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What Are Bed Bugs and How to Get Rid of Them

Updated on February 16, 2015

What Are Bed Bugs

Bed bugs is the common name of a certain species of blood sucking insects found in household environments. They can become quite a serious problem when they take over your bed. They not only bite and draw blood, but some of them also carry and transmit certain blood and skin diseases so dealing with the problem quickly and effectively is essential for the health of your family and your homeâs hygiene.

Bed bugs are annoying and problematic household pests because they are a real nuisance, they are very hard to detect and will quite easily reappear if the special instructions are not followed.

Bed Bug vs. Flea
Bed Bug vs. Flea

Difference between Bed Bugs and Fleas

Bed bugs are not fleas, although they might appear similar and both feed on warm-blooded prey, they should not be mistaken for fleas. Fleas stick to pets and animals as they use fur and hair as their means of hiding and survival. But keep in mind that fleas will also attack humans when no other prey is accessible at that moment.

Bed bugs are tiny blood suckers which are mostly active at night and cause humans a series of really itchy or painful bites, possibly even bleeding in some more severe instances. Another major problem with bed bugs is that they also carry and transmit certain skin and blood disease which is bad news for you and your family.

Some Interesting Facts about Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs Infopraphic
Bed Bugs Infopraphic
Signs of Bed Bugs
Signs of Bed Bugs

How to determine if your home has been infested with bed bugs?

How to determine if your home has been compromised to bed bugs? There are a number of tell-tale signs that should be clearly visible in and around the bed. Check all the linen folds, bed crevices and mattress lining for things like blood spots, tiny brown stains and brown bits and pieces of unknown nature. These are sure signs that your bed is being colonised by bed bugs.

The brown bits are the bugs' poo and shed skin, the blood is from their victims. There are chemical ways to eradicate bed bug colonies in and around your bed. These though, involve pesticides and repellents, which can be problem for sensitive individuals with irritant skin or respiratory conditions.

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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If the issue has been left unattended for too long chances are all mattresses have been infested and will likely have to be disposed of. If you want to deal with the problem in a single setting, and be sure that no bedbugs are left alive use the services of a professional pest control company.

Bed bugs are taking over the bedrooms of many people, they can be found in all sorts of places, from the average home, to cabins on cruise ships. If you are willing to tackle the issue on your own, this is without the use of professional pest control assistance, you need to devise a working strategy to kill off and prevent future infestations and outbreaks.

  1. You need to clean the room absolutely perfectly, remove all clutter and mess from the floor and from around the bed.
  2. Once the floor is clutter free and you have access to all areas of the room, begin the clean-up.
  3. Vacuum thoroughly everywhere, don't miss any areas. If you realise the mattress is in really bad shape or the signs of infestation are obvious, then get rid of the mattress and purchase a new one, otherwise all your efforts will go in vain.
  4. Wash and dry the bed linen using a long, hot water washing cycle of your machine. The heat should kill off any living bedbugs and their eggs. Using heat is the alternative of using pesticides or chemical eradication which is not always recommended for household purposes.
  5. If you have a steam vacuum cleaner, use it to clean in and around the bed, and the floor around and underneath the bed, the hot steam produced by the vacuum cleaner will be intolerable for the bed bugs.

Deseases Caused by Bed Bugs
Deseases Caused by Bed Bugs

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous for Your Health

In terms of health dangers, bed bugs are blood sucking insects and as such the risk of them transmitting a blood borne disease is always present. Bed bugs are also known to cause certain skin diseases and conditions. Medical research has not been very definitive as to whether or not bed bugs can actually carry and transmit diseases, but these little blood sucking parasites are suspected of being able to carry over forty human diseases.

Research has proven though that the HIV virus can survive for up to eight days inside a bedbug’s system, after the insect has bitten an HIV positive person. One the same note, Hep B virus can survive for nearly two months inside a bed bug’s system, which is a reason for concern, until science and medicine proves definitively whether or not bed bugs can transmit a certain disease, not just carry it.

One of the worst diseases associated and proven to be caused by bed bugs is MRSA, or Medically Resistant Staph Infection. The disease is a potentially deadly skin condition which causes skin breakage through the allergic reaction to bites and the constant scratching of the patient. The whole thing is caused by the body’s allergic reaction to a high number of bed bug bites. If you suspect your home is invaded by bed bugs or another type of household pest or parasite, don’t leave things to chance and look for a pest control company in London. You can also look through the local online business listings for bed bug control specialist. London based contractors are very experienced and will help you get rid of the problem for good.

Perhaps the biggest damage caused by these little blood suckers is the emotional issues that stay behind. Many people develop emotional problems, sleep disorders, insomnia and insect fixations after being bitten by bed bugs for a certain period of time. OCDs are not out of the question either, many individuals refuse to sleep in the same bed, even the same house or have developed long term sleep disorders and psychological deviations.

Share Your Experience with Bed Bugs

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    • EmmaBrown1 profile image
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      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: I really hope that this lens will help someone deal with this terrible problem. Thank you for commenting!

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image
      Author

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      @meganst: Thank you very much for the nice comment, I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I was in a house full of German cockroaches and so I'm familiar with them, although I can't say I've encountered bed bugs. Another truly awful insect species. This lens is great for helping people who may unfortunately need this information!

    • meganst profile image

      meganst 4 years ago

      You did an amazing with this lens. I never knew bed bugs could be this big of a nuisance! Thanks to you, now, I will pay more attention to the environment I sleep in... and I also know which pest control company I want to call in case of emergency :)

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image
      Author

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      @Klaartje Loose: Oh my, that is terrible! Did the hotel reimburse you somehow?

    • Klaartje Loose profile image

      Klaartje Loose 4 years ago

      While traveling in Asia I once stayed in a hotel infested with bed bugs. Of course I didn't find out before it was too late, I was eaten alive during the night... Next morning I took my sheet-sleepingbag to be washed HOT and left the place in a hurry! The laundry-trick worked, I didn't bring the bugs to my next place.

    • EmmaBrown1 profile image
      Author

      EmmaBrown1 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the nice comment! I'll be more than glad if you share my lens with other people :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You did a great job explaining bed bugs. This was a breath of fresh air because the general public is very misinformed about bed bugs and spread false info. if its okay with you i will post this on my twitter page. It is great info! If you would like to visit my pest control site visit bedbugs-brooklyn.com