As anyone who’s lived through it can tell you, having bed bugs in your bed is a real killer. Trying to sleep while suffering through little, itchy bites, and feelings of squirming something moving around your mattress can keep you awake and drive you to commit murder. Often though, you don’t actually feel them but, knowing that they’re in the bed too, your feelings of “something crawling on my skin” are purely psychological; you discover the telltale symptom of bed bug bite and/or blotchy, red rashes only in the morning. So what can you do to deal with this annoying problem? Checkout getting rid of bed bugs fast.
Bed bugs (or “bed bugs”, as they’re sometimes called, ) are any of several small parasites of the family Cimicidae. The most common of these insects is Cimex lectularius – Latin for “bug of the bed”, which inhabits the temperate zone and covers most of the United States, but other members of the family adapted to different climates share their appearance and annoying characteristics. They are small, flattish oval-shaped insects ranging in color from light red to dark brown, almost black, depending on how full of blood they are and how fresh it is. (As they digest the blood over days it gets darker.) They live in bedding, bed frames, and nearby locations close to where people sleep, and crawl out at night to suck your blood, just as ticks and mosquitoes do. You often don’t feel their bite because they inject a small amount of anesthetic at the same time, numbing your skin for the five minutes or so it takes to fill up with a load of your blood. The bloated bug then crawls back to its hiding place where it will wait for from five to ten days before looking for another meal. And if you’re not there it will wait; bed bugs can go from two months to over a year without feeding, and still be ready to suck the blood from the next sleeping human who comes within range. The characteristic rash is thus not caused by one or two bed bugs, but by dozens biting you in one night, from a colony of literally hundreds infesting your bed and surrounding area. Killing off most of the bugs will make your bed more comfortable for a while, but if even one or two are left, they will slowly repopulate your sleeping place until you once again suffer from nightly returns of these vampire-like creatures.
Bed bugs were nearly eliminated from America going back to the 1930?s, when widespread use of DDT had almost wiped them out. But since the 1980?s their numbers are on the rise as they make a comeback, including strains that are resistant to DDT. So besides being illegal, DDT probably won’t get rid of them for you, anyway. Similarly, bed bug strains that resist pyrethroids are on the rise, so those insecticides might not help, either. Malathion or related organophosphates work in some cases, but you may not want or be able to use them, whether for health concerns or because of local regulations, and they might not work anyway. Then what will kill the parasitic insects for you?
Bed bugs are visible, and they don’t take well to heat. A classic remedy is to use a needle and a candle – you keep the needle heated on the flame, and spear them where you find them in the cracks of the bed frame or the seams of the mattress. Of course, you need to strip the bedding – sheets, blankets, pillowcase, etc. – and run them through the laundry while you do this. Running the flame from a cigarette lighter across the parts of the bed will also drive them out of hiding, so you can see them and either crush them with your fingernail or other sharp object, or stab them with a pin or needle. The hot needle is also good for scraping slowly through the seams and joins in the bed. They’ll come out of hiding to escape the needle’s warmth and then you’ve got them. You’ll also want to do this to the molding on the wall and floor immediately next to the bed, because bed bugs will crawl several feet to feed on a human. This solution is very time-consuming, and you probably want a better way of killing bed bugs off.