Bed bugs are small insects that normally feed on blood of warm blooded animals especially birds, humans and bats. These small wingless insects generally inhabit birds’ nests, bat roosts and also homes of humans. Their preferred habitats in human homes include beds, bed mattresses, sofas and other soft furnishing. Other places that are preferred by bed bugs include curtains, cracks in wallpaper and corners inside dressers among other places. Bed bugs have also been reported in vacant house due to their ability to survive for several months without feeding.
Adult bed bugs grow to a length of about a quarter of an inch and are oval and flattened in shape. They are also visible to the naked eyes. When disturbed, they normally hide and seek shelter in dark crevices and cracks. Even though it is believed that poor sanitation conditions facilitate the thriving of bed bugs, they can also be found in clean environments.
Bed Bugs Symptoms
Bed bugs normally attack and bite at night thus it may not be easy to realize their infestation in a place. Normally, they bite exposed area on a person’s skin such as neck, face, arms and legs and suck blood. The bites are normally painless thus an individual may not know that he or she has been bitten by bed bugs. Some of the common symptoms and signs of bed bugs include:
Several bites that occur at the same time.
Some individuals develop skin infections and scars due to intense itching of the bite and heavy scratching of the bitten area.
In some rare cases, an individual may become ill or develop nausea.
Looking for bed bugs activities can also be used to determine bed bugs infestation. Some of the bed bugs symptoms that will indicate bed bugs activities include:
Presence of dark brown or reddish fecal spots around their hiding place e.g. cracks and crevices and on the bed sheets.
Presence of adult bed bugs or bed bug eggs on the mattresses tufts, box springs, bed linen and mattresses seams. The eggs look similar to tiny pale-poppy seeds.
Danger of Bed Bugs to Humans
Bed bugs have become a growing problem in most dwelling places. These include public dormitories, private homes, hotels, cruise ships, even army barracks and many crowded living quarters. They mostly feed on the host while the host is asleep thus it is not easy to detect them until one develop allergic reaction to their saliva. When feeding, they inject their saliva into the host’s skin.
Bed bugs have been shown to pose no serious danger to humans other that disturbed sleep due to intense itching of the bite. This is due to the fact that they bite and take blood but they do not normally transmit any disease. They are not capable of transferring any pathogen from one person to another. However, studies are still on to determine if they can act as disease carriers with some researchers implicating bed bugs to be possible vector for Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis). Most of bed bugs bites pose no danger and can only lead to allergic and asthmatic reactions.
How Bed Bugs Are Spread
Since bed bugs can inhabit many household articles such as furniture, bedding and clothing, they plus their eggs can be present in such items. In apartment buildings, they can scrawl from one room to other multiple rooms. They can also be transferred unknowingly from on place when a person puts on an infested cloth or carry an infested suitcase, box or other household items from one place to another.
Bed Bugs symptoms Control and Treatments
Normally, there is no required treatment for bed bugs bites. However, topical creams and oral antihistamines can be used in cases where the itching is severe. In cases where an individual develop bacterial infections on the heavily scratched bite areas, antibiotics can be used.
Control mechanisms include avoiding areas infested with bed bugs. This should be done immediately you notice bed bugs symptoms. Use of pesticides and other treatment should be properly carried out immediately infestation has been detected. Infested beddings and clothing should be bagged and laundered at very high temperatures to destroy the bugs as well as their eggs.