You cannot tell where bed bugs are living; you cannot even guess, just by looking around you. You could be sitting in a chair in a fine hotel waiting for someone to come down or you could be having tea at a friend’s house and you are equally as likely to pick up a bed bug.
The developed Western world has not been through this sort of situation for about sixty years. However, since 1995, bed bugs have been increasing practically unbridled and we are approaching the situation people were living in before the Second World War. That is a very sad state of affairs indeed.
Especially when you appreciate that before the war, you could put a little poison down and kill them. These days, you cannot, because some bedbugs have become resistant to a lot of the insecticides normally available to domestic households. So, in one way we are worse off than we were 60 years ago and unless something comes to our rescue, it can only get worse.
Although bedbugs wreak most mayhem in a bed, that is not normally where people get them from. They also live in the creases of material in the seats of buses, trains, taxis, hotel rooms, restaurants and even airplanes. However, bedbugs are not taken home attached to your skin like a flea or a tick.
Rather they will creep into a hem or a pocket or under a collar, drawn by your body heat or breath and either go to sleep or lay eggs. A female can lay 300 eggs in a single day – not a great deal in insect terms, but do you want 301 bedbugs in your bedroom closet by the end of next week?
I am certain that you have realized how hard it is to totally avoid the risks of picking up bed bugs and carrying them home. Bed bugs have natural predators, but it is arguable that you would rather have bed bugs than the insects that prey on them – cockroaches, ants, spiders and centipedes – and insecticides are not always successful.
The one thing that certainly kills them, besides being trodden on by a size ten army boot, is heat. No stages of the bedbug’s life can survive temperatures above 45c.
This may be significant, because modern washing powders are intended to get clothes clean at 30c, thereby saving electricity, but they also inadvertently save the lives of the bedbugs on your clothing as well. You can make certain that your clothes are bedbug-free by washing them at 46-50c and you can eradicate existing bedbugs in your house by steam cleaning it, which is the professional way of getting rid of an infestation of bedbugs.
It is time for people to be aware of this fairly new threat to their well-being. The key things you can do are: acquaint yourself with what a bedbug looks like and have your clothes laundered at temperatures above 46c if you think that you may have been exposed to an infestation of bed bugs.
Owen Jones, the author of this article, writes on many topics, but is at present concerned with bed bugs extermination. If you are interested in this, please visit our website now at Picture Of Bed Bugs for further details.