T he cleanest home can become infected with these the tiny pests known as bed bugs. At maturity bed bugs are about 1/4 inch long and brown or rust colored and can survive for a year without feeding.
When they have not fed for a time, their appearance will be flat but when they find a live food source they will swell up and turn bright red which is an indication they are full of blood.
Killing Bed Bugs
The best way to eliminate bed bugs is to locate their hiding place and clean it thoroughly with very hot water and soap. Wash any laundry or curtains in the area infected and dry clean your comforters, quilts or other articles that cannot be washed, as the bugs can lay eggs in these items and the infestation will continue.
Wash down walls, pictures and furniture to kill any bugs or eggs and cover your mattress and box springs in plastic covers with zippers to keep out the bugs or contain any bugs that may be nesting in them. Caulk any holes or cracks in drywall or wood door and window trims as these pests hide so deeply in cracks and crevices it is difficult to get all of the bugs and eggs.
Remove your light switch covers and electrical box covers and use a hand vac to clean these areas and be sure to put the bag from the vacuum into a plastic bag you can seal before putting in it your trash. Check any wallpaper in the room for cracks in the seams as bed bugs will crawl into these areas and lay their eggs.
Bed bugs become active at night and will travel to the living food source closest to them, regardless of the distance. Bed bugs can be transported on clothing or in containers such as boxes and suit cases and it will only take a couple of the pests to quickly pollute an area of your home.
The adults multiply on an average of five times and lay their eggs in a hiding place they feel safe and the eggs hatch in one to four months, increasing your infestation. Bed bug infestations are very difficult to eradicate and a licensed pest controller is your best option for killing the bugs and making sure the nests are completely gone.
Standard insecticides and smoke bombs will not kill all of the bugs and will be a waste of money. If there are only a couple of bugs missed, they will multiply and the infestation will start again.
Treating Bed Bug Bites
If you have a bed bug infestation, you will notice there are small welts on your skin which will become extremely itchy. During sleep these little pests will bite and draw blood and leave tiny spots on your sheets that look like tiny black dots but are actually blood.
Calamine lotion can be applied to the bites to ease the itch or if you have an aloe vera plant on hand, break off a stem and rub the oozy gel over the bite to relieve the itch.