When you hear someone say ‘bedbugs’ you just feel yucky, they are nasty little bloodsuckers and no one wants them, more than that, no one wants other people to find out the have them. They cause embarrassment and shame, even though 90% of the time you probably did nothing to cause them, they come from EVERYWHERE!!!
Here are some facts about bedbugs, some can hopefully set you at ease, others just make you more upset, but in the end the more you know the better you can prepare yourself if you do come in contact with bedbugs in your home.
Facts About Bedbugs
- Bed bugs are attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide. So, if you are alive, warm and breathing – you are a bed bug magnet. Although bed bugs are not nocturnal, they are most active at night because that is when their human targets are sleeping and emitting a steady stream of carbon dioxide allowing for prime feeding time.
- Just because you don’t see them, it does not mean they are not there. In fact, you have to look closely because they can be hard to see. Bed bugs love to hide in the cracks and crevices associated with mattresses, cushions, bed frames and other structures. They are rarely seen out in the open or on the resting surface of beds or chairs— with the exception of large-scale infestations. They are champions of hide-and-seek. It is not uncommon to miss bed bugs altogether, so also look for telltale signs of an infestation such as specks of blood or feces found on linens, mattresses or on walls.
- Bed bugs have flat oval bodies, are reddish-brown in color and are sometimes described as having the size and appearance of an apple seed. As they feed they enlarge, or engorge, with blood.
- Bed bugs typically feed at night by biting exposed areas of skin such as the face, neck, hands, legs and arms. The bite itself is painless and usually goes undetected at the time because bed bugs inject an a blood thinner along with an anesthetic to create a numbing effect as they feed. Because feeding usually takes 5-10 minutes, this anesthetic-like compound allows the bed bugs to easily feed uninterrupted.
- Bed bug bites can look a lot like other insect bites. Clues that can suggest the presence of bed bugs include finding red, itchy bites upon awakening – especially if the bites line up in a row on the skin. However, while some people develop a bite reaction immediately, others may not see a reaction for 2-3 days — and some may not see a reaction at all. A bed bug bite can appear as a tiny puncture wound without a surrounding reaction, and can easily be missed, 30 percent of individuals living in bed bug infested dwellings report a lack of bites or skin reactions. On the other hand, other people have exuberant reactions, with large red, raised and itchy welts. This is especially true if one becomes sensitized to bed bugs bites, so that with repeated bites there may be a more exaggerated skin reaction.
- Bedbug bites usually take 3 to 6 weeks to heal.
- Bed bug bites do not typically require treatment. Itching is by far the most common complaint by those who experience bed bug bites. If the itching becomes severe, people will find relief with topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines. Clean the bite site(s) with soap and water and avoid scratching so as to prevent infection.
- Unlike mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease to humans. While some pathogens have been detected in and on bedbugs – including hepatitis B, and exotic organisms such as Trypanosoma cruzi (cause of Chagas Disease, most commonly found in Central and South America) orWolbachia species – bed bugs have not been associated with disease transmission.
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