By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Few things are more distressing than finding evidence of bed bugs in your home. After all, finding a pest which solely feeds on the blood of humans can be extremely alarming. Becoming more common, these hard-to-kill bed bugs can leave homeowners with bites, skin irritation, and a general sense of unease.
While bed bugs are a serious concern when found indoors, many may be surprised to find that bed bugs may also be able to survive out in the garden. While not as common, bed bugs from garden areas can hitch a ride indoors.
In general, bed bugs do not prefer to live outdoors.However, bed bugs may show up in outdoor spaces in sheltered locations as theysearch for a place to feed. Most likely, bugs that have been found in the yardhave come from elsewhere. This includes having attached to clothes or movingfrom previously infested neighboring properties.
Since the bugs’ ultimate goal is to find a human host bywhich to feed, it is very likely that outdoor bed bugs from the garden willeventually attempt to move indoors. With this knowledge, many are left to askwhat to do about bed bugs outdoors.
The first step in garden bed bug control is prevention. Bedbugs from garden areas can be distressing, but with a little maintenance,homeowners can help prevent their invasion.
Bed bugs are naturally drawn to garden materials such aswood from raised beds, the fabric and cushions used on patio furniture, andvarious cracks and small spaces. General garden clean-up and repair will helpremove the places which the bugs prefer to hide.
Even though bed bugs living outdoors do have some naturalpredators, this is not a reliable means of control. Whether indoors or out, itwill be important to contact a professional pest control specialist to assistin ridding the space of bed bugs.
Professional heat treatments have proven to be mosteffective. Homeowners should never implement the use of insecticides or“homemade” remedies when attempting to remove bed bugs from a property.
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Have you ever woken up to find little red spots all over your sheets? Did you know those small spots are probably blood, and bed bugs are most likely the suspects in question? Unfortunately, these bugs hide in your mattress and are typically carried around via a human or animal’s body unknowingly.
What steps can you take to implement pest control targeted at bed bugs? Have you considered creating a homemade bed bug spray? Many products today can kill bed bugs, but most of them are infused with chemicals and preservatives.
Instead, try creating a DIY bed bug spray using our tips, tricks, and recipes. Start by gathering ingredients like rubbing alcohol, diatomaceous earth, baking soda, and essential oils. Don’t worry we will teach you what to mix and how to combine them to guarantee you’ll become a pest control professional in no time.
It can be done, but it usually requires what is called an "integrated pest management" (IPM) approach. This combines techniques that pose the lowest risk to your health and the environment. Try these strategies:
It may not seem very hospitable to withhold social invitations to friends who have bed bug problems, but it is actually a very logical reaction and one that may help keep your home free of the insects. You need not ban your friends from your home forever or disassociate with them completely, but it's wise to avoid visiting one another's homes until the infestation is completely eliminated. If your friends have done their homework, they will completely understand your reluctance and not want to put your home at risk. If you do want to meet up with friends who have a bed bug problem, meet them at a coffee house or restaurant rather than at either home.
If, after friends have visited your home, you discover that they are dealing with a bed bug infestation, take precautions and inspect for any sign of bed bugs. These biting insects can be present in a home long before they announce their presence, so your friends may have delivered the bugs to your home without even realizing they were facing their own infestation. And the bed bugs you find today may have been there for months before you realize it—don't assume the most recent guests are the source of your infestation.
To ensure safety when you have social parties, it's best to put guest coats and bags in a closet instead of on a bed. Alternatively, cover the bed with plastic sheeting that can be discarded outdoors, or a sheet that can be immediately laundered in hot water afterward.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.
Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.
Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.
A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.
One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:
It is hard to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating. The bite marks may be random or appear in a straight line. Other symptoms of bed bug bites include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that arise from profuse scratching of the bites.
Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.
Bed bugs are experts at hiding. Their slim flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide. Most people do not realize they are transporting stow-away bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel.
Everyone is at risk for getting bed bugs when visiting an infected area. However, anyone who travels frequently and shares living and sleeping quarters where other people have previously slept has a higher risk of being bitten and or spreading a bed bug infestation.
Bed bug bites usually do not pose a serious medical threat. The best way to treat a bite is to avoid scratching the area and apply antiseptic creams or lotions and take an antihistamine. Bed bug infestations are commonly treated by insecticide spraying. If you suspect that you have an infestation, contact your landlord or professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. The best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.
This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a health care provider. If you have any questions about the parasites described above or think that you may have a parasitic infection, consult a health care provider.