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Category Archives for "Bed Bugs"

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live Without Feeding or Human Contact?

If you are dealing with a bedbug infestation, you know that it can be difficult to get rid of them. But, knowledge is power. Allowing your revulsion to get the better of you will not be useful in this fight. Knowing a few things about your foe can help you to eradicate them. When you understand how they spread, what attracts them, how long they live and how to get rid of them, you will be more likely to rid yourself of them than if you just sit around worrying.

First, the good news: Bedbugs are not known to carry disease. While that may not make you any less disgusted at the idea of parasitic insects in your home, at least, you know that they are more of a nuisance than a threat.

Next, you should know that you are more likely to find bedbugs in places that have a high turnover of overnight guests, especially if any of these guests have recently traveled to foreign countries. Hotels and hospitals are the ground zero of many infestations. If you have stayed in one of these places recently, then that is probably how you picked up your own little guests.

You should also know that an infestation has nothing to do with your housekeeping or hygiene. Bedbugs, like fleas and mosquitos, feed on blood, not dirt.

One thing you will want to know when trying to get rid of them is “How long do bed bugs live?” Unfortunately, the answer is not always clear-cut: it depends several factors. Some studies show that in a cooler climate of around 50 degrees or so, bedbugs metabolisms slow down and they can live well over a year. In places where the temperature is closer to human body temperature, their metabolism is faster and they may only live 6 to 12 months. Other factors such as access to food also play a part in the length of their lifespan, although adult bedbugs can live a long time without a meal. Even knowing that a bedbug can live for several months, however, can be pretty daunting. It can be even worse when you understand that a female lays about 5 eggs daily during her lifecycle and that those eggs only take about a week or so to hatch. That means that infestations can take hold rapidly.

So, the really important thing to know is how to get rid of your bed bug problem. diatomaceous earth and neem oils have both been noted organic treatments. Getting a professional involved is probably your best bet, however. It will take an average of three treatments to get rid of bedbugs as the treatments will get rid of live bedbugs but any eggs will still hatch after treatment. After the first treatment, you will still need more treatments to kill the newly hatched pests.

Getting rid of your bed bug problem can be daunting but with the right information and the right help it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Learn How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally – Nontoxic Tips

Pesky creepy crawlers that invade the most personal places of your home are more than troublesome. Bed bugs are also bad for your health. The bite from a bed bug is small, but can itch pretty badly and cause a rash for those sensitive to them. Learning how to spot and how to get rid of bed bugs naturally is something every family should know.

Spotting Bed Bugs

Bed bugs hop a ride into homes on second hand furniture, stuffed toys, mattresses and sometimes clothing. Unlike their name, bed bugs can infest any piece of furniture that has soft fabric for them to scurry around in. They love beds so much because it is where a person spends long periods of time and this allows them to feed.

  • If you wake up with an itchy spot every morning it’s a good idea to check it out. Bed bugs bites are tiny red dots that can often be smaller than a mosquito bite.
  • Check for blood stains on sheets, pillowcases or cushion covers. These will be small spots that were created when a bed bug bit you or a family member.
  • Search mattresses, couches and chairs for fecal spots, egg shells or shed skin. These will be in areas that bed bugs can hide, such as in seams, in between cushions or between a mattress and the headboard.
  • Look for the bugs themselves. Bed bugs have flat oval shaped bodies and are unable to fly. Adults grow only to about 6 mm in length. Adults are brownish red and juvenile bed bugs are either clear in color or bright red.

Get Rid of Bed Bugs Naturally

There are a number of ways to remove a bed bug infestation. Treatments run the gambit from chemical to the more natural. It’s always a good idea to try out natural remedies first before using the harsher chemical method.

  • Wash every washable fabric that the bed bugs could have come in contact with. This includes sheets, blankets, pillowcases, furniture covers, clothing and washable toys. Use a hot wash cycle. This will help kill off any bugs in the fabrics.
  • After a hot wash run everything through the dryer. Do not line dry these items. The high heat created in the dryer will work to kill off any eggs or bed bugs that somehow survived the wash.
  • Vacuum what cannot go into the wash. The carpets under the bed, the mattress, couches and chairs can all be vacuumed. This will suck up a lot of the eggs or bugs. It will also unsettle them so you may be able to spot them roaming around and suck them up directly with the vacuum.
  • Steam clean after vacuuming. The heat used to create the steam will kill bed bugs and their eggs. It will also clean away the mess they left behind.
  • Wipe down hard services to remove any lingering traces of bed bugs. If you have hard floors instead of carpets then mop them.
  • Use tree tea oil around the bed or couch to keep bed bugs away. Bed bugs avoid tree tea oil because of the strong odor it puts off.
  • Place dried lavender between cushions and mattresses. The smell and taste of lavender repels bed bugs. You can also just use a concentrated liquid spray over the bed to repel the creepy pests.
  • If after all of this there are still bed bugs infesting the mattress or furniture then you may have to just remove that piece from your home and buy a new one. If this is the case then you will need to vacuum carpet, wash curtains and wipe down walls and headboards before bringing in the new piece to make sure no bed bugs remain behind.

Natural Bed Bug Prevention

Once you’ve removed the bed bugs from your home there are a few things you can do to keep them from coming back. These are simple habits that won’t change much of your day to day life.

  • Check any piece of furniture for signs of bed bugs before it comes into the home. If you find evidence of bed bugs but you still want the furniture quarantine the piece in a garage or storage building until you’ve gone through the debugging process.
  • Wash all second hand clothing through at least one hot cycle in the washing machine and give it a run through the dryer for good measure.
  • Invest in a mattress cover. Covers can be found that repel bed bugs, dust mites and other nasty creepers. They are often labeled as hypoallergenic and work very well to prevent pest infestations.
  • Keep a regular cleaning cycle. Not only will this help your home look great it’ll also cut down on the possibility of bed bugs finding the time to scurry around long enough to lay eggs.

Learning how to get rid of bed bugs naturally and handling an infestation if it appears is important to you and your family’s health. It will also help you sleep better knowing that there are no creepy crawlers hanging around while your dreaming.

Learn How to Check for Bed Bugs at Home or in Hotels

Let’s face it, there’s not a lot to like about bed bugs. These resilient, relentless pests – which feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans – have made something of a comeback in recent years.

Finding bed bugs is no easy task. For one, they’re nocturnal and shun daylight. Getting rid of them is no walk in the park, either. Bed bugs can live for months without eating and it generally takes a pest control professional to get rid of them.

But the first step in the process is checking for, and identifying, these less-than-desirable pests.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny wingless insects which, as mentioned, feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They are often referred to as nest parasites, i.e., they inhabit the nests of birds and bats. Evolution has seen them learn to adapt to the human environment and find homes in our own nests – our beds.

How Do I Know I Have Them?

Bed bugs are often confused with fleas, but here are some signs that you may have an infestation:

  • Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and have reddish-brown colored bodies that are flat.
  • Bed bugs shed their skin as they grow, leaving behind a light-brown exoskeleton.
  • Bed bugs will leave behind blood spots and fecal stains after feeding.
  • Unlike fleas, bed bugs do not fly or jump.
  • Bed bug bites can leave a raised, flat welt and often appear in a straight line of three or four bites. They can take a few days – or more – to show up on your skin.
  • While fleas will feed numerous times a day and for hours on end, bed bugs come out for a meal every seven to 10 days while you sleep.

How Can I Check For Them?

Being thorough is your best strategy in checking for bed bugs. While they get their name from inhabiting the beds of human, these pests can be found in a multitude of other places around the house. It’s also important to take some precaution. Wear medical gloves during your search because bed bugs take in the blood of other humans and potentially carry the diseases which come with it. And you’ll be searching some potentially grungy places.

A flashlight and credit card are tools you can use for your search. The flashlight will shed needed light on the process, while the credit card can be used to check between seams of mattresses and other furniture.

  1. Begin by removing all of the bed linen down to the bottom sheet. Use your flashlight to search for excrement or bloodstains. Next, remove the bottom sheet and inspect the mattress.
  2. Use the credit card to check the seams along the mattress. Hold open the seam with your card and then check with your flashlight. Also use the credit card to examine mattress straps and tags.
  3. If you’re able, flip the mattress and check the underside. You may see fleeing bugs when you do so.
  4. Move the bed from the wall and and shine the flashlight on the wall and floor behind it. Look for fleeing bugs and/or bloodstains and excrement.
  5. Check the underside of the bed frame. Bed bugs may be hiding in seams between pieces of wood, or even in screw holes.
  6. Bed bugs can inhabit any piece of upholstered furniture. Check other furniture as you did for the bed by using a flashlight, credit card while examining all seams carefully. The seams of decorative pillows should also be searched.
  7. Take your clothes out of dresser drawers and shake them out over a clean white sheet to look for bugs and excrement. Check the seams of heavy clothing, such as winter coats, and also look under collars. Also, check the drawers themselves for any signs of bugs, skins and excrement.
  8. If you have loose wallpaper, be sure to check behind it. Also, use your flashlight to check behind picture frames and mirrors.
  9. While you’re more apt to find bed bugs lower to the ground, check the folds of curtains and behind them.
  10. Check any those hard-to-see ‘underneath’ places, such as under refrigerators and other appliances. Sweep under them first, then check under with a flashlight.

In summary, being thorough is your best defense in checking for bed bugs. While you’ll naturally want to check your entire bed carefully, don’t forget to check other furniture, clothes, and even appliances.

 

How to Check a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

How to Inspect a Couch or Sofa for Bed Bugs

How Do Bed Bugs Spread? And How to Stop Them.

Where can bedbugs be found?

Bedbugs do not just live in beds. They are spread by the multiple products they attach themselves to. They can be found in furniture, clothing, and bedding. When you buy used furniture or clothing their eggs could already be present and you wouldn’t even know it. They will spread throughout your house, contaminating multiple rooms. Bedbugs can even spread throughout building complexes such as hotels and apartments.

The bedbug can also be found in boxes, suitcases or items that are taken from one place to another. If you stay in a hotel that has a problem with bedbugs there is a very good chance you will bring some home with you in your suitcase. If you are in an area infested with bedbugs they can transfer to your clothing. When you leave this area you are most likely taking some of them with on your clothes.

The CDC reports the bedbug is a master at hiding. With their body structure they fit into the smallest of areas and go for a long time without eating. Their main way to travel is with humans; by attaching themselves to our articles we travel with they move from place to place as we move about.

Symptoms of Bedbug Bites

Bedbugs eat by sucking our blood. They are most active at night and will bite any exposed skin they can find. Your neck, face, hands and arms are the most vulnerable for getting bit. The bite does not hurt so it doesn’t wake you to alert you the event is even happening. You will not know until the small, flat and raised bump appears on your skin.

The bumps will turn red, start to swell and itch. One odd thing about the bedbug bite is how they appear to be lined up on your skin. Infectious disease specialists call this the, “breakfast, lunch and dinner” sign. Sometimes these bite marks will not show up for days. There are even reports of them taking up to 14 days to show after the bite has occurred. This unfortunate fact may make it difficult to verify where the bite occurred, especially if you have been traveling.

The bedbug bite can also be mistaken for the mosquito or flea bite or even skin rashes. They have glands which secrete musty odors and may also leave fecal spots on the bed sheets or areas they are hiding in; so these may be good signs you are suffering from the bedbug bite.

It has not been proven that the bedbug carries infectious microbes. Researchers have thought the bedbug may be responsible for Chagas disease in some areas but it is inconclusive at this point. Studies are being conducted on this disease and others. While the disease aspect has not been determined, it is known there are some severe allergic reactions to the bed bug bite. No treatment is specified for the bites; if itching persists or allergic reactions occur you can use a topical steroid cream to ease symptoms.

How do you know if you have an infestation?

The bedbug will leave fecal stain, egg cases and they also shed their skins which are signs to look for when looking to see if you have a bedbug infestation. They also produce a sweet musty smell if they are present you may notice this on your linen or furniture. They can hide anywhere with their size; check behind picture frames, under wallpaper in your couch and any small crack or crevice.

How to get rid of a bedbug infestation

It is not easy to bet rid of bedbugs. Many times calling a professional pest control is your best answer. These pesky litter critters can actually live up to a year without eating so there is no way to eliminate their food source like with most household pests.

Mattress

There are mattress bed encasements to place over your mattress and you can even spray an insecticide over it and then zip it closed to kill the bedbugs. There are also Active Guard Liners you can place on your beds which are effective in preventing bedbugs. There are several safe spray insecticides to use on a mattress: Cimexa Dust, Bedlam Aerosols, Temprid SC Insecticide and Steri-Fab Bed Bug Spray.

Baseboards and Furniture

There are several sprays and dusts on the market to spray or powder around areas you feel may be harboring bedbugs. Make sure to cover inside and under all suspected areas as they are small and will hide their whereabouts.

Bedbugs can found anywhere; even some 5-star hotels have been reported to have problems. Their presence is not determined by how clean a place is or isn’t. You do want to check for signs and if present- get rid of them if discovered.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Fast and Easy

Bed bugs are one of the most troublesome infestations that you can ever have in your home.  These insects set up camp in the sleeping areas of warm-blooded animals and will feast nightly on all humans and cats, dogs or other pets on the premises. If you’re tired of waking up to a fresh rash of painful, itchy bites each morning, you need to learn how to get rid of bed bugs fast.  Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to eliminate of this problem within a very nominal amount of time.

Make A Positive  Identification

Before you rush out and invest in costly insecticides to perform a home bed bug treatment, you have to make sure that you are actually dealing with bed bugs.  The best way to do this is by checking your bedding and mattress for signs of bed bugs feces.  Given that bed bugs live entirely on the blood of warm-blooded mammals, their feces looks exactly like digested blood.  This will be present on the mattress and bedding in small, dark-brown or black speckles. Bed bugs are notoriously good at hiding and thus, you may not spot the actual bugs when checking your bedding, but you will definitely see evidence of their presence in the form of their feces.

Other Places To Look For Bed Bugs

Although bed bugs will climb right into the bed with you at night, this is not always where you’ll find them hiding. Check around the baseboards near your bed, under or behind picture frames and  in the crevices of your nightstand or any nearby dressers.  When checking your mattress, be sure to pull back the rolled mattress seam at the edge. Wherever they are, you’ll find the tell-tale signs of feces and the light-yellow or light-red, discarded shells of growing bed bug nymphs.

Verifying Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites feel similar to spider and mosquito bites given that they leave the affected area red, hot and itchy. In appearance, however, these bites are much smaller than the bites that mosquitoes or spiders make.  They are usually small, reddish, raised bumps and some bites may have white tips or heads that make them look similar to tiny pimples. People often get these bites on their arms, stomachs and faces, however, they can also be present on the hands, back, legs and feet depending upon where the infestation is centralized.

Bed Bugs And Your Pets

These insects don’t just feast on humans. They will happily climb into the bedding of your cat or dog and thus, areas in which pets regularly sleep should be checked and treated as well. Dogs and cats that scratch themselves frequently and yet exhibit no other signs of fleas are a likely sign of a bed bug infestation. Behavioral changes and moodiness in pets are also indicators of an infestation. Animals cannot vocalize their discomfort and thus, they often show their displeasure by acting out or by refusing to sleep in their normal sleeping areas.  It is also important to note that bed bugs could be living off of other pests in the home. For instance, if you have a rodent or raccoon infestation on the property interior, you will need to eliminate these pests first given that they are the underlying problem. Treating human and pet sleeping areas will only cause the infestation to abate temporarily when other, warm-blooded hosts exist.

Getting Your Home Ready For A Treatment

In order to ensure that a self-managed treatment is wholly effective, it is important to prepare your home before getting started. Given that bed bugs are excellent hiders, you’ll want to clear out all unnecessary clutter. The more clutter that exists in your home; the more places that these insects will have to hide.  When eliminating unwanted items, however, it is vital to always place these things in the trash rather than donating them or leaving the out in the yard to be picked up by unsuspecting parties. This will prevent the spread of your infestation to other homes. You should also vacuum your home thoroughly while using the hose attachment to vacuum at all baseboards and unsealed cracks.  All linen and clothing should be washed and then dried at the highest possible temperatures and then double-bagged to prevent re-infestation.

Using Steam Heat

Steam heat is an excellent addition to any multi-pronged treatment plan given that it is easy to disburse and relatively inexpensive. Bed bugs will succumb to high enough temperatures and thus, you can use a standing or hand-held steamer to treat all likely hiding places before disbursing any chemicals. Use your steamer at all baseboards and cracks.  Once the resulting moisture has dried, seal these areas with a high-quality caulk to prevent re-entry.

Mattresses, boxsprings and upholstered home furnishings can be treated with your steamer as well. These same areas can then be coated in a spray-on insecticide.  After the insecticide has dried, consider putting zippered, bed bug covers on all applicable items. This will prevent any living bugs from getting back out and causing problems.

Never Use Foggers

Always use spray-on insecticides rather than foggers when treating a bed bug infestation. Foggers do not permeate all of the cracks and other crevices in which bed bugs are likely to be hiding.  Spray-on insecticides, however, allow for a direct application in all targeted areas. It only takes one healthy male and one healthy female for an infestation to start anew and this makes it vital to disburse treatment chemicals in the most effective manner possible.

Treat Just One Room At A Time

Move from room to room so that no treatment area is missed. When possible, always use multiple resources to eradicate these insects. For instance, you can combine steam heat with spray-on insecticides, bed bug covers, caulking and diligent vacuuming for optimal results. Always make sure to immediately empty your vacuum canister in a receptacle outside of the home when finished. Cover all areas in which pets sleep as well, so that your animals can enjoy bed bug-free living quarters as well.

Break The Breeding Cycle

One of the most important steps in a bed bug treatment is making sure that you have broken the breeding cycle.  Many store-bought insecticides only kill living adult bugs and do not impact bed bug eggs or nymphs.  You will therefore need to repeat all applications of insecticide throughout the home within two weeks of the initial treatment in order to effectively break the breeding cycle.