“Goodnight – don’t let the bed bugs bite!” You’ve probably heard this quip and even said it a few times yourself over the course of your lifetime. Have you ever stopped, however, and wondered about bed bugs? Amazingly, some people don’t even realize that there actually are creatures known as bed bugs.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are nocturnal insects that actually suck blood from humans. They are most commonly found in urban areas, and particularly in apartment buildings. Living in a nice apartment, in the best part of town does not protect you from bed bugs.
Bed bugs are small, but unlike parasites, they can be seen with the naked human eye. They are about the same size as a small tick. Female bed bugs can lay up to five eggs a day, and those eggs hatch in about two weeks. Just one male and one female bed bug can start an epidemic.
What to Do About Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites look pretty much like any other bug bite, but may appear more as a rash as well. These are actual bites from bed bugs that you are getting while you are asleep. Just the thought of that alone can really be creepy.
Should you find yourself with fresh bug bites in the morning, you need to cleanse the area and apply an antibiotic cream, which can be purchased over-the-counter. If the bites do not heal, you may need to consult a doctor.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
You need to understand that getting the bites to heal is only half the battle. You need to prevent being bitten again, and this means getting rid of the bed bugs. In most cases, professional extermination is required for this. You may want to consider purchasing a new mattress, with the understanding that without proper, professional extermination, your new mattress will soon be infested with bed bugs as well. As a renter, your landlord should be responsible for the extermination fees, but if you own the home, you will have to pay these fees yourself, and the exterminator may have to come out more than once to resolve the problem.
You will need to wash your bedding as well, and many people suggest enclosing all bedding in plastic bags for a couple of weeks as well, just to be sure – just as you would in the event of a lice infestation. You will also need to clean the entire bed, including the headboard, frame, and springs to ensure that you have removed all bed bugs.
April 21st, 2010
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