You know the old saying”sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite”? Well, it is really an old saying, since the cimex lectularius, or the common bedbug, has existed for centuries.
They’re a tiny insect, belonging to a species which is typified by its need to have blood meals to endure, their victims being primarily human, but in a pinch, animal blood will do.
Adults can measure as much as 1/5 of an inch, and with their dark brown coloring, can be visible to the naked eye, if you are up to grab them. Since the bedbug gets its name honestly, seeking out victims in the dark of night, and those victims are usually in bed.
They aren’t spawned by dirty environments however. This is a frequent misconception. What really draws them is a source of heat, and exhaled carbon dioxide. The cleanliness of a room, bed or entire home, really has nothing to do with their presence. The bedbug will crawl in the bed, feed off its host, and return to their dark lairs for the daylight hours, although under especially appealing conditions, they will emerge in daytime. A well-fed bedbug can go a year and a half without eating again, but their instincts usually lead them to seek out a meal, every 6-12 days.
Bedbugs exist in most temperate climates, however they virtually disappeared from North America in the middle of the last century, because of the high toxicity of these chemicals as DDT. But the substances used by many pest control companies now, are primarily meant for cockroaches, and do not have the residual effects that the older formulas did. Plus, they are not absorbed by the bedbugs, so they can return after a first kill of the bugs present.
If you are discovering itching spots or raised bumps during the day, particularly if they occur in groups of three, you might have bedbugs. A good way to check would be to place plain white linens on your bed. Set the alarm for an hour before it gets light, then turn on a flashlight and inspect beneath the covers. Everything you can see, are small black specks, scurrying away from the light. In case you’ve rolled on them and squashed a bug that has fed, there’ll be little smears of blood on the sheet.
Home pest management is an iffy thing, but is professional extermination, due to how the bedbug is so rare now. You will find homemade recipes for spraying in the places bugs will hide, such as baseboards, carpet, under dressers and between the mattress and box spring. While attempting to destroy the pests, you should take other steps with the mattress. Bedbugs do not jump or fly, and their only way up onto the mattress, is by scaling.
With severe infestations, you might need expert help. Make certain to check and see if the pest control company you contact, has any experience with bedbugs, and request references. The National Pest Management Association can help you find someone in your area.