Do you worry that there might be a bed bug problem at your house right now? Are you afraid of having them crawl onto your skin? Bed bugs can cause extensive damage and disruption in any Singaporean household. In case you’re wondering how you should get rid of them, here’s everything you need to know about the bed bugs’ habits and behaviour.
This way you can reach out for help before the situation worsens. If you wait too long or ignore the signs, you’ll have an infestation on your hands.
Below we’ve included an in-depth guide to the early signs of bed bug infestations and what you should do if you spot one.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) are small insects that feed on human blood and are most active at night. Their bites are extremely itchy and appear as clusters of red bumps over exposed areas, such as the neck, arms and legs. While they do not transmit diseases, the itchy bites cause severe scratching which may result in infection, scarring or hyperpigmentation as reported in Healthhub Singapore.
They can be found all over the world but are most common in tropical areas such as Africa, Asia and South America. Being tropical, Singapore is prone to infestations by bedbugs. The adult female insect lays eggs which hatch into nymphs. These then go through five stages before becoming adults. It takes approximately three weeks for an adult to mature.
The life cycle of bed bugs is complex so it’s not always easy to know when you have bed bugs. You might see one or two at first, but if you don’t get rid of them quickly, they can multiply rapidly and soon result in an infestation.
How do we identify bed bugs in our homes?
Bed bug identification is very important in the process of eliminating these pests from your home. When bed bugs infest an area, they leave behind signs that indicate they are around. Things to lookout for include the following:
- Bloodstains on bed coverings or red marks around base of furniture legs
- Specks of reddish-black fecal droppings
- Small cream-colored eggs that look like a grain of rice
- Live, oval-shaped, reddish-brown bed bugs that hide in folds of mattress or bedding
- Bite marks around exposed skin, such as neck, arms, and ankles
Preventing and Treating Bed Bug Infestations
If you suspect that you have a bed bug problem, you will want to start by taking immediate action. Bed bugs reproduce quickly, so they’re able to multiply very rapidly. To slow down their reproduction rate, you must disrupt their life cycle. Here are some ways to do this –
- Remove clutter. Clutter provides hiding places for bed bugs. Make sure there isn’t any clutter in your room, especially under beds, dressers, and other items that can provide shelter for bed bugs.
- Vacuum regularly. This will remove dead insects and debris that could harbour bed bugs.
- Wash bedding and clothes thoroughly. Washing bedding and clothes in hot water (140 degrees Fahrenheit) will destroy bed bugs.
- Clean mattresses, box springs, and frames. Use a steam cleaner to disinfect mattresses and box springs. If mattress is infested, get rid of it.
- Seal cracks and crevices. Sealing cracks and crevices helps keep bed bugs out of your house.
While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires the use of chemicals. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important to use products that can be used safely in bedrooms. Insecticides such as pyrethrins, permethrin, or resmethrin kill bed bugs. However, these chemicals can harm children, pets, and wildlife. Do not treat mattresses and bedding unless the label specifically says you can use them on bedding.
So, it’s usually safer and best to hire an experienced pest controller if you want to get rid of bedbugs.
Summing it Up
If you suspect that your house may be infested by bed bugs, then it’s crucial for you to take immediate action. People who live with bed bugs may develop allergic reactions including skin rashes, hives, swollen glands, breathing problems and even asthma attacks. Good hygiene practices, such as the ones mentioned above, should help to prevent any further infestations. If you still find your home infested with these perky pests, then get a professional pest service to help you out.