You may think your home is your safe space, but all it takes are a couple of bed bugs to take that feeling away from you. The worst part, all it takes is one bed bug to ruin your sleeping experience.
Bed bugs have been around for a very long time, fossilized bed bugs have been found as many as 3500 years ago. Back then they served a purpose, curing common ailments and helping with bites. Now we have modern medicine, bed bugs have become a major problem.
The thing is, we probably wouldn’t have had any issues with bed bugs if the pesticide DDT wasn’t outlawed. However, there’s a good reason for it being outlawed, as it caused many health and environmental problems. DDT eradicated the majority of bed bugs but unfortunately couldn’t kill them all.
In this post, I’ll be covering some of the most commonly asked questions about bed bugs and provide some detailed answers.
How can bed bugs affect me?
The majority of the negative effects of bed bugs are mental rather than physical, but there still are some physical effects.
The main mental effects are stress and lack of sleep. Even if you can deal with sleeping with bed bugs, you’ll surely be stressed out when trying to get rid of them.
If people find out about your bed bug problem, it can cause them to distance themselves from you, thinking that they’ll get bed bugs too. Whilst bed bugs don’t typically do this, it is very possible. This distancing can have a severe impact on your mental health added on top of your previous problems.
Bites. Those darn bites! Bed bug bites are the most common problem, they are very itchy and it can be very hard to ignore. You have to make sure you don’t give in to the feeling, as it can lead to secondary infections. Children and people with health problems are most at risk because their immune systems are not as strong as healthy adults.
How do bed bugs move and how fast?
Luckily, bed bugs cannot jump or fly. If they could, I for sure know that I would stay indoors all the time 😀 . Their main way of movement is through crawling, but they also latch onto humans, furniture, luggage, and many more of our belongings.
Bed bugs love making their way into clothes and bags, so make sure you keep a close eye. If you have bed bugs then make sure to keep your distance in social environments. You wouldn’t want to be reason your friends get bed bugs, would you?
How fast they travel
Their speed varies from 3 to 4 feet per minute on most surfaces. This speed, when scaled up to human dimensions, is the equivalent of a human sprinting. This speed is fast enough for them to find cracks to hide in on the bed and frame.
How far can bed bugs travel?
Bed bugs are lazy; they don’t like moving around once they’ve found a place that provides all their necessities; food, shelter, and a comfortable temperature.
Bed bugs will stay in their shelters as long as they have access to a host (us) every 4-5 days and they are at room temperature 55-72 °F
Research shows that bed bugs travel from their shelter to a host human back and forth. The distance traveled in a 1 day period can range from 40 to 50 feet or more.
If the bed bugs can’t find a suitable environment they will migrate from room to room until they find a suitable space to make their shelter. This can take many days if the bed bug cannot find a suitable environment.
What time are bed bugs most active?
Bed bugs are most active at night, but they are not classified as nocturnal. The reason for this is because humans are most exposed at night and the bed bugs can easily bite exposed areas of the body such as the face, neck, arms, and hands.
Bed bugs can still bite you during the day, but this isn’t as common as we’re usually moving around.
What are bed bugs most attracted to?
Bed bugs are most attracted to the blood of humans, but some bed bugs do decide to feed on animals. Bed bugs only feed on warm-blooded creatures. They’re drawing in from our body heat, the carbon dioxide we exhale and some of the other features us humans have.
If you have dark bedsheets, it might be a good idea to replace them with a bright white alternative. This is because bed bugs are attracted to dark environments. Red bed sheets are also something you should avoid, as this colour mimics blood.
Make sure to clean out your room and laundry basket often, as bed bugs often decide that your dirty clothes pile is a perfect spot to make a shelter. Whilst bed bugs do not discriminate on how clean or dirty your room is, it is a good idea to eliminate the amount of spaces where bed bugs can potentially build their shelters.
Do bed bugs move during the day?
Bed bugs do move during the day. The most common reason for their movement during the day is when they are looking to find a better spot to make their shelters.
They can also still bite you during the day, but they are most likely to bite you during the night as you are outputting more carbon dioxide and are still.
How long can bed bugs survive without human contact?
The answer to this question depends on the age of the bed bug.
Newly hatched bed bugs are called nymphs. Nymphs go through 5 stages before they become mature adults. Immature bed bugs molt their skin five times before they reach maturity, and they must feed in between each molt. Because of this, nymphs must feed more often than fully mature bed bugs. These nymphs can survive for at least a few weeks without feeding.
In warm conditions, bed bugs usually try to feed at regular intervals. If they cannot feed, they can survive for around 5 months.
How can I prevent bed bugs?
There are many ways to prevent bed bugs. The main thing to do is to look carefully. If you’re buying a second hand piece of furniture, inspect it closely to make sure there aren’t any stowaways!
Another common thing to do is to buy a protective cover to encase the mattress. Make sure that you are purchasing a high quality protector that will resist tearing as this provides the most protection. If you’re confused on which mattress protector to purchase, click here to automatically scroll down to see 2 mattress protectors that I recommend.
Reducing clutter in your home is also a good idea, as it can remove some hiding spots.
If you’re going on vacation or a business trip and will be sleeping in a hotel, you’ll need to ensure that there aren’t any bed bugs in the hotel beds that can move onto your luggage and clothing, and then into your home
How to treat bed bugs?
The best thing to do once you know you have bed bugs is to either hire a professional pest management company or to do it yourself. The prior option is the best option if you need to make sure that the bed bugs are removed.
You’ll need to ensure that you pick the correct pest management company, as there are some companies which aren’t very honest with you. To make sure that you’re choosing a good company, read through their reviews and do a quick search on Google or Bing to see if there is anything negative about them.
If you decide to go with the DIY option, make sure you create a plan to ensure that all bed bugs will be killed, and you will stay safe whilst doing so.
There are a handful of resources online to help you create a plan and provide information on the products and tools needed. One such website is the United States Environmental Protection Agency website. This is a link to a Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control guide from the EPA. I recommend having a read.
What to do after bed bug treatment?
You must not enter your home for at least 2 hours after the treatment has been sprayed. This is because it can be very harmful to people and pets.
You also must not vacuum your carpets for at least 2 weeks to ensure the spray has time to work.
Make sure that you continue to use the beds in which the the bed bugs are located. This is because the bed bugs will be attracted to you, and will be killed whilst going onto the treated areas. If you do not follow this step, the treatment will not be effective.
Two high quality mattress protectors I recommend
These are some of the highest quality mattress protectors which I can recommend. These mattress protectors can help ensure you don’t get bed bugs.
SafeRest Premium Mattress Protector
This is another great mattress protector with the most reviews for mattress protectors. Over 70,000 people have rated this sofa 4.5 out of 5 stars!
The FDA has also registered this mattress protector as a Class 1 Medical device, proving that they can help against bacteria and dust mites.
This mattress protector comes with a unique system that helps keep the feeling of your actual mattress, without changing it too much. This is great for those who have invested a large amount in a comfortable mattress and don’t want that to be wasted.
PlushDeluxe Premium Mattress Protector
PlushDeluxe claim this mattress protector can be used to help against allergies, and also boast that it can help against dust mites. This product is rated an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars from almost 2000 reviewers, so it must be effective.
This mattress protector is very affordable and comes in a light color, which makes seeing bed bugs easier.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, or have any more questions which I should add, let me know in the comments.
Another article will be coming within the week 🙂