(NaturalNews) Not too long ago, bedbugs were thought to only inhabit trashy, unkempt places or find their way to those completely bedridden in so-called rest homes or, occasionally, hospitals. But since 1995, bedbugs have made an impressive infestation return run on us mammalian types.
They are small brown wingless insects around the size of apple seeds. Like ticks and mosquitoes, they feed on mammalian blood. After they dine, they may turn a reddish color. They run about very quickly and know how to hide in bedding, wait until nightfall and feed on sleeping humans and animals.
A few don't notice the bites; others become very annoyed with the itchiness from their bites and can't sleep. Some may experience clusters of five or so bites that create welts, and there are those incidents of extreme allergic reactions as well.
If no immediate extreme harm or discomfort is experienced, be assured that bedbug bites disappear within a week or two. Simple washing can help relieve itching.
These ancient arthropods (small exoskeleton invertebrate critters) have survived for centuries, like cockroaches. Bedbugs are able to hibernate or "fast" from mammalian blood for extended periods, up to a year, as they wait for a new victim to inhabit their space.
You may not have experienced bedbugs in your dwelling and perhaps never will. But when traveling or upon first moving into a residence of any kind, you should have an idea of how to look for their existence since they're rarely seen directly.
How to spot a bedbug infestation
Take a deep whiff. Is there a sweet musky smell in the room or cabin? These little pests emit an odor to communicate with each other. But you can use their social networking aroma to spot them sometimes, if you have a keen sense of smell.
Though they are great hide-and-can't-seek creatures, they may leave a few of their own dead bodies around in the form of exoskeletons, their brown outer shells. Or they may not have picked up their poop. Tiny black specks will show as evidence of their lack of potty training.
Then there are those little white eggs in cracks and crevasses or bedding folds. Bedbugs leave those around quite a lot when the feeding's good enough to share their booty with newborns and continue to plague earthlings.
Getting rid of them
If it's your place, calling in a chemical exterminator should be the very last resort. A hotel/motel room or ship's cabin requires that you get another room or cabin or check out with a refund. Otherwise, here are some natural ways to get rid of bedbugs.
Diatomaceous earth (DE): This food-grade dry white powder is inexpensive and easily ordered online in large bags. Strategically placed, this powder, which is non-toxic to humans and mammals, will stick to the critters, and the silica fragments will create enough havoc with those exoskeleton shells to force death upon the pests. You can mix DE with juice and drink it to get rid of parasites as well.
Essential oils: Tea tree, oregano and manuka oils can be sprayed on bedding and in its immediate area with no concerns of poisoning anyone or anyone's pets. They have demonstrated effectiveness for eliminating bedbugs and can be used to treat those bites effectively also. Good deal!
Pyrethrum: This is a special dried flower extract from Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium and C. coccineum plants. It acts like an insecticide without harming humans or animals.
Beauveria bassiana: This is a fungus that grows in soil and can be purchased as a spray or powder that's deadly to bedbugs but friendly toward humans and animals.
Heat: Bedding washed in hot water then ran in the dryer at high heat for a half-hour or more can cleanse bedbug-infested sheets, pillow cases and blankets. But if your infected mattress or couch is too far gone, you may have to toss it, with a warning sign of course. Goodnight, don't let the bedbugs bite!