Bedbugs Are Attracted to Blood and Carbon Dioxide, Not Dirt: Learn How to Stop the Spread of Bedbugs
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Anyone can get bedbugs. It does not matter whether you are rich or poor, dirty or clean, black or white, educated or not. Bedbugs only want, and need, one thing to survive: BLOOD.
What do bedbugs look like and where do they hide?
Bed bugs are small rusty-colored or red insects the size of an apple seed. They multiply quickly and can be found in department stores, libraries, laundromats, movie theaters, airports, bus stations and more. They are excellent travelers and can discreetly hitch a ride inside your luggage, electronics, clothes, and any space small enough to slide a credit card into.
Once these blood-sucking parasites make their way into your home, they are nearly impossible to eradicate. However, they do have a “kryptonite”: HEAT.
Heat will kill adult bedbugs, nymphs (babies), and eggs. However, once you get bedbugs, they are extremely difficult, but not impossible, to eradicate. You will need to use a number of methods to be successful at getting rid of your bedbug infestation. I battled a bedbug problem while living in an infested apartment building, but I was able to get rid of them. It's been three years and I am bedbug free!
Prevention is key
The key thing to remember is prevention. You want to avoid catching them in the first place. Here are some proven ways to prevent spreading bedbugs and bringing them into your home:
Before sitting down in public places, inspect your seat.
Remove any clothes you wore on public transportation, or outside the home, and seal in plastic trash bag or heat in dryer. Never wear your travel clothes, or clothes worn around the house, to bed.
Before unpacking in a hotel, place luggage in the bathtub and do a full inspection of the room, bed, and mattress. If you discover any bedbugs or eggshell casings, inform the manager and leave immediately.
Wash and dry all new clothing on high heat for at least 40 minutes before wearing or putting them away.
Never place items on your bed!
Do not shop at thrift stores or consignment shops!
Do not bring furniture home off the street or trash.
Do not allow guests into your bedroom or sleeping quarters.
Be careful who you invite into your home.
Inspect all library books and secondhand items.
If you frequent a laundromat, wash clothes in hot water and dry on HIGH HEAT for 40 minutes or more. Remove clothes from dyer and put directly into a clean laundry bag. Never fold clothes at laundromat! Fold them at home!
What do bedbug bites look like?
If you do get bitten by a bedbug and it leaves a rash or bump, it will typically be red and very itchy. Bedbug bites are usually left in groups of three and in a zig zag pattern, but not always. (Mine sort of felt like mosquito bites.) Bedbug bites can be left on any part of the body, even the face. They also usually feed on parts of the body that are exposed. (I used to sleep with my foot sticking out from under the covers and my first bites were located on my foot.)
What if I get bedbugs?
Bedbugs are no fun if you get them. I still suffer from PTSD. As I have already said earlier, they are extremely difficult to get rid of, but you can do it!
Below is how I successfully killed my bedbug problem:
Wash, dry, and bag all your clothes for at least one week, if not longer.
Vacuum entire house including bed.
Empty vacuum canister into a plastic bag, seal it, and immediately take outside to trash.
Get rid of any items you no longer need, but do not give them to anyone! You don’t want to spread your infestation to other people. You also might want to place a "Do Not Take Home" sign on any furniture you set out for trash so people will not take it back to their own home.
Dust CimeXa insecticide powder around the perimeter of your apartment or house. This stuff is highly effective! It’s the one thing I would keep if nothing else to combat and prevent bedbugs. It’s that GOOD!
Spray your bed frame and mattress with a highly effective bedbug spray. I used JT Eaton Kills Bedbugs. It works!
Dust CimeXa all over your bed frame. (Don’t worry it’s not toxic to you, your pets, or children. Just wear a mask when applying because the powder is very fine.)
Seal your mattress, boxspring, and pillow case in a certified bedbug protector. (This is very important. It will prevent bugs from nesting inside your pillow and mattress).
Place bedbug inceptors on the legs of your bed. This will catch any bedbugs from fleeing your bed and also prevent any new ones from traveling to it.
You must sleep in your bed! Unfortunately, you are the bait. You might get bitten for a few nights until the treatment kills the bugs, but they first have to come out of their hiding places to get the poison and dust on them and unfortunately the only way they will do that is if you are in the bed sleeping. Remember, they have to consume your blood to survive.
Other useful tips and things to know
Bedbugs can go without blood for up to two years or longer. So don’t think by placing your things in storage or staying at someone’s house in the hopes of killing them will work. It won’t. They will simply go “dormant” until you return. They will be waiting for you.
Bedbugs are not like lice or ticks. They do not live on your body.
Not every one is allergic to bedbug bites so they may not get a rash or bumps.
You can safely heat treat any books, electronics, and other items with a bed bug heater. I own and use the Zappbug heater.
With the surge of bedbugs happening in Paris right now, I predict we will all start to see a rise in these annoying critters once again across the nation and throughout the world, especially with the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Paris. Be careful, take precautions, and I hope this post will help you in preventing the spread of bedbugs.
Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She is well-versed in medical content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies. She is a diarist and the author of Passion of Flames.