These bugs get their moniker from their favourite habitat and source of food. They are in the habits of infesting beds, waiting for a sleep to strike you so that they can start feeding. These insidious creatures, however, are not just bed friendly, they can be found in a variety of locations including, offices, schools, colleges etc. Feeding on the blood of warm blooded mammals, these bugs are a common source of pestilence.
One of the worst things about these bugs is that they are very capable travellers. They can hide in almost any given location and be transported along with you. Be it boxes, bedding, shoes, cracks or even the slightest sliver of space in the woodwork, they will find a way to live, mate and prosper.
These bugs are usually elusive during the day preferring to come out only during the night. Once they have filled themselves up with blood, which can take anything between 5 to 10 minutes, they slink away to lie low for the next few days. This time is spent in mating, digesting the meal and laying eggs, in no particular order. These bugs can come into your homestead from a variety of sources. Be it a hotel you visited, a person you hugged, or a backpack you bought from a shady store.
They are small, oval, brown coloured creatures about the size of a small apple seed. However, once they have fed, the colour of their body changes due to the blood they have fed on, turning a dark red. They are very quick creatures and can scuttle speedily over floors, walls and ceilings. While a nuisance, and their bites are incredibly itchy and can be accompanied with red welts, they are not carriers of any diseases.
Signs of an Infestation
You will find fine bloodstains on your sheets and mattresses in the morning
There will be the typical brown stains of bed bug stool on your bed clothes, walls, or sheets
These bugs come with a distinctive musty odour that can be very unpleasant, if you smell anything funky start checking for bed bugs
Bed bugs also leave their shells and shed skins, which can be small, but significant markers of an infestation
How to Get Rid of Them
The simplest way is to clean the beddings and all the linen you have on the bed. Use hot water and the highest dryer setting possible to remove all signs of these miscreants. Make sure that you wash the affected bedding and linen for at least 30 minutes.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the bugs and their shells from the bedding before you wash them, you can also use a wire brush on the seams to make sure they are all eliminated. You would also do well to vacuum the entire house, or mop up with an appropriate cleaning agent.
If you are stowing away your woollens make sure they are zipped and air tight to ensure that the bugs can’t escape or enter. These creatures can live up to a year without feeding, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to fumigate the woollens before stowing them away.
Bed bugs find safe havens in cracks, peeling plaster and behind wall-paper. Make sure that you have all the cracks in the house amply taken care of. Investing a little in the home’s upkeep will also ensure you have minimal infestation. Also, clutter and junk attract these pests like magnets. Make sure that you clean up all the mess around your bed to reduce chances of any bed bugs feeding on your blood.