Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that survive from consuming the blood of warm-blooded animals. Humans are the key host for the two main bed bugs species, which are known in scientific terms as Cimex Lectularius and Cimex Hemipterus.
Once mainly making their homes in bat roosts and birds nests, they’ve significantly evolved and adapted to the human environment.
Beginning as hatchlings or nymphs, they start about the size of a poppy seed, so they are still visible to humans. However, as grown adults, they can reach around one-quarter of an inch, appearing oval or flattened if they haven’t been feeding. Once fed, they can double in size.
So why exactly are they called bed bugs? It’s because they commonly inhabit bed mattresses. However, there are many other parts of our homes where they can take up residence, like sofas, clothing and soft furnishings.
It’s not just residential properties where they can thrive, either. They can also be found in dorms, barracks, cruise ships and even shelters.
Would you know how to identify bed bugs if they were living in your home? Thankfully, they’re not difficult to spot. In fact, they can easily be identified by their colour.
They exist from light to dark, ranging from white to light tan, dark brown, or orange! Sometimes, they may also have a black or deep red mark on their body.
What you need to know about removing Bed Bugs
The first thing you need to know when it comes to bed bug elimination is that, unfortunately, this can be difficult to do. Bed bugs establish themselves in all kinds of places throughout your home, so it isn’t a job you should attempt yourself.
Doing so could heighten the problem, so be sure to hire a bed bug treatment specialist who will remove the infestation entirely. What you can do, however, is take some of the clutter out of your home, so there are fewer hiding places for the bugs. This is good, as it makes the process a whole lot quicker.
Some pest control companies will request that you move furniture like beds away from walls before they inspect your home and continue with their treatment. However, other companies prefer to do this themselves once they’ve had a chance to inspect your home.
If you don’t want the hassle of hiring in a pest control company, you can take steps to prevent bed bugs yourself. Consider encasing your mattress or box spring in a protective cover. If bed bugs get trapped inside, they won’t be able to survive and will die.
If you travel and stay in accommodation, avoid placing items on your bed, as any potential bed bugs may make their way onto items, which can then be transported back into your own home via your suitcase.
If you ever think this might have happened, vacuum all items you’ve carried in your suitcase immediately, then throw away the contents of your vacuum cleaner straight away in an outdoor bin within a tightly sealed bag. You’ll then need to wash the clothing in hot water to ensure the bed bugs have died.