Bed Bug Symptoms

Catching The Critters Before They Bite

By: - Home & Family - July 20, 2011
bed bug symptoms catching the critters before they bite

Remember the old saying: ‘good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite’? For almost everyone we know, including ourselves, we had no idea what it really meant or what a bed bug looked like.  In fact, most people had never seen or experienced any type of bug infestations.  Many people up until recently and some still do, consider that having bed bugs is a sign of lack of hygiene and dirtiness in your home.  Unfortunately, this is not the case and the spread of bed bugs worldwide has come about due to the stopping of the use of DDT, a chemical that once killed them, almost wiping them out everywhere.  Newspaper headlines and TV news broadcasts are now filled with stories of bed bug infestations in even the cleanest of places, including hospitals, universities, libraries, brand new homes and anywhere that the bugs can be transferred from place to place.  Many people do not know what the bed bug symptoms are or that they have bed bugs until the infestation is out of control.  However, there are many ways that you can deal with them.  Bed bug treatment is as much about pest control and avoiding the spread of disease as it is about preventing them, but even those things are no foolproof.

So many people travel now in parts of the world where bed bugs are still common place.  These nasty creatures can hop in your suitcase or pocket for a ride, even take a ride on a cruise ship or plane.  Others may simply walk off the shoulder of a person on a bus and onto you and you would never know it.  You would arrive home, thrown down your things, put your laundry in a basket and settle down without realizing that your travelling companions increased by one or two.  They may just casually wander out of wherever they were in your luggage or clothing and meander beneath your floor boards, into your walls and into your furniture and mattresses to lay back and set up home.  Producing hundreds of eggs daily, the bed bug’s only concern is food – blood – and you are a dinner waiting to happen.  So, when it comes to bed bug symptoms, do not assume that you will find any pink bumps on your skin, or any enlarged welts that itch.  You may simply have no symptoms at all, whereas other members of your household could have an allergic reaction.  However, by the time you realize that you have a bed bug problem, they are everywhere.  Your mattress is a favourite hangout with the interior being perfectly warm and moist, your dead skin cells fluttering down as a beacon of your presence and as you breathe out, they crawl away from the young nymphs that are usually hidden in the mattress creases or seams and whilst you sleep, crawl across your body to feed.  The problem here is that they can feed off any part of your body, which is, yes, horrible to think about, and I mean anywhere.  Most people feel a tiny itching whilst they rest in bed, unaware that the babies have hatched and are the reason for their discomfort.  You may see the odd white grain in your bed or on your person and not realize that you are now a bed bug hatchery.  Or, you may sit on your favourite chair only to find that just as you settle with friends to watch TV, a huge and engorged brown bug with a few legs on either side and no wings has just crawled out onto your shoulder.  But what bed bug treatment should you try?

After you have gotten over the facts about bed bug symptoms, the bed bug treatment part begins.  You cannot ignore it and you cannot hope it will go away because it will not.  You must begin by vacuuming all parts of your floors, putting your bags into a garbage bag without spilling anything and disposing of the bag outside immediately.  You should then wipe down all of your walls with standard house cleaner, surfaces, cupboards, mirrors and anything that can be cleaned safely without damage.  You must have your carpets steam cleaned and bag up all of your clothing and soft furnishings that do not contain hard objects into garbage bags and empty them into your dryer for 1 hour on a high heat.  You must contact your local pest control service and have them bring in a dog to sniff out the bugs.  Then you should have your entire home and every possession you have heat treated.  For those items that cannot be heat treated, you will be advised as to which things will have to be thrown out and which things can be treated in alternative ways.  You will have to probably wrap up your heavy furnishings in plastic, sealing them for at least eighteen months and put a layer of a powdered bed bug treatment all around the edges of your walls, stairs and anywhere where bugs can crawl.  You should seal up all holes to areas that may lead to other people’s homes and you should put double sided tape around the edges of all floors and stairs.  These will help you see if the treatment has worked.  Usually with the heat treatment, which takes hours to do, it will kill all bed bugs, nymphs and eggs.  You cannot use the bed bug powder alone and you cannot get your home done if you live in a place with multiple homes that are connected by any common areas, wiring or piping, or anywhere where these bugs can move from home to home.  If you live in such a place then you need to inform your landlord if you rent or your management company if you own.  Your entire building will need to be treated or the bugs will simply move from home to home to escape the heat.

Photo: bed bug – public domain photo –,_Cimex_lectularius.jpg

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