The Overlooked Dangers Of Bed Bugs
Chances are that you or someone you know has had bed bugs in the last year. In fact, just shy of 100 percent of pest control professionals treat bed bugs every year. Many people just think about the inconvenience bed bugs bring, from the itching and scratching to the need to clean all their linens and invest in a mattress protector. But bed bugs bring bigger issues than these. One of the top problems they bring is insomnia. Once you know or suspect you have bed bugs, just picturing them crawling all over your body can keep you up at night, even when they aren't attacking. They can cause anxious thoughts like, "What else is unclean in my home? Did my own habits cause this? Will friends ever come over again after they know I've had bed bugs?"
Another major health concern with bed bugs doesn't have to do with these critters' actions at all, but rather how the public responds to them. If people aren't prepared with effective bed bug spray, they can take drastic and dangerous measures to tackle the problem. There have been cases of individuals reaching for other powerful chemicals in their home to try to kill their bed bugs, but if an insecticide isn't specifically designed for this purpose, spraying it around your home can have devastating results for your children, pets, and you. There have also been instances of individuals burning their mattresses when they felt they'd lost a handle on the problem. But burning large objects in public spaces is unsafe. Furthermore, this doesn't necessarily kill the bed bugs; it just moves them outside, where they can crawl onto an unsuspecting passerby.
Medical professionals are still debating as to whether or not bed bugs carry blood transmitted pathogens. Many believe they do not, but they do agree on this: itching your bites is dangerous. This opens up your skin and makes you vulnerable to bacteria and infections from other sources. One must also consider that bed bugs carry the blood of their past victims in their bodies. If you accidentally smash one in its sleep, you could get that blood on your body, and there is no knowing what bacteria it carries.
What To Look For In A Bed Bug Spray
If you have small children or pets in your home, then you likely already use all-natural bug spray for when they play outside. Fortunately, there are also chemical-free and kid-safe bed bug sprays. While you know you shouldn't put a recently-sprayed piece of linen in your mouth or on your eyes, your dog and your toddler may not. If you're an environmentally conscious consumer, look for formulas made with biodegradable salts and enzymes. If you're unfortunate enough to live in one of the top bed bug infested cities in America, consider a spray that keeps working for weeks after you've applied it to your home. Just because you've killed one batch of bed bugs doesn't mean another isn't on its way. On that note, make sure your spray contains egg-killing ingredients, so new bugs don't hatch.
Since bed bugs carry bacteria into your home, look for a bed bug spray that doubles as a disinfectant. In addition to killing the nasty critters, you want to kill any germs they may have dragged along with them. Don't let their name fool you: bed bugs attack far more than your sleeping quarters. They get into furniture, luggage, and even baseboards. So make sure you get a formula that you can safely apply to all of these things. You don't want to destroy your antique night table in the process of eliminating your pest problem. City dwellers and pet owners usually find their homes under attack from different insects all year long. Fortunately, some bed bug sprays also kill cockroaches and fleas.
Keep in mind that bed bug sprays are notorious for their strong smells. If you're sensitive to odors, look for a variety with a neutral or pleasant aroma. Some smell like pine, others smell like cinnamon, and some smell like nothing at all. If you're dealing with a major infestation, look for an aerosol spray can that can cover a large area at once.
How To Spot Bed Bugs And What To Do
It's smart to have bed bug spray on hand, but you shouldn't use it unless you have to. That's why it's important you can properly identify these insects. There are several ways you can spot them. If you crush bed bugs during the night, you may see little red stains in your bed sheets from the blood. You may also see tiny black spots, which could be bed bug feces. Since you could have smashed these in your sleep, too, they could resemble black marker spots.
Bed bugs love to hide when you're awake. So if you're looking for them, they've probably retreated. You can find them in the tags of your mattress or linens, the piping of your bed, the joints of furniture, at the corners of your ceiling where the wall and ceiling meet, and even in the screws and nuts of some furniture. Look for tiny clusters of black bugs in these places. Just one of these signs is not proof of bed bugs, but several in conjunction can be. At that point, it's time to call pest control or use one of these sprays. In the meantime, take any linens or textiles that may have been affected and heat-treat them in the dryer. Bed bugs die at 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Once those items are clean, put them in vacuum storage bags for safe keeping until your home has been treated.
If you are traveling, look up reviews of a hotel before booking a room. If one guest has found bed bugs there, then that likely means that others have, too. If you are searching for a new place to live, ask the tenants of the building you're interested in if they've had bed bug issues, and if these have been addressed. Keep in mind that every state has its own laws regarding bed bugs and a landlord's or hotel's obligation regarding them.