What are Bed Bugs
What are bed bugs? You have probably heard of these bugs, but very few of us actually know what these creatures really look like. Bed bugs hide during the day, so it is hard to see them. That is exactly why most of us do not know what they look like. Bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that feed on our blood, which is why we classify them as parasites.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Unlike fleas, bed bugs cannot transmit any diseases. They cannot cause any serious complications, but they can cause skin rashes. Bed bug rashes are not difficult to treat. In most cases, the rash will go away on its own after a week or two. However, some people have very sensitive skin, so they need to use some remedies. The best home remedies for bed bug bites include lavender oil, baking soda with water, calamine lotion, and antibacterial soap. Bed bug bites are usually very itchy, but if you scratch the skin, you will make the whole thing much worse. Your skin can get inflamed, and that is the last thing you need, especially if this rash is on your face.
Bed bugs are nearly 5 millimeters long. They are usually brown, but after meal, they turn reddish. These creatures live only for twelve months or so, but they reproduce fast, so it can be very hard to exterminate them.
Many people do not even know they have bed bugs. If you see small red bumps on your skin, (and you don’t have any kind of allergy), this can be an indicator that you have bed bugs. It is important to do something about bed bug prevention, before they bite you again.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs
You can call professionals. They will use their own chemicals for bed bug prevention. They will also clean your furniture and carpets, so you will be safe for a while. However, after this, you will have to maintain the house hygiene.
You can buy some chemicals for this purpose, but you must be very careful when using these. Always keep them closed and away from children! Some of these products can harm your pets, so before you buy any, ask if the product is safe for animals.
If you have any old furniture you don’t use, don’t store it in the house. Bed bugs usually hide in the old furniture, so you should remove it from the house.
Get to Know Bed Bugs Physically
Bed bugs had been the most notorious and annoying parasite or insect in the 19th to the early part of the 20th century. It is believed that during and after World War II in the United States in the 1940s, the country had totally been declared bedbug free.
But travelers from other countries and continents where bed bugs may have continued to thrive made their return to the US possible. Usually, baggage and travel possessions serve as traveling ground or traveling spots for bed bugs from one area to another, from one country to another.
You should know what bed bugs look like, to be able to identify them. Bed bugs of course, are insects.
Bed bugs are so tiny, that sometimes, one can hardly see them with just the naked eye. But when bed bugs mature, they look like other insects. They can be as long as a fourth of an inch.
Bed bugs look like other wingless insects. Hatchlings or newly hatched bed bugs are about as small as a poppy seed. Looking or viewing bed bugs, from top to bottom, they are usually flattened.
Bed bugs may sometimes look like ants or termites, except that when looked at closely, they have their own physical attributes.
What color are bed bugs?
Bed bugs, like humans, have different colors. It can be funny, but bed bugs look like they also have races! Bed bugs’ colors usually are a deep brown.
However, there are bed bugs that look like biting ants—burnt orange, while there are those that have light tan complexion to almost white.
When bed bugs are hungry, they exhibit a different color than that when they are fully fed. Bedbugs with blood in it look like balloons, but what is inside them is not air but blood.
The host or victim’s precious blood may look like a black mass or dark red mass inside the bed bug’s tiny body.
Bed bugs also do excrete. When they do, they produce small amounts of liquid that almost look like blood. Thus, beds or surfaces where bed bugs may have inhabited may be stained with tiny red spots. These spots most of the time have a stinky smell, but sometimes, they are not sensed by our olfactory glands.
How can bed bugs be found?
Because they are so, so tiny and are always crawling at very unnoticeable speed, bed bugs can not easily be detected or seen. During daytime, they stay within their protective habitats or hiding places.
Bed bugs look like small creeping objects in crevices and small holes in the floor, the walls or even your bed.
If you are observant enough, bed bugs may look or seem as if they are vampires.
They may not have the physical characteristics that may scare you the way Dracula does, but they suck your blood.
And they can never survive without it.
What do bed bug bites look like
‘Don’t get a bed bug bite!’ Yes we have all grown up listening to this phrase and surely most of you find it cute, but in reality cute is the last thing it is.
Bed bugs are a serious matter and not to forget, a very annoying one too and hence must be taken into consideration.
The reality of a bed bug is not limited to this phrase only, bed bugs do actually exist.
Next time when you wake up in the morning with rows of red bumps or welts on your skin, do not blame it on an allergy, they are actually
bed bug bite marks and you must take care of the bed bugs hiding under your bed or any other holes or crevices of your home immediately.
The question is where do bed bugs love to hide? Bed bugs are your housemates regardless of the fact if you want them or not.
They sleep during the day in any creeks or holes that they might find in your walls, floors or furniture and come out during the night time when all the member of the house have gone to sleep.
Do not think of them as stupid insects because stupid is the last thing they are, in fact they are very smart.
Bed bugs know exactly when the night has fallen and when their victims have gone to slumber, it is almost like they have watches and can read the time accurately. But in reality it’s just how their biological system works.
If you thought vampires are the only one who suck blood and were thanking God that they were only a myth, here’s a newsflash for you all, bed bugs also survive on blood and guess what? They are definitely not a myth.
They are even worse than vampires, they suck your blood out and you don’t even find out about it until the reaction on your skin takes place. Normally after you get a bed bug bite, it takes around 2-3 days and sometimes even up to 8-9 days depending upon the sensitivity of your skin for the reaction to take place.
The symptoms of a bed bug bite are similar to that of a mosquito bite. The affected area becomes red and gets swollen. However, it does have a unique pattern that it follows which differentiates it form other insect bites. A bed bug bite is in a linear manner often three in a row named as breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you are bitten by bed bugs, the infected area gets very itchy; often so itchy that you feel like scratching the skin off. However, bed bugs do not have the tendency to carry with them transmissible diseases and hence they do not pose any health threats.
If you see redness and swelling you must not confuse it with allergies or mosquito bite.
To confirm that it is a bed bug bite, you must check the bed sheets for dark spots which the bed bugs leave behind because of their gland secretion. Once you are sure of the bed bug bite, you must get it treated immediately, delaying it only causes increase in itchiness and the patterns of bite aren’t even that pretty to look at hence getting rid of it as quickly as possible is the best option.
There are several methods of treatment. However, to find out which treatment suits you the best you must go through trial and error with all of them. Which will cure you depends upon which method suits your skin the best. Doctors should also be visited because since they are an expert, they would be better able to identify the symptoms and suggest you the best method for ailment as per your skin type. Some of the methods include the following:
1. Cortisone cream to stop the itching
2. Calamine lotion
3. Just about any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine
4. Hydrocortisone cream
5. Naproxen or Ibuprofen or an antihistamine like Benadryl to help reduce swelling
6. Light paste of aspirin and water
7. Paste of baking soda and water
8. Gel from Aloe Plant
9. Mixing peppermint oil with water and bathe in it
However, treatment of the bed bug bite is not the only solution to the problem, you must also get rid of the bed bugs from your home otherwise the same problem would repeat itself and it would become a never-ending cycle.
Nowadays, several insecticides have been made with the soul reason of killing bed bugs. These insecticides or bed bug sprays are very effective as long as you are spraying the infected area. So, before you actually purchase the pesticides or insecticides, you must find out places where they might be living. These include as mentioned earlier any creeks or small holes in your house or even in your furniture especially the bed.
Another way of getting rid of the bed bugs is hiring professionals. You can easily call up any pest control company and ask for the service of a professional. These experts are easily able to identify the infected areas and deal with it and within a few hours they can get your home free of bed bugs.
Till now we have discussed about the symptoms which can be used to identify if a bed bug has bitten you or is it some other allergy, we have discussed about the various methods which can be used for treatment and also how we can get rid of them. But wouldn’t it be the best if we don’t let the bed bugs enter our homes in the first place? Most of you would be thinking, is that even possible? The answer is yes, it is very much possible, all you need to do is follow some basic things and succeed in keeping yourself safe from a bed bug bite.
” Keep your house as clean as possible because bed bugs love to settle down in places which are dirty.
” Mop your floors and dust your furniture and walls regularly
” Change your bed covers frequently
” Make sure your bed does not have any torn parts or holes in it
” Do not buy second hand furniture because the risk of bringing in any bed bugs which might have been living on that furniture is high
Just follow these methods and we assure you that bed bugs would stay away from you. Do not take bed bug bites lightly; it is important to get rid of them!