Insect parasites can appear even in a house where cleanliness is carefully monitored. It would be a mistake to think that they settle only in neglected, dirty apartments or where pets live. Therefore, one must always be on the alert to repel a possible «invasion». We collected information about bed bugs with photos of insects and their bites, prepared a selection of tips on how to get rid of them forever.

All about bed bugs

Species features
How do they look
What are dangerous
Ways to get into the house
How to detect ectoparasites
Where do they hide
How to destroy bloodsuckers
— Folk methods
— Special preparations
– Professional pest control
How to clean up a room
How to protect your home from bloodsuckers

Species features of parasitic insects

Biologists call these insects cosmopolitans because they live all over the world. There is no place where they would not meet. Moreover, it is also one of the most common species on the planet. In total there are about 30 thousand varieties. However, only one species settles in the houses, which is called the bed bug. It got its name for the habit of settling in quiet secluded places, in particular, in mattresses, upholstered furniture, etc.

Parasites feed on human blood, but do not neglect other warm-blooded animals. They go hunting at night when everyone is asleep. Biologists have determined that their period of activity falls on the interval from one in the morning to seven in the morning. The rest of the time they hide. The individual is guided by the smell, and «feels» the prey at a distance of no more than three meters. The process of searching for a convenient place to eat and actually saturate itself takes about 10 minutes, after which the blood-sucking parasite hides again.

One meal is enough for him for five days, he goes hunting once a week. Therefore, it is difficult to detect pests while their numbers are small. Females are fertile and lay eggs daily. During the life cycle, each gives about half a thousand eggs. Therefore, the population of the colony is rapidly increasing. After 7-10 days, the eggs transform into larvae — young individuals that feed on blood and grow rapidly. Bed bug larvae periodically molt. In total, this happens five times, after which the individual becomes an adult.

What do bed bugs look like

The blood-sucking body is shaped like a drop, the length of which is no more than 8 mm. The color depends on how hungry the parasite is. They are light red during a period of forced hunger strike, dark brown, almost black, they become full of individuals. The ectoparasite has several pairs of legs and a complex jaw apparatus with bristle teeth. With them, he pierces the skin and sucks out the blood. Simultaneously injects an anesthetic so as not to disturb the victim.

The eggs are very small, in shape and color reminiscent of grains of rice. The larvae are yellowish-brown at first. The more links they go through, the darker their color becomes. Due to their small size and inconspicuous coloration, it is quite difficult to notice both a young and an adult individual. Below in the photo is a close-up of a bed bug.

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Why are pests dangerous?

The parasite sucks blood after piercing the skin of its prey. A characteristic trace remains at this place. Let’s figure out what bed bug bites look like so as not to confuse them with other skin lesions. The puncture mark looks like a red dot. Most often there are several of them, and they are located in the form of a line on soft parts of the body: back, neck, shoulders. They are easily confused with mosquito bites, but there is one difference — the puncture site is hard and bright red.

Subsequently, a small blister forms at this place. It itches, but it is not recommended to scratch it, otherwise there is a risk of infection and suppuration. Bites are very unpleasant and sensitive. Some people get phobias and are afraid to go to bed lest they get bitten. However, for most bites, punctures do not pose a particular danger. The exception is allergy sufferers, who can get a full exacerbation up to anaphylactic shock. The main danger of ectoparasites is not that they bite people, but that they carry dangerous diseases. Among them are tularemia, brucellosis, hepatitis B.

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Ways of entry into the home

No home is immune from the invasion of ectoparasites. You need to know where they might come from. There are only three main ways, we will list them all.

  • Penetration from the infected neighboring apartment. Small individuals crawl through ventilation, engineering communications, use cracks in walls and baseboards.
  • Transfer from outside. Heat-loving individuals do not live on the street, but they can survive for a short time. They can be brought into the house on shoes, clothes. Sometimes they crawl into a bag while staying in a hotel or in an infested dwelling.
  • When buying old things. Used furniture, especially upholstered furniture, can contain an unpleasant surprise in the form of a colony of parasites.

How to spot bed bugs

There are several signs that should make you wary and immediately start inspecting your home. Here are the main ones.

  • The appearance of chain bites on the body.
  • Blood marks on the bed linen. An insect, unlike a mosquito, does not inject a substance that promotes blood clotting when punctured. For a while, it flows out and stains the laundry.
  • The presence of discarded brown skins-exoskeletons and black dots-excrement of ectoparasites.
  • The appearance of a stable «cognac» aroma. To some, it resembles the smell of spoiled raspberries.

These signs indicate that bugs have settled in the house and you need to get rid of them immediately.

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habitats

Favorite habitats of bloodsuckers are quiet secluded corners where people rarely look. Unlike cockroach hideouts, for example, they are not «tied» to food storage areas, making them harder to find. We have compiled a rough list of places to look in search of nests of parasitic insects.

  • Sleeping places. These are children’s and adult beds, a sofa, a sofa, etc.
  • Corners, baseboards, areas behind and under shelves, cabinets, bedside tables.
  • The reverse side of paintings, carpets, posters, etc.
  • Sockets and switches.
  • Joints of wallpaper strips, fragments of decoration that have moved away from the wall.
  • Folds of curtains, furniture shelves, bookcases and books.

Sometimes bloodsuckers settle in or near a pet bed. By the way, if he starts to behave restlessly and itch, it is possible that it is not fleas that bite him, but bed bugs.

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Ways to destroy bed bugs

It is not easy to detect ectoparasites, but if this has been done, you must immediately begin to destroy them. You can not hesitate, because the colony grows very quickly. There are many ways to fight. We have compiled a selection of the most effective ones.

Folk remedies

These are the safest and least toxic methods. Unfortunately, they don’t always work.

Freezing

Bloodsuckers do not tolerate cold, sub-zero temperatures are fatal for them. People have been using it for a long time. To get rid of the parasites, they took the infected furniture, things, clothes out into the cold. Heating was cut off, doors and windows were thrown wide open. In this form, the house was left for a day or more. The technique is effective, but is only suitable for private houses, provided that the heating system can be safely turned off.

High temperature processing

Another tool on the list that bed bugs are afraid of. They also can’t stand high temperatures. Insects die when their nests are treated with steam or boiling water. The disadvantage of the method is that it is very difficult to subject all rooms to high-temperature treatment. Therefore, this method is used in combination with other methods.

Vinegar

Its pungent smell repels parasitic insects. Before applying the chemical, a thorough cleaning is carried out, all surfaces are vacuumed, all textiles are washed or dry-cleaned. After that, they take 9% vinegar and generously lubricate the exits of engineering communications and ventilation ducts, areas near sockets, etc. with it. This will prevent bloodsuckers from entering the apartment.

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Ammonia

Repels and partially destroys pests. For processing, solutions of different concentrations are prepared. To wash floors and walls in a bucket of water, dissolve a tablespoon of the chemical. Skirting boards, utility outlets and similar areas are wiped with undiluted ammonia. Areas where nests of ectoparasites have been seen are sprayed with an aggressive solution of three tablespoons of the chemical diluted in a glass of water. We must remember about the sharp pungent odor that ammonia emits. Processing is carried out only in a respirator, after which the room is ventilated.

Repellent odors

Most folk remedies for bed bugs work as «repellers». Most often, these are herbs with a strong odor or aromatic oils prepared from them. Repel pests tansy, wormwood, tea tree, lavender. Fresh or dried branches are laid out throughout the house, periodically changing them. When using aromatic oils, they are impregnated with cotton pads or rags, laid out around the apartment, periodically replaced with fresh ones. Instead of aromatic oils, you can take turpentine or kerosene, this is no less effective.

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Chemicals

The most effective remedies for bed bugs. They are the most toxic, can be dangerous to people and pets. Apply them strictly according to the instructions. We list the best of the chemicals.

  • Gektor. Powder-insecticide, completely dehydrates the body of the insect. This leads to his death. The powder is non-toxic and safe for people, including allergy sufferers. It is odorless and effective against large accumulations of ectoparasites.

  • GetTotal. Liquid concentrate based on chlorpyrifos. In one application, it destroys the entire population, including eggs and larvae. Leaves no residue, no pungent odor, toxic, requires careful handling.

  • Karbofos. Liquid remedy based on malathion. It is a nerve agent that kills adults and eggs. The chemical is toxic, has a pungent odor, and leaves oily residue. Re-treatment is required after 14 days.

  • «Agran». Professional combined preparation with cypermethrin and chlorpyrifos, which gives a good result in one application. Destroys the entire population. Toxic, requires strict adherence to dosage and safety rules.

Professional pest control

Helps even in the most difficult situations. Professionals use special chemicals that are not available in regular stores. In addition, they use special exposure techniques, such as cold or hot fog, which require special equipment. All this significantly increases the effectiveness of professional disinfection. It is impossible to get such a result on your own.

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How to handle housing

To get the maximum effect, you need to follow this sequence of actions.

  1. Choose and prepare a remedy.
  2. Warn the neighbors, offer them to process the apartments at the same time. This will significantly increase the chances of a good result.
  3. Remove people and pets from the home.
  4. Remove bedding and accessories, curtains. Wash all textiles immediately or dry clean.
  5. Vacuum your home thoroughly. It is better to use a disposable bag, it must be taken out of the house immediately.
  6. Apply the drug exactly according to the instructions, wait the right time to kill the parasites.
  7. Do a thorough wet cleaning.

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How to protect your home

The best way to prevent the appearance of parasitic insects is to keep your home in order. All, even the smallest, defects on the surfaces must be repaired immediately. The ventilation shafts are covered with a fine mesh. Regular general cleaning should be carried out using aromatic oils or vinegar. It is worth from time to time laying out scaring herbs near the exits of engineering communications and in other similar places.

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