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Bed bug facts that will make you start itching

An adult bedbug can live up to a year without feeding.

Remember how your mom would come and check your head for lies even though you didn t have one? Bed bugs is something you should not overlook. Bed bugs are no joke and here s what you need to know about them to ensure you don't get infested.

Bedbugs can live for very long

The lifespan of bedbugs ranges from six to twenty four months. In fact, an adult bedbug can live up to a year without feeding [1]. Did you know that female bedbugs lay around 100 eggs in their lifetime which hatch in about 10 days? The irony is that it only takes a few bedbugs to create an infestation. Did you know bed bugs can survive freezing temperatures?

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Bedbugs feed on human blood

The small oval-shaped insects hide in dark cracks and crevices during the day and come out to feed on human blood at night [2]. They are most likely to be found on bed frames, mattresses and furniture. They can get into your home by crawling into luggage, clothing and purses from hotels, buses and trains. Bedbugs are also more likely to cling on dirty laundry than clean clothes.

Bedbugs leave a rash

You may not be able to spot a bedbug at night, but rashes on your body can be the first sign that you have bedbugs. You may notice multiple red, itchy bumps all over your body. An actual bite may also cause you to bleed from the centre of the lesion [3]. If you share your bed with your partner or your roommate, it is possible that only one of you notice the bites from the redbugs.

You can prevent bedbugs from infesting your home

While anyone can get bedbugs there are a few things you can do to prevent bedbugs. If you are staying in a hotel check the cracks and crevices of the bed frames, furniture and mattresses for bed bugs. Also, instead of keeping your luggage on the ground while travelling, keep it on the rack. Also, make sure that you wash all your clothes and check your personal belongings when you are returning from a trip. And avoid purchasing second hand mattresses and furniture at any cost. You can use camphor or karpoor as a natural insecticide to freshen your home.

References:

[1] Doggett SL, Dwyer DE, Pe as PF, Russell RC. Bed Bugs: Clinical Relevance and Control Options. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2012;25(1):164-192. doi:10.1128/CMR.05015-11.

[2] Aak A, Rukke BA. Bed bugs, their blood sources and life history parameters: a comparison of artificial and natural feeding. Med Vet Entomol. 2014 Mar;28(1):50-9. doi: 10.1111/mve.12015. Epub 2013 May 22. PubMed PMID: 23692154.

[3] Salinsky, J. (2006). Written on the body. The British Journal of General Practice, 56(527), 470 471.

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