Poor hygiene has commonly been cited as a cause of bed bugs. But how true is this? These bugs are parasites that feed on your blood and other animals. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is about 3 to 8 mm long when it does not engorge with blood after feeding.
You can see them as flat and oval-shaped insects without wings. After feeding for about five minutes, however, their shape changes from oval to round. They become more reddish after each blood meal. These wingless insects are usually active at night. They are inactive during daytime hours unless disturbed. But are capable of surviving for several months without food as necessary.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Bed bugs are one of the oldest pests on earth. Their origin is more than 3,500 years ago in China. They spread to other parts of Europe only in the middle of the 19th century. During World War II, however, these insects infested armies around the world.
Problems from them had become so widespread that by 1950, they infected more than 30 countries! In the United States, bed bugs are very common. Experts consider them as an epidemic in many states.
Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of because they can come in so many different places. They do not only live on beds or mattresses. But also furniture like electrical switch plates and picture frames as well. For this reason, it is best not just to rely on ineffective spraying treatments for certain locations.
This depends upon where your problem lies with these annoying insects. In some instances, bed bug problems can arise after an infestation has already been formed.
What Attracts Bed Bugs in Residences?
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in keeping bed bugs away is by using insect repellent. These repel insects but are not effective against them.
What many homeowners do not understand is that these parasites like body heat. They can detect up to 7 feet from where they are resting. Bed bugs are also extremely sensitive to carbon dioxide emitted from people and animals. Their senses are so fine-tuned for finding their prey that they will stay on the hunt until they get what they want: fresh blood!
But instead of preventing bed bugs from getting closer to you, sprays only give a false sense of security and protection. This is especially when it comes to killing the adults and their eggs. These are the easiest to spot because of their reddish color!
Spraying them with chemicals might kill or deter adults temporarily. But are completely ineffective in that they fail to penetrate crevices where there are eggs. Experts recommend that you do not lash out on chemical pesticides. These are never 100% effective in killing bed bugs. That is even when they are directly exposed to these toxins.
Is It Due to Uncleanliness or Poor Hygiene?
Below are two types of places where bed bugs can bite you:
You can recognize these are places for their poor cleanliness. Also, they are often very crowded with a high turnover of beds and rooms. In addition, you are more likely to attract bed bugs because of the following:
- Not hiring professional pest controllers to eradicate these insects
- Topping furniture like bed frames with creased or cotton sheets
Poor hygiene is not the main cause of them biting you. But it is the result of staying in filthy hotels. Bed bugs are opportunistic creatures that can travel up to 100 feet away from where they occur naturally. That is when there are no enclosures around them. They can hitchhike on clothing or even unprotected luggage. When owners return home to their residences, they are unknowingly bringing them inside.
Clean environments are not likely to have bed bug infestations. But are good hiding spaces for their eggs. This is because people are very unlikely to sweep or vacuum these areas regularly. Therefore, they are perfect breeding grounds for these bugs!
These are homes and other residencies whose owners are negligent about cleanliness. By the time they see bed bugs, these are already rampant. But how do they get into such households? That is because of their extreme sensitivity to warmth and CO2. They follow both sources instead of hunting them down as other insects do.
As a result, they will end up crawling through your electrical outlets and opening doors to get in the house. Once inside, they are likely to reside in:
- Mattresses or couches where people sleep
- Items like furniture or boxes that are near resting places for people like beds
The important thing here is to make sure you keep your house tidy and free from clutter. This reduces the number of places where bed bugs are likely to hide. Vacuuming and washing are great ways for ridding your house of these pests!
Make sure you keep all laundry at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees. Not only are heating appliances a great way to kill adults, but they are also perfect for drying clothes in a flash!
Signs of Infestation
You are likely to see bed bugs when they are in their preferred hiding spots. These nocturnal creatures are most active at night! Itching and red welts are the usual signs of their bites. You are also likely to see bloodstains on your bed sheets or clothes because of them feeding on you while asleep.
What Do They Look Like?
Bed bug adults are brown to reddish-brown. Their bodies are about 1/4 inches long when measured from head to abdomen. Baby bed bugs or nits are much smaller than the adults with only 1mm in length. This makes it harder for you to notice them crawling around. That is why early detection is crucial always!
What are The Common Places of Bed Bugs To Locate
How are bed bugs more common than you think? These are just some of your possible hiding spots where you can likely find them:
- Beds and carpets
- Mattresses, couches, or other upholstered furniture
- Box spring units
- Wall cracks
- Electrical outlets
Bed bugs tend to stay close to their food source. That is why they are most likely to reside in rooms with people living in them. They are not naturally occurring insects, unlike termites or ants. Most insecticides will work on them by spraying directly onto adults or placing baits near them.
Does Cleaning Help Bed Bugs?
Here are three ways to clean that can prevent bed bugs from entering your home or business:
Different types of fabrics are likely to attract bed bugs! That is why you should wash your linens in warm water and also dry them on high heat. This will kill all the adults and nits hiding in your sheets.
Bed bugs are difficult to kill! They have a tough outer shell that coats their body. It makes them immune to most pesticides and heat treatments. This includes washing clothes in hot water or drying them in high-heat settings for an extended period. But not without some risk. Larvae can also live up to two years inside units where they feed before emerging completely healed with all their original limbs intact.
Adult bed bugs are 1/4 inches long. Their eggs are even smaller measuring at about 1mm. This makes it hard for you to spot them crawling around your house. The best way to prevent this is by regularly cleaning your areas with vacuums. This way, they cannot hide within the walls and heating appliances of your home.
Vacuums are a great way to kill bed bugs! But they only capture the ones hidden in cracks or crevices. For your vacuum cleaner to do its duty effectively, you need strategic spots where it will pick up all those annoying critters.
Organize Your Home
Being tidy and organized are the best ways to prevent bed bugs from coming in! Make sure you are not piling up papers or books as they are likely to attract these unwanted guests! These bugs also like clutter. Organize your belongings and keep them away from any possible entry points like cracks, window sills, and door frames.
It is a good idea to get rid of clutter because it provides unlimited harborage for insects and pests. This means nesting sites will increase! With all those happy places to lay eggs in as well as food sources nearby, populations can skyrocket quickly! This is especially with small and flat bed bugs that can easily find their way into any crevice or space they please.
Solution to Bed Bugs
First Response Bed Bugs provides bed bug extermination in NYC, CT, NJ, and Long Island and is always ready for your upcoming home or business visit. Rely on dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who are always willing to solve your latest bed bug dilemma!
Communicate with a representative who is available 24 hours a day with same-day service. Residents in Nassau, Westchester, Suffolk, and Queens Counties can seek assistance. Call (800) 813-1321 to eradicate those annoying buggers from your home or business!
Poor hygiene is not the main culprit of having bed bugs where you live or work. Despite this reality, you should maintain good hygiene. This is to prevent them from causing a dilemma in your home or business.