It may be microscopic, but the bedbug is a scourge because it reproduces at high speed. It therefore quickly invades bedding and even the home, then its stings and bites cause redness, swelling and itching. Generally, the small bloodstains left on the sheets from the crushing of bedbugs – swollen with the blood of their host – leave no room for doubt. Even if for the moment nothing proves that they can transmit diseases to humans, we must react without delay to get rid of these undesirables responsible for dermatological problems.
Bed bugs: what is it?
What are called bed bugs are insects of the family of Cimicidae, provided with a biting-sucking mouth apparatus. So these are insects heteroptera. There are different species but the most widespread on a planetary level is Cimex lectularius.
The bed bug is blood-eating – it is also said hematophagous -, which means that it feeds exclusively on blood. Rather tough, this vermin can still live for 18 to 24 months in a state of dormancy without feeding! They are not internal parasites since they remain exclusively on the body of their host. These are therefore ectoparasites.
It is the oldest parasite of the human species. It can be found in extremely clean places. Being invaded by bed bugs does not mean that the habitat is poorly maintained. They are, moreover, everywhere: in nurseries, train stations and airports, in hotels, restaurants, performance venues and cinemas, in the office, at school, in retirement homes, hospitals, a suitcase, a handbag… But we also take the risk of infester where you live when you buy second-hand furniture, clothing or an object. Because the problem is there: a single female bed bug (or an egg) is enough to colonize a house.
This critternight activity (she mainly stings and bites during the night) is very prolific since a single bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs during its short existence, which have the appearance of a small yellowish grain of rice less than 1 mm in length. An egg first turns into nymph then in larvae. At each of these stages, a single puncture of blood is enough to ensure its development.
The larvae (whose length does not exceed 2 mm) are difficult to spot with the naked eye because they are translucent when they are fasting. On the other hand, the adult bed bug is quite detectable. It is flattened, oval and measures between 4 and 7 mm, reddish-brown when full of blood, similar to an apple seed or even a lentil.
The best solutions to eradicate bed bugs
Eliminating bed bugs is not an easy task. However, it is agreed that the best solution is still tosuck very carefully every square centimeter of the dwelling, which includes bedding. These insects sneak in everywhere and can reside in a crack, between the slats of a floor, under a piece of furniture, in electrical outlets. The struggle most efficient is therefore mechanical. But in addition to the aspiration which is essential, it is necessary to resort to one or other of the following methods:
- dry steam,
- The hot.
To do this, it is necessary to have specific devices. This is why individuals call on pest control specialists to get rid of bed bugs. Be careful, however, because some professionals apply very high prices to finally treat a home with insecticides spread by electric nebulization. A undesirable method because these products are highly toxic.
It is better to turn to professionals who treat closed places either by cold or by heat. This is called the heat treatments.
Another interesting solution is to spread diatomaceous earth in aerosol on the entire structure of beds and sofas, between the walls and baseboards or even on the floors and under all the furniture, for example. It does not represent any risk for humans and pets.
The steam cleaner
Bedbugs are not steam resistant. This is why we recommend, after a good suction, to pass the bed bases, mattresses, pillows and others to the steam cleaner. The heat sent by the device is high enough, around 100°C. However, it may be necessary to repeat the operation several days in a row to have the last word.
The systematic use of insecticides has made the bedbug more resistant. Aspiration is often more effective than a toxic product, provided the following precaution is taken. It is advisable to suck directly with the tip of the hose after attaching a stocking to its opening. This traps bed bugs in the nylon before they reach the vacuum bag. This is recommended if you do not want to colonize the device and risk keeping parasites there.
Photo credit: Piotr Naskrecki