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What are Bedbugs?

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  • Written By: RR
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Bedbugs are small, brown, wingless parasites that feed off blood. Even though they cannot fly, they are not easily seen, as they are less than a quarter-of-an-inch (half a centimeter) long and often hide during the day. While bedbugs prefer to bite humans, they will also feed from other mammals if necessary.

Bedbugs get their name from the fact they often live in unsanitary mattresses and bedding, but they can be found in other places such as carpets and cracks in walls. Although they are often found in dirty accommodation where poor sanitation is a problem, bedbugs have been known to travel in a person's clothing or luggage to other locations.

One sign of bedbugs is finding spots of blood in or around beds. Bedbugs typically leave tiny, itchy bites in orderly rows on a body. Some may notice that rooms that have many bedbugs have a sweet smell.

Bedbugs are mainly prevented by good sanitation and frequent cleaning, such as regular housecleaning and washing of bedding. As bedbugs are found worldwide, travelers abroad should also be watchful for signs of infestation. Travelers in rustic or less-developed areas can reduce their chances of being bitten by staying in reputable, well-maintained accommodations that appear clean. Travelers can also reduce chances of an infestation at home by washing all clothing and luggage upon returning home.

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Bedbugs can leave itchy bites that typically heal over a few days. The itch common to the bites can usually be solved with a variety of common bug-bite remedies. A doctor should be consulted in more serious cases.

Bedbug infestations can be difficult to eliminate, as the pests can hide in a number of places. Mattresses and carpets suspected to contain bedbugs can be thoroughly vacuumed to remove the pests, with mattresses then being covered and left in a sunny place for as long as possible. Bedding and clothing can be washed thoroughly in hot water. However, professional pest control should also be considered, especially in larger or repetitive cases.

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bagley79
Post 5

Sometimes you might not actually see the bed bugs, but see evidence of them. If you get a bed bug bite, it will look like a small red welt on your skin and will often times itch. The bugs themselves are dark brown and very small and their eggs are white, so they can be hard to spot.

Whenever I get home from a trip, I always make sure I wash everything I took with me so there are not any of them in my clothes or suitcase from staying in a hotel room. Hotels have problems with bed bugs just as much, or more so, than residential homes do.

andee
Post 4

If you know for sure that you have bed bugs, they can be very hard to get rid of. Many times just washing your bedding is not enough to get rid of them for good.

I like to try natural methods as a first choice for these kind of problems. I remember reading that using essential oils of lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, and clove mixed with water can be a deterrent for bed bugs. This bedbug spray is mixed in a spray bottle and used all over the bed, mattress and bedding after it has been thoroughly cleaned to try and prevent more bedbugs.

Many times they are so hard to get rid of that you have to have professionals take care of the problem. This natural method might be worth a try first to see if it works.

anon112783
Post 3

will throwing my already clean dry clothes in the dryer eliminate them? I only found one but suspect there are more. better safe than sorry i suppose.

anon109913
Post 2

No, it's worse. the sweet smell is probably their excrement!

snappy
Post 1

Now that I'm creeped out, if they are so small what exactly is it that causes the "sweet smell"? Please tell me it's not because that particular room has SO many that the sheer numbers are the cause of the smell!

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