Bed bugs are scary little critters. It’s important that we’re prepared to take care of an infestation should we find one popping up.
Otherwise, you’ll be exposed to bed bug bites as you sleep, never really knowing whether or not there’s something nibbling on your skin and feeding on your blood. They’re like tiny little vampires that emerge from the walls in the night.
We’re here to give you a little insight into bed bugs, what they are, what they do, and how you can get rid of them.
Hopefully, the ideas below can help you put your mind at ease.
Understanding Bed Bug Bites
We’ll start with the issue that most of us are concerned about: bites.
The first thing to understand, and the only reassuring thing about bed bug bites, is that they aren’t known to carry or transmit any infectious diseases.
You don’t have to worry about getting a really bad disease or infection from a set of bed bug bites, but that doesn’t mean they don’t pose any potential harm. The bites tend to be pretty small, and you won’t feel them as you’re getting bitten.
This is partially because you tend to be sleeping as you’re bitten, but bed bugs also give you a natural anesthetic as they bite so they’re not discovered. This is a great evolutionary tool for bed bugs because it gives them complete access to bite at your skin for 10 minutes or so without discovery.
After that point, you might start to feel a little irritation or itchiness, but nothing so bad that it would wake you up. There are some things to watch out for with bed bug bites, though.
1. Skin Rashes
Skin rashes are common results of multiple bed bug bites. Your skin might be sensitive to the bites and cause some sort of unwanted reaction.
A lot of rashes come from the fact that people like to scratch at bug bites, though. Persistent irritation in this way can really cause your skin to break out into issues that wouldn’t exist with the bug bite alone.
Additionally, scratching at a bite can cause it to open up. Exposed wounds and bug bites are liable to get infected and cause more health problems if the infection goes untreated. Your best bet is to have some antibacterial cream on hand in the case that you slip up and open the wound.
If you do get an infection or notice symptoms of one, be sure to visit your doctor. If you catch infections early, they’re nothing to be too concerned about. Some simple antibiotics will do the trick in the early stages.
2. Allergic Reactions
You’ll know right away when you wake up if you’re having an allergic reaction. If you do have one, it’s probably the first time you’ve been bitten as well.
So, a good thing to do if you wake up to an uncomfortable allergic reaction is to check your body for bites. Some people’s reactions are far more intense than others, though.
Call a doctor or treat yourself immediately if you start to have a reaction that you know will escalate. The fortunate thing about this response to bed bug bites, though, is that you either have a reaction or you don’t.
People who aren’t allergic to bed bugs don’t have to worry about this factor, making the process of ridding your home a lot safer and easier. If you’re someone who is allergic, your best bet is to call an exterminator as soon as you can so that you can go back to enjoying your home.
3. Psychological Reactions
Nobody is immune to the psychological stress that a bed bug infestation can create. These critters are good at hiding, have developed to survive strictly off of humans, and only come to you in the night time.
Even worse, you have no idea that they’re there! As we mentioned, there’s hardly any way to tell that a bed bug is on your skin unless you actually catch it in the act.
When you’re trying to sleep and you know that there might be something sucking your blood, you can start to get a little restless. Insects are a huge fear for a lot of people, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t mind having them living in their walls and feasting in their bed.
Depending on who you are and how resistant you are to psychological stress, the presence of bedbugs can be really damaging. Symptoms of anxiety and paranoia might start to pop up, and your sleep will be impacted if you can’t get the situation off of your mind.
Those things can pull together to put a person’s life in a very difficult mental place. That’s why it’s so important to get bed bugs taken care of as soon as you know that they’re around.
Options for Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Your next move is to find out how to rid your home of bed bugs. As you’ll see, it can be pretty tricky.
That said, there are ways for you to get rid of the bed bug population in your home on your own. Just because it’s possible, though, doesn’t mean it will always work. Bed bug infestations are all different, although they have some commonalities that help us reduce the problem.
Let’s look at some of the moves you can make to hinder the little critters’ ability to feed on you.
1. Clear Up Clutter
The first move is to keep your home as clean and tidy as you can. In particular, you should focus on the places where you happen to sleep. Your bedroom and any place where you regularly nap should be spotless.
It’s not so much that bed bugs like to eat crumbs or are attracted to food, as much as it is that they’re better off in dark, cluttered places. The more cracks and untouched crevices you offer bed bugs, the more places they have to hide.
Now, it’s true that they tend to make their colonies in areas like dressers, walls, and bedframes, but that doesn’t mean they spend all of their time there. The fewer opportunities they have to hide, the less chance they have to survive when the time comes to get rid of them.
2. Shift Things Up Temporarily
Your infestation started when bed bugs were carried into your home and they made a place to live right next to where you sleep. That’s how it has to go.
Bed bugs feed on you, and maybe other mammals living in your house. That means that they’re hiding near your bed, and will continue to do so as long as you sleep there.
They feed at night, and you spend most of your time in bed at night, so they’re getting a steady food source with their current situation.
What Not To Do: While you’re trying to figure out the infestation, moving your bed to a different part of the room or sleeping in a different part of the house may make sense. Don’t do it. You will just spread bed bugs to other areas of your home.
When you set up your new bed, try to keep it about 6 inches away from any wooden storage objects or walls. The more of an island you can make your bed, the tougher it is to climb up and suck your blood.
3. Clean and Inspect All Hiding Areas for Bed Bugs
The worst part, other than getting bitten, is going through your things and hoping that you don’t have to get rid of them. Take your lovely mattress, for example.
You might find that bed bugs are infesting your mattress and living in it. It’s awful tough to get every little creature out of that mattress on your own, so the best move might be to throw it out and get a new one.
The same goes for other places around your bed where they might be living. Look hard at your dresser, your bed frame, your cabinets, and any cracks or spaces in your walls and floorboards.
4. Call for Professional Help
The quickest option you can take is to hire an exterminator that specializes in bed bugs to help you out. Pest control professionals know the safest and most-effective ways to rid your home of bed bugs.
They’ll also know just where they’re probably hiding out and creeping to you from. Further, pest control helps you make sure that you rid yourself of the entire infestation and not just one little group of bugs.
Bed bugs can reproduce a lot, and often. Depending on how long the infestation has been going on, you could have quite a large group of bugs living in your home. This is especially true if there are multiple people sleeping in different rooms throughout the house.
Want to Sleep Easy Again?
If you start noticing bed bug bites, make sure you take steps to get the situation taken care of. Whether you’re looking to do it yourself or have a bed bug professional help, we’re here to guide you on your way.
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