Let’s start off with a universal fact: bed bugs are disgusting. There’s nothing that will give you “phantom itch” more than imagining a parasitic blood sucker living in your mattress, much less seeing one in person. But there are a lot of misconceptions about where bed bugs come from, how they travel and how to get rid of them.
Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years, but were almost eradicated in the developed world by the 1940’s. They started to reemerge in the 1980’s most likely due to increased resistance to pesticides and international travel.
Bed bugs are not a sign of uncleanliness. It’s widely thought that bed bugs manifest themselves in environments that are dirty or unsanitary. In order to get an infestation you need to come into contact with an infested source. They travel on clothes, luggage or furniture or can travel on their own if an infected space is in close proximity such as through a false ceiling or air ducts. Bed bugs are most easily transferred during air travel. They can also travel on wild animals such as birds and bats, but do not travel in the skin or hair of humans and domesticated animals.
Bed bug detection can be tough as they are nocturnal and hide in crevices. Bites are the most common way to identify if you have an infestation, but they can also be found by seeing them, exoskeletons, blood and fecal spots or the smell of rotting raspberries.
So what do you do if you have an infestation? Number one is to call the exterminator. They are equipped to use the right balance of pesticide and non-pesticide approaches. After treatment, thoroughly clean the areas of infestation. The sooner an infestation is identified, the better.
Sleep Clean and Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite,