Bugged! The Tiny World of Bed Bugs
- 1 Bugged! The Tiny World of Bed Bugs
- 1.1 Learn More About Bed Bugs:
- 1.2 What Are Bed Bugs?
- 1.3 Are Bed Bugs a Danger?
- 1.4 Bed Bugs Before: Ancient History
- 1.5 Bugged and Be-Bothered: A Recent History of Bed Bugs Today
- 1.6 How to Find Bed Bugs:
- 1.7 Popular Bed Bug Products
The bed bug is back. We’ve enjoyed almost fifty years virtually free, by and large, from the vile and disgusting nightly predation of these voracious little bloodsuckers. For all that time, even in the major cities, attacks were relatively rare. Now? It’s been the better part of a century since their population last spiked the way we’ve seen it doing over the last few years. The bed bug has returned, and in a big way; multiple highly reputable sources agree that attacks by bed bugs are seeing widespread resurgence, and it’s not just happening within major cities .
Well, that was crowded, wasn’t it? We won’t be doing that again—but it does lend credence to just how widespread this acknowledgment is. Even Scientific American, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the BBC, and WebMD are among authoritative confirming sources confirming that our six-legged friends have returned. These organizations are talking about just how dramatic this population increase is, based upon the number of reports phoned in about bed bug attacks. By contrast, blogs and other online sources which take the opposite standpoint tend to rely on personal experience, including responses to a single online survey, or even personal accounts from their authors (which, as often as not, take the form of “why all the bed bug reports I receive from friends and colleagues, all the time, are unverifiable”). It is unclear as to what the motivation is for many of these naysayers, but they fail to convey the same impression of reliability and authority on the subject of a widespread public health concern.
Learn More About Bed Bugs:
This article has been written to help provide you with a thorough and in-depth profile of the common bed bug, otherwise known by its Latin designation cimex lectularius (literally “bug of the sofa” or “bug of the pillow”). Thanks to a great many commonly embraced bed bug myths, modern Americans are largely uninformed about the nature of this lurking menace. It’s been several generations since they were a widespread problem, and most of us have grown up hearing only anecdotal stories from older generations of relatives—if we heard anything at all (“C’mon, grandpa; not the ‘bug story’ again!”).
By informing yourself from a variety of readily available sources, you will be better prepared for the possibility of bed bugs infesting your home—and you will have some idea about how they spread, and what kills today’s pesticide-resistant bed bugs.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are a specially evolved and adapted species of insect which feeds on the blood of other, significantly larger organisms. They are parasitic, meaning that they are directly dependent upon other species to survive, but they give nothing back in return, while frequently causing a problem courtesy their presence and their feeding habits.
An individual bed bug belongs to one of many different species, not all of which prefer to feed upon humans. Some of them are actually exclusive to other types of animals: they’re so highly adapted that feeding on different food sources is either difficult, or flat-out impossible. For this article’s purposes, we are going to concern ourselves with the cimex lectularius, which is otherwise known as the “common bed bug” throughout the western world. This is the most common species of bed bug in North America; it has evolved to exhibit an exclusive preference for human blood. It is not incapable of feeding off of other animals; the c. lectularius may feed on bats, which its progenitor species most likely fed upon to begin with, and it has also been known to feed on dogs—an evolutionary adaptation in itself, and one which it probably developed at the same time that it “learned” to feed on people.
The common bed bug hunts down human prey by means of detecting our body heat and nighttime CO2 emissions, which they have evolved to pinpoint to the right degree with amazing accuracy. Studies have shown that it is not just the presence of carbon dioxide, but also the proper amounts of CO2 (corresponding to the emissions of a sleeping human being) which draw bed bugs to the bedsides of their sleeping prey—not the presence of filth, or the literal smell of blood. Once they’ve arrived, the bed bugs identify where to strike by sensing the warm flow of blood just beneath the surface of our skin. They prefer broad, flat areas of the body, which afford significant numbers of bugs the opportunity to feed all at once. Bed bug bites commonly turn up on the back, on the upper arms, on the thighs, and along the chin and neck.
This is not completely universal; bed bugs can, and will, feed from any exposed part of the body. They may also, assuming that they are hungry enough, attack during the daytime.
There are a broad variety of identifying habits and physical features which can help you to pick out the common bed bug from among other types of insects, as there are other bug species which may be fundamentally similar to look at (bed bugs, themselves, somewhat resemble undersized cockroaches, and cockroach young may be mistaken for bed bugs where the two populations overlap; thankfully, that’s only… everywhere).
- Bed bugs do not have wings. Bed bugs do not have wings, and cannot fly—nor can they glide (as opposed to some insect species, which have wings that only work under certain environmental conditions). They have a complicated life cycle, with bed bug nymphs molting five times before reaching adulthood, but at no point in their development do they develop wings. Bed bugs do not have the same hive structure as certain other insect species do, either: there is no winged “queen” bed bug, and bed bugs don’t develop wings when scarce resources or other factors necessitate looking for a new place to call home. They are entirely dependent upon walking and climbing, and they aren’t even particularly good at the latter.
- An adult bedbug will be 4-5 millimeters in length. A fully-grown bed bug, which has not recently fed, is about half a centimeter long—which roughly corresponds to one-fifth of an inch in length. They are a little more than half of that measure in width, and are only as thick in body as a credit card. After gorging itself on human blood, the common bed bug increases slightly in size: it may appear almost a millimeter longer, and it will have substantially more girth—which also makes them slower and more sluggish than they usually are. The common bed bug doesn’t want to be bothered while it’s digesting, any more than we do.
- A bed bug has a flat, oval-shaped body. A bed bug consumes a significant amount of blood when feeding, relative to its overall weight. The adult bed bug can live, on average, for anywhere from one to four months without feeding—provided a good meal in advance, and an ideal, stress-free environment (naturally, this is starvation dieting; most bed bugs will feed at least 2-3 times per week as long as we’re available). This kind of capacity for gorging necessitates a flat, flexible body, one that is capable of expanding to accommodate the bug’s meal while it digests. The bed bug’s body is roughly ovoid in shape.
- Bed bugs are insects, with six legs. Bed bugs are insects, and like other insects, the common bed bug has six legs. Their body also has the same distinct sections as other insects have, including a head, thorax, and abdomen. This body structure distinguishes bed bugs from other common parasitic bloodsuckers, such as ticks and mites: the latter are widely thought of as insects, but are actually arachnids, with eight legs and no antennae.
- The adult common bed bug is light brown, brown, or rusty red. Adult bed bugs are either a light brown, sandy brown, or a darker rusty brown in color. After having feed to its own satisfaction, a bed bug’s color will lighten somewhat; it will appear to be a brighter shade of rusty brown. Bed bug young, called “nymphs,” are normally a pale whitish brown or brownish yellow; they otherwise resemble their adult counterparts, and they will also adopt a brighter, reddish brown shade after they’ve fed.
- A bed bug has a squat head. “Fathead” is a tempting appellation, but bed bugs do indeed have broader, squatter heads than many other common species of North American insect. Their heads are frequently described as “wedge-shaped” by reliable publications.
- A bed bug has large antennae. Relative to its size, the common bed bug has large antennae. They may be significantly longer than the size of its head, and in some cases are known to approach the length of its body. This is one way to tell bed bugs apart from other blood-sucking parasites, such as ticks: many of these parasites are arachnids, which do not have antennae. This distinction is important: ticks carry several deadly diseases, including Lyme disease, while bed bugs are not known to harbor human pathogens.
- A bed bug has proportionately powerful champers. Relative to the overall size of its body, a bed bug’s mandibular jaws are strong indeed. This may seem like an overstatement, but it fits: bed bugs’ mandibles are large enough that we can actually discern the workings of some of their mouthparts with the unaided eye. The jaws of the common bed bug are adapted to bite through the skin of large mammals; imagine how we might look, if we were designed to bite directly through the hide of some of the creatures we feed off of, instead of using tools to kill and prepare our food in easy-to-manage portions.
- Bed bugs have a multi-stage life cycle; their young molt several times. A bed bug egg takes approximately ten days to hatch. Bed bug nymphs spend several weeks in this immature stage of development; they require food much more regularly than the adults do, and will molt five times (with a feeding required before each molting; this is part of the mechanism) before reaching adulthood.
- Bed bugs can survive for months without feeding. So, we’ve touched on this already, but bed bugs can and will survive for up to four to five months without feeding. In laboratory conditions, where bed bug lifespans dramatically exceed those of wild insects, this period can be extended out to a year or more. Non-optimal conditions, the availability of food aside, greatly affect this duration: in cooler climates, bed bugs can survive for longer without food, while the warmest climates in which they live naturally require them to feed as often as once a month at a minimum (stress, and other environmental factors, also play a part). It needs to be emphasized that this is a starvation diet, however: the fact that a bed bug can survive without feeding for this long doesn’t mean that it’s going to ignore the availability of food on a much more regular basis.
- Bed bugs are susceptible to temperature extremes. The common bed bug likes warm and moist environments, this being a trait that is true of the vast majority of insects (a hotter climate is one of the main factors which once allowed for giant insects to roam the planet, millions of years ago). Naturally, this doesn’t mean that cold climates are immediately lethal: bed bugs can survive wherever there is food, and cold temperatures simply mean that they’re going to try to find a safe, warm place indoors to endure the winter season.
Are Bed Bugs a Danger?
Bed bugs are not known to spread deadly diseases among human populations. Throughout our long history of association, there is no record of any plague or other, minor disease outbreak being associated with bed bugs, or occurring in any way directly proportionate to a rise in bed bug populations. There—hopefully, you’re breathing a little easier now.
There are, of course, other points to bear in mind.
First, put simply, a lack of known association doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible for a bed bug to spread an illness. The common bed bug is not known to spread disease, but it is known to harbor as many as twenty or more pathogens (including both viruses and parasites) which are likewise dangerous or potentially dangerous to human beings.
Secondly, and not entirely unrelated to the previous point: diseases adapt. Bed bugs, over the last fifty years, have evolved to become highly resistant to common pesticides, and pathological microorganisms are known to adapt far more quickly than any comparatively macroscopic insect species. Recent studies out of Penn State, which have yet to be confirmed by additional testing, do suggest that it is possible for bed bugs to transmit the parasite which causes Chagas disease through contact with their fecal matter. This devastating disease kills more than 50,000 people annually, mostly in Central and South America. Millions of people contract the disease each year.
The Penn State study has led to other studies into the possibility of other conditions being transmitted through previously unexplored vectors. Results have yet to be confirmed, but—at least in the case of Chagas disease—it is already known that the bed bug’s closely related cousin, the “kissing bug” (which is widely feared throughout Latin America) is a major player in the condition’s perpetuation.
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Bonus: Why are Bed Bugs Coming Back Now?
Dating back to 2008, reports suggest a 70% increase in bed bug populations in major urban population centers within the United States. Rural areas are lagging behind proportionately, but are starting to catch up: now, bed bugs are spreading to rural locations which previously fostered little to no evidence of widespread infestation.
Bugs and other insects, including bed bugs, find hot and damp climates to be ideal for performing most of their vital functions, including breeding and feeding. In what your average American might consider to be a hot and humid environment, odors travel faster and further, and the bed bug is able to scurry away and hide quickly. In colder environments, bed bugs actually survive for longer individually—but only under laboratory conditions. Out in the open, they’re sluggish and less active, and more prone to go for longer periods of time without feeding, making it more crucial that they find fresh blood quickly when they need it.
Recent observations suggest a gradual increase in global temperatures. 2016 stands in dubious distinction within our modern history, in that every month so far has been the hottest iteration of that month—going back as far as the mid-19th century, when we started to keep reliable records. It takes a very small difference in average global temperatures to wreak havoc on our climate: 22,000 years ago, the world was four degrees cooler on average than it is today, and areas as far south as New York City and Boston were covered by glaciers of up to half a mile in thickness. Whatever the cause of it (we’re not trying to get controversial, here—but yes, it’s definitely us), global warming is contributing to a variety of noteworthy changes in insect populations across the board.
Bugs of every stripe and polka-dot can now travel to new territory on their own recognizance. Much more space is open to insect populations, without their having to rely on artificial heating at the end of their trip. This has led to many widespread changes in insect behavior: in cities like New York and Philadelphia, for instance, cockroaches are now displaying behavior that has previously only been known to occur in subtropical regions: they’re taking flight (nitpicking distinctions, such as “technically, they only glide,” are of very little import to our comfort levels when cockroaches are literally falling out of the sky—except to suggest that their descent will be less than smoothly controlled: carry your umbrella).
Bed bugs do not fly—and there’s no distinction, here: they don’t possess wings. However, bed bugs will happily hitch a ride in a car, or in your luggage. This is how they traditionally make the leap to new areas. With rising temperatures at their destination, many places are much more welcoming to their arrival than they used to be: even Alaska and northern Canada are having problems associated with the current resurgence.
Traditionally, metropolitan areas and other urban environments have been more favorable to bed bug populations, for the same reason that they also tend to be breeding grounds for deadly diseases and other, larger pests: more people, living in tighter quarters, means more of an opportunity to spread. and people living in far more densely packed quarters means that the bugs will never have to venture too far in search of food.
In our modern world, however, this distinction is slowly disappearing. A much more diverse range of people travel long distances much more frequently now than they did at any other point in history; what might have been a trip of several weeks in centuries past is now only a day trip, and high-speed long-distance travel by boat or airplane has become increasingly common and affordable. It took bed bugs several centuries to travel from the Middle East to central Europe; today, changes in bed bug populations can be affected across a comparable distance in less than a decade. Our modern methods of transportation, it would seem, work to the benefit of more species than just our own.
Here is a video demonstration put on by one hardy individual, which shows how quickly bed bugs will respond to human body heat given otherwise ideal conditions.
Bed Bugs Before: Ancient History
Bed bugs are not native to North America, but are believed to have evolved in the Middle East from a closely related progenitor species, one which fed primarily on bats (as some relatives of the bed bug still do today, including some which do so by preference). Based on fossil evidence, it is believed that today’s common bed bug evolved in this region of the world somewhere on the order of 4,000 years ago.
Then, as now, the Middle East boasted a diverse population of millions of bats, distributed across several different species. This is due to a huge number of caves and caverns in the region, which unfortunately led to humans seeking shelter in the same. Caves provide a ready and immediate source of shelter from the environment, a defensible position against predators and other tribal groups, and even—if you go deep enough—a more or less constantly cool year-round temperature. There are also underground freshwater aquifers, salt deposits, and other valuable resources to be found deep in caves, resources which were valued at least as much thousands of years ago as they are today.
Naturally, as deeply as humans have ever ventured into any cave system, anywhere on Earth, we’ve always found that bats were there before us. Most blood-sucking parasites are not entirely specific to one species: bats and humans are both mammalian, with many common components in our blood. It wouldn’t have taken much time for a parasitic insect strain which happened to favor human blood to catch on—given a readily available food supply. Once that happened, of course, bed bugs went everywhere we went, and their subsequent spread was impeded only by the relative lack of contact between far-flung cultures in the ancient world.
From the Middle East, bed bugs did eventually spread westward, following the development of human civilization. The rise of permanent settlements gave bed bugs “pit stops” where they could establish themselves and flourish, much like any disease—without having to worry about a relatively small food supply suddenly dying out. Like a traditional plague, bed bugs favor permanent settlements, and the larger the better—then as now.
The ancient Greeks mention bed bugs, both as an irritating aside and as a subject of scientific curiosity, in writings which come to us from as early as 400 BC; among others, both Pliny the Elder and Aristotle discuss them at some length. The subjects of their attention appear to correspond exactly to the appearance and behavior of bed bugs today. The ancient Greeks reacted to the introduction of this bloodsucker much as they did with anything else new: they tried using it in medicine. In a practice which would endure until the nineteenth, bed bugs were either mashed into a paste, or were dried up and powdered. They would then be mixed with a potion or a poultice, which would be administered to treat a variety of conditions.
This practice spread throughout the western world. In nineteenth century England and America, before it eventually fell out of favor, it was not uncommon to potions that included powdered bed bugs being employed as one of many treatments for hysteria. This was an alarmingly over-diagnosed condition, which was based upon the presumption of a physiological condition behind relatively everyday emotional outbursts. It was most widely diagnosed in women.
Bed bugs spread east from the Middle East, but it took them nearly a thousand years after their first appearance in ancient Greece for them to reach the eastern provinces of what is now China. Detailed drawings and descriptions of their behavior confirm their apparent similarity to today’s modern bed bug.
Bed bugs appear to have spread west into Europe out of Greece. They were well-established in Italy by 100 AD, where they were referred to as “couch bugs” or “pillow bugs.” It was believed that they lived within bedclothes and other cloth, and like most unwanted infestations it gained a largely false association with the poor and underprivileged of Roman society at that time. It took the rising temperatures of climate change in the late middle ages to coax bed bugs further into northern Europe: they hit Germany and France during the latter middle-age period between the 13th and 15th centuries AD. The earliest known English reference dates to a single account in 1583, where it is suggested that the bugs had already been present for long enough to have become widespread and well-established.
It is not known exactly when bed bugs came to north America, but their prevalence in Europe at the time—coupled with archaeological evidence uncovered in early American settlements—does suggest that they came over very early in the history of European contact with the continent. Two leading theories, both equally reputable, suggest that it was either Christopher Columbus in 1492 or the Mayflower’s Pilgrims in 1620 who first unwittingly introduced bed bugs to the so-called “New World.”
Bugged and Be-Bothered: A Recent History of Bed Bugs Today
However it happened that bed bugs first arrived in the Americas, we know for certain that successive waves of colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries continued to introduce these bugs to the North American continent. In the early 1700s, they were a frequent problem in what are today the United States and Canada. By the 1800s, it was widely known that bed bugs were frequently infesting old sailing ships. Captains began refusing to allow settlers to bring any bedding on board the ship, necessitating that they make or otherwise procure it upon their arrival.
Perhaps due to the limited friendly, comingled contact between European settlers and Indians, it appears that there were few to any incidents of bed bug infestations affecting Indian camps and settlements at this time.
Early American colonists tried a variety of methods to exterminate bed bugs, some of which were quite extreme. This reflects just how severe a nuisance they were, as hard-working colonists were unable to get the sleep they so desperately needed at night. Beds were made of sassafras wood, which was believed to be unfavorable to the bugs. Bedding was doused with boiling water, and even with solutions of sulfur or arsenic. Some of these efforts resulted in the deaths of those who were attempting to fight off the infestations in the first place, due to the toxic nature of the substances that they used.
Bed bugs remained a problem in America through the early half of the 20th century. At one point in time, the statistics were mind-boggling, with surveys showing that bed bugs were considered the number one public health concern in some of the poorest parts of the country. As many as one-third of all American households had at one point or another been infected, and most homes experienced bed bugs at one point or another. Everyone had seen them, and most people had been bitten—especially children, who still tended to share bedrooms with multiple siblings.
This situation continued until the development and widespread application of DDT in the 1950s. The application of DDT in and around beds and other household furnishings was widespread for more than twenty years, and it coincided with the prevalence of simplified furnishings (with fewer nooks and crannies) and household vacuum cleaners—which were widely marketed as a solution to bed bugs.
How to Find Bed Bugs:
If you suspect a bed bug infestation, there are a variety of useful tips to bear in mind while searching for signs of these elusive parasites. The simple fact of bed bugs’ diminutive size (four can fit on the face of a penny, with room to move around, and they’re no thicker in body than a driver’s license) means that they can hide out virtually everywhere and evade detection. One of the main problems in locating and dealing with bed bugs effectively, especially using home remedies, is that bed bugs treatments which require direct application often miss much of an infestation—in places where your average homeowner simply doesn’t know to check.
- You probably know to check under mattresses and couch cushions already. Be sure to also check the seams of cushions, bedding, and bulky clothing. Large clothing seams provide more than enough space for bed bugs to hide, and this is often where they will flee to first if their feeding is interrupted.
- Bed bugs can hide in furniture joints. The advent of simple furniture in the 1950s made this less of an issue than it once was, but if there is a loose joint—or even a little inconsiderable space between two pieces of wood—it’s possible for bed bugs to find safe haven therein. Given the chance, bed bugs prefer to hide deep within furniture; if you have an infestation, they will be most likely to turn up in furniture joints within closed drawers, especially on bedside bureaus and nightstands.
- Check for dark spots, about the size of the period on your computer’s keyboard, on and around electrical sockets, outlets, and wall-mounted light switches. Bed bugs can easily slip inside of these items without being harmed, as their diminutive size affords them plenty of small safe spaces. Be aware, as well, that anything plugged into such a socket will allow bed bugs access to the attached appliance; modern electronics are a common hiding place for bed bugs. They’ve even been found inside of plasma monitors and laptop computers.
- Loose wall hangings, including paintings and other artwork, usually leave more than enough space between the hanging and the wall for the bed bugs to hide behind. They don’t require much space, and they’re very good at finding points of entry. A tear in the wallpaper of an infested room, leading to a small “air pocket” under the paper itself, is a fantastic opportunity for a bed bug. They can sit inside the little pocket thus created, and safely digest their latest meal. This is also a common place to find bed bug eggs.
- Pay close attentions to junctions in a room, particularly deep corners where two walls meet up with either the floor or the ceiling. Various factors come into play here in terms of the likelihood of finding bed bugs: the ceiling is preferable, given the existence of vacuum cleaners, but molding (with its many neglected little gaps between the molding and the wall) is a huge bonus to bed bugs infesting a home. This is another place where eggs are likely to be found, as gaps in molding receive very little attention in general.
- In case of a serious infestation, you need to literally check everything, in a process that is certain to be exhaustive and time-consuming. A single mating pair of bed bugs can eventually repopulate a depleted colony, and two bed bugs can find a hiding place almost anywhere. In addition to the locations already mentioned, the threads of a screw would provide them with a temporary hiding place—not so temporary, at that, if it’s a screw in a home-based workshop that sees little to no regular activity.
Bonus: What Causes Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed bugs will enter any location where they can detect heat and CO2, indicating the potential presence of a meal on the go. In essence, many of the traditional suppositions about the causes behind bed bug infestation are just bed bug myths. However, it is possible to take certain steps to help prevent your house or apartment from becoming infested.
These steps are particularly important to take into consideration if you live within a densely populated area. In the United States, inner city households and suburban neighborhoods are particularly prone to bed bug infestations. This is due solely to the fact that bed bugs rely upon us to help them get around, so they’re more likely to be found where a lot of people are living in close proximity to one another. Socio-economic factors don’t come into play: bed bugs do not care about a neighborhood’s affluence, and they have a hard time understanding such concepts as property value. Our blood is all the same color, and they like it that way; they’re remarkably egalitarian in that respect.
- You need to inspect any new furniture you purchase, before you bring it into your house. In the United States, strict quality control standards make it unlikely that something is going to arrive in your home with an existing bed bug infestation, but—unfortunately—it’s hard to know exactly where your furniture was manufactured. That “made in the USA” label can still be slapped onto a furnishing that was assembled from parts or materials which were themselves made elsewhere. With the ability to go for months without eating, bed bugs can easily stow away in a furniture warehouse, and spread to previously uninfected items before they’re shipped.
- While you’re away on vacation, and before you return home, you need to monitor your belongings. Perform at least a cursory check of clothing, bed linens, towels and washcloths, and also your suitcases, garment bags, and other luggage. If there are bed bugs at the location where you are staying, these are all places where they might hitch a ride with you back to your own home.
- If you’re slated to move, whether permanently or for a limited period of time (such as into, or out of, a college dorm) it pays to be fastidious about the little details. Inspect any existing furnishings in an otherwise unfamiliar, pre-furnished location, before you move in. Before you move your furniture and other belongings into a new house, give each item a quick check: it’s difficult to be exhaustive at this stage, but it’s also hard to be too careful. You have no idea whose things were in that pod, moving truck, or rental van before your belongings were moved inside.
Bed Bug Bully Kills and Prevents Infestations
Popular Bed Bug Products
Today, many Americans prefer to live in as environmentally friendly and “green” conscious a manner as they can. This increasingly environmentally conscious cultural trend, coupled with the growing resistance of new bed bug strains to common pesticides and insecticides, has led to the rise of alternative home remedies for dealing with bed bugs. Many of these products are based on one of two prevailing sources of bed bug killing power: diatomaceous earth, which is an ancient remedy for killing insects of all kind that is still in widespread use today, and a variety of aromatic plant oils which are known to have natural insecticidal properties.
In addition to killing bed bugs, these types of products offer safe, environmentally friendly options for keeping bed bug infestations from coming back. Unlike contact insecticides, they can help you reach bed bugs in hiding places where you might not think to check—whether by repelling the insects with their odor, or by blocking their access to food sources.
Bedroom Guardian is a leading environmentally-friendly bed bug killer, the first product of its kind. It consists of a powder, which is comprised primarily of diatomaceous earth. DE kills bed bugs (as well as other hard-shelled insects) by attacking their internal organs in much the same way as salt is used to kill slugs. Within minutes of direct exposure, bed bugs’ insides are dried out and shriveled, leading to the death of the bugs.
Bed bugs avoid areas which have been sprinkled with diatomaceous earth, which makes Bedroom Guardian an ideal product for strategic use. If you sprinkle some underneath the carpet, covering the entrance to a room, bed bugs will have difficulty gaining discreet access to that room: they are not particularly proficient climbers. Sprinkle some under furniture, including under beds and couches, where bed bugs commonly bite your sleeping family members. This will render those locations effectively off-limits to the bugs.
The effectiveness of DE was known to many ancient societies. Its natural consistency as a fine white powder—not so fine, in ancient times—may have led to the rise of many common superstitions. In particular, the concept of casting salt over one’s shoulder—or leaving a circle of salt around a doorway to protect those within a room from evil—may well have originated from the use of diatomaceous earth to combat common bloodsucking parasites. Click here for a video of diatomaceous earth “in action.”
DE is the main ingredient in Bedroom Guardian: the other ingredients in this bed bug killer are used to prolong its effects on the insects, and to enhance its effects over an area. They include a variety of plant oils which are known to repel insects with their odor, along with all-natural binders (commonly employed in the organic food industry) to help hold everything else together.
Bed Bug Bully:
Bed Bug Bully is another popular, all-natural bed bug treatment and bed bug prevention. It was originally developed for commercial applications within the hospitality industry, and was optimized for effectiveness within a commercial environment—one that sees hundreds of strangers coming and going each day, with a minimum amount of time available to prepare a room in between guests.
Once approved for residential use, Bed Bug Bully rapidly became extremely popular. It is a safe, non-toxic, and all-natural solution to killing bed bugs, one to which bed bugs have proven specifically unable to adapt over thousands of years. Obviously, there are no harsh or abrasive modern chemicals involved in the making of Bed Bug Bully: instead, it uses a variety of plant oils, such as citronella oil and peppermint oil.
The ingredients used in Bed Bug Bully are environmentally friendly plant oils, which are regularly used in the production of organic foods, gourmet flavorings, all-natural cosmetics, and lifestyle hygiene products marketed for sustainable green living practices. These plant oils are recognized by the US federal government as natural, organic insecticides, and they function as a kind of a one-two punch: they repel bed bugs, as well as other parasitic insects, through a strong odor which the bugs can detect from a great distance (seriously, they hate peppermint oil).
If you’ve reached this point in the article you’ll be happy to hear that it’s over. You now know more about bed bugs than 99.9% of the human population, and are ready to make an educated decision on what product, or method to use to kill your bed bugs. You not only know how to evict bed bugs sneaking into your home, but also how to keep them out so they’ll never re-visit again!
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