Despite the use of DDT after World War II, bedbugs have managed to survive eradication and thanks to the recent banning of this toxic pesticide, they are once again beginning to thrive. The modern day spread of the pests may be helped by the growth of international travel. In terms of their appearance, bed bugs are reddish brown, oval and flat. In daytime hours, they shelter in various cracks and crevices before coming out at night to wreak havoc on the bodies of sleeping humans.
Identification and Discovery
Bedbug bites have some distinguishing features when compared to other types of insect bites. The bites appear red and sometimes a darker red spot is visible in the middle. The bites might be itchy, clustered or linear and can be located on the arms, hands neck, or even face. There may be people who experience an allergic reaction and in this case, one should consult a doctor, especially if one develops severe itching or hives.
Bedbugs love to hide in cracks and crevices but can also hide in clothes or luggage. Look for them particularly in mattresses, headboards, underneath peeling paint and under carpeting. Bedbugs can hitchhike from place to place in one’s belongings but can also crawl quickly from place to place. The bugs live for approximately 10 months and females can lay more than 200 eggs in their lifetime so clearly the risk of bedbugs spreading is quite high.
There are types of bedbug that prefer to feed on birds or vermin such as bats. This may result in these types of bug inhabiting attics or eaves and should they run out of their desired prey due to migration, they may look to feed off humans instead.
Clean places are no more immune from a bedbug invasion than dirty places, as bedbugs are happy to live anywhere they can prey and hide easily. The cleanest, tidiest homes can still be vulnerable to bedbugs.
In order to combat the risk of possible bedbug invasion or bites, several steps and precautions can be taken.
To avoid being bitten, make sure to cover up while sleeping. Generally, the bugs don’t like to burrow under clothing so by not exposing your skin you may avoid being bitten. Insect repellents generally have little effect on bedbugs, particularly if the repellent in question is designed to repel mosquitoes or ticks. Mosquito netting covered with permethrin may protect you, but in a wider sense, this process may only serve to immunise the bugs against this pesticide.
If you are bringing second-hand furniture or used mattresses into your house, make sure to check thoroughly for any evidence of bedbugs, such as excrement. In your home, try to eliminate any bird or bat settlements that may exist within, as these habitats can serve as refuges for bedbugs. This is especially important in the aftermath of an attempted extermination. Whilst staying in hotels, keep your luggage off the floor and check mattress seams for any sign of bedbug excrement.