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Sophie’s Cleaning Tips
What Are Bed Bugs and How Can You Tell if They Are in Your Home?
Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on blood. Like many parasites, they seek out places where they can find mammals that they can bite and feed off of. They are called bed bugs because one of their prime feeding grounds is the bed of a human. Bed bugs are small, parasitical insects, however they are not as small as many people think. It is a common myth that bed bugs are microscopic creatures that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but actually that is not the case at all. Bed bugs are in fact quite big, as far as general household parasites go. You can see them easily without any special equipment, and they look like small black dots.
What makes a lot of people believe that bed bugs are tiny and impossible to see is the fact that they get them confused with dust mites. Dust mites cause a lot of allergies and are generally problematic for a lot of people. They are really small, and most people can’t see them, but they feed on dead skin cells found in dust and they breed prolifically when there is a good source of dust for food. Bed bugs are far less small and feed on blood rather than dead cells. Bed bugs need to bite humans or other mammals (like dogs or cats) and drink their blood to live.
The way to find bed bugs in your home is usually to look for symptoms that they are there. Small, red, itchy bites are the first indicator that bed bugs are around. If you find the bites, the bugs themselves can often be found if you look at night. Bed bugs are nocturnal, and can normally only be found between 2am and 6am.
If you find bed bugs, killing them is best done with pesticides, though you can also suffocate bugs in pillows or on toys by sealing them in a plastic bag that will suffocate them.