?

  • The most effective way is to call an exterminator. You might try eradicating them yourself, but you will not be as effective as a professional.

Regardless, here is what you can do.

  • Step 1- Once you have found bed bugs clean the affected area with a vacuum. Get rid of as many of them as you can see. Sometimes it’s even a good thing to wipe down your mattress with a damp cloth and some soapy water. Make sure to clean the whole room and clean even dressers, closets, and drawers. Wash all sheets and blankets with hot water.

  • Step 2- Use hot steam in the areas where you found the bed bugs. Get a steam machine and clean any area that you found a bed bug to be present. You can even stream your whole bed if you want to.

  • Step 3- Use a bed bug spray or dust and clean all areas where bed bugs could reside. Spray these product everywhere in the room, the bed, the floor, and even the closet, and around the door.