The warm humid climate of Florida offers a suitable condition for Bed bugs that then feeds on human and animal blood. However, Florida wasn’t always a thriving environment for Bedbugs during the time when DDT was used to control the infestation of Bed bugs back then. When DDT was then later banned as it was found to be unsafe for people, animals and the environment, Bed bugs then resurfaced. Today’s surge of Bed bugs is because of domestic and international travel where Bed bugs can hitch a ride in luggage.
The Bed bugs in Florida have become rampant in many homes, buildings, hospitals, delivery trucks, dormitories and hotels much to the dismay of residents. Even if Bed bugs do not transmit dangerous diseases they can cause severe skin irritation and soreness and unbearable mental and emotional stress. The Cimex hemipterus Bed bugs species can be found in the tropical regions such as Florida and have the preference of wood and paper rather than stone, plaster and textiles. They originally used to feed on bats, but when man began living in caves, these species began to feed on humans till today.
These bed bugs are of light to dark reddish brown in color with flat oval bodies measuring ¼ inches long. However, once these Bed bugs feed, their body doubles in size having an elongated and blood filled swollen body. These Bed bugs do not attach themselves to their host, but simply feeds on them while asleep and pierces the skin using an elongated beak consisting of 2 tubes where 1 is used for injecting anesthetic and anti-coagulant saliva that prevents blood clotting and numbs the skin. The other tube is then used to suck the blood out.
Reproduction of Bed Bugs
The female adult Bed bugs lay eggs in 3 to 8 batches that hatch in 6 to 14 days. The female can lay over 200 to 500 eggs depending on the availability of blood as their food source, because they require blood in order to reproduce. Their mating method is called traumatic insemination where the males insert their penis positioned at the base or the paramere, into a paragenital sinus of the female Bed bug’s abdominal and ejects the sperm. The male Bed bugs need to feed prior to mating and the female Bed bugs need to feed before they lay their eggs. It has been studied that as males mate with the female Bed bugs, they also possess a certain homosexual behavior.
They can also store a male Bed bugs sperm for up to 6 weeks. A newly hatched Bed bug will have reddish to purple shade of color. While the nymph will be translucent and would have to molt 5 times within 35 to 48 days, till it becomes a full adult. And thus the cycle repeats itself.
Detection of Bed Bugs
Detecting Bed bugs is a task that requires patience as it takes time and a lot of effort as they only feed when their host is asleep. When you are able to detect the infestation of Bed bugs early, then your problems may not be as complicated as it may seem. In cases of low infestation, Bed bug canines can detect Bed bugs even if they are just a few, or you can opt for sticky traps and other devices that are cheaper than having to use other forms of treatment for large infestations.
Controlling Bed Bugs
Your first option is to always clean up any Bed bugs that are visible. All carpets and furniture and every corner must be vacuumed. After vacuuming, the bag must be sealed in a plastic bag or container and placed in a freezer for a week prior to disposing. Then have all the clothes and bed sheets in hot water and dried at a high setting as well or under the sun.
With the surge of Bed bugs in Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had provided the public with a few simple steps to help prevent Bed bugs. These steps are to ensure the prevention, detection and removal of Bed bugs in the state and from our homes.
- Homeowners must be vigilant and look for signs that Bedbugs are present in their homes, by identifying certain small reddish brown to purple stains or spotting on mattresses, bedding, furniture and luggage.
- Have your home de-cluttered to eliminate any possible places where Bed bugs can hide
- Apply an inexpensive way to detect Bed bugs infestations such as Bed bug monitors and traps and then apply necessary treatments.
- If you will be travelling and staying at a hotel, it would be best to inspect the bedding and furniture for indications of Bed bugs infestation and then inspect your luggage before your leave for home.
- Application of registered pesticides at home must be followed according to its label guidelines or hire the services of a professional pest control company to eradicate Bed bugs.
Natural Remedies to Prevent Bed Bugs
There are a variety of natural products or herbs that can be used to prevent bed bugs from infesting, instead of using chemicals. All you need to do is have them sprinkled or sprayed around the infested areas of your home.
- Black Walnut
Even natural remedies can be used to treat or relieve Bed bug bites.
For people who have been repeatedly exposed to Bed bug bites, they tend to become sensitive because of the content of their saliva. Too many bites will then result from mild to severe allergic responses. A medical expert must then be consulted to have the bites diagnosed and have the bites treated. This is why victims of Bed bug bites are advised not to scratch the welts otherwise it can lead to irritation and severe infections. Bites are usually treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids to help reduce any allergic reactions and severe inflammation.