The signs of having bedbugs are finding tiny spots of blood on the sheets, waking up with itching and a blotchy red rash and spotting tiny black specks near warm dark hiding places. These specks are the bed bug faeces. In recent times our human tendency to travel frequently, crossing continents and passing through multiple cities, has helped to spread bed bugs from poorer, perhaps less hygienic places to modern hotels and high-class accommodations. They spread readily in clothing and suitcases, taking up residence in any place that suits their needs.
Bedbugs can live for 550 days without a meal, so leaving a house uninhabited for a year is not going to kill the bed bugs! They can also survive in a wide range of temperatures so turning the heating up or down is more likely to annoy the human residents than the insect ones. Bed bugs can live for up to nine months in good, warm conditions but their longevity is affected by their living conditions. They go through six stages to reach full maturity and this growth process can take as long as two months, which is quite a long time for insects.
What to do if you find bed bugs
Finding that you have a bedbug infestation is nothing to be ashamed of. As stated above, they travel readily and positively seek out human habitation. Once you do have an infestation, however, they can be very hard to get rid of and you will need to be vigilant until you are sure that your home is completely clear again. If you are unsure about whether you have bedbugs or some other type of infestation checking a sample against bed bug pictures should help you to ascertain which it is.
The best treatment is to call in pest control professionals who will be practised in finding every single small hiding place that the bugs are likely to inhabit. You will need to remain on hand to help move pieces of furniture and perhaps even let the exterminator go through intimate drawers and wardrobes to check for signs of insect habitation.
One home remedy that you can try is to use a steam cleaner all over the room where you suspect the bugs are living. Follow this up with a thorough and painstaking vacuum clean, and then dispose of the contents in a sealed bag to prevent any survivors escaping back into your home. This is a risky course of action though, if you miss even one relatively small hiding place the bedbugs can breed up again in a relatively short time.
- Bedbugs are becoming more of a problem due to the travelling habits of people
- Signs of an infestation may be waking up with itchy bites, especially if they are in a straight line on your body, spots of blood on the sheets and finding tiny dots of insect excreta in your home.
- They are becoming resistant to pesticides used to eradicate them, so it is best to call in a professional who will apply a range of elimination and prevention treatments in the home.