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The Guide to Getting Rid of Bedbugs for Good
You know when you have bedbugs — you wake up with rows of red itchy bites on your face, neck, shoulders, limbs, and any other areas of skin that’s exposed.
Or maybe, if you’re lucky, you notice small dots of blood on the sheets to mark the aftermath of a feeding frenzy. Or, if you’ve hit the jackpot, reddish-brown dried stains on fabrics from their droppings and the lighter coloured flecks of shedded skin.
The signs of bedbugs clear. However, at just five millimeters across, and being the masters of stealth that they are, spotting the little critters themselves is a whole other matter.
This means getting rid of bedbugs is a tricky task, and anyone who realises they have them is justified in their utterance of the dread-filled and usually profanity-accompanied “uh oh”. Bedbugs can wreak havoc in your home, and if the situation develops into an all-out infestation, then you can have a disruptive and costly nightmare to contend with.
So, before you give them more time to breed and scratch your poor, inflamed skin anymore, let’s dive into the lives of bedbugs, how you got bedbugs in the first place, and, most importantly, how to get rid of bedbugs.
Why You Have Bedbugs
As bedbugs live off human blood, they’ve come to learn that the cracks and crevices in your bed, along with bed frames, furniture, carpets, and bedroom clutter, are fruitful and opportunistic homes.
When you’re going about your day, they’re hiding and breeding without interruption, and when the sun has set and you’re all tucked up, they emerge to feed and suck you dry like the vampiric parasites they are.
They do this using a small tube-like structure called a proboscis. The proboscis pierces the skin and allows them to suck up your blood in one smooth gulp. The more successful they are at doing this — i.e. the more marks you have — the stronger, more prolific, and harder to get rid of they become.
A good meal is particularly important for Immature bedbugs, otherwise known as nymphs. Nymphs need to shed their skins five times to real full maturity, and each time they do this they require a healthy meal of your blood. Given good conditions and a peacefully sleeping host, bed bugs can speed through this process and fully develop in as little as a month and produce three or more generations in a year.
To increase the chances of survival, bedbugs have evolved to be incredibly quick, smart, and to be themselves masters in the sack. They move rapidly over any surface — floors, walls, ceilings — and the female of the species can lay as many as five hundred eggs in her lifetime, each of which is about the size of a speck of dust and thus undetectable to the human eye.
How Bedbugs Spread
You’re most likely to pick up bedbugs from somewhere like a hotel or block of flats — anywhere that is multi-occupancy and/or has a high turnover of people. In such places, even if your room is pristine and bug free, it is still at risk as bedbugs can easily spread from room to room through pipes and cracks in the walls.
This makes picking up bedbugs is much easier than you’d think. And as they’re attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide you emit, if you encounter them, they’re highly likely to follow you when you leave by hitching a ride on your belongings or suitcase.
How to Get Rid of Bedbugs Once and For All
Needless to say, if you have bedbugs, you want to get rid of them quickly before they have the chance to reproduce and spread like wildfire. You have the upper hand if you currently only have a small infestation at the moment, but as we discussed, this is always not so easy to detect.
There are many DIY methods that can help you get rid bedbugs. However, they’re unlikely to eradicate the infestation completely. One of the reasons for this is that DIY methods require a lot of time and monitoring to ensure they’re successful. They also require a basic knowledge of bedbugs favourite hideout places, habits, and survival tactics.
But one of the biggest reasons getting rid of bedbugs is best left to the experts is that, to get an infestation under control and eradicate them completely, it typically requires chemical treatments. Experts who are trained and know how to use insecticidal treatments know how and where to use them for maximum effect, eliminating the bedbugs and avoiding damage to you or your home.
The knowledge of an expert in pest management, combined with proven treatment methods that have been developed over years of trial and error, are the keys to getting rid of your pesky bed bug problem quickly, cost-effectively, and once and for all.