Bed bugs are nasty creatures, which swoop into our lives without notice, and they destroy our homes and bodies at the same time. Dealing with bed bugs is a very tricky task, and not only because they can hide very well and spread quickly. With the latest outbreaks in rural areas and smaller cities, it’s essential to stay on top of the problem. Aside from the treatments that are usually discussed in detail, there are a few more things people rarely talk about – namely the psychological ramifications, health issues and all possible damage to your home that comes when dealing with bed bugs. This is a susceptible subject, so let’s delve right in.
Psychological and health ramifications
Yes, bed bugs can cause an allergic reaction. But don’t worry, they cannot cause this to just anybody. The person, who can be affected by the bed bugs in this way, has to be prone to it. So, if you have different kinds of allergies and you’re a very sensible person, you should be very careful and avoid all contacts with these creatures. But this is easier said than done. Bed bugs are really small and they hide very well, so it’s more likely that they will infest your home without you even knowing it. This is why you should just take every precaution and check your home and mattress for blood stains and faeces. Better to be safe than sorry.
Bed bugs feed on people’s blood by biting the skin and sucking it out. This method leaves very bad looking red itchy marks on the victim’s body. And even when people know it’s not good and recommended, it’s really hard not to scratch these marks. But when you scratch these marks, certainly, the unpleasant feeling won’t go away. On the contrary – it’s very possible that the skin will get infected and it will get a lot worse than it was. And this is probably the smallest thing bed bugs cause to affect people’s lives. Fortunately, these infections can be easily dealt with. Nowadays every pharmacy sells many different kinds of ointments, which are supposed to soothe the pain and stop the swelling. Unfortunately, there are many other and more dangerous things bed bugs could do to you.
Scientists proved these pests can carry 28 lethal pathogens, which are deadly to people. But don’t worry, there still isn’t any evidence that they can transfer these pathogens to people. But still, we should be cautious, because you never know. The possibility of bed bugs transferring these diseases to humans would affect the population in the planet very seriously. Can you imagine, that one little bug can cause such serious problems to millions of people? This is why we should be on alert and not allow them inside.
- Respiratory problems
You probably ask yourself, how can you get respiratory problems from a bed bug bite? Well, this kind of problems doesn’t exactly come from the bites. The respiratory problems can appear, because of the dried faeces and shredded bed bug skin all over the bed and the furniture. It’s harmful to people’s lungs to breathe this. This is why even when you already got rid of the bed bugs, you should make sure that every surface is clean and dust-free.
- Psychological problems
Bed bugs crawl into our lives when we’re most vulnerable – while we sleep. They hide in the dark and come out to feed when we can’t do anything about it. That’s why it can be a traumatising experience. People have developed PTSD when they’ve been infested. Sleeping in a bed full of small, brown-reddish insects that feed on your blood can have a severe effect on one’s psyche. Some people become paranoid and “feel” like something is crawling all over them as soon as they go to bed. This can seriously affect their quality of life and health. Sleep deprivation is a real concern.
Symptoms bed bugs can cause
Symptoms of bed bug bites include the appearing of small, red, itchy spots on your skin at night. If these mysterious spots begin to appear, you may have bed bugs. The first thing you should do if you have suspicions of a bed bug infestation is to remain calm. There are other signs, so if you have doubts, perform an inspection or book a professional one. The detailed inspection will reveal the truth. Bed bugs hide during the day, but they can’t hide forever, they have to come up for food at least once a week.
How to recognise a bed bug infestation
Bed bugs bite just like other common insects, such as mosquitoes. Some people don’t react, but other people can be affected by skin rashes and allergic symptoms. These insects feed on blood and usually at night. Adult ones are about 5 mm long and 1.5 – 3 mm wide, their bodies are round-shaped and flat.
Ways to protect your family from bed bugs
There are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of a bed bug infestation. Those include:
- Don’t buy secondhand furniture and if you do, carefully inspect it before you bring it inside your home. Many people prefer to shop in stores that offer some second-hand merchandise because it’s a lot cheaper and the things they sell don’t look worn out or damaged at all. But shopping in this kind of stores can hide a different kind of dangers – like the ones of bed bugs. Some people think that only buying second-hand clothes or bed sheets can expose them to the dangers of bed bugs, but they are very, very wrong. The bed bugs can hide even in antique furniture. And they are so small and can hide so well, that it’s practically impossible to notice them until it’s too late. This is why it’s best to just avoid buying stuff from such stores. Otherwise, the consequences can be very unpleasant.
- Cover power outlets and other crevices. You can find bed bugs not only in the bed. They move elsewhere by climbing walls via the electrical outlets. Filling all the holes and cracks in your home to help limit their access to the house is not a guarantee that the bed bugs won’t find another way inside, but it’s a start. At least it will limit the possibility and it’s a kind of prevention.
- Once you get back from a trip, wash your clothes and dry them on the highest possible temperature. Check out the labels to see what the fabric permits. Don’t ruin your wardrobe.
- Put plastic protectors on your mattress. They don’t provide a guarantee against infestations, but they’re one more line of defence.
- Reduce the clutter in your home. By doing so, you will also reduce the number of potential hiding spots for the little blood-suckers.
- Vacuum often and deep clean your mattress, carpets and upholstery at least once a year.
Facts you didn’t know about bed bugs
- The saliva of bed bugs contains a mild anaesthetic. This is why people don’t wake up when bed bugs bite them at night.
- The bed bugs eggs are microscopic, like the size of a speck of dust. Because of their 1 millimetre size, you can’t see them.
- Bed bugs can survive without feeding up to one year. So if you have found these insects in your home, make sure you are getting rid of them thoroughly. If you can’t handle it by yourself, you can contact pest controllers to save your time and make it properly. In some areas, a local council can even cover this service, if there’s an outbreak.
- Bed bugs are smart – they are hiding in box springs, in picture frames and mattress crevices during the daytime. They are masters in staying out of view.
- These creatures cannot fly or jump. They just crawl around, and they usually stay in one area, unless they’re forced to find new food sources.
- Bed bugs bite multiple times, not just once. They are also often known to leave a pattern of three bites located in a row. Many people think that these bugs just bite in threes, but in fact, this is a myth.