With good weather, insect and mite mites, such as ticks or invasive species such as the tiger mosquito, and even marine animals, such as jellyfish, are very common in our country. But also more and more are bed bugs.
The reactivation of tourism after the pandemic and the constant heat waves have led to the reappearance of this parasite. And it is doing it in such a way that the National Association of Environmental Health Companies (ANECPLA) warns that it has become a very serious emerging public health problem.
That is why we tell you what you should know about bedbugs: what they are like, where they hide, how they act, what prevention measures you should take and what to do if they bite you.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs
To avoid bed bug infestations in your home, keep the following in mind:
- Vacuum often in the bedroom, and don’t forget the baseboards.
- Try that there are no cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Wash the bedding once a week
- Use anti-allergic mattress covers and pillows
- Use hangers or hooks to hang clothes. Don’t put it on the ground.
- Beware of second-hand clothing and furniture.
Also, don’t forget ANECPLA’s recommendations to get rid of bed bugs:
- When you travel, check the sheets, pillows, and mattresses.
- Do not deposit luggage on the beds.
- In case of suspected contamination, quarantine luggage in a place away from bedrooms, etc.
- If your luggage is contaminated, wash your clothes at 60ºC, whether you have used the garments or not.
- Avoid buying second-hand mattresses or pillows.
- Bed bugs and their eggs often hide in laundry baskets, so it’s a good idea to clean those as well.
- Reduce the number of hiding places: in a messy house bed bugs will find more places to hide.
- Go to professionals.
What Are Bed Bugs Like
Bed bugs are small but visible insects (about 5mm long, like an apple pit). With an oval, flattened, hairy, and reddish-brown (coffee-colored) body, this parasite has three pairs of legs, but no wings, so it neither jumps nor flies, but moves very quickly.
Female bed bugs lay up to five (whiter) eggs a day, very small and hard to see, which take between five days and two weeks to hatch. These insects live for around two years. They feed on the blood of their victims, which they sting on average once every seven days, although they can survive without feeding for many months.
In our country, since the 1990s it has been common to find Cimex lectualarius bed bugs, after the Second World War, this plague was considered eradicated. However, there is another threat: the tropical bed bug ( Cimex hemipterus), which was detected in Spain for the first time in Barcelona in 2020. Originally from Asia, in recent years it has been colonizing Australia, the United States, and Europe.
Are These Bugs Dangerous
What is the risk of these bed bugs? Do they transmit diseases? Until now, bedbugs have not been disease-transmitting vectors, even though they can harbor more than 40 pathogenic agents for humans. Studies have only shown that they can transmit the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite, which causes Chagas disease, an endemic pathology in Central and South America that is difficult to diagnose in its early stages (a disease with hardly any symptoms ), but which is fatal.
Even so, the National Association of Environmental Health Companies warns that this situation could change, due both to the appearance of new species and the chronification of the factors that help their spread: the transit of people due to globalization and tourism, the progressive increase in temperatures, due to rising temperatures and environmental pollution.
In fact, according to ANECPLA, in recent years the population of bedbugs has increased by more than 500%. “Given the growing presence of this plague, if we are not prepared, the consequences could be terrible,” warns its general director, Jorge Galván, in a statement, which urges “a necessary collaboration between the sector and the Public Administrations to in order to carry out a more rigorous control.
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide
Bed bugs appear at night, and early in the morning. They come out of their hiding places to attack their victims and, after feeding on their blood, they return to their shelters. These are their favorite places to hide:
- Bed, hence its name and its nocturnal behavior: box spring, frame, headboard, springs, mattresses, pillows, bedding… According to this study, bedbugs love red and black sheets, while they avoid yellow and green ones.
- Bedside table, cabinets, sofas, chairs, telephone…
- Cracks and crevices in the walls, and everything that may be hanging on them: wallpaper, pictures, posters, switches, plugs…
- Floors, skirting boards, rugs, carpets…
- False ceilings, lamps, door jambs, and windows.
They are attracted to dirty clothes, as they point out in this research, and they love to travel. For this reason, you can also find them in suitcases, backpacks, and street clothes, their favorite means of transport to move around as stowaways and cause new infestations in hotels, apartments, hospitals, hostels, cruise ships, tourist homes, and even our own homes.
What Happens If I Get Bitten By A Bedbug
Bed bug bites cause skin irritation and are very annoying and uncomfortable: they cause so much itching that they can cause insomnia problems and, sometimes, secondary infections when scratched.
FAQ About Bedbug Bitten
How do I keep bedbugs from biting me
To prevent bed bugs, you need to make sure you’re using appropriate protection. This means using a mattress protector and bed bug-proof mattress cover.
Do bed bugs bite every night
If your home has been infested with bed bugs, then you’re probably wondering if they bite every night. It turns out that, if you can keep your home free from bed bugs, there is actually no need to worry about whether or not bed bugs bite every night.
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the chances of getting bitten by bed bugs are very slim. In fact, according to the CDC, “Bedbugs are usually not active at night. Bedbugs will hide during the day in cracks and crevices or behind furniture, and only become active after dark.”
What attracts a bed bug to a person
Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by our breath. They are also attracted to the scents and chemicals produced when we perspire. In addition, they are attracted to certain body fluids, especially blood.
When we are in bed with someone else, our body heat makes us a more attractive meal for a bed bug. Finally, the bed bug has a special organ, the salivary glands, which are very sensitive to carbon dioxide. They can detect carbon dioxide at concentrations of up to 50 parts per million, which is equivalent to 10 breaths per minute.
Bed bug bites treatment
The first thing to do is try not to scratch, to avoid infections. Wash the bite area with soap and water. Use a soothing lotion, if the itching is strong. but if you can’t stand the itching or infection appears or if there is an allergic reaction, see a doctor.
In conclusion, bed bugs live in the cracks and crevices of furniture, behind wallpaper, in mattresses and pillows, and in all kinds of other places. They can travel short distances, so the same bedbug infestation in one room can easily spread to other rooms.
They can hide anywhere and wait for a host. Bed bug bites are red, itchy, and painful and can lead to allergic reactions.