Bedbugs do not discriminate – anyone can get them because they are attracted to heat, so if you are alive and breathing, you are at risk. Their scientific name is CIMEX LECTULARIUS and they can be found in most parts of the world. |
Bed bugs like beds, of course, though Baumann says "bed bug" is actually a misnomer, since they certainly live anywhere. However, they're especially likely to like your bed -- you, who are their meal ticket, are in bed all night, which is when they come out to eat.
According to the National Pest Management organization, the bugs can also live in carpets, under wallpaper, behind baseboards, and in small cracks and crevices throughout a room. Baumann comments that the bugs can be found in all furniture, pointing out that someone carrying them in clothing can spend as much time on couches and chairs in the living room as in bed.
Bed bugs do leave tiny reddish or black streaks on sheets. If you see those upon checking into a hostel or hotel room, consider grabbing your stuff before crawling hitchhikers hop on it, and cruising straight back to the desk to ask for a new room.These bugs are great world travelers. They like living in your sleeping bag, backpack and clothes until they can get to your house and move into the recliner, where they can start raising a big family in a nice neighborhood. A female can lay up to 500 eggs over its life. If need be, just go to a different hostel or hotel -- cheaper than getting rid of the pesky travelers if they hitch a ride with you, and far better than being bitten all night. The bugs can travel alone, but seeing one is probably the tip of the bloody iceberg. Baumann says the nocturnal critters are transient and elusive.
How to Detect Bed Bugs
The data seems to show that the odor of an bed bug infestation, though distinct, is too subtle for amateur bug detectives. Bed bugs are said to smell like sweet, rotten raspberries, and it's also said that an infested room smells like almonds; I can't summon up that particular odor mix, but perhaps you'll catch the smell of an old granola bar if you flatten a scuttler and know that, yep, it was a bed bug. Orkin spokesperson Martha Craft says you need a biiiig infestation before you can smell the bugs in a room's air.
Preventing infestation is a serious challenge.
Make a sweep of your home – furniture, luggage, bedding, clothes, hampers. Examine the tufts, seams and folds of your mattresses. As well as examining beds and mattresses for the bed bugs and their eggs look in the pleats or curtains, beneath loose wallpaper, even in the spaces of wicker furniture. Insecticides are usually not a viable or safe option, because they should not be applied to an area where you sleep. Bed bugs, nocturnal critters that they are, strike while you are asleep. The skin lesion produced by their bite is similar to that of mosquitoes and fleas, but generally a bit bigger, redder and itchier.
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