They are disgusting, their itchy bites wake you up in the middle of the night and they are hard to get rid of if you have an infestation on hand. However, did you know that bed bugs can bite without you knowing? Here are ten other facts that you probably did not know about the them
1. They don’t discriminate
Anyone can get bed bugs. In other words, an infestation can also occur if you’re a clean freak. It doesn’t have anything to do with personal hygiene either. A bed bug can easily infiltrate a home and decide to stay no matter how many times you dust or mop.
2. Seeing isn’t believing where bed bugs are concerned
Just because you can’t see bed bugs, doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t there, especially if your kids keep showing you boo boos that are scattered in cluster like patterns. You can miss an infestation if your problem isn’t a large one. Look for black fecal spots on your pillow or mattress. This should look like a peppering of tiny black spots. Also, look for their exoskeletons. A bed bug will shed its skin a total of five times before it grows into an adult.
You won’t necessarily be able to feel a bed bug bite either. How? The pests ensure that their snoozing hosts never detect them by injecting a numbing agent into their bodies before they feast. An anticoagulant ensures that the blood keeps flowing and supplying them with an interrupted meal.
3. No two bed bug bites are identical
Just because someone says that a bed bug bite looks a certain way, doesn’t mean that the pest follows a solemn rule of biting people a certain way. Most bites appear in groups of threes. However, you may encounter more bites if a family of them has been feasting on your flesh. The bites may also appear singularly and spaced.
4. They can feed in the day
It is natural to assume that the pests will attack you when you turn in for the night. They are, after all, called bed bugs for a reason. However, this doesn’t mean that they will forgo their hunger if you happen to take a light nap in the afternoon.
Remember, bed bugs are notoriously opportunistic, which means that they will feed whenever they can get a blood meal. The pests are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale and your body heat.
5. Dogs can sniff them out
Before you drag Fido to the bed, know that bed bugs can only be detected by canines that have been trained to sniff them out.
6. They don’t carry diseases
Contrary to popular belief, not all blood sucking insects carry diseases that can affect people. Bed bugs happen to be one of them. However, the constant itching and bites do account for frustration. In addition, the pests have also been known to trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in some people.
7. Treating an infestation by yourself is a bad idea
You might be able to annihilate a single defenseless bed bug, but treating an infestation is another matter.
One thing is for sure; it’s no picnic. It’s best that you do not use any equipment that the pros do either, even if you know how to use them. Pesticides are noxious and the fumes can make the neighbors complain.
It’s best that you call in the pros to help you get rid of the infestation. A professional service will also prevent the pests from scattering to the rest of your home and make your problem worse.
8. They are the vampires of the bug world
You might have seen TV vampires living without blood meals for hundreds of years before they awaken from their eternal slumber and assault the nearest village. Bed bugs work the same way; only they can go without feeding for 10 months.
Scientists have also proven that the pests can get their blood meals from other insects if they need to. Three minutes is all it takes for the pest to engorge itself, drop off from its unwary host and crawl to the nearest space to digest its awaited meal.
9. They slip on smooth surfaces
Bed bugs are no ice skaters. They slip and slide on smooth surfaces such as plastic or glass. This little tidbit can come in handy in preventing bed bugs from getting on your bed. Remember, bed bugs cannot jump like fleas or fly. They can only get onto a host by crawling.
10. You don’t have to get rid of your clothes
You don’t need to get rid of your clothes or mattress after you have gotten rid of an infestation. All you have to do is throw your clothing in a hot drier at 120 degrees. The temperature is enough to kill off any bed bugs that managed to survive extermination and latched onto your clothes as a hiding place.
There is no cause for concern. Bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. Researchers have proven that the pests do carry over 40 diseases; however none of them can affect people. However, their tendency to render a homeowner insane is not something anyone would like to deal with. Their bites also look grotesque. Try explaining why your wife’s face is breaking out in rashes at the next barbecue party.
If that wasn’t enough, they can also be hard to identify, especially since their bites can look like mosquito or flea bites. A check for blood stains along the seams of your mattress ought to confirm their presence. Of course, dealing with a small number of them isn’t a problem for the homeowner.
All it takes is a few home remedies and regular checks to ensure that they never come back. An infestation, however, is another matter entirely and requires the expertise of a professional pest control service or devices that know how to make your bed bug problem a passing memory.