Everything you ever wanted to know about Bed Bugs
Everyone has heard of blood sucking bed bugs, today we are going to discuss:
What are bedbugs?
Where did they originate from?
Where are they hiding?
Are they harmful?
How Can you prevent them?
What Are Bed Bugs?
Many people have heard of bedbugs but don’t really know what they are? firstly, bed bugs are very small brown bugs that grow in size to about 3-4mm, when eating blood (human or pet) which is bedbugs staple diet, they can grow another couple of millimeters, they also change color, turning red in the middle and brown on the outsides.
Some people get confused and think that bedbugs are the same as Dust-Mites, this isn’t true and are a completely different species, bedbugs are much bigger than their smaller counter-parts, I’ll do another article on dust-mites.
Can bed bugs fly? no they can’t, they can’t jump either but they can crawl at a rapid pace.
Where do Bedbugs originate from?
All my research has indicated they originate from Bats in the Middle East, at some point thousands of years ago both Bats and Man shared caves together, Bats and bedbugs are thought to have co-habited together and the first bedbug was called Cimex Adjunctus, thought to have lived under the wings of Bats and actually ate the bats blood. This type of bedbug can be found in rural homes or farmlands where Bats thrive, feeding on live-stock.
As man evolved over the years and upgraded from caves to huts.. the bedbugs followed, this led to another species called Cimex Lectularius which is widely regarded as the standard bedbug we would expect to have in a normal city home.
Whilst the origins of bedbugs is all conjecture and no-one really knows 100%. As humans first began to travel from one country to another the bedbugs followed, in more modern times the same rule applies…the bedbugs now bunny hop onboard airplanes presumably in the nooks and crannies of suitcases and clothes.
Where are the Bedbugs hiding?
Bedbugs are often found in warm nooks and crannies:
Under your bed
Behind your bed board
Under the buttons of your mattress
Behind the lifting straps of the Mattress
Down the side of your Sofa
Along the skirting boards of your Carpet or Hard Floor
Around the edges of Rugs
Lets not forget Bedbugs want your blood so the best place to find that source is in your bed! bedbugs will hide all around your bed waiting for you to return night after night, its only natural, if you were offered your favorite meal every night free of charge you’d be there! wouldn’t you? the advice I give all our clients is to check all around the mattress especially under the buttons or under the side straps of the mattress.
Are Bedbugs harmful or could they actually be dangerous?
This is something customers ask on a regular basis, in our opinion they can be harmful to some people but I certainly wouldn’t consider them to be dangerous! most symptoms involve an allergic reaction when you come into contact with bedbugs and some will come out in a rash or may have an itch, although some studies say that Impetigo is a side affect if coming into contact with bedbugs.
Impetigo is: a nasty contagious yellow rash around the mouth or nose, it can also affect the arms or legs. Symptoms can include red with yellow itchy sores that burst and leak a clear fluid or pus for a few days. Although this is very rare and can heal within 7-10 days, being a carpet cleaner for the past 30 years I’ve never heard of anything more serious than a rash, although I still wouldn’t want it nor would I want a child to catch it.
How Can you prevent Bedbugs?
Professional carpet cleaner
Vacuum Regularly: you have many options open to you regarding bedbug prevention, by vacuuming regularly down the side of your sofa, under & around the mattress frame and especially under the mattress buttons and side straps of the mattress.
Steam cleaners: are very effective at killing bedbugs, these hand held steam cleaners can reach temperatures as high as 270 degrees Fahrenheit, I do recommend these little guys, they’re small but do pack a punch when it comes to getting rid of bedbugs: you only need temperatures as high as 118f to kill bedbugs, make sure you steam under the mattress buttons and straps on the side of the mattress.
Pest control: Pest control companies do have several systems to prevent bedbugs in the home but sadly all of them will involve some sort of chemical being released in your home, you may have to vacate your home whilst the chemical is doing it’s job but I for one wouldn’t want these chemicals anywhere near my home,
you may hear some companies advertise that the products they use are safe and don’t cause any harm to children or animals, if that is the case then the pest control company won’t have any problem doing the job without a mask.
Spray/chemical: You can buy hundreds if not thousands of sprays from shops and online websites but again are they safe for you or the environment? I have my reservations. again if someone is reading this and claims to have an eco-friendly product in a spray then I’d say drink some first and then I’ll believe its safe!
Professional carpet cleaner: I’m going to start off by saying that most carpet cleaners out there will use strong chemicals when tackling bedbugs, additionally not all carpet cleaners use high temperature to eradicate the bedbugs, What you’re looking for is a company like Eco-steam clean Liverpool ltd who own a truck-mounted steam generator, not only does the steam come out at 230f it also has a 10.000 watt vacuum attached, which is essential to vacuum them up.