How bed bugs bite through clothing

Tips and Tricks How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs!

Hide in the smallest cracks and corners

The hairy, red-brown insects are between four and eight millimeters in size and can therefore be easily recognized with the naked eye. However, bed bugs rarely show up during the day. The animals are nocturnal and mainly stay in their hiding spots during the day - and this is where even the smallest cracks and corners in the baseboard, picture frame, cupboard or book are used. At night, however, they come out of their holes, attracted by the smell of humans and their warmth. They drink their fill of our blood because that is the only source of food for bed bugs. They only look for an animal as a host in exceptional cases. That is also the reason why they can be found almost exclusively in the bedroom - here you don't have to go far for a nightly feast.

Bites cause severe itching

In order to get to the blood of their host, the bugs bite and suck on each other. Similar to fleas, the bites leave several red spots in a row that cause severe itching. It often takes a few days for this to occur. It can even take several weeks for the bite wounds to heal. Some people are particularly sensitive to the bites. This can cause severe swellings or wheals, and even allergic reactions are possible. An ointment that contains cortisone or antihistamines is best for relieving itching. More violent reactions should be treated by a doctor. After all: unlike tick bites, no transmission of infectious diseases through bed bugs has yet been proven.

No sign of lacking hygiene

Until a few years ago, bed bugs were considered almost extinct. However, the bloodsuckers also seem to be increasing in our latitudes. While pest control officers used to have one or two cases a year, some report three to four missions a week, and not just in particularly dingy hotels or filthy apartments. Poor hygiene has nothing to do with the spread of bed bugs. The parasites can spread even in the cleanest of surroundings. Other reasons play a role for the renewed spread: For example, the particularly effective bug control agent DDT was banned in the 1970s because it is considered carcinogenic to humans. Other chemical control agents are sometimes not as effective, and sometimes the insects have already developed resistance to them. Another reason is the increased international movement of goods and travel: In hotel rooms, bed bugs have different hosts and, once crawled into the suitcase, can change continent in a few hours and spread rapidly in their new home. A single female is enough to completely populate a household with a new generation of bed bugs, as it carries up to 300 offspring.

Combating is tedious

Anyone who notices bed bug bites on the body and finds traces of blood on the bedclothes and black bug droppings on the bed frame or the area around the bed should call in a pest controller as soon as possible. The parasites cannot be fought permanently with home remedies or other personal initiatives, because even professionals usually need several uses until an apartment is really free from pests in the long term. One of the reasons for this is that a bed bug can survive for several months without food. So if you think that after a vacation all animals will have starved to death, you are wrong. Pest controllers can use chemical methods to fight the insects. To do this, furniture is dismantled, cracks are sealed with silicone and, presumably, the mattress is also replaced in order to offer the bugs as few places of retreat as possible. Unfortunately, a single treatment with pesticides is not enough. Two to four missions are necessary to really kill all animals and to have long-term rest. As an alternative, some pest controllers also offer thermal methods. Because bed bugs die at temperatures above 50 degrees, the infected area is wrapped in a kind of tent and heated to well over 50 degrees for several days.

Freeze clothes, suitcase in the bathtub

If you want to make sure that you don't bring any bed bugs home with you from your vacation, you should follow a few tips both on site and when you return. Experts recommend storing your suitcase in the bathroom while on vacation. The room is far enough away from the bedroom so that bed bugs cannot crawl into luggage. Nightwear and underwear should only be put back into the suitcase in a well-sealable plastic bag after wearing them, so that any overlooked bugs cannot get into the rest of the clothes. Back at home, it is advisable to unpack the suitcase in the bathtub. The animals cannot crawl up the smooth, steep tub wall. All items of clothing that were with you on vacation should be washed immediately at 60 degrees in order to safely kill any bugs or eggs they may contain. It is also possible to put laundry items in the freezer for a few days, because temperatures below minus 18 degrees also kill the animals.