Most homeowners do not want pests in their homes. From roaches and spiders to mice and termites, these pests can wreak havoc on the structure and overall health of a home. Proper understanding and prevention can help protect your home and family, but certain pests may still make their way into your personal space. Considering one in five Americans have had bed bugs in their home or know someone who has dealt with these bugs, understanding these small, unappealing, and dangerous pests is key. With this guide, you will learn a few facts about bed bugs so you will have the tools needed for prevention.
They Can Live Anywhere
If you are like most people, you associate bed bugs with hotels. You may be leery when traveling, inspecting the mattress and sheets in your hotel room. While these are smart steps to ensure you do not bring them back to your own home, bed bugs are capable of living anywhere.
Bed bugs are not only found in beds. They may make couches, suitcases, rugs and carpeting, and even your pets a home.
Another common misconception about these bugs is that they only infest dirty environments. Even though you may be surprised to learn this, bed bugs can infest even the cleanest and most sanitary of homes.
They Don't Transmit Disease
Bed bugs do carry different bacteria and viruses, but they are not capable of transmitting any virus or disease to humans. Of course, bed bugs can bite you, feeding off your skin cells and blood.
If you are bitten by a bed bug, there are risks. The skin around the bite may become itchy and irritated. In some instances, scratching and improper care of these bites can lead to an infection that requires antibiotics.
Unfortunately, many people will suffer from an allergic reaction after being bit by one or more bed bugs. If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, visit a doctor to determine the severity of your reaction:
- Red, swollen skin around bite
- Blisters, rash, hives on skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe headache
They Are Visible
Some people believe bed bugs are not visible, making it difficult to inspect for an infestation. Even though they are small, you are capable of seeing a bed bug.
On average, these bugs measure approximately ¼ of an inch. They are oval shaped and have a flat body. Bed bugs have six legs and two antenna, as well.
You may notice these small bugs crawling in the seams of a mattress or in the crack between the mattress and box spring. They could also be under furniture cushions and even on the underside of curtains and drapes.
Bed bugs may also leave behind red or rusty spots on your sheets and mattress. This is due to the bugs being crushed under the weight of you lying in bed. Dark brown spots on your mattress or furniture are most likely the fecal matter left behind by bed bugs. Eggs and eggshells may also be noticeable. They will be very tiny, yellow, and almost transparent.
You will most likely not feel a bed bug bite you. However, if you have unexplained bites and rashes on your skin, you may have an infestation that requires treatment.
They Can Be Killed
After learning your home has bed bugs, you will probably want to throw your mattress and bedding in the trash. Although a reasonable thought, the infestation will be affecting your entire home and not just your bed.
Hiring a professional exterminator is the most efficient way to rid your home of bed bugs and other pests. These professionals often recommend steam cleaning the entire home including beds, furniture, flooring, drawers and cabinets, windows, and doors.
High heat of the water will instantly kill the bed bugs, reducing the risk of further breeding and bed bug bites.
Bed bugs may be small, but they can wreak havoc on your home and health. Check out sites like http://www.wasatchbugbusters.com for more information on these small, annoying, and frightening pests.