Bedbugs: How To Avoid And Get Rid Of Them?
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No one wants to be the victim of a bed bug infestation , but if it happens to you, there are solutions!
What Is A Bed Bug?
The bedbug is a crawling insect of the Cimicidae family that measures, in adulthood, between 5 and 8 mm long by 1 mm high. It seeps almost everywhere: in the seams of mattresses or armchairs, in tiny cracks, behind baseboards and moldings. This stinging, sucking insect feeds on blood, one to three times a week.
There are three stages in the development of the bedbug. The egg, white in color, measures 1 mm. After one to three weeks of incubation, it transforms into a pupa of brownish color, 1 mm long and identical in shape to that of the adult. Depending on the temperature, it takes two to four weeks for a nymph to become adult.
A male bedbug can mate with a female one to several times a day. If conditions are favorable, the female will lay hundreds of eggs over a six month period.
The insect prefers temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius or higher. The hotter the temperature, the more the insect grows, and wreaks havoc. However, it can live for five days at minus 5 ° C and two days at minus 18 ° C. It survives 20 minutes at a temperature of 65 ° C.
The bed bug is very resistant. It can live for a year, without eating, at a temperature of 9 to 13 ° C and goes into hibernation when the mercury drops below 9 ° C.
The Bed Bug In Your Home
A Great Traveler
The invasive insect is a frequent traveler. You just need to come into contact with a person wearing clothes that conceal bedbugs, in public transport, a shopping center, a performance hall, in short, in any public place, to bring them back to the House. If you are staying in an infested hotel anywhere in the world (*), you will probably be the unfortunate owner of a bedbug farm a few weeks later. And, if you live in an apartment building, a neighbor only needs to be infected for your home to be affected a few months later as well.
Invisible During The Day
A nocturnal insect, the bedbug is practically invisible during the day, unless the colony is large. Brownish stains will appear near the seams of your mattress or furniture. At night, wide awake, all you need to do is turn on a light to detect their presence. But you will have to be careful. These insects move quickly.
The bedbug spreads from room to room, from apartment to apartment, but the fertilized female prefers the proximity of humans, both for food and to ensure a food reserve for her offspring.
In fact, it is often the presence of bites that betray the presence of bedbugs. Besides a fine droplet of dried blood on the skin, its bite often leaves a hard, whitish edema, similar to a mosquito bite. Traces of blood on the sheets, or tiny excrement also betray their presence. However, they are not a vector for the spread of disease.
Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Here you are struggling with bedbugs, and you want to get rid of them! Know that it will not be easy. If you live in an infested apartment building, your landlord or manager will need to decontaminate the entire building. Will he want it? If it is a localized infestation, in your home for example, you will need to call a company specializing in pest control.
It is also possible to eliminate bed bugs with chemical insecticides. Entrust everything to an exterminator. Be aware, however, that bed bugs require more than one treatment. In addition, the bugs that invade our cities are now resistant to doses of insecticides 1000 times higher than those necessary only ten years ago. In addition, super resistant bedbugs have been observed in Quebec, Montreal and New York in recent months.
You will need to treat the bed and the parts that are close together. If you have to transport insects, do so in a tightly closed bag, which you will put in the freezer for a few days. Steam treatments are effective if they are repeated regularly.
Also vacuum all bed or furniture seams, then dispose of the bag immediately. You will also need to wash the sheets and bed covers at high temperature. A prolonged stay in the dryer, also at a high temperature, will also give results. Check the entire room: baseboards, nightstands, electrical outlets, even telephone and alarm clock. If you see signs of infestation, clean, vacuum, treat. Place small items in plastic bags, seal tightly, and place the bags outdoors, in direct sunlight, or on very cold days (minus 19 ° C).
Prevent Bed Bugs
It is possible to prevent the appearance of bedbugs. When staying in a hotel, check the sheets and treat them with a biological insecticide every day. Don’t let your clothes hang out on the bed, hang them up. You can also leave your clothes in your suitcase, closed, but be aware that some bugs manage to infiltrate the luggage via the zippers.
At home, put the bed legs in glass jars and sprinkle them with talcum powder. Wrap the legs with double-sided tape to prevent bedbugs from entering your box spring. Cover the zipper of your mattress cover with duct tape. And be vigilant. The slightest trace of a bite will betray the presence of bedbugs.
You are well armed against these bedbugs that many qualify as disgusting. If you are infested with them, remember that these insects do not discriminate. Don’t let these critters take over your home. Open your eyes and take the necessary measures to get rid of it.
(*) The cities of Paris and New York are particularly infested.