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How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs: Symptoms, Treatment, Removal and Prevention of Bed Bugs

Updated on October 27, 2014

In this article on 'How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs' You will get to know the symptoms of bed bug bites, the kind of treatment that should be provided, you will also get to know how to remove or kill bed bugs and the kind of preventive measure that should be taken to permanently get rid of bed bugs.

There are lot of steps involved in the process of getting rid of bed bugs, beginning with proper identification, researching for effective method of treatments and also identify the best and cheapest home remedies for bed bugs and more. In this article I will guide you through the process of identifying bed bugs with the help of bite symptoms, possible treatments, steps to remove bed bugs and preventing reappearance of bed bugs.

What is Bed Bug
What is Bed Bug
About Cimex Lectularius
About Cimex Lectularius

Cimex Lectularius or the common bed bug is a parasitic insect that feeds on the blood, especially of humans. Its common name is derived from the fact that it dwells mainly in warm houses, near or inside the beds, and other sleep areas.

The bed bugs feed on human blood with ease, as they are not noticed during their activity. They prefer to take their meal during nighttime, although they are not considered nocturnal insects. These bugs have been creating problems from thousands of years, and they are dwelling continuously due to increased infestation of habitats. Because of their prevalence, the bug bites and other related problems are on rise.

These insects do not fly, but they move quickly over the walls, floors, and ceilings. During daytime, they hide in the cracks of walls, bookshelves, bed frames and their other hiding places. Hundreds of eggs are laid by female bed bugs and the young ones develop into adults within a month.

According to the reports given by ‘National Pest Management Association’, the calls related to bedbugs have increased ‘by 81 percent in the last 10 years and 57 percent over the last five years’.

As the bugs like warm environment, carbon-dioxide and pheromones released by our body, they can be easily found under the mattresses and headboard, inside the walls, under the bedside table or any other fixtures or furniture near the bed.

The bed bugs do not like to live under light, so they prefer to stay in dark areas. Look for their hiding places under the carpet, night stands, or loose wallpaper. They may appear as tiny black spots on the mattress.

Their fecal matter is usually dark brown to black in color and it sticks to the surface. The bed bugs shed their skins as they develop, so look for any small shed parts near the bed. Also they can be recognized from their white eggs that are usually found on the edges of the mattresses.

Beside homes, the bed bugs are prevalent in hotels, offices, theaters, hospitals, dressing rooms and other buildings.

Places Bed Bugs Hide In Hotels
Places Bed Bugs Hide In Hotels | Source
How and When Do They Bite
How and When Do They Bite

The bed bugs bite mostly during night time, when the people are asleep. The bugs pierce the skin and withdraw the blood with the help of their elongated and sharp beak . Most often, they draw the blood from exposed areas.

The bugs inject their saliva in to the skin. Their saliva consists of anticoagulants (that prevents coagulation of blood), and an anesthetic that prevents the person from feeling the sensation of bite.

The young bed bugs (nymphs) take about 3-10 minutes to take blood and engorge while the adult bed bugs take about 10-15 minutes to take feed. Then they crawl away from the site for the digestion.

At first, the bed bug bites are usually painless, but after some time they become itchy. Mostly, their bites are often misinterpreted as bites of mosquitoes, fleas, and ants.

Symptoms and Signs of Bed Bug Bite
Symptoms and Signs of Bed Bug Bite

If you wake up with some itchy and red areas on your skin that you didn’t have when you had gone to sleep, the chances are that these are bed bug bites. Most often, they bite in straight rows instead of leaving their pattern here and there.

Their bites gives the appearance of small, raised welts that are mostly present in a small area, as the bed bugs do like to draw blood from a limited, same space only. These welts turn red and flair up to become itchy.

The other signs of occurrence of bed bugs are -

1. Rusty or dark brown spots of bed bugs that are present on sheets, walls, mattresses and other bedclothes. These dark spots are the waste matter of bugs.

2. The egg- shells, fecal spots, and the shed skin that are found in the areas where the bed bugs hide.

3. Tiny blood stains that are found on the pillow covers and sheets.

4. Routine bites of bugs during the night when you are sleeping.

Health Problems Due To Bed Bug Bites
Health Problems Due To Bed Bug Bites

The bites of bed bugs are harmless, not infectious. But some times, the itching on skin becomes so severe that it creates chances of getting severe infections.

1. If your body is sensitive to any kind of allergies, you may get this allergy from the bites of bed bugs. This allergic reaction could be from to more severe condition. If you are getting problems from itching, irritation and redness of bites, you should consult your doctor for anti- itching ointments.

2. Scratching on the bites can cause breaking of skin, thus increasing the chances of bacterial infections. Again, you should consult your doctor for their treatment or you can use some antibacterial ointments that are generally available over- the counter.

3. If any person suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems, the presence of bed bugs in house makes that disease even worse. The dry, shed skin of bed bugs and their fecal matter create airborne diseases and aggravate the respiratory problems.

4. If any member of your house has risk factor of anemia, the presence of bed bugs makes this disease more severe. As the bed bugs draw a lot of blood in routine, any person can become anemic due to this, but if he is already suffering from the problem of anemia, then you should take proper precautions to eradicate the bed bugs.


Other problems due to bed bugs

As the bed bugs are blood- sucking insects, they come under the category of ‘pests of significant public health importance’.

Unlike other blood sucking insects, such as mosquito and lice, the bed bugs are not known to transmit infectious diseases. But they cause a variety of physical, mental and economic problems.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs
How To Prevent Bed Bugs

a). Check all the places that are warm and away from light. Treat your beds, sofas and other furniture with particular insecticides to get rid of bugs. Protect your mattresses with plastic covers; the bugs will not get sufficient air for their survival. Make sure to seal and repair any sort of cracks on the wall and on windows. Try to wear gloves while checking for bed-bugs, so that your chances of exposure to bed bugs can be reduced. Keep your house as clean as possible.

b). If you are staying at hotel, check for the possible hide- outs of bugs before unpacking your luggage. Inspect the mattress seams, head stands, side tables, sofas and chairs. On finding spots of bed bugs, you should change your room. Keep your luggage on the luggage table. As the bed bugs are great hitch hikers, they may stick to your suitcase through luggage carts, housekeeping carts or through wall sockets.

c). To keep your office space or work place free of bed bugs, inspect every packet that comes in mail, keep the place clean and clutter- free.

d). Never try to pick the discarded furniture that is kept along roadside. If you are buying a second hand bed or sofa, take the help of a bug expert for its necessary checking. Prefer to discard the furniture that is too old and in bad condition.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Home remedies and natural ways to get rid of bed bugs

1. Dismantle your bed and make the components stand. Dried and dark spots of bed bugs are often found under the beds, mattresses, and inside the wooden frames. The fabric underlying the mattresses and box spring must be inspected and cleaned for the possible occurrence of bed bugs.

Crevices and cracks of bed must be examined because the bed bugs have special affinity with the wooden material and fabric. The material kept under the bed is also a good hiding place for bugs. A ‘bed bug proof cover’ can be put over your mattress to trap the bugs inside the mattress.

Check for the possible hide-outs of bed bugs on chairs, sofa, night stands and other furniture.

2. An ‘integrated pest management approach’ should be followed. This involves preventive measures for bed bugs, sanitation of the area and spray of the chemicals on the targeted site.

3. Use of rubbing alcohol as well as a dish brush on the visible eggs is a good solution to the problem.

4. Wash the fabric items in hot water. The other material that cannot be washed should be kept in the plastic cover to keep under the hot sun.

5. Take some crystal silica gel, grind it to make its paste, and then apply it over the hiding places of bed bugs. The bugs will not move due to this layer, and they will die due to dehydration.

6. As spot treatment, the residual insecticides are used as the solution to the problem.

7. If the problem is severe, you take the help of professional pest control firms.

Final Words

The incidence of bed bugs was declined during the 20th century, but again they went through dramatic resurgence, and their infestation was reported worldwide.

If you are a frequent traveler than they can easily enter your home with clothing, bedding, luggage and furniture. To get relief from bed bugs, keep your house, work space and other areas as clean as possible.

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