“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” We say it to our kids all the time, without giving much thought to what it means. We likely don’t know what a bed bug looks like nor do we envisage the possibility of them being bitten by the persistent pets. We’re likely ignorant of how to spot a bed bug infestation, nor do we know how to treat our children if they show the symptoms of one. We’re even less likely to consider the creepy crawlies that might be lurking in our own beds. Although it may not be something we particularly relish thinking about, it’s important for the sake of your health and your family’s health to familiarize yourself with the creepy crawlies that can lurk in your bed just waiting to feed off you forever (not including hubby-Boom!).
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Do you know what a bed bug looks like? Do you know how to identify the signs of an infestation? Do you know what to do if you spot them? Bed bugs have been fairly sparse for decades after World War II with the widespread use of pesticidal chemicals like DDT and chlordane but recent years have seen a surge in bed bug populations. Despite their name, bed bugs are not exclusively confined to beds; they can live in any article of furniture and gnaw away at you as you sleep or watch TV. They are ovoid in shape and reddish brown in color. They tend to be between 1 and 7 mm in diameter and are at their most active at night. They can bite anywhere on the body and a bed bug bite can be identified by;
- An itchy, red swollen circle like a cigarette burn with a dark red center
- Bites in lines or small groupings
- Blisters or hives at the site of the bite.
If you see these symptoms on yourself or your kids it’s time to call in pro bed bug exterminators.Professional exterminators will be able to completely eradicate all signs of infestation.
Fleas are infuriatingly persistent pests and can survive in the most prohibitive of environments, finding sanctuary even in the tiny folds where your mattress meets the box spring. Fleas can be brought in from outside by family pets’ fur and make a home for themselves more or less anywhere in your home, even in cold winter weather. They can survive for a week without a host and up to 3 months when well fed. They can also carry and spread nasty diseases. It was fleas that spread the bubonic plague. A topical treatment can rid your pets of fleas, but it’s always a good idea to call the professionals to remove all signs of infestation.
Dust mites are highly allergenic pests lurk in mattresses and are nigh on impossible to see due to their tiny size (0.2-0.3mm) and translucent bodies. If you wake up every morning with a stuffed, runny nose and watery eyes this may be a sign of dust mite infestation. Fortunately this is fairly easily remedied with anti dust mite bed covers and rigorous vaccuuming of your bedding and mattress.