Bed Bug Treatments: Small and Terrible Pests
Waking up in the morning after a good nights sleep with itchy welts all over your body is really not the ideal way to start up your day which will make you wonder how you got those itchy red spots in the first place. Chances are, you may have just been a victim of bed bugs or bed mites, those small insects that are related to the flea, which also feed on the warm blood of their host. Scientifically called Cimex Lectularius, bed bugs belong to the genus Cimicidae, which also includes ticks, fleas and head lice, which are all generally parasitic insects that survive on a rich diet of blood from their mammal host. Bed bugs and ticks are the most closely related in physiology and similar to the way they prey upon their victims.
How they find you
Carbon dioxide along with the heat that our bodies emit during the early hours of the morning is all that a bed bug would need to track their meal down. Interestingly though, unlike their relative the flea or tick that directly approaches their host, bed bugs have this uncanny method of climbing on the walls and hanging over the ceiling until they detect a substantial amount of carbon dioxide emission underneath them. As soon as they have determined the location of their victim, they will detach themselves from the ceiling to land on their host in which they could start feeding on their blood. Compared to their other relatives, bed bugs are more sensitive to heat and light that they spend most of the day hiding underneath your beds, thus their name “bed bugs”.
The reason why bed bugs prefer to stay underneath your bed is because of the scent that people leave on their beds, which is the accumulation of bodily excretions such as sweat, which entices them. Along with the fact that they are in close proximity to their host as feeding on them will never be much of a problem. Bed bugs prefer to feed during the early hours of the morning, just as before the sun rises because of the right temperature setting that lets the human body radiate more than enough carbon dioxide and body heat for the bed bugs to detect. Unlike their other relatives, bed bugs do not have mandibles that bite into human skin; instead they have 2 sets of tubes that inject an anesthetic to the skin while the other draws out the blood from its host.
What causes the reddish welts on the skin is not a result of the bed bug drawing blood from its host but rather that of the anesthetic compound that it has injected to the skin to render the initial bites undetectable by its host. The prolonged exposure to this anesthetic compound is what causes the itchiness that is later manifested on its victim’s epidermis, which further aggravated by scratching it due to the ensuing itchiness that soon follows. There have been no direct medical evaluation that bed bugs can be a potential carrier of infectious diseases other than the annoying itchiness that it causes on its victims skin which can be relieved by using topical anti-histamine creams.
Spreading virus or bacteria
Unlike its more menacing relative the flea and the tick which was partially responsible for the spreading of the Bubonic Plague during the time that the “Black Death” wiped out almost half of the population in Europe due to the infected carcasses of rats and people that were infected with the disease. There were no reported cases of bed bugs which had the possibility of being able to carry any form of contagious virus or bacteria that may cause a pandemic but they do pose a health threat to small children and infants depending on the severity of the bites inflicted on their hosts which can cause severe skin inflammation, particularly on small children with under developed immune systems.
Just like any other household pest and parasites, bed bugs are very annoying and should be taken care of immediately on the first possible signs of an infestation. A single female bed bug can lay an average of 5 eggs a day, which may well turn out to about 500 eggs in its entire lifetime. Once this is not taken care of in the soonest possible time, you will soon expect a major infestation that could lead you and your family scratching the whole day through. Unlike fleas that have a particular area where they spend most of their time such as carpets, sofas and beds, bed bugs can be found almost anywhere around your house and find their way inside your homes by every imaginable means since they are the type of parasites that can gain access into your homes through furniture, books, luggage and clothing.
Bed bug treatments
The first method of bed bug treatment is to rid these pests from your homes completely and since this is easier said than done, this would require you to literally leave no stone unturned to ensure that there will be no surviving remnants that would have the possibility to re-colonize inside your home. The first thing that you should do is to start where the cause of the infestation is coming from, your bed. Cleaning your bed seems to be the first rational means of eliminating bed bugs but a more effective way will require you to isolate your entire bed mattress with a specially made fabric, which is treated with a compound that kills bed bugs. The compound is encased within the fabric, which entraps and kills off any bed bugs that re inside your mattress.
Dry cleaning your clothes and other fabric related items inside your house at 160 Fahrenheit can kill bed bugs and their eggs and judging by the amount of fabrics inside a single house hold, this could be one of the most tedious aspects in completely eradicating these bed bugs once and far all. Unfortunately, not everything can be submitted to this process, especially fixtures such as tables and chairs, but there is one alternative by which you can wrap them in plastic and place a heater which is set to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit which will dehydrate bed bugs and prematurely rupture any eggs that are laid. Thorough vacuuming can also greatly reduce the bed bug population in your house, as you need to give more attention to your beddings and other fabrics around your home. If everything else fails to resolve your situation, you may want to start considering in seeking out professional help from pest exterminators.