If you’re reading this you probably have ave heard your grandmother say “sweet dreams little Billy, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” When I was a kid I didn’t even know bedbugs were a real thing! I just thought it was a nice way to scare the bejesus out of little kids. Well I was definitely wrong bedbugs are a very real thing and on that affects families all over the United States and the world? Back in the 1950's people were more willing to use hazardous chemicals in their homes to ward off these and other tiny invader. But, nowadays people are more health conscious and have shifted away from cancer causing bug strays and are opting for more O-natural formulas. It just so happens environments that are more healthy for people are, in many cases, perfect breeding grounds for bedbugs and many other creepy crawlies.
So what do you do if you have a little Cimex Lectularius (Bedbug) infestation? How did it happen? Well, first it’s important to understand beds how only been around for a fraction of the time bedbugs have been around. So there’s no need to start sleeping on the floor. We call the “bed” bugs because these little fellows like to feed when their hosts are asleep. WHAT! That’s right, “Don’t let the Bedbugs Bite” isn’t just a sing songy phase it’s a warning about these little buggers. People are in no way the only creatures on Earth who suffer bedbug bites. Our furry friends have to contend with them too. So if you’re a dog, cat, bird, or bat, first stop reading. You’re an animal and animals can’t ready. Seconds check you nest, or blacket, or your indoor climbing tree for bedbugs because they hide out in pretty much any nook or cranny they can find. Fully grown they are only about a quarter inch long, so they fit just about anywhere. Carpets, baseboards, couches, mattresses, and yes BEDS. But wait, don’t pack up and move just yet, there’s some good news. Even though bedbugs a creepy, and cawley, and down right ewww, there is no known evidence they spread disease to humans. That’s great news, right? Or maybe scientists “just haven't gotten around to studying” these lovely little guys, so they can say there is no known evidence. Just kidding. bedbugs are a lot like mosquitoes, tics, or any other blood sucking bug. As soon as you lay down for the night and get nice and comfy the ninja like bedbugs crawl up and insert a syringe-like bitty thing and have at it. You probably won’t even know it happened until you see a little mosquito bite looking bump on you skin in the morning.
Infestations can be caused by a few things. But first, it’s important to know if you have bedbugs that doesn’t mean your messy. bedbugs don’t feed on trash or dust, they feed on blood and they can go up to a year without eating so you might have just inherited them from the last tenant, or homeowner. Or they could have come from the neighbor. Eeww, right. If you have traveled in the past year you may have brought them home with you in your luggage. You may have saved a few bucks at a thrift store and bought a couch with some hitchhikers. Basically contact at all just these guys is all the opportunity they need to find a new home. So how do you know if you have an infestation? Look closely in all their normal hiding places, folds of the bed sheets, around the baseboards, in the creases of the couch. If they are there you will find little tiny bed bug turds, molted shells, and maybe a frenzied scurry of they trying to flee the scene.
So what do you do? It’s pretty, call a pro that knows how to deal with them. They should know the mixture of chemicals need to knock them out, but there are other options, too. The DIYer can do some heavy duty cleaning, vacuum every nook and cranny in the house and wash every piece of fabric you have, use a steam cleaner on carpets, and furniture. Wrap the affected mattress or couch in plastic to suffocate them, which might take a while. There are power disinfectants you can find at pretty much any box store, just follow the directions carefully. Or spay insect killer that kills on contact, again follow the directions and use common sense. Remember, bedbugs like to hide and they are good at it so if you are likely enough to catch one use some enhanced interrogation techniques to find out where their friends are. One easy why to get rid of them, is to turn up the heat. Anything over 120 degrees will cook them and below 0 degrees will freeze them.
Remember baits and traps don’t work on bedbugs like they do on other critters. bedbugs feed on blood not on sugar and trash. If you decide to throw out the infested furniture call someone who can deal with the bedbugs, don’t just leave it out were other people might claim it as their own. And definitely don’t donate the thing! When you get it removed help the junk removal guys plan ahead and tell them about the infestation. If they find it when they get there very well may leave everything and reschedule so they can come prepared with the proper PPE, plastic wrap, etc.
If you want to learn more about bedbugs do a quick search online or start your very own budbug farm and do some studies yourself.