Bed bugs or bedbugs are parasitic insects that feed exclusively on blood. While there are species that feed on animals, the common bed bug is the one we are concerned about, as it prefers to feed on human blood
Bed bug bites can cause medical problems including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. While they are known to carry some diseases that can affect humans, they are not known to transmit any pathogens.
Thirty years ago, they were almost complexly eradicated from the United States, but in recent years, they have been making a comeback. They are showing up in motels and other areas. In my readings about the past and in discussions with older relations they can remember the problems that bed bugs caused. After TEOTWAWKI they will return and be a common pest again, here is some information that may help you deal with them.
Some common ways in which bed bugs may enter your home.
- Bed bugs or their eggs brought in from other infested dwellings on a visiting person’s clothing or luggage;
- Infested items (such as furniture, clothing, or backpacks) brought in to your home, particularly beds.
- Members of your family visiting an infected area and carrying them home.
- Bedbugs are increasingly found in air travel.
- Though bed bugs will feed on pets, they do not live or travel on the skin of their hosts, and pets are not believed to be a factor in their spread.
Bed bugs are elusive and are usually active between 10:00 pm – 6:00 am. They often hide in dark crevices, and the tiny adhesive eggs can be nestled by the hundreds in fabric seams. They will hide in your clothing and as the name suggests in your bedding.
Aside from bite symptoms, redness and itching, signs include fecal spots (small dark sand-like droppings that occur in patches around and especially beneath nests), blood spots on sheets or clothing, and dead bugs.
Traditional methods of repelling and/or killing bed bugs include the use of black pepper, black cohosh, oil of the blue gum tree or Eucalyptus sasaligna, and henna.
Diatomaceous earth or Kieselguhr is a nontoxic residual pesticide for bed bug abatement. Insects exposed to diatomaceous earth may take several days to die.
Other traditional methods included the use of kerosene. They washed or wiped everything they could with it. After they felt the bed was free of bed bugs, they would set the legs of the bed in pans of water or kerosene. I would recommend water.
Bed bugs can be very hard to get rid of even with modern pesticides. The best way to avoid them is to keep them out of your home. If you have to stay somewhere, where you are exposed to them, do not take your clothes or gear back into your home without a through cleaning.
When I was over seas I encountered bed bugs and I can testify you want to avoid them if at all possible.