Bed bugs have had an association with humans for decades. Despite having a respite from this annoying and unwanted visitor, there has been a resurgence in bed bugs in our homes since the early 2000s.
The resurgence not only has become a problem, but the magnitude of bed bug infestations has also become a health hazard. So, what are bed bugs? And how do you get rid of them?
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are known as hematophagous arthropods—put simply, blood-sucking insects. They belong to the same family as the more commonly known garden insects, aphids and cicadas (2). Bed bugs tend to be found in temperate and tropical regions across the world. However, only a handful of bed bug species feed on mammals, namely, humans (3).
Adult bed bugs are oval and are approximately 5 mm long; they tend to resemble small cockroaches and are easily visible, even if you are not an expert in insects (4). Bed bugs can sense and seek warmth, which becomes very useful when trying to find their next meal.
As they detest the light, bed bugs tend to hide during the day, usually in the seams of mattresses, crevices in the mattress springs, and even behind those lovely hanging pictures in your room. Even if you leave your room for an extended period, bed bugs can hide out and survive for up to a year without feeding (5).
Why Are Bed Bugs a Problem?
While bed bugs can be incredibly annoying, they also pose a significant health risk. The impact of bed bug infestations have highlighted that bed bugs pose a massive threat to ourselves and our family:
The most common consequence of bed bugs is the reactions we have on our skin after being bitten. The bed bug mouthparts are adapted to be like needles piercing the skin and sucking blood. To stop our body from reacting at the time, they inject a small amount of their saliva after they have bitten through the skin to stop the blood from coagulating; this means that even after feeding, we will continue to bleed from the site of the bite (6).
Most skin reactions to bed bug bites are small, round wounds, which can swell to up to 6 cm over 24 hours, also termed the classic bed bug “wheal.” In addition to looking dramatic, these lesions can become incredibly itchy (7,8).
While it is incredibly uncomfortable, these lesions will heal over several weeks; however, people who have severe reactions, or many bites, may develop a more serious reaction, also known as a systemic reaction (9,10).
In some cases, bed bug bites can result in more serious reactions, like welts and anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction). These can be incredibly dangerous and require the administration of adrenaline to treat. Also, repeated exposure can result in severe bed-bug related asthma (11,12).
Complications from Bed Bugs
Sleep deprivation is commonly associated with bed bugs. In a survey of 474 individuals with a bed bug infestation, 29% of them developed insomnia and sleeplessness (13). This is usually due to lesions itching and anxiety regarding knowing the presence of bed bugs in their bed.
Over time, sleep deprivation can be a serious medical issue that causes reduced brain functioning, increased emotional distress, and long-term problems, such as cardiovascular disease (14).
What Can You Do About Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs are a huge problem, you can stop bed bug infestations in their tracks. To eradicate a bed bug infestation, there are 5 simple steps you can take (15):
Correctly Identify the Bed Bug Species
It is essential to know what type of bed bug species you are dealing with. This is especially true because some species also infest bats that can reside in your home.
Educate the Individuals Involved
While this may seem counterintuitive, a large number of people do not know what bed bugs are, let alone what they look like, and the impacts they can have. By sharing information, you will help those involved also take steps to minimize future infestations.
- Thoroughly inspect the areas involved, especially if those pesky bed bugs are hiding in areas not within the bed.
- Treat the infested areas with adequate bed bug killing insecticides, such as EcoClear’s Stop Bugging Me!™.
- Perform a follow-up inspection to make sure you have stopped those bed bugs in their tracks.
Having bed bugs with you in your bed can be especially disturbing, but getting rid of them is not. This is due to EcoClear’s Stop Bugging Me!™ For Bed Bugs.
This fantastic and fast-acting product uses natural essential oils and insect attractants to kill off those creepy crawlies.
While remaining highly effective, the use of essential oils reduces the level of toxins found in several other commercial insecticides, meaning Stop Bugging Me!™ will be safe for you, your family, your bed, and the environment.
The Bottom Line
Bed bugs are not only annoying; they can pose a significant threat to our health. Removing bed bugs from our lives and beds is essential. One crucial step is the use of an appropriate, and safe insecticide.Luckily, EcoClear’s Stop Bugging Me!™ For Bed Bugs can help. Effective and efficient, it is remarkably safe, helping you say goodbye to those unwanted roommates for good.