Blog Author
Rafiki Pest Control LTD
  • June 6, 2024

Bed bugs have not been shown to transmit any diseases. However, they are public health pests and have been linked to various mental and physical health issues. For instance, some people can experience a severe allergic reaction to bed bug bites, characterized by severe itching and blisters. 

Bed bug infestations have also been found to cause adverse emotional and psychological effects in some individuals, especially children. Victims of bed bug bites can experience anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, and personal dysfunction. 

A bed bug infestation can be challenging to exterminate. That's primarily because female bed bugs multiply rapidly- each female can lay one egg per day and up to 5/7 bed bug eggs daily during their peak. The worst news is that these eggs take only 10-15 days to hatch, and the newly hatched bugs will be ready to reproduce in six weeks. 

What Are Bed Bugs? 

Bed bugs are easy to distinguish from other pests. These small oval-shaped insects have a brownish color, and they lack wings. They feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded mammals and birds- but they especially prefer human blood. Bed bugs are approximately 1/4 inch long (the size of an apple seed), but this size tends to increase after feeding. 

These creatures hide during the day and only come out to feast on your blood at night. Unfortunately, bed bugs could win a trophy for world champion hide-and-seek players. They hide in the tiniest cracks and crevices in walls, mattress seams, bed frame crevices, headboards, and places you least expect.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From? 

Did you know you can stay home all day and still get a bed bug infestation? That's true. Bed bugs are not stationary creatures. They are astounding travelers! They can find their way into your home in multiple ways, such as crawling into your neighbor's room. Below are other reasons you may find bed bugs on your property even without traveling: 

  • Visitors: The odds of getting bed bugs from your visitors are very high. Visitors can bring these bothersome creatures in their luggage, clothes, or on their pets. Bed bugs, including those traveling internationally, can hitch a ride on a victim for very long distances.
  • Neighbors: Bed bugs have no problem crawling into a new location. Their small size allows them to easily fit through the tiniest cracks in walls and under doors. If your neighbor has a full-blown bed bug infestation, the creatures will likely seek a new shelter in your home. 
  • Public premises: Just because you did not travel doesn't mean you're not exposed to bed bugs. Although they prefer feeding at night when we're asleep, a hungry bed bug is more than willing to steal blood from an awake individual. Bed bugs can live on public premises like the office or movie theaters and hitch a ride back to your home. 
  • Second-hand items: As mentioned earlier, bed bugs are incredible at hiding! Buying used items is one of the surest ways to introduce these invaders into your home. You are generally advised to avoid buying used items like beds, sofas, and mattresses as they could harbor bed bugs even though they look clean. 

How To Know If You Have Bed Bugs 

The only way to be sure you have been infested is by seeing the bed bugs themselves. Waking up with itchy welts you did not have when sleeping may also be a bed bug infestation sign. 

Bed bugs feed on your blood by piercing the skin with an elongated beak and withdrawing blood. They can feed for 3-10 minutes until they are engorged before crawling away unnoticed. Bed bug bites may be painless initially, but most turn into itchy welts afterward. Bed bug bites differ from flea bites in that they are mainly found in the exposed areas of your skin while you sleep, like the face, neck, hands, shoulders, arms, and legs. 

Other bed bug infestation signs include: 

  • Unexplained blood stains on your bedding, sheets, and pillowcases. 
  • Bed bug skin and droppings (dark/rusty spots) in the seams of your mattress, sheets, and other bedding. 
  • A musty odor that sometimes resembles the smell of overripe raspberries from bed bug scent glands. 

Bed Bug Treatment 

Bed bugs are increasingly becoming resistant to the commonly used pesticides. It is challenging for homeowners to exterminate the bugs on their own. Bed bug control generally requires an integrated pest management (IPM) approach, which combines environmentally friendly techniques for the best results. 

Below are strategies you can use to control bed bugs in your home: 

Meticulously clean your room and safely dispose of clutter

  • Move your bed a safe distance from the wall or any furniture. 
  • Clean bed clothing, linens, curtains, and clothes in hot water. Ensure they are dried at the highest dryer settings. 
  • All unwashable items, such as shoes and stuffed animals, should be run in the dryer on high settings for about half an hour. 
  • Scrub the seams of your mattress using a stiff brush to expose bed bugs and eggs, then vacuum thoroughly. 
  • Vacuum windows, floors, beds, and surrounding areas regularly empty the vacuum bag immediately into a sealed bag and dispose of it outdoors. 
  • Encase your mattress in a tight, sealable mattress encasement to protect it and keep bed bugs from entering or leaving. Because bed bugs can survive up to 12 months without feeding, you want to leave your mattress encased longer to ensure all bugs inside are dead. 
  • Repair cracks and crevices in plaster, glue down any peeling wallpapers, and seal openings where pipes/wires come into your house to keep bed bugs away. 

Hiring A Bed Bug Control Professional In Nakuru 

You should call a bed bug control expert when you notice or suspect an infestation. The scariest development regarding bed bugs is their increased resistance to the common pesticides that most home and business owners rely on. Luckily, our licensed bed bug exterminators have approved and highly effective bed bug control chemicals and equipment. They will thoroughly inspect your home and eradicate the infestation while reducing the chances of future infestations. 

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