Bed bugs, as commonly known, are small insects that prefer to feed on human blood and live in warm environment, especially near or inside beds and bedding. These insects are mainly nocturnal and they feed without being noticed, causing skin rash and allergic symptoms. Since bed bugs are small with flat bodies, they are very good at hiding and hard to detect.
Some of places where these insects can be found include, mattress, box spring, and headboard, drawers, inside alarm clocks and behind ripped wallpaper. There are some ways to get rid of bed bugs with or without the use of pesticides.
Depending on the severity of the infestation, pesticides with harmful chemicals are not recommended because of their toxicity to humans, especially children. In addition, researchers have found that pesticides can contribute to an increase in pesticide resistance over the recent years.
Other bed bug managing methods include using steam in combination with environmentally friendly products, heat treatment and fumigation. Steam and heat treatment effectively kill bed bugs and their eggs as they cannot survive at high temperatures. Fumigation, which requires a more extensive planning, it is costly and left mostly as a last option in cases of very problematic infestation.
It is recommended to contact a local pest control and not attempt to get rid of bed bugs by yourself, for more effective results. Some pest control professionals provide two types of inspection to detect bed bugs, visual inspection and trained bed bug detecting dogs.
As a temporary solution, homeowners can reduce bed bugs by washing and drying bedding, pillows and curtains, and vacuuming carpets. Steam cleaning carpets and curtains can be an effective way to eliminate the critters as hot temperatures kills the insects and their eggs. There are also eco-friendly products on the market. For example, EcoSmart sells a bed bug killer product that is specifically for mattress and carpets and a second product that is effective in hidden places such as cracks and crevices.
As with any insecticides, multiple applications may be needed in order to achieve desired results. Even though bed bugs do not carry life threatening diseases, their bites can be painful especially to sensitive people and children. If not controlled early on, an infestation can be challenging to eradicate.