You may remember this childhood rhyme: "Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!" While most kids repeat this rhyme in jest, bed bugs, also known as cimicidae, are far from being a joke. For many people, infestations are an immense source of distress.
Although cimicidae were eradicated in developed countries in the early 1940s, thanks to a chemical called DDT, they are unfortunately making a comeback in the beds and lives of many.
More likely than not, cimicidae are becoming a problem again because of the increase in international travel, as well as insecticide resistance.
About These Parasites
Cimicidae are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are flat, oval-shaped, and reddish-brown in color. You may have trouble sleeping if there are cimicidae living in your bed because they are most active at night. Their bites leave itchy welts on the skin and cause allergic reactions in some people.
Cimicidae earned the name "bed bugs" because they typically live in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. However, the insects can live in any area of a home, including cracks in furniture, curtains, upholstered furniture, and cracks in wallpaper.
They can survive for up to a year without feeding. They are like hitchhikers – they live in clothing, bedding, luggage, furniture, and other items and therefore spread easily.
Symptoms of Infestations
Differentiating between cimicidae bites and other kinds of bug bites is difficult, but the following are signs that cimicidae might be calling your bed home:
Getting Rid of Cimicidae
If you determine that there is an infestation in your home, seek the assistance of a pest management professional. Infested mattresses and beds are difficult to treat with insecticides, so they may have to be discarded.
Moreover, you may need to perform a deep-cleaning of your home by scrubbing infested surfaces to remove eggs, filling cracks in the walls and floors, and vacuuming cracks and crevices.
Avoiding areas that are infested with cimicidae is the best method of prevention against infestations. So, anytime you travel, check the beds and mattresses in hotel rooms for signs of infestation.
Keep in mind that even the most pristine hotels can harbor the insects. Other types of lodging that are prone to cimicidae infestations include apartment complexes, dormitories, and military barracks.
Getting rid of cimicidae can be difficult, but with some diligence, it can be done. Hiring a pest-control expert is hands down the safest and most effective way to exterminate cimicidae and prevent them from returning.
References: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef636.asp and http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/bedbugs/
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Published by Jules Sowder