Bed bugs can be a serious problem, being more harmful to certain people than others. It causes numerous health concerns extending from itchiness to allergic reaction. Regardless of your susceptibility, you should take the necessary steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home.
Seek extermination if you discover them, because, you put yourself at risk of various health problems if you allow an infestation to develop.
Bed Bugs Health Risks
For most people, bed bugs are going to be an annoyance as opposed to a serious health hazard, as these pests bite whatever host is nearby, sucking blood for nourishment, leaving behind red bumps that can get itchy.
Mild treatments exist and can be used to stop the itching. However, other problems can come up if you are not careful.
The following health issues can result:
- Allergic Reaction: Some people have mild to extreme reactions to getting bitten by bed bugs that are similar to what some people experience when stung by a bee. If you are allergic, then you need to seek medical attention right away for treatment when bitten.
- Infection: It is rare for a bite from a bed bug to lead to an infection, but it has been known to happen from time to time. This usually occurs when the individual scratches and then germs and other pathogens are introduced into the wound.
- Insomnia: Bed bugs are nocturnal, which is why they generally wait until you are asleep in your bed before launching a feeding attack on you. The bites may not be painful but can cause you irritation at any time of the day or night. You may have to wake up in the middle of the night to scratch the affected areas, leading to a lack of sleep, which has been linked to a variety of health issues, like depression, irritability, loss of appetite, anxiety, difficulty focusing, etc…
- Stress and Depression: Constant sleep deprivation combined with itchiness and unsightly scabs on your skin can result in stress which can lead to depression and immune system weakening if left untreated.
- Latent Illnesses: The weakening of your immune system may lead to the manifestation of other latent illnesses.
If your place is infested with bed bugs, not only you suffer physically and emotionally, you may also become socially isolated. People may stop coming to your place, or send their kids to your place to play with your kids for fear of bringing back to their houses those disgusting bugs of the bed.
You also stop going to other people places feeling guilty about possibly contaminating unsuspecting people homes.
Bed bugs can fasten themselves to clothing materials. So it is not difficult for them to spread throughout a town. Thus, it is best for you and everyone around you to deal with the infestation soonest.
When bed bugs infestation occurs, it’s not going to be a onetime bite attack. The bugs are going to “eat” you systematically, every night, and there will be no place to hide.
There is no other treatment except for complete extermination.
Precautions to Prevent and Control Bed Bugs
As is so often the case with pest control, a few simple precautions to help prevent bed bugs infestation are:
- Test secondhand pieces of furniture, beds, and sofas for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover that encases cushions and box springs which eliminates many hiding spots.
- Reduce mess in your home to reduce hiding places for the bugs.
- Use Light colored encasements that make bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high-quality encasement that will repel tearing, and check it regularly for holes.
- Employ the use of luggage racks to hold your luggage when packing or unpacking. Don’t set your luggage on the bed or floor. Upon returning home, unpack directly into a washing machine and inspect your luggage carefully.
- Check the mattress and headboard before sleeping, and
- educate yourself on bed bugs and
Integrated Pest Management Approach
- Scrutinize infested areas, as well as surrounding living spaces
- Properly identify the pest as being a bed bug
- Keep accounts of the infestation
- physically remove bed bugs through cleaning
- Clean all items if you are located within a bed bug plagued living area,
- Use certified, bed-bug-labeled pesticides accurately, according to all label regulations
- follow up with after-treatment inspection, and possible treatments
- Wash and dry bedclothes and covers at high temperatures to kill bed bugs. A high temperature is needed to kill bugs at all life stages. So heat infested articles and/or areas through to at least 113 ºF for 1 hour.
- Cold methods (below 0 ºF for at least 4 days) can eliminate some infestations
- Utilize mattress, box spring, and padding encasements to trap bedbugs and help detect infestations.
Other Tips to Prevent/ Control Bed Bugs
- Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects. Compare the identified insect to known bed bug pictures
- Don’t panic, and don’t throw out all of your things because most of them can be treated and recovered. It can be difficult to eliminate bed bugs, but throwing stuff out is expensive. It may also spread the bugs to others.
- Think through your treatment options, and don’t just reach for the pesticide spray can.
- Be wide-ranging in your approach, and utilize integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. This technique may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides.
- Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers. So, remember to clean them when you do the laundry. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads, and any clothing, to reduce the number of the vermins.
- Reduce the number of bed bugs to lessen bites, through thorough vacuuming. Thoroughly vacuum rugs, floors, furniture, bed frames, and all cracks and crannies around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bedbugs can’t escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag, in an outside garbage bin or burn them if you have an incinerator.
- You can turn to the professionals if your approaches fail since an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of the bugs that might be worrying you.