You know the old saying”sleep tight, do not let the bedbugs bite”? Well, it is really an old saying, since the cimex lectularius, or the common bedbug, has existed for thousands of years.
They’re a tiny insect, belonging to a species which is typified by its need to have blood meals to endure, their victims being primarily human, but in a pinch, animal blood is going to do.
Adults can measure as much as 1/5 of an inch, and with their dark brown coloring, can be visible to the naked eye, even if you are up to grab them. Because the bedbug has its name honestly, seeking out victims in the dark of night, and those sufferers are usually in bed.
They aren’t spawned by dirty environments however. This is a frequent misconception. What really draws them is a source of heat, and exhaled carbon dioxide. The cleanliness of a room, bed or entire home, really has nothing to do with their presence. The bedbug will crawl in the bed, feed off its host, and return to their own dark lairs for the daylight hours, although under especially appealing circumstances, they will emerge in daytime. A well-fed bedbug can go a year and a half without eating again, but their instincts usually cause them to seek out a meal, every 6-12 days.
Bedbugs exist in most temperate climates, however they almost disappeared from North America in the middle of the last century, due to the high toxicity of these chemicals as DDT. However, the substances used by many pest control companies today, are primarily meant for cockroaches, and don’t have the residual effects that the older formulas did. Plus, they are not absorbed by the bedbugs, so they can return after a first kill of the bugs present.
If you are discovering itching spots or raised bumps during the day, especially if they occur in groups of three, you might have bedbugs. A good way to check would be to put plain white linens in your bed. Set the alarm for an hour until it gets light, then turn on a flashlight and inspect beneath the covers. Everything you could see, are little black specks, scurrying away from the light. If you have rolled on them and squashed a bug that has fed, there will be little smears of blood on the sheet.
Home pest control is an iffy thing, but is professional extermination, due to the fact that the bedbug is so rare today. While trying to destroy the pests, you should take other measures with the mattress. Place the legs inside dishes of water, and grease the legs with petroleum jelly. Bedbugs don’t jump or fly, and their only way up on the mattress, is by scaling.
With severe infestations, you might need professional help. Make certain to check and see if the pest control company you contact, has some experience with bedbugs, and request references.