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Bed bugs facts
Bed bugs are small, oval non-flying insects that feed by sucking blood from humans or animals.
Bed bugs can live in any area of the home and can reside in tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, boxsprings, and bed frames.
Bed bugs are most active at night and bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping. The face, neck, hands, and arms are common sites for bedbug bites.
A bed bug bite is painless and is not noticed. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign; redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur.
Typically, no treatment is required for bed bug bites. If itching is severe, steroid creams or oral antihistamines may be used for symptom relief.
Fecal stains, egg cases, and exuviae (shed skins) of bed bugs in crevices and cracks on or near beds are suggestive that bed bugs may be present, but only observing the bugs themselves can confirm an active infestation.
A professional pest-control company may be required to help identify and remove bedbugs from the home.
What are bed bugs? What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are small, oval non-flying insects that belong to the insect family Cimicidae, which includes three species that bite people. Adult bed bugs reach 5 mm-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm. Bed bugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Bed bugs feed by sucking blood from humans or animals. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, appearing more reddish after feeding on a blood meal. Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding. The wings of bed bugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly. However, they are able to crawl rapidly. Temperatures between 70 F-80 F are most favorable for bed bugs, allowing them to develop into adults most rapidly and produce up to three generations per year.
Where are bed bugs found?
Bed bugs were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger pesticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bed bug infestations. While bed bugs are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals (particularly bats) are nesting on or near a home, bed bugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bed bugs.
Bed bugs can live in any area of the home and can reside in tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, boxsprings, and bed frames. They do not infest the sleeping surfaces of beds as commonly as cracks and crevices associated with the bed frame and mattress. Other sites where bed bugs often reside include curtains, edges of carpet, corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.
Since bed bugs can live for months or even longer under favorable conditions without feeding, they can also be found in vacant homes
Bed bug bite symptoms don’t appear immediately, usually after a week victims notice small bumps. Watch your skin for red welts. These red welts may not cause any itching initially to some people. During the initial stages they are small and hard to recognize. The most common sign of bed bug bites is that they will occur in a regular line of three. This pattern is referred to as “breakfast, lunch and dinner” by infectious disease experts. They cause an itching and burning sensation after a few days.
It’s not surprising that bed bug bite symptoms differ from individual to individual. Only allergic people show symptoms due to hypersensitive reactions, whereas some barely feel an itch. Nearly 60 percent of all exposed are unaware of bed bug bite symptoms.
Your skin reacts differently in different parts of the body. The skin of the face, hands and feet react the most when bitten by bed bugs. These are quite innocuous and are often misdiagnose as skin disorders such as scabies, rashes or mosquito bites.
With exposure to harsh conditions, itching increases. These harsh conditions can be a warm bath, exercising, chlorinated water of swimming pool, etc. Polluted environments also make us more reactive to bites. Those people whose skin develops blisters within a few minutes after a bite should visit a doctor immediately. To confirm bed bug bites, look for the following:
Red bumps in a “breakfast, lunch and dinner” pattern a regular line of three.
Little red bumps, similar to mosquito bites but longer, and often accompanied by itchiness and swelling in that area. This swelling can be up to 20cm in diameter. This bump eventually grows into blisters like lesions, Redness or Swelling
Check for dark fecal spots on bed sheets. This is due to the gland secretion by the bed bugs. This confirms the infestation of bed bugs in your house.
Rashes are periodical. This is because of the feeding habit of bed bugs. These bugs usually feed once a month or every few weeks.
There may be swollen pus type formation. Above mentioned symptoms eventually lead to anxiety, insomnia and stress.
Some victims have even gone into anaphylactic shock due to the allergen content of the saliva. It can also lead to damaged local tissue.
The time span between the time someone has been bitten and the time symptoms appear is usually about 9 days. Bed bugs take advantage of your rest and are most active during night while you sleep tightly.
Bed bugs are fond of biting the face, hands and feet. The bite remains normally for three to four days and then slowly fades away if it is not severe. Even old bites can flare up from time to time. This is due to stress, the environment and many other factors.
Do not make your bite susceptible to secondary infections by scratching it. This can easily expose your wound to microbes which infect it and can also lead to infection in other parts of the body.
Though bed bug bite symptoms are difficult to recognize, when they are detected they must not be left untreated.
The first sign of bedbugs may be red, itchy bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. Bedbugs tend to leave straight rows of bites, unlike some other insects that leave bites here and there.
Bedbugs do not seem to spread disease to people. But itching from the bites can be so bad that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. The bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.
BEDBUG Extermination Preparation Sheet
1. Remove clutter from floors and away from walls.
2. Launder bed linens, bedspread, etc. in “hot” water. Leave bed unmade.
3. Wash clothes in “hot” water or have them dry cleaned, if required. After cleaned, store in sealed garbage bags or zip lock bags.
4. Remove all items from furniture (nightstands, dressers, desks, etc.). All drawers must be treated. Clean each piece, place in a plastic bag and then seal it tightly.
5. Closets must be completely emptied. All clothing, shoes, boxes, suitcases, etc., must be removed.
6. Remove and/or loosen all switch plates from outlets and light switches.
7. Remove any items that are mounted to the walls (i.e. - pictures, mirrors, but do not remove these items from the room). Clean each piece, place in a plastic bag and then seal it tightly.
8. Furniture should be removed at least 2 feet from the wall.
9. Bags, hats, shoes, books, magazines, papers, etc., must be thoroughly inspected and vacuumed, if possible, before being stored away.
10. All books should be removed from shelves. Books should be inspected and vacuumed, if possible, before storing them away.
11. (Every day) Vacuum bag must be discarded outside, immediately after use.
12. Purchase covers for mattress and box spring. Mattress covers can be purchased from Pest Control Bed Bugs.
13. Arrangements must be made to have any pets out of the apartment prior to treatment. Water filters on fish tanks must be turned off and the fish tank covered properly.
14. Please remember to safeguard all valuables and remove all breakables from all treatable areas.
15. Make sure the technician has access to all rooms and closets to be sure that an inspection and treatment can be done properly.
AFTER 1st TREATMENT:
1. Open as many windows as possible (weather permitting).
2. Leave your home for 4 hours, or until the spray has dried. Keep pets and children off treated surfaces until the spray has dried. Any infants, pregnant women, or anyone with respiratory issues must be out of the unitfor 48 hours after treatment.
3. Allow mattresses to dry completely before putting mattress covers on.
4. Do not mop floor for 2-3 weeks
AFTER 2nd TREATMENT:
1. You should leave your home for 4 hours.
2. You may start to put your belongings back in place. Your clothing can go back into the closets and drawers. You can return books to the bookshelves.
Note! It is not uncommon to be bitten following treatment. You need to give the treatment time to work—at least 7-10 days. If instructions are not followed, you will significantly reduce the chances of eliminating the bedbug problem.
Note! DO NOT UNPACK ANY ITEMS UNTIL THE BED BUG PROBLEM
HAS BEEN ERADICATED.
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