Bed Bug Treatment
Date: August 24th, 2010
As the bed bug plague begins to spread, you should know how to properly identify and treat these nasty pests. Below you will find the basic facts on bed bugs; read on and take action to prevent an outbreak in your home or college dorm room.
- What are they? -
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood much like mosquitoes do. Adult bed bugs are brown with flat, oval-shaped bodies and are only about ¼ inch long. Younger bed bugs, called nymphs, look much like the adults; nymphs are only a bit smaller in size and slightly lighter in color.
- Who do they target? -
Anyone! Anyone can be affected by bed bugs regardless of the condition of your living space or your belongings. Unlike cockroaches that are attracted to dirt and filth, bed bugs don’t discriminate and will happily make their home in your clean bedroom or your brand new mattress.
- Where do they hide? -
Bed bugs usually take shelter in dark places that are close to your sleeping area. Commonly, these dark places include mattresses, bed skirts, carpets, and cracks and crevices in floors or walls. Bed bugs also tend to stay close to each other, resulting in concentrated infestations. A heavy infestation can be characterized by a sweet sickly scent, so be sure to keep your eyes and nose keen to signs of bed bugs near these dark bedroom areas.
- What are some signs of an infestation? -
As previously mentioned, bed bug infestations can be characterized by a sweet sickly smell near the darker areas and crevices of your bedroom. Blood spotting on mattresses and nearby furniture is also common, as these bugs feed on human blood during the night and then take several days to digest one feeding.
As for the actual bites these bugs leave when they feed, the initial bite is said to be painless and often unnoticed. However, the next morning a bite may appear like a mosquito bite would, or the affected individual may break out in hives as their body reacts to the irritation.
- How can I get rid of them? -
If you discover that bed bugs have infested your sleeping area, take action immediately.
Inspect the entire area for bed bugs, including any curtains, couches, and crevices. It is extremely important to be thorough with your investigation; if any affected area is not treated, your infestation will rapidly return.
Wash all bedding in very hot water, as high temperatures will kill bed bugs. Vacuum everything in your bedroom; use a hand-brush attachment for hard-to-reach areas like cracks and creases. Be sure to vacuum the surfaces of your box spring and mattress as well, focusing your efforts especially on the folds and seams where bed bugs hide. After vacuuming, remove the bag from the vacuum and tie it up tightly. Be sure to take the bag away from the premises before you properly dispose of it.
Nightstands, bookshelves, and dressers may need to be temporarily cleared off, and personal items such as stuffed animals and clothes should be cleaned and sealed in a plastic bag until the infestation is gone. Bed frames, headboards, and mattresses should be treated with an insecticide, as should any other furniture structures near your sleeping area. For this task, Hot Shot’s Bedbug and Flea Killer is highly recommended, as it comes in an easy-to-use aerosol can and works quickly as a quality insecticide. You can find this with other pest control products at your local CountryMax store.
The keys to treating an infestation are thoroughness and persistence. As previously stated, if any affected area is not treated, your infestation will rapidly return. Additionally, you must check affected areas every week or two for signs of progress and/or for areas that need another treatment. If you keep at it, your bed bug infestation will eventually be gone. For future prevention, cover your box spring and mattress with plastic or allergy-proof covers.
Additional Resources: http://entoplp.okstate.edu/ddd/insects/bedbug.htm, http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/bed-bugs-c-39.html