26th July 2013 | Author:

Summer Invasion: Beat Bed Bugs with TheHealthcounter

bed bugs on a matress

Cunning, tiny and hungry for your blood, Bed Bugs are on the rise again after a peaceful period in which we thought we had rid the world of the insect menace. These parasitic insects feed exclusively on the blood of living creatures and earned their name by living around beds, attracted by the warmth of our bodies.

Whilst they cannot fly or jump, they multiply at extraordinary rates and can cover large distances by crawling. They often come out whilst we sleep to feast on our exposed flesh, just like the winged mosquito.

Unfortunately, animals and other carriers spread the tiny terrors around often without our noticing and they can be quite difficult to spot once established.

In order to prevent an infestation, be vigilant and check your mattress regularly, taking action upon a positive result for bed bugs. Try not to use second hand bedding, and regard beds in rented accommodation with suspicion.

Bed bugs are sensitive to temperatures, by allowing a cool breeze to flow through your room you may be able to prevent infestation. Also, tumble dry bed sheets after washing them, the high temperature will deter and eliminate any bed bugs present.

If you have been unlucky enough to have fallen victim to a bite, fear not. Bites may appear as small rashes or little red spots, but they can become uncomfortable and itchy. The first thing to do is eradicate the monsters themselves, and then seek treatment for their bites. Many creams can be used to treat bed bug bites, such as hydrocortisone creams. If bites are severe see your GP, who may prescribe antihistamine tablets to relieve the itching. You can also try calamine lotion.

Some people will not even react to bed bug bites, or will not notice the blemishes on their back, and this can be all the more disturbing as it is possible to be fed upon without knowledge of it. If reactions do occur, they may be mistaken for other bites, so check to see if they occur in a straight line.

It is a common misconception that bed bugs are attracted to dirt, they are definitely not!

How to spot bites:

1.       Be wary of any itches or bumps

2.       Look for spots of blood

3.       Inspect your clothing for black spots

It is important to remember that whilst they are called BED Bugs, they can actually be found anywhere that might be suitable for infestation. Check behind mirrors or inside smoke alarms, and whenever using the hoover make sure to vacuum around the edges of walls where cracks and crevices might be found.

A bit of history on the friendly neighbourhood bed bug: Prior to World War 2, bed bugs were commonplace and created having within the rank and file of the army. This lead to the use of heavy pesticides, over the course of several decades and obliterated most of the world’s bed bugs. However, these pesticides came at the detriment of humans and the environment, leading to their banning in the 70s and 80s.

This, coupled with the modern ease of travel between developing and developed countries, has led to a resurgence in the amount of bed bug infestations across the globe. It has been reported that the amount of cases increased twenty-fold in New York alone from 2004 to 2009.

A variety of DIY techniques can be used to tackle bed bugs, such as repellents, powders, and heat techniques, however, if you are suffering from a serious infestation, do call the local council and organise pest control!