When you think about bedbugs, it's not a very pleasant thought. Maybe that is from experience, or just from knowing about them in general. As many people know, bedbugs are little creatures that hole up in your bed and give you skin irritation. But here are six things you might not know about these invasive little creatures.
1. The name "Bedbug" is misleading. Bedbugs can actually be found just about anywhere in your home. They generally find dark cracks to nest in, whether it is in your bedding, furniture, luggage, or even in electrical sockets. They are also not necessarily found only in places that are dirty or have a certain poverty level. Even if you keep your house spotless you could end up with bedbugs.
2. Bedbugs smell like rotting raspberries. Generally bedbugs are hard to detect because they mostly come out at night. However, their smell is one thing that gives them away. It is sort of a sweet but musty smell. If you have every smelled rotten raspberries, you are that much better at being able to detect a bedbug infestation.
3. They have professionally trained dogs to sniff out bedbugs. Like "bomb sniffing" dogs, these dogs are trained to pick up on that rotting raspberry smell. If you feel that you have a bedbug infestation, call the exterminator to have a dog brought out to search the house. The dogs can lead the exterminator to the area where the bedbugs are located, and from there the bugs can be found and eradicated.
4. They feed by first injecting the host with painkillers. For this reason, you don't feel or notice that bedbugs are feeding. They saw through the skin, and inject their numbing saliva into you before feeding. Usually the bite produces a little swelling with no red spot. Red spots appear when more than one bed bug has been feeding in the same spot. Allergic reactions to the saliva may be severe, but most people have no reaction at all.
5. Bedbugs only feed every five to seven days. Most of the time, bedbugs are hiding in their dark corner. When they are feeling starved, they venture out in search of a host. After a successful feeding, they will head back to their shelter to either find a mate or just to avoid being crushed. If they don't find a host, they will return to their shelter when it is day time. They will recuperate and return at night to try and find a host to feed on.
6. Bedbugs can't stand the heat. If your clothing and furniture has been infested with bedbugs, you don't have to throw everything out. For clothing, all you need to do is throw it in a dryer that is at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Bedbugs can't survive once their body temperature rises to 113 degrees Fahrenheit or more. For your mattress and other furniture, it might be safer to call in a professional to heat treat the fabrics. If you heat treat incorrectly, not only will you not kill the bugs, but they will be further scattered around your house as they flee from the high temperatures and cause more problems. As a temporary solution, mattress covers can be purchased that keep the bedbugs away from your skin.
Bedbugs have been around for a long time. According to scientists, they aren't going anywhere. For the most part they aren't harmful, but no one wants to wake up with little red spots all over their back. Knowing a little more about them may be the key to getting rid of those pesky little creatures. For more information or for helps with treatment, contact a local pest control company like Cal-Rid Exterminators Inc.