“Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite!” It’s a saying that many of us have been told as children before bedtime, but the saying has real significance. Bed bugs are not imaginary. Bedbugs are small, parasitic insects, which feed on the blood of mammals. Humans, as mammals, are one source of blood for these creatures. Bedbugs are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are active at night and tend to hide within bed linen and mattresses waiting for their opportunity to bite unsuspecting humans. Their bites can be itchy and irritating. So here are some simple tips for ridding yourself of these pests!
Know what they look like and where to find them
Bed bugs are wingless insects that are about half a centimetre long. They are light brown in colour, but transform into a rusty-red after feeding. They have a flat, oval-shaped body, a squat head, six legs, reasonably large antennae and large mandibles (mouth parts). It is important to note that bed bugs have a complex life cycle involving five nymph (juvenile) life stages, so moulted nymph skins will also be present. Bed bugs like to hide in every nook and cranny, so be sure to carefully examine all the cracks and corners of the mattress, bed frame and any other bedroom furniture such as bedside tables. Bed bugs are particularly fond of wood and will often infest any wood in the room. You should check all contents of bedside tables, especially linen or fabric products and any upholstered chairs and sofas in the house. It is also important to check along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting, particularly behind beds and furniture, wood moulding and ceiling-wall junctures.
Exterminate all bed bugs and their eggs
Bed bugs are particular sensitive to rubbing alcohol, so an effective way to kill them is to spray infested areas directly with a spray bottle containing rubbing alcohol. Be mindful to spray both the bugs themselves and their eggs to prevent future generations of pests. Bed bugs are also susceptible to extremes of temperature, so placing smaller affected items in a laundry bag and washing items at 120°F minimum should kill them. Larger or non-washable items can instead be wrapped in plastic and placed in a hot location in direct sunlight for a few days at 120°F minimum. Steam cleaners purchased at your local hardware store can also be used to directly spray scolding steam onto infected areas. It is also important to vacuum your house regularly. Vacuuming can remove the bugs and their eggs from mattresses, carpet and walls. You should pay particular attention to the seams, indents and edges of mattresses and box springs, and the edges of wall-to-wall carpets. The vacuum contents should then be disposed in a sealed trash bag.
If you think you may have a serious bed bug infestation within your home, it is best to connect the professionals at http://www.trustedpestmanagement.com.au/. That way you can sleep tight without worrying about the bed bugs biting!
By Grace Patterson