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The Problem with Bedbugs

Bedbugs are disgusting blood sucking insects similar in shape and coloring to
cockroaches but much smaller and with black banding across the back.

Adults measure less than 1/4 of an inch long and about half that wide. They feed by using two feeding tubes, one to inject saliva and the other to pierce the skin and suck the blood of their host. They are extremely long lived and can go without a meal for up to a year or longer.

Bedbugs are mostly active at night. This is one reason they are found in beds where they can be sure to get their dinner. Because of their small size and the fact that they dislike light, it is difficult to detect small colonies. In addition, the bites are painless and usually go unnoticed until some time later when they begin to itch.

Victims may see a cluster or row of punctures where a bug has been feeding. Not everyone displays obvious symptoms such as punctures, bumps or welts. It is because of this that the presence of bedbugs goes largely undetected. Welts, if they do appear, look similar to mosquito bites but can last much longer and become infected because of continuous scratching.

Bedbugs are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate. There is no such thing as bait because all they want is fresh blood from a live body. They can be killed by contact poisons or steam. But because of their natural habit to hide in the smallest cracks and crevices this is a big problem.

Although there are a number of home remedies supposedly effective in getting rid of bedbugs, such as mattress covers and other methods, none of them do the job very effectively. They are so small, they can hide in places you don't suspect such as the folds of a bed skirt, underneath box springs and in stuff stored under your bed. It only takes a few survivors to start a new family.

Control is best left to professional exterminators. If you have a large infestation, consider getting rid of the box spring and mattress before treatment, which is their primary place to hide.

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