Bedbugs – Family Guide

Bedbugs are small parasitic insects that feed on blood. As the name suggests, these parasitic insects reside in areas of comfort in homes, especially the beds. The parasites also hide in furniture, cracks and any other place where people sleep or sit for long periods of time. They can last for several months or even a whole year without feeding. They mainly feed during the night and are so discreet in their feeding habits that one may not even notice when being fed on. Usually flat and rusty red, these bugs swell and develop a brighter shade of the red color after feeding. When they are done with feeding, the female bugs lay eggs on cracks and crevices. Under normal circumstances adult bedbugs have a lifespan of about ten to eleven months. Bug bites result to skin rashes, allergic symptoms, and psychological disorders that cause a lot of discomfort in homes.

These insects are so fast that catching them may be a difficult task. It is therefore highly recommended to seek assistance from professionals in controlling bedbug infestation. The control is a detailed process first involving moving and disassembling furniture. Careful inspections are done in conjunction with non chemical treatments such as vacuuming and heat treatments.

Prevention is better than cure. Other than struggling with getting rid of these pests yet most processes do not guarantee 100% success, there are some routine tasks that should be carried out to prevent bug infestation. Bedbugs neither like fresh air nor light, opening curtains and windows to allow free air circulation and light to penetrate into homes would keep off these parasites. Placing furniture and beds on strategic positions with access to sunlight such as windows, plays a long-term role in the prevention of bedbug infestation. Hygiene is also a key player; regular washing of bedding in hot water with bleach or backing soda keeps bugs away. Controlling bugs is hardest when they invade mattresses. Investing in bedbug mattress protectors would come in handy. Beds that reside in walls and floors are found in hidden areas like cracks and corners, hence repairing a crack would get rid of a bug habitat.

Other smaller measures that can be taken to get rid of bed bugs in homes include spraying alcohol or insecticides on seats and other areas where the parasites are present. Alcohol kills bedbugs instantly. Exposing furniture, bedding, clothing, and other materials in homes to the sun is the simplest means used to kill bugs. Silica gel is in powder form and therefore likely to last on furniture longer than sprayed insecticides or alcohol. This gel should be applied on furniture so that it sticks to the bugs till they get dehydrated and finally die. Unlike what most people do, it is not necessary to get rid of all the furniture to clear the bugs unless they are highly infested.

Bedbugs cannot distinguish between clean and dirty homes and therefore anyone could be a victim. They could also invade homes through pets like dogs. Cooperation with the pest control services is the most essential element required to achieve complete success in removing these parasites from homes.

Jane Roberts is a freelance writer located in a luxury waterfront building in Toronto’s bustling waterfront district.  You can learn about Jane’s recent bed bug treatment plans on the Maple Leaf Quay website.