Bed bugs are small insects without wings that feed on the blood of humans and animals while they sleep. They move easily from room to room through infested items. Bed bugs can not easily climb over the metal or polished surfaces, let alone fly or jump.
An adult bedbug can grow up to 10 mm. It has an oval body, broad and flat, ending in a small enlarged head. Brownish, the bedbug adult is a dark blood-red hue once nourished. The same shape as the adult, but smaller (1.5 mm long), the young bed bug is lighter in color, but it also takes a darker after feeding.
Covered with a sticky substance, eggs bed bugs are white, measure 1 mm long and are almost impossible to see on most surfaces. The female lays about 200 eggs during her life, at a rate of 2 to 4 eggs per day, and deposited in cracks and crevices, behind woodwork or other location well hidden. The eggs take between 6 and 17 days to hatch. Bed bugs usually feed at night, attracted by the carbon dioxide we exhale. They feed on humans as on pets. Because they feed at night when their victim is asleep, their bites may not be detected immediately.
Bedbugs prefer places where they can hide easily and eat regularly, such as sleeping quarters. Their flat body enables them to hide in tight spaces, such as wallpaper, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, inside box springs in the mattress and bedside tables.
Bed bugs feed on newly hatched as early as possible, as they have access to food. They can survive for weeks or even up to eighteen months without feeding. Bed bugs can survive more mature even longer without food.
Adults live about ten months and sometimes a year or more in an environment conducive to their reproduction (at temperatures ranging between 21 and 28 ° C).
Fourteen days or more may elapse before the appearance of the bite as the victim. If the bites can occur anywhere on the body, they occur most often in the face, neck, arms, legs and chest.
If some people have no reaction to bites, others will have little skin reaction or, more rarely, a severe allergic reaction. To avoid a possible infection, avoid scratching the bitten areas and keep them clean. The use of a cream or lotion antiseptic and an antihistamine might help. For further advice, consult your health care provider.
How can I prevent an infestation of bed bugs?
Prevention is the best way to prevent an infestation of bed bugs at home. Follow the steps below to reduce the risk of infestation:
- Limit the places where bed bugs can hide
- Eliminate clutter.
- Vacuum frequently, including under the bed and behind the bed.
- Repair or remove peeling wallpaper and tighten all loose electrical plates.
- Seal all cracks and crevices of bed frames, baseboards and between walls, ceilings, windows, door frames and furniture.
- Check all potential entry points of the party walls and openings that provide access to the interior walls (inlet piping, wiring or other utility).
Choose carefully what you bring into your home or buy
- Carefully inspect each item you enter for the first time in your home, including used books, new furniture or furniture from garage sale or antique shop.
- Be very careful with the items of second hand or refurbished.
- The new mattresses are often delivered in the same trucks as those used to transport the old mattress. Be sure to carefully check your new mattress before placing in your home. Insist that your new mattress is sealed before delivery.
- Never pick up a mattress or sofa abandoned on the sidewalk.
- Inspect the items before loading them on board your vehicle and check it after helping a friend move.
Periodically inspect your home to detect the presence of bed bugs
It is important to conduct periodic inspections to prevent infestations. Gather the following tools common to conduct a thorough inspection:
- A flashlight;
- Any tool to scrape along the seams of mattresses and other crevices (for example, an old credit card cut into a long triangle: make a sweeping movement in tight spaces to force bed bugs out of their hiding);
- A screwdriver to remove the hob and dismantling the furniture (make sure to close the power supply before opening an outlet);
- Of alcohol, glass cleaner or baby wipes to see if the spots are bed bug excrement (it may be a bed bug droppings if the spots are reddish-brown by rubbing) ;
- Cotton swabs to check for stains in the crevices;
- White plastic bags to seal your belongings.
Inspect over, under and around beds, sofas and upholstered furniture. Watch for signs of infestation as black dots or brown (blood or dried excrement), white dots (eggs, very hard to see) or bed bugs living or dead.
If you find traces of bed bugs, expand your careful inspection area. If you have a pet, check the location where he sleeps.
Inspection of a bed to detect the presence of bed bugs
- Remove and inspect every piece of bedding, including pillows. If evidence of bedbugs, wash bedding in hot water machine.
- Slowly lift each corner of the mattress and look at all the creases, tufts and buttons, piping sewn along the edge of the mattress handles and air vents and under the pillow.
- Slowly lift each corner and inspect the place where the mattress rests on the bed frame.
- Carefully examine the surface of the mattress, inside the folds, and along the seams where the fabric is stapled to the mattress. Also inspect the edge of the fabric underneath. If you notice signs of bed bugs, flip the mattress upside down and remove the fabric to inspect the inside of the mattress.
- Inspect all surfaces, cracks, screws, staples and tacks and under the wooden plugs covering the holes for screws or nails on the bed frame, legs and headboard.
- Also inspect the wall behind the bed (bed bugs can hide under wallpaper and in electrical outlets). Remove the plates from electrical outlets, telephone or cable to inspect the interior. Make sure to close the power supply before opening an outlet. Pay special attention to spaces between the wall and baseboards and tear or bumps wallpaper.
You should get rid of your bed if you find bed bugs inside the mattress or in holes or wear marks in the fabric of the mattress. Bed bugs can lay eggs in these places are difficult to treat.
If you get rid of your bed or any other article infested, pack it in plastic wrap and seal the edges with tape to prevent the spread of bed bugs by going to wear it in the garbage. Put a sign on the article stating that he was the victim of an infestation of bed bugs that nobody else brings this problem at home.
Inspection of furniture in order to detect the presence of bed bugs
- Remove all loose cushions and inspect the hollows, particularly around seams and zippers chairs and sofas upholstered. Inspect the seat and hollows along the sides and back of the chair or sofa. Inspect the legs, including at their junction with the padded portion and where the fabric is attached to the frame.
- Inspect all parts of wooden furniture such as dressers, armoires, tables, chairs and bookcases. Remove the drawers and look inside, top, sides, back and legs, paying particular attention to cracks. Use the crevice tool to inspect the gaps (for example, between a tablet and part of the library and under metal drawer slides).
- The wicker furniture is a favorite of bed bugs. Inspect them carefully.
If you find traces of bed bugs, also inspect the following locations:
- The baseboards near the bed, with the crevice tool to inspect within the interstices.
- Between the curtains and along the hem, inside curtain rods and hardware outlet.
- Around the window frames and door hinges and along the inside of the orifice which receives the latch.
- Under carpets and along carpet. Fold the edges of carpets and rugs to inspect the rods.
If you find bed bugs on the walls, they may also be present in the frames, light fixtures, smoke detectors and other wall accessories. It is possible that bed bugs hidden in the ceiling from a room above you.
What can I do to eliminate bed bugs?
It is very difficult to get rid of bed bugs. In cases of infestation, we strongly recommend that you call a pest control specialist who holds a permit. If you are a tenant and your home is infested with bed bugs, you should immediately notify the owner. Tenants who are facing problems with bed bugs should contact a public health officer who will help them manage the situation.
If you live in a multi-unit house and that the administration asks you to prepare your home for treatment against bed bugs, this usually means you empty the furniture storage to facilitate inspection, that you organize your personal belongings and put them in bags that you wash all your clothes and bedding and furniture that you keep away from the walls. Generally, the specialist in pest control will inform you of how to prepare for an inspection or treatment.
The Pest Management Specialists have access to different tools to fight against bed bugs with insecticides to spray liquid, aerosol insecticides, insecticide powders, dry ice under pressure and heat treatments or steam. Regardless of treatment used, it will only be effective if physical methods of pest control and prevention measures are applied together.
Physical methods of pest control
Physical methods of fight against bed bugs include steam cleaning, the vacuuming, heat treatment, freezing, washing and disposal of items. The steam cleaning should be done prior to vacuum, because the steam will come out of hiding bed bugs are still alive. Heat treatments should be entrusted to professionals.
Steam cleaning, washing and disposal of articles
- Mattresses, upholstered furniture and plush articles infested (but intact) that can be cleaned with hot water and detergent should be steam cleaned. Bedbugs die at 50 ° C and the temperature of the vapor emitted by the cleaning devices is generally at least 100 ° C. Devices steam cleaning or dry low vapor are preferred because they generate less residual moisture. Since only the bed bugs with steam by the die, move the device slowly steam cleaning to maximize the area covered. However, it should avoid any excess moisture that could encourage mold growth.
- It is sometimes effective to put small items in the freezer or outdoors. Freezing temperatures, however, must be maintained for some time (four days of constant exposure to cold at -19 ° C). There may be a number of bed bugs survive.
- Place non-washable items and small items of dry cleaning in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash with warm water mattress pads, linens, bed skirts, clothing infested, curtains, etc.., Then dry them in the machine at the highest temperature possible. Store items in clean and dry plastic bags very durable, light-colored or in bins with tight fitting lids to prevent spreading to other areas.
- Discard any items that can not be washed, heated or steam cleaned.
- Vacuum daily following the instructions below.
The portable vacuum cleaners, vacuum cleaners equipped with cloth bag and vacuum cleaners with hoses are not suitable for textile cleaning of bed bugs, because they can be infected in turn. It is preferable, in homes where some family members have allergies or asthma, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to keep from spreading in the air allergens from insects or dust.
- Bedbugs adhere to wood and fabric and their eggs remain glued to the surface nesting. Use a stiff brush in a back and forth over the surface of the mattress and a sucker for the seams and crevices. Carefully vacuum on all sides to remove bugs and eggs. This includes the mattress, box spring, bed frame, baseboards, non-washable furniture cushions, rugs and carpets all around heaters and baseboards and the inside and bottom of each tray, and furniture.
- Keep the vacuum on for a while to make sure all the bugs have been sucked inside the bag and place the vacuum bag in a sealed white plastic bag (it is easier to observe a bed bug on a white bag) that you will put in a garbage can with a lid.
- Plug the end of the vacuum cleaner hose with paper towels and seal it with tape so bed bugs can not escape.
- Wash all accessories vacuum cleaner with warm water and detergent.
- Store the vacuum cleaner in a large plastic bag.
- In terms of bagless vacuum cleaners, follow the instructions above and empty the tank contents in a plastic bag and seal it before putting it immediately discarded. Wash the dust tank with hot water and detergent.
Use of pesticides and other pest control products
Follow the following precautions when using pesticides:
- Read the label carefully before you purchase or use pesticides to determine which product best fits your situation and how to use it safely.
- Never use on treatment of people, pets or bedding unless the label explicitly specifies such use. For example, registered pesticides for bed frames are not designed for use on mattresses or box springs.
- Do not use pesticides on cribs, playpens and toys.
- Do not use homemade pesticide. If they seem simple and harmless, several recipes for homemade pesticide can be dangerous to make and use. Such pesticides may have adverse effects for you and your family.
How can I ensure that bed bugs will not come back?
Once the infestation under control, the following tips will help prevent his return:
- Do not you move to another room. You will probably want to do much, but bed bugs that have survived you may follow in the other room, which could cause another infestation. Instead, continue to occupy the same bedroom and carefully inspecting the room frequently to detect any bugs still alive. On the other hand, follow the steps below to protect yourself from bites.
- Completely wrap your mattress and box spring with a cover available from companies supplying accessories fight against allergies or pests. Cover the zipper duct tape, because the bugs can escape through holes zippers. The mattress can also be covered with plastic wrap sealed. Bed bugs can not bite through the cover and will eventually die, as long as the cover is intact (no holes or tears). It is recommended to keep the mattress and covered for one year.
- Cover the legs of bed carpet tape double sided or petroleum jelly. You can also place the legs in bed guards or glass jars filled with a little baby powder to trap bed bugs that climb or descend along the legs. Also on the market interceptors for bed legs to detect bed bugs.
- Use white or light colored sheets. This will make it easier to detect bed bugs.
- Completely remove the headboards.
- In white paint your wood furniture, including cribs, to facilitate detection of bed bugs. (Be sure to use a paint safe for baby furniture.)
- Replace upholstered furniture with plastic or metal easily cleaned with soap and water.
- Vacuum daily. For several weeks, even if you do not see bed bugs, get rid of the vacuum bag immediately as you did during treatment.
- Perform periodic inspections to detect the presence of bed bugs.