Bed bugs may be hard to see since they are very small; full grown they are only ¼ to 3/8 of an inch long. If they are small, flat and brown they haven’t gotten to your blood yet. But if you see a small oval body that is dull red and resembles a baby cockroach or even a common tick—they have had a blood feast somewhere.
These bugs have a life span of a year to a year and a half and during that life a female will lay close to 500 eggs.
It only takes the younger bed bugs about 3 minutes to make a meal out of your blood. The adults take about 15 minutes. Then these night thieves will hide for a few days, just reveling and digesting what they have consumed.
You may see signs of bed bugs but not really know what it is. The fact is that, although it is positively disgusting, bed bugs do not cause any real threat to the majority of people. They won’t crawl under your skin and live, they also don’t carry any diseases. They are also not aggressive in the least, but despite all of this you do need to get them out of your home immediately.
If you do suffer from any allergic reaction you can use an antihistamine to reduce these reactions. If the bites are noticeable and itch excessively then you don’t want to scratch your way to an infection. An antiseptic or antibiotic cream will help prevent any infections. You can also use calamine lotion for the relief of itching.
It isn’t easy to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself because you may never see them. Look for tiny reddish, brown or black dots in the creases of your mattress or linens. They also like to leave their spots, which is fecal matter, in the creases of wallpaper. You may also notice a strange and offensive, musky odor if the infestation is heavy.
You have to first find out where the bed bugs are living and hiding before figuring out how to get rid of bed bugs yourself. They love to hide in the folds and seams of mattresses. As the infestation increases they will get into the box springs of your mattress, the casings around your windows and doors and even inside other household furniture.
It isn’t an easy job to rid your home of bed bugs, because it requires heavy cleaning and making several changes and then treating all areas of your home to rid yourself of these pests.
Two of the best products that you will need when you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs yourself are two very common household items. These two items are Clorox bleach and alcohol.
You will first want to vacuum all carpets and upholstery and the mattress. Then steam cleaning is advised, but not on mattresses because the moisture can cause a mold problem. Use the Clorox to clean walls, floors, bedding and clothes.
Use alcohol to wipe down all furniture and electronics. You want to take your bed apart so you can clean all the crevices that the bed bugs could be hiding in, especially where the bed is put together at adjoining seams.
Since you cannot clean the mattress with Clorox or alcohol you need to purchase a very good mattress cover. The best kind to use for this is one that fully encases the mattress and then zips up. This needs to be left on the mattress for at least a year because although bed bugs can survive without blood for that long they can’t survive without oxygen.
Don’t live with bed bugs, live without them.