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The medical and scientific worlds know them as Cimex lectularius. But, most people know them as bed bugs! They are parasitic insects that love to feast on our blood. The sad truth is they can also cause us health problems like skin rashes and allergic reactions. Are you worried you might have bed bugs in your home? If so, this infographic can help you find out:
Telltale Signs You’ve Been Bitten by Bed Bugs
Bed bugs tend to strike at night, preferring to hide away in the dark during the daytime. Here’s how to determine if you’ve been bitten by bed bugs:
- Unexplained blood spots on found bed sheets in the morning
- Bite marks on the face, neck, arms and hands
- Bite marks arranged in a rough line or cluster
- Itchy bite marks that are red and usually have a dark red center
- No bite marks on affected areas before going to sleep
What Happens if You’ve Been Bitten by Bed Bugs?
The good news is that bed bugs don’t transmit any diseases. However, they can make life uncomfortable for their host (i.e. you):
- You’ll have bite marks that may take several days to settle down
- You could get an allergic reaction from bed bug saliva mixing with your blood
- An infection may occur if you scratch itchy bite marks
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
To control a bed bug infestation, it’s important to learn where they might be lurking. Here are some possible examples:
- Bed frames
- Items or piles of objects near a bed
- Underneath peeling paint or loose wallpaper
- Underneath carpets, especially near baseboards
- Inside electrical outlet or light switch plates
In general, they will try to find somewhere dark and warm to hide near your bed during the day.
Why Have You Got a Bed Bug Problem?
There can be many reasons why bed bugs have decided to take up residency in your abode:
- Bed bugs may have traveled with a visitor to your home
- They may have grown resistant to pesticides used near your property
- The bed bugs may have been hidden in a package delivered to your home
Five Myths About Bed Bug Infestations
1. Your bedding isn’t clean
Bed bugs don’t care when you recently changed your bedding.
2. They only bite certain groups of people
Bed bugs will bite males and females of any age.
3. They will only bite you once
Clusters of bed bugs can bite their hosts more than once.
4. Bed bugs need a regular source of blood
Adult bed bugs can survive up to five months without feeding.
5. They are only attracted to humans with a particular scent
All humans emit heat and carbon dioxide while they sleep. They are the two things that attract bed bugs.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
- Wash and dry bedding at a high temperature to kill bed bugs and eggs lying on them
- Repair any cracks in walls such as broken plaster
- Vacuum your flooring thoroughly
- Use a heat treatment process to avoid the use of toxic pesticides
Bed Bug Trivia
Some fast and interesting facts about bed bugs:
- Bed bugs don’t discriminate between clean and dirty homes
- They are more prevalent in sleeping areas with high occupancy turnovers
- Cockroaches, ants, and spiders are natural predators of bed bugs
- Bed bugs can be found all over the world
- Infestation rates have risen dramatically since the 1980s, especially in developed countries