Bed bugs... Small but nightmarish for our mattresses and bed! Often nestled in our bedrooms, where they feel most at home, these little beasts can be a major concern once they have settled in. What about talking about them?
What is a bed bug?
Known since ancient times and being among the oldest human parasites, the bed bug (also called Cimex lectularius) is a small insect the size of a small seed. Wingless, and therefore unable to fly, this type of bug moves by walking quickly and is recognizable by its oval, brown body, turning red when gorged with blood. You can find them mainly in your bedroom or your living room.
Eradicated in the 50's in Western countries, these famous bed bugs came back in the 90's and 2000's in cities.
These insects feed mostly at night, and can live up to 6 months in your home (they can also survive that long...without feeding!). Also take into account that larvae are born, thus multiplying the chances of never getting rid of them if nothing is done. These insects multiply their population by about 200 to 300% every year in France! This is understandable when you know that 250 to 500 eggs can be laid.
Where can we find bed bugs?
Following the increase in international travel and the frequent use of insecticides, bed bugs made their comeback in the 90s, stronger than ever. Often carried in luggage or on clothing, these harmful little beasts can cling to your belongings when you visit a hotel, hospital, school or even when using public transportation. They can be found anywhere, regardless of climate or country! You can also take some home when visiting a friend...
How to recognize their bites?
Bed bug bites are often done in a row and are small and red. Black or red spots can also be found on your sheets, mattress or walls. These insects are harmful, but do not carry any disease. To cure your bed bug bites, we encourage you not to scratch and to clean your skin frequently. The bites will automatically disappear after about ten days. If you are too itchy, you can consult a doctor who will prescribe a cream.
What are the consequences of a bedbug invasion?
Fortunately, they do not transmit any disease! But these bites are itchy and your sleep could be disturbed if you are aware of being eaten every night... Your internal clock can be disrupted by these little beasts!
How to get rid of them ?
In order to get rid of them, we recommend that you vacuum up the bedbugs that are visible on your bed with a vacuum cleaner. You will be advised to put a bag or a sticker inside the vacuum cleaner. This way, they won't stay inside your equipment. Then use an object that releases steam in the corners and nooks to kill the larvae and eggs.
Finally, you can spray diatomaceous earth in closed areas such as under the bed, in the slats, etc. We advise you to leave the earth indefinitely. Concerning your bed linen and your clothes, we encourage you to wash everything at 60°C, if possible. It will be recommended to buy, if possible, a new mattress. If these steps are not enough, a specialist should be called.
Here is a list of mistakes not to make if a colony of bed bugs has invaded your home:
- Don't shake your sheets out the window
- There is no point in buying a new mattress if the room has not been cleaned
- Talk to your neighbors, whether you live in a house or an apartment, so that everyone can take action
- Avoid insecticides
- Act as soon as possible, with the right treatment.
- If natural treatments do not work, call a professional who will know how to choose and use the right chemical treatment. The latter will generally intervene twice, in order to eliminate the remaining eggs that may have hatched after the first cleaning.
- Leave the premises during the cleaning.
How to prevent the arrival of bed bugs?
To keep bed bugs out of your home as much as possible, we recommend that you limit the number of items in your room and living area. Please check and clean all second-hand items and wash them at 60°C if they are clothes or sheets. Finally, protections for mattresses, pillows and covers exist to keep these harmful insects away from your bed!
PS: Having a bed bug infestation does not necessarily mean that your home is dirty! Sometimes you just need to be unlucky...