October 4, 2023

Home Architecture

The Extraordinary Design

What Does a Bed Bug Look Like and How Do I Control Them?

4 min read

If you have watched any news on TV, then you have likely heard reports on the latest bed bug infestation that is happening all over the USA and other countries.

Bed Bugs are nasty little pest that hide during the day and come out at night to feast on mammals. That mammal could likely be you sleeping in a room that has become a bed bug dinning hall. Bed bugs seldom if ever bite cats or dogs even if they sleep in your bed.

These are reddish brown, flat, egg shaped bugs that are around the size of an apple seed. They are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide, two things that a sleeping human can’t do anything to control. The minute beast then come creeping over to the dinner plate, YOU, and “bite”. These insects have two feeding tubes, one is inserted to inject saliva that contains anticoagulants to break down your blood. While the other tube sucks out the blood. They are nice enough to also inject a little anesthetic with the saliva so maybe you won’t feel the bite as much. At least they are trying to be thoughtful of your pain and suffering?

Bed bugs have been around for centuries. They are resilient little bugs that survive up to a year without eating. By this, I mean sucking the blood out of you. They have been a problem since way back in history, until some truly bright people found a way to kill them off. They used DDT…yes, it controlled the bed bugs but they also found it was highly toxic to people and pretty much anything that could walk, fly, or swim. Some species of bed bugs can live for up to 15 minutes in -25 degrees F.

So from about World War 2 until now, you seldom ever heard about bed bugs in the United States. I for 1 am happy that I have not encountered the little monsters. Now it seems more and more places in the USA are finding the creatures of the night bugs are back. Many hotels, hospitals, and apartments are reporting infestations of bed bugs. It is believed that most have been carried in from other countries by outside travelers. They hide away in the suitcases of travelers until they get unpacked and dropped in a new place. Where as many people traveling may think the only animals in their bags are plush animals, they have no idea that they are bring home an unwanted guest.

Getting rid of these dastardly pest is another problem. Obviously, DDT is not an option. Bats won’t eat them…not that you would want to bring a family of bats into your home but, it was a thought. The good news is that the bed bug does have some natural predators. Cockroaches, mites, ants, centipedes, and spiders will eat them.

Ok, so maybe that is only good news if you are the Adams Family and have those other bugs for pets. Me, I’d rather keep all of them out.

There has been research done on killing bed bugs with such natural ingredients as Neem Oil, Black Cohosh, tobacco, eucalyptus, and even cannabis.

One of the other natural things you can try that does work well on ants and perhaps, bed bugs is diatomaceous earth. It is said to cut into in the hard exoskeleton which leads the bug to die of dehydration.

Here are a few other things you might do to help cut down or kill as many of the pest as possible, even after contacting an exterminator.

Hint – After the use of DDT and other pesticides, bed bugs are very resilient so do everything you can to prevent or help get rid of the problem.

You can bag up clothes, linens, stuffed animals…and try some of the following to kill your pet bed bugs and their eggs.

Put the bags in a freezer. This would mean putting the bagged items outside at below 32 degrees F or in a deep freezer for a few days. Some bed bugs will not die from this, they will simply go into a hibernation mode.

If it is summertime and you can put the bagged items in a enclosed automobile where temps will get to at least 115 degrees F for a several hours…this should cook the little vamps and their eggs.

You can also put all the clothes, pillows, plush toys…into a dryer for no less than 20 minutes on high or average heat. This should also kill all stages of the bed bugs.

To help cut down on the number of bed bugs you are trying to get killed off…VACUUM! You can not get a vacuum into all the crevasses, wall outlets, base boards….So this will not rid you of the problem, it is just a way to help. When done always place the vacuum bag into a sealed plastic bag and dispose of it. I would even take that plastic bag and put it out in the hot car trunk for a day just to make sure.

As far as bed mattresses, couches, and other large articles of furniture go…you may just have to dispose of them and get new once all of the bugs and their eggs are gone from your home.

This should help you get started on your way to a bed bug free home.

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