How Do Bed Bugs Multiple
When Treatments Don’t Work
If the goal is to eliminate bed bugs, the job has to be done correctly. Bed bugs are so small that they can live in a crack the width of a credit card, increasing the control challenge.
Pesticides often are an important part of a control strategy but they must be used properly for the treatment to work. There can be many reasons for failure of a pesticide treatment to completely control the bed bugs, including:
- Not finding all the bed bugs.
- Inadequately preparing area (failure to remove clutter, seal cracks and crevices, etc.).
- Overlooking treatment of any of the known resting areas (bed bugs may rest or hide in hampers, bed frames, even furniture).
- Failing to treat nearby areas where bed bugs may have migrated (adjacent rooms or other apartments in multi-dwelling housing).
- Disregarding recommended label rates (applying pesticides at too low a rate may not kill bugs and may speed up development of resistance to that chemical).
- Not following up on treatment in an appropriate timeframe (many pesticides will not kill eggs, so treatment must be repeated after the eggs hatch, or the infestation will not be controlled).
- Not allowing enough time for a pesticide to work (some pesticides, such as drying agents or growth regulators, may be effective but take some time to kill the population).
- Bed bugs becoming resistant to a specific type of pesticide.
- As insects, such as bed bugs, are exposed to a pesticide over time, the most susceptible ones are killed first, leaving only the less susceptible ones to breed. This can result in a rapid decline in relative effectiveness of the pesticide.
Pesticide Resistance as a Cause of Treatment Failure
While there is evidence of resistance in some populations to certain types of pesticides, pesticide resistance can only be verified in laboratory tests. Researchers are currently trying to determine the scope of the resistance problem, which will vary from community to community. This research will support the development and use of effective control strategies.
Because of the potential for resistance, homeowners and others trying to control bed bug infestations must always use pesticides appropriately and according to the label. It is also important to:
- be vigilant in surveillance, identification, and monitoring efforts;
- hire trained, experienced, and reputable pest management professionals; and
- use a comprehensive approach.
For example, you may wish to:
- choose different types of pesticides from the list of currently labeled ones for sequential treatments; or
- use pesticides for which insect resistance has not yet been reported, such as diatomaceous earth, in combination with other control techniques.
Remember, as illustrated in the list above, resistance is only one of many possible causes of a treatment failure. All possibilities must be explored in any situation.
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How to get rid of bed bugs – the signs that say you have them, and how to prevent them
Bites, blood spots on the bed sheets, black spots on the mattress. these are all signs of a bed bug infestation
- 14:15, 20 AUG 2018
- Updated 16:15, 20 AUG 2018
Ugh, the slow-dawning and horrifying realisation that you have bed bugs.
The tiny bloodsucking creatures love to live in the crevices between bed frames and mattresses.
Bedbugs feed exclusively on blood, crawling out from their hiding places at night to bite you. They aren’t thought to transmit diseases, though.
Bedbugs tend to prefer fabric or wood over plastic and metal, and often hide near to where you sleep – for example, under the mattress or along the headboard.
They can surprise you though – by hanging out away from the bed in other furniture, along the edges of carpets and even behind mirrors – or inside smoke alarms.
Although difficult to get rid of, it’s not impossible. Here’s a guide to working out if you’ve got bed bugs, and how to treat the problem as soon as possible.
How can I tell if I have bed bugs?
The quicker you can act to treat the problem, the easier it will be, so look out for these seven signs:
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are nocturnal, but they prefer to feed on a deeply sleeping host, which for human beings is in the few hours before sunrise.
These appear as itchy, red welts that can be flat on the skin or raised.
The majority of bites will appear on the chest or back, neck, hands, feet or face. However, bed bugs can bite any area of exposed skin.
The bites tend to appear in clusters as they crawl around testing areas multiple times to find the best source of blood. So the bites can show up in groups, rows or zig-zag lines.
The bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. In more severe cases, they can become infected with bacteria if scratched – signs of infection include pain, increasing redness and swelling
How do I treat bed bug bites?
A mild steroid cream or antihistamine can help relieve itchy bites.
You might need antibiotics for worse reactions – see your GP if you experience pain, redness, swelling or other signs of infection.
Signs and symptoms of bed bugs
1. Blood stains on bedding
You’re not going to like this, but you do need to know about it: when you move in your sleep and squash a blood-filled bed bug that’s just fed, it’ll leave little blood smears on your sheets, duvet covers an pilowcases.
Still, at least you’re getting closer to the truth.
2. Bed bug poo stains
These look like black felt tip marks on fabric. Usually found on the edges of mattresses, or on bedsheets.
These stains are digested blood – the bed bugs’ fecal matter.
Again, sorry. Rest assured, it sounds grim, but it isn’t dangerous.
Wipe the stains with a wet rag – if they smear, you’ve got a positive sighting for bed bug faeces.
3. Bed bug eggs and egg shells
Female bed bugs can deposit one to five eggs a day, and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in a bed bug’s lifetime.
Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days.
This is why taking quick action to treat the problem is best.
Bed bug eggs are translucent to pearly white in color and when first laid, are coated in a shiny film to help them stick to surfaces.
Bed bug eggs are shaped like a grain of rice and very, very tiny – around 1mm. Still visible to the naked eye, but a magnifying glass helps.
Empty shells will be less shiny and look flattened.
They’re more likely to be find where the bed bugs are hiding, especially on rough wood or fabric surfaces.
4. Bed bugs’ shed skin (or shells)
Don’t let this spoil the classic cinema snack for you, but bed bug shells look like tiny, translucent popcorn kernels.
After hatching, the bed bug starts life as a nymph. They look like adult bed bugs, except they’re smaller and lighter in colour.
As they mature, they’ll shed their skin 5 times, once at each new stage of development.
Look for the evidence in the usual bed bug hangout joints – box springs, mattresses, wooden furniture and framing, and so on.
5. What do bed bugs look like?
Spotting an adult bed bug going about its business in your home is one of the last ways you’ll become aware of an infestation, but it’s worth knowing what to look out for.
They’re brown, oval and flat, ranging in size from 4.5mm to as long as 7 or 8 mm when fed – approximately the size of an apple seed. They turn a reddish color after feeding – because they’re then swollen with blood.
6. The musty smell
You’ll know it if you ever sniff it – and your instincts will tell you it’s not good.
Bed bugs have glands that release pheromones when they’re disturbed, to warn the rest of the group.
The odour is musty and repellent.
Bad news: if you can smell them, you’ve got a severe infestation on your hands.
Slightly better news: if only a trained bed bug sniffing dog can find it, might be catching the problem early. Hopefully.
How to get rid of bugs
How to treat or kill bed bugs?
David Cross, Head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control, has the following tips for treating bed bug bites:
“There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites. Below are just a few of these you may want to try after washing your bites with soap and water, and then drying"
- Calamine lotion:This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin
- Baking soda and water:Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad
- Toothpaste:The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching
- Witch Hazel:This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites
- Aloe Vera:Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations
- Lemon juice:This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling”
Prevention and steps
1. Strip your bed
Apart from possibly leading to unpleasant skin reactions, the bed bug bites are also keeping the pests alive, as they feed on your blood.
If they can’t feed, they can’t breed, keeping the infestation alive.
Strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home.
Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting.
Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.
Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard.
Follow up the vacuuming with a high-pressure steamer to kill bed bugs and eggs hidden deep within furniture.
While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray.
Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements.
Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture.
Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame.
The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. Place bed bug interceptors under each leg – they look like cups that the bed bugs fall into when trying to climb up the legs of the bed.
The cups will help you monitor how quickly the bed bug population in your home is dwindling as they lose access to feeding on your blood.
If your bed has a solid base rather than legs, you’re best off throwing it out.
3. Hunt and destroy all bed bugs in your home
Clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs.
Seal them in garbage bags and store them in another room.
Any clothing that was picked up from the floor or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes.
Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.
Then, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet.
Make sure you clean the vacuum and steam cleaners afterwards.
A portable bed bug heater can be used to clean items that can’t be washed or vacuumed, such as books, shoes or luggage.
You can also use bed bug sprays and powders to kill the pests in hard-to-reach areas.
Powders can be left undisturbed to do their work, but sprays will need to be reapplied every two weeks for a few months.
How do you get bed bugs?
Bed bugs can be transported easily in luggage, clothing and furniture.
Once in your home, they can quickly spread from room to room. They don’t jump or fly, but can crawl long distances.
Top tips to prevent bed bug infestations:
inspect your mattress and bed regularly for signs of an infestation, and get professional advice if you think you have bedbugs
avoid buying second-hand mattresses and carefully inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home
keep your bedroom tidy and remove clutter
Bedbugs aren’t attracted to dirt, so they’re not a sign of an unclean home, but clearing up any clutter will reduce the number of places they can hide.
Once treated, they should be dead within a few weeks, depending on the severity of the infestation.
Bed Bugs Quiz: How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval winged insects that belong to the insect familyCimicidae, which includes three species that bite people.
How big are adult bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm.
What color are adult bed bugs?
Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color, appearing more reddish after feeding on a blood meal.
What color are bed bug nymphs?
Nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding.
Bed bugs can fly.
The wings of bed bugs are vestigial, so they cannot fly.
Which factors may have led to a recent increase in bed bug infestations?
Bed bugs were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT began in the 1940s and 1950s. They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger pesticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bed bug infestations.
Bed bugs need a blood meal at least once a week.
Bed bugs can live for months without feeding.
Bed bugs tend to be commonly found in…
Bed bugs tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Other sites where bed bugs often reside include curtains, the corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.
What are symptoms and signs of bed bug bites?
The bed bug bite itself is painless and is not noticed. Small, flat, or raised bumps on the skin are the most common sign; redness, swelling, and itching commonly occur.
What is the treatment for bed bug bites?
Typically, no treatment is required for bed bug bites. If itching is severe, steroid creams or oral antihistamines may be used for symptom relief. Secondary bacterial infections that develop over heavily scratched areas may require the use of antibiotics.
How can people detect a bed bug infestation?
You can look to see if you can identify the bed bugs’ fecal stains, egg cases, and exuviae (shed skins) in crevices and cracks on or near beds. You should also look at other areas such as under wallpaper, behind picture frames, in couches and other furniture, in bed springs and under mattresses, and even in articles of clothing.
How can people get rid of bed bugs in their home?
The pest-control expert may recommend certain forms of deep-cleaning such as scrubbing infested surfaces with a stiff brush to remove bed bug eggs, dismantling bed frames and furniture, filling cracks in floors, walls, and moldings, encasing mattresses within special bags, or using a powerful vacuum on cracks and crevices.
What’s the best way for people to prevent bed bug bites in hotels?
Those concerned about the potential for bed bugs bites in hotels should examine hotel beds and mattresses for signs of a bed bug infestation.
Which of the following statements about bed bugs is false?
Bed bugs live in any articles of furniture, clothing, or bedding, so they or their eggs may be present in used furniture or clothing. They spread by crawling and may contaminate multiple rooms in a home or even multiple dwellings in apartment buildings. They may also be present in boxes, suitcases, or other goods that are moved from residence to residence or from a hotel to home.
Can you identify the bed bug?
Bed bugs are small, oval, wingless insects of the familyCimicidae, which have a flat, reddish-brown body and feed on human and animal blood.
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The Complete Guide on How to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites are a year-round nightmare. You’ll find out how to tell apart the bed bugs’ bites from mosquitoes’ and fleas’ bites and why you won’t feel anything while you are bitten. We’ll also give an answer to a popular question:“Is it true that even two people sleeping in the same bed can react to these bites differently?”.We will also explain how to get rid of itching after you’ve been bitten and how to prevent new bites. Those who are forewarned, are forearmed, so let’s get started!
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? F.A.Q. or Everything You Should Know About the Bed Bug Bites
1. Do bed bug bites itch? Not when you have just been bitten. You won’t feel anything.
First, we need to talk about signs of bed bug bites which you may identify after the night sleep. According to the information about these pest insects from entomologists from the Entomology Department at Purdue University,“the bites themselves are not painful and typically are not felt”.You don’t feel any pain when bitten because the bed bugs inject a special temporary analgesic which will relieve you from the pain.
2. How long does it take for the bed bugs to bite someone?
A complete meal lasts 3-10 minutes. It all starts with the appearance of middle or large raised or flat spots on any part of human body (but the most common parts are face, neck, arms, and hands). Itching and redness almost often accompany these bites.
3. Two people sleeping in the same bed can react differently to the bites
Bed bug bites signs can differ greatly from one person to another. Even a couple sleeping in the same bed and thus bitten at the same time can react completely differently to the bites! It has been proven that almost every third person (30%) bitten doesn’t feel any uncomfortable sensations even when they’ve been bitten repeatedly over time. Such low bite sensitivity is typical of seniors. As the bed bug bites symptoms may be implicit and manifest in different ways, they are therefore often confused with other insects’ bites..If you are not sure, whether you or your child were bitten by a bed bug, a mosquito or flea,look at our comparative tablebelow which helps you to identify the pest bothering you.
4. Bed bug bites are usually arranged in tracks of 2-3 bites
Unlike mosquito bites, these ones always trail of 2-3 (up to 5) bites in a row, because a bed bug doesn’t suck all of the blood at once, it feeds on it gradually and bites several times. The distance between the bites can be up to several inches. Sometimes this eating pattern is called “breakfast, lunch, and dinner”. Since the bites are painless you won’t be able to interrupt the bed bugs’ feast which can last, as we’ve mentioned, up to 10 minutes!
Also, mind that it is a single bed bug that can bite you twice or thrice per night! How many bugs are there in your bed? According to scientific estimations, a bed can be inhabited by up to several thousands of bed bugs. This is not a limit, though, as there has been a case of 150 thousand bed bugs infesting a single room! Most of them inhabited particularly the bed. That is why even if a tenth of this of this army of thousands of pests is hungry, you risk having multiple itchy red bites all over your body the following morning.
5. Bed bugs are not afraid of light and even can bite during the day
In spite of the fact that the bed bugs only leave their nests at night for meal (as a rule, they appear between 3 and 8 am), they exceptionally appear during the day. This can happen if the bed bugs are too hungry (you can imagine the length of being too hungry taking into consideration the fact that the bed bugs can survive for UP TO A YEAR without food!). What is a contingency for the bed bugs? It is the absence of peacefully sleeping people nearby at night. Laundries, public transit, airports, offices and other non-residential buildings are at risk.
Therefore, the bed bugs aren’t afraid of bright daylight or artificial light if they want to get their blood portion (which they will!).
6. Bed bugs bite all year around
Unlike other biting insects which have certain activity peaks, bed bugs will inhabit your bed in any season until you get rid of them.
7. Do bed bugs bite dogs?
Theydo. Sometimes it is the dogs which suffer most from the bed bug bites as while living inside; the bugs can feed on their blood for a very long time before tasting yours. Why is it so? The matter is straightforward: just like cats, dogs sleep for the most of the day (they sleep for 18 hours!). This allows the bed bugs to have enough blood at night or during the day.
8. Can bed bugs bite through clothes?
It is quite possible. The bed bugs pierce the skin and suck your blood with the help of a special proboscis, which is not adapted for piercing tissue, plastic or paper. If you sleep wearing PJs, you may be in luck for a short period of time as the bed bugs are quick and will reach uncovered parts of your body soon enough,
As you have probably figured, these pests are a serious issue and you have to analyze a whole range of different factors to identify them. We have compiled a useful chart which will help you figure whether is the bed bugs which bite you or something else.
Find Out Who Bit You! Bite Comparison Chart: 6 Differences Between Bed Bug Bites vs Flea Bites vs Mosquito Bites
The bite spot
Where do they bite?
Other bite signs
Insect activity peak
How Dangerous Are Bed Bug Bites?
This very question most of all bothers those who have been bitten by the bed bugs. According to the Purdue University entomologists,“at least 27 agents of human disease have been found in bed bugs, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and parasitic worms. None of these agents reproduce or multiply within bed bugs, and very few survive for any length of time inside a bed bug. There is no evidence that bed bugs are involved in the transmission (via bite or infected feces) of any disease agent, including hepatitis B virus and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS”.
This, unlike your CNS’ reaction to the bed bug bites, is quite rejoicing. The scientists claim that frequent bites can cause sleep disorders, including insomnia, stress and irritation. It’s believed that the newborns attract the bed bugs most as their blood tastes specifically well for them. It’s unknown whether the newborns are really bitten more often, but the bed bugs’ bites can be the actual cause of their constant crying because their skin is really sensitive. Moreover, in most severe cases of significant blood loss, the newborns can develop anemia. Also, anyone with particularly sensitive skin can develop an allergy.
NB:Although the bed bugs are nocturnal insects, they fear light less than starvation. They will come and find you even if you light the room with powerful spotlights.
How Long Do Bed Bugs’ Bites Last?
Bed bugs need fresh blood every 3-4 days, but if they have already spread everywhere, the bites won’t heal soon enough as new ones will appear all the time. Since the bites may not be immediately felt, you will hardly be able to name the exact day you were bitten. As per the Wesleyan University specialists,“bites may not become immediately visible, and can take up to 3-4 days to appear”.The University Health Services (UHS) at University W–Madison experts add that a delayed reaction up to 14 days is possible.
Redness, itching, swelling of the skin are usually gone in a few days. In more severe cases, such as being bitten by hundreds of bed bugs, healing takes longer: up to 3 weeks. If the bites do not heal and you have noticed growing health deterioration, seek medical attention immediately as an allergic possible, which should be treated under the specialist supervision, is possible.
How to Treat Bed Bug Bites
Since the bed bugs do not transmit any diseases, their bites don’t have to be treated (provided you have neither an allergy nor you itch). Still, if minor itching bothers you, use such home treatment as ice packs to reduce swelling or a mixture of water and soda to reduce itching. If itching is awful, use such products asStingEze Dauberfor a Check current price. This low-cost remedy is recommended by scientists because it helps to eliminate pain and itching. Alternatively, you may applyBenadryl Itch Relief Sprayfor a Check current price: it’s a multipurpose remedy with a 4.5 stars rating.
Take antihistamine drugs if you know that you have an allergy reaction. These pills help to fight allergic reactions and are an excellent bed bug bites remedy. Take these drugs (after consulting a doctor) before the bites swell too much. This will help control the itching and swelling at early stages.
How to Get Rid Of Bed Bug Bites
There are lots of online myths regarding the treatment which allegedly is effective against the bed bugs. Here are two most spread myths.
- Spray repellents are effective against the bites
This is not true. Repellents may be helpful against mosquito bites, some other insects’ bites, but the bed bugs don’t give a toss about what you spray on yourself.
- Bed bugs bombs can help destroy the bed bugs and thus prevent their bites
This is not true. Unfortunately, they are also useless as the insecticide fog cannot reach the secluded spots inhabited by the bed bugs. Moreover, once the bed bugs feel such synthetic chemical attack, they will hide deeper into the cracks and it will become even more difficult to get rid of them.
To protect yourself from their bites, you need to use only the tested and approved by the scientists bed bug control products. Also, mind that it is necessary to get rid of not only adults, but also of the larvae and even of the eggs which could eventually grow into adult biting insects.
However, things are not very simple. You can’t merely get rid of the bed bugs by using single type of treatment. Along with thorough cleaning it is essential to systematically apply other methods.
Here are the 3 main steps:
- Use bed bug detectors to detect any bed bugs in your house as well as their tracks. Special bed legs supports, such asClimbup Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Trapfor the price Check current price, remain the most popular bed bug detectors. You’ll find out more about bed bug detectors in our Best Bed Bug Detectors Review.
- Cover your mattress with a mattress bed bug cover to treat your old mattress or to prevent their appearance in the newly obtained one. You’ll find the most durable covers for any budget in the review of 5 Best Bed Bug Mattress Protectors.
- Invest in an effective bed bug spray to treat indoor infestation.
- If the infestation was particularity bad and you need to replace your mattress, check out these helpful mattress reviews, or search for mattresses online.
Remember!Up to 150 thousand bed bugs can inhabit your bed, so don’t put off getting rid of them and take action right now!
We have collected for you all proven scientific information regarding getting rid of bed bugs in our guide. In fact, to get rid of them you’ll have to be smarter and more persistent than these bloodsuckers!Arm yourself against them right now and read“The Complete Guide to How to Kill Bed Bugs”
What NOT to Do When you Have Bed Bugs
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- Do not Panic. You can control bed bugs with careful inspection and by using proper control methods.
- Do not try to kill bed bugs by using agricultural or garden pesticides. Using outdoor pesticides to control bed bugs can make you or your family very sick.
- Do no t use products that appear to be “homemade” or “custom formulated.” Homemade products could be dangerous and they might make the problem worse.
- Do no t use products that have labels in a non-English language
- Do not apply pesticides directly to your body. This could make you very sick.
- Do no t use rubbing alcohol, kerosene or gasoline. These chemicals may cause fires
- Do not throw away your furniture. Beds and other furniture can be treated for bed bugs. Throwing away your furniture can spread the bugs and you have to buy new furniture.
- Do not store things under the bed. Storing stuff under the bed gives bed bugs many new places to hide. This makes it more difficult to get rid of bed bugs.
- Do not move things from room to room. Moving your things from the room with bed bugs to another room in your house may spread the bed bugs.
- Do not wrap items in black plastic and place in the sun. It will not get hot enough to kill all the bugs.