Bed bugs can seem to be insidious on some occasions. They are endemic to certain parts of the world and have been the scourge of backpackers for decades.
While bed bugs have been around for over 100 million years, most people’s first encounter with them would have been in Southeast Asia.
For many years now, travellers have been encountering bed bugs in cheap hostels and guesthouses in Thailand, and other exotic climes.
Then bed bugs started appearing in more temperate climates such as Europe, and the US.
They can be a particular problem in apartment blocks where they can spread from one residence to another with ease.
Fortunately, there are many methods for removing bed bugs, and their eggs.
Are bed bugs common?
In the UK, instances of bed bugs are on the ever-up. Ever since 2006, there have been increased reports of bed bugs plaguing British homes.
These little insects can stow away in the seams of bags and clothing easily. Which allows them to stow away and hitch a ride on an airplane from one country to another.
Cities, in general, are breeding grounds for bed bugs, especially anywhere where there is a dense population. Warm weather helps too.
During the British summer, the reproduction cycle for bed bugs is cut from 21 days to just over a week. This means that more bed bugs will be produced during these periods.
How can you wipe out bed bugs?
Rest assured, if you have bed bugs you are not alone. While your neighbours may not be shouting about bed bugs, you can be assured that other people are suffering in silence.
There is a certain stigma about having pests such as bed bugs. However, these insects are not attracted by dirty homes, or by bad habits. Unlike mice, they are not in your home because you have leftovers lying about.
Bed bugs feed on blood, and they don’t care who you may be, or how nice your home is.
Therefore, you will need some outside help to eradicate them. This may mean calling in the professionals or buying some high-grade poison.
Use pest control
Perhaps the most reliable method for bed bug extermination is to use pest control experts.
These are trained professionals who will have experience with dealing with bed bugs.
Bed bug specialists will use non-toxic and low-toxic treatments for the extermination of these pests. They will often offer a one-time removal guarantee as well.
Use diatomaceous earth
If you want to try and exterminate the bed bugs yourself, one proven way is through diatomaceous earth.
This is a natural sand, or dust-like substance, although it should be kept away from children and animals.
Diatomaceous earth works through its ability to dry out the bed bugs’ exoskeletons. It is also very abrasive and cuts into the bed bugs as they wander through the dust.
DE will need to be sprinkled liberally throughout the affected rooms and then be vacuumed up a few days later.
Use home remedies
There are a variety of home remedies you could try for bed bugs. These are useful if you are wary of the costs that pest control may incur, or if you want to avoid chemicals.
There are some DIY ways to repel common house pests, including the use of borax.
Borax contains neither phosphates nor chlorine. To use against bed bugs, it will need to be liberally sprinkled as you would DE. Only fine borax powder will work, but once it is spread on surfaces such as a mattress, it will start to suffocate the bed bugs.
Leave for one day, and then vacuum away.
Borax can be put into the washing machine too. This can help kill off any bed bugs that have found their way into the stitching of clothes or sheets.
Use extreme heat and cold
One way that pest control experts remove bed bugs is through steam treatments.
These creatures do not like extreme cold or high temperatures. Drying clothes in hot sunlight can help remove them. Freezing them also works.
Steam is a useful weapon against bed bugs as it is non-toxic, and will not damage furnishings such as curtains.
What happens if you ignore bed bugs?
Some people do not get any reaction to bed bugs. This could lead someone to be unaware that they have had bed bugs in their home for some time.
However, ignoring bed bugs once they have been discovered is unwise.
Not only may they spread through your home, but they may spread to the neighbours also.
The bites from bed bugs can cause allergic reactions in some people, leading to admittance to the hospital in the worst cases. A result of bed bug bites can be lymphangitis which is a bacterial infection.
Discovering that you have bed bugs is not pleasant. Leaving them though is even worse.
There are several cures for bed bugs that people have used successfully. These include baking soda and vinegar.
Bed bugs though are hardy creatures. They can go for more than a year without feeding. They breed quickly, and they are hard to located.
Bed bugs are one of the reasons why it is important to know how to choose the right pest control company. Calling the professionals in may be the only option if you have a bed bug infestation.