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Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Stowaway

I let out a sigh, as I dropped my backpack on my bedroom floor. And thought to myself, it’s good to be finally home. I switched the jug on and headed for a much needed shower, then after a quick cuppa I was off to bed. It felt good to be back in my own bed again and before too long I was asleep all warm and comfy. And exhaling CO2 (carbon dioxide) without realising I have just created the perfect environment for the stowaway bed bug to feed and breed.

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are parasitic insects that hunt at night and feed on human blood. These little vampires are hard to detect and even harder to remove once they have made a new home. They like the warmth of our bodies the smell of blood and are also attracted to the co2 we exhaling and you will find most bugs will live around your head. They will most likely make their new home in your mattress, pillow or bed frame.
 Detecting bed bugs can be done in a few different ways and as bed bugs are nocturnal you will probably only see them at night. But you can look around the mattress, pillow and bed frame/head for little black dots, this is bed bug faeces and their hiding spot you may also see a bunch of clear/white colour small eggs. Also check the sheets for spot of black/brown again it will be bug faeces or dots of red which is blood.  

The bug’s bites can be in a series of a few bites close together or in a small line until they find the right spot to feed. The bug bites can have no effects on some people to big red welts or even blistering on others, and can lead to psychological problems in others such as anxiety, stress, and insomnia. And in some rare cases anaphylaxis.
These bed bugs aren’t afraid to hitch a ride and their favourite mode of transport is fabric. And with more people travelling these days it’s very easy to for the bug to also travel to a new home. Picking these bugs up could be as easy as sitting in an aeroplane seat, movie theatre seat, hotel and hostel beds or simply standing or brushing up against someone else.
A few ways to prevent helping an unwanted stow away is to treat your backpack with a bed bug repellent spray. Always keep your zips zipped up, keep your pack off the bed and away from any walls. To be really safe keep your pack in a large plastic bag or large garbage bag that can be sealed. And research where you are going to stay if they have bed bugs someone will write about it on the internet. And last of all look for the tell tale signs I mentioned above look around the mattress and bed frame for little black spots or faeces.
Upon your return home thoroughly check your backpack before bringing it into the house. Wash all clothes and pack in hot water or spin in a hot dryer for 20 - 30 minutes which will kill the bug. This will save you a massive headache and a whole lot of trouble as well as the added expense of hiring someone to remove the pests.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew,
I hate them. The first time I got bitten by them was in Paris hotel. The shocked of my life !!!!
Anyway, thanks for the information. Take note.

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