Bed bugs are very tiny. They can live in a variety of places such as in floorboards, walls, furniture, and other locations in hotels, shelters, and apartment complexes. They actually do not live in mattresses, but they commonly travel to our sleeping areas so that they can feed on us at night. Bed bugs like people and animals and they painlessly sip a few drops of blood when they are asleep. While they feed, they will inject a tiny amount of their saliva on the skin of their victim. The skin lesion created by their bite is similar to many other types of blood feeding insects such as mosquitoes and fleas.
Bed bugs are mostly active during the night and they are at peak about an hour before dawn. If their circumstances are right, they can feed at any other times of day. They are attracted to our warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide and with the use of their two hollow tubes, they will pierce through the skin of their victim. They use the first tube to inject their saliva that contains anticoagulants and anaesthetics. The second tube withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to their homes.
While they feed, their victims will not feel anything, but after some minutes or hours later, their victims will feel some irritation as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents. Though bed bugs can live for up to 18 months without feeding, they still seek for blood every five to ten days.
What They Leave
Bed bugs leave itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. They are more of a nuisance than a health hazard since it is possible to develop an infection from scratching more than contracting a disease from them. If you have an allergic skin reaction, use creams with corticosteroids and take oral antihistamines, or just see a doctor.
Determining a Bed bug Bite
It is not possible to feel their bites when we are fast asleep because they inject a numbing agent and a substance to keep out blood smoothly flowing. However, you may notice some signs that they bit you, after you wake up.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to indicate if you have been their meal:
1. Do you feel itchy anywhere on your body? Itchiness is a sign of bed bug bites. Those who are bitten may develop itching followed by a slight burning sensation, then develop into red wells or swelling throughout the day after being bitten or the bites may become obvious for several days. The burning area then develops to red pumps, which are also known as papules or wheals or rash. In extreme cases, these bites may swell up or will become blister like skin inflammations. However, there are those lucky individuals who do not react at all to bed bug bites and the bites may go completely unnoticed.
2. Are the bites in a straight line? If the bites are in an almost straight line down your limb or any other party of your body, it is likely that you have been a victim of these bugs. Unlike any other type of insects, bed bugs create an almost straight line bite marks that easily set them apart from other insects. Also, a single bed bug may bite more than once in the same area and can be seen along an exposed area like your arm or leg. If you see bites in different parts of your body, this means that you have been bitten by many bed bugs.
3. Do you see them at home? Check for actual evidence of bed bugs in your home, hotel room, or wherever you last slept. It could be possible that your bites came from other insects since there are other types of harmless insects that can bite. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and their name tells the tale! These tiny insects can easily hide in bedding and can hitch a ride into your home aboard luggage, pets and boxes. You can easily find them if you are an astute observer since the adult bedbugs are about the shape and size of an apple seed.
After feeding, these bugs return to their nesting site to hide. They will mostly take this chance defecate these areas that will look as black to brown stains on porous surfaces or black to brown mounds on nonporous surfaces. You should be able to see adult bedbugs, nymphs and eggs since they tend to stay close together and have a distinctly sweet, yet unpleasant smell.
4. Does your sheets or clothing have small blood stains? Small droplets of blood on the bed sheets mean that bedbugs were present. Such spotting occurs when the bedbug has completed its meal.
Bed bugs are very intelligent creatures since they can multiply fast even when you are trying different means to eliminate them. It is not just enough to use different pesticides to control them since they also have the ability to resist pesticides. To eliminate bedbugs, you will need to maintain a thorough treatment strategy that includes different techniques together with careful attention to monitoring. However, if you are dealing with a resistant population, some products may make things worse. Better consult a qualified pest management professional to know what your next step will be and totally eliminate your bed bug problems.