Every time you go to sleep, there could be thousands of these thirsty critters sucking your blood, growing and growing. And yes, they will kill you if you let them. So, you need to watch this.
These little suckers are only the size of an apple seed, but each one eats up to three times its weight from your blood. And they are almost everywhere. Up to a tenth of an average pillow’s weight is not fluffy feathers but bloodthirsty bed bugs.
In the past decade, bed bug infestation has increased in high-income countries like the United States, Canada, and Europe. And they hide so well that you won’t notice them until it’s too late.
So, you might want to look under your mattress. But how do they get into your house?
How much of your blood can they drink? What are the early signs of infestation?
Step 1: Keep Your Luggage Off the Bed
Even if you’re a spotlessly clean person, the bed bugs only need you to sleep in a hotel room or unpack your luggage on the bed, and they can jump into it, enter your house, and infest it. But you can avoid this. When you’re traveling, do not put your luggage on the bed. And wash your clothes immediately when you return home.
Step 2: Look For Signs
Some of the first signs of infestation can be dark or rusty spots on your mattress and pillows. Also, look for the small feces that bed bugs may shed in the corners of your bedroom, under the rugs, or carpet.
Yes, my friend, those little poop balls were once your blood. And if you notice any of these signs, you cannot just take it easy. In 2016, a woman in Pennsylvania died of sepsis due to a bed bug infestation in the care facility she lived in. So, look carefully.
Step 3: Call the pros
Using common pesticides on bed bugs will only make things worse. They are evolving, and can resist many pest control chemicals. So, you’d only kill a few of them. And the rest will scatter over other furniture and fabrics all over your home.
Each female bed bug can lay five eggs a day, or hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. And 4-12 days later, her babies hatch. And they’re thirsty. So, you need to call pest control experts to get rid of them. They know how to treat these suckers.
Step 4: Spread the word
If you call a professional, make sure everyone in the building knows the pros are coming. In 2017, an 82-year-old woman in Houston died after her apartment building’s owner called in pest control experts without telling her. The experts heated her apartment to more than 60 degrees Celsius (139°F) to kill the bed bugs.
But they did not tell the lady how long she had to stay away from the apartment. She came back too soon and died of hyperthermia. So, call in the professionals. But make sure everyone in the building knows when they’re coming and what to do.”
Step 5: Get help
A severe bed bug infestation can be extremely distressing, and you may need help coping with it. In 2013, a woman committed suicide after repeated infestations in her apartment. In her suicide note, she directly blamed the “vampires” and her fear of being “eaten alive.” If you experience nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety even after an infestation, seek professional mental help to cope with it.
- “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite! | Wonderfully Weird”. 2021. youtube.com.
- “Suicide following an infestation of bed bugs”. Susser, Stephanie. 2013. American Journal Of Case Reports 14: 176-178. doi:10.12659/ajcr.883926.
- “The Emotional Toll Of Having Bedbugs | Everyday Health”. Lawler, Moira, and MD Ross Radusky. 2018. everydayhealth.com.
- “Bedbugs: Coming To A Bed Near You”. 2021. Animals.
- “Ew, Gross! | The Invaders: Bedbugs”. 2021. youtube.com.
- “The Truth About Bedbugs”. Christopher, Eliott. 2021. Travel.