Bed Bug Bites
The words “bed bugs” are enough to send most of us running with quivering skin at the thought of little blood-sucking creatures crawling all over us as we sleep. These little bugs are pests (https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/bed-bugs-are-public-health-pests), to be sure, and they can be difficult to get rid of once they have decided to make your house their home. They spend the daylight hours hiding in cracks and crevasses where they are almost impossible to excise.
How to Identify a Bed Bug
Adult bedbugs are generally flattened and reddish brown. They resemble apple seeds in appearance and size. Newly hatched nymphs look very much like adults, and although they are almost colorless, they gain their reddish brown color as they mature. Bedbug eggs resemble a flake of dust on a dark surface, and are almost impossible for humans to see with the naked eye.
Bedbug Behavior and Lifecycle
Because of their ability to stay out of sight, you may not realize right away that bedbugs are the source of the annoying sores on your legs when you wake up in the mornings. Bed bugs are attracted by both warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, which is what we exhale when we breathe. The bugs climb up onto your skin and pierce you with two hollow tubes. One tube injects anti-coagulants and anesthetics, and the other tube is used to withdraw your blood. The bugs feed for about five minutes before returning to their hiding places.
You may notice a cluster of bites when you awake, and this is typically caused by disturbing the bugs while they feed, causing them to detach and return to feed. A well-fed bedbug can live anywhere from four to six months, while a dormant one might live without feeding for up to 18 months.
The bites can be found just about anywhere on your body, with exposed bits of skin being the preferred feeding ground for the bugs. Your face, arms, and legs are typical feeding targets. The bites cannot be felt at first, but as the anesthetics wear off and the skin begins to react to the injections, the bites can make themselves felt minutes or hours after the bedbugs have returned to hiding.
If you have bedbugs, your infestation can get worse very quickly since a female bed bug can lay up to five eggs per day, and up to around 250 eggs in her lifetime depending on the temperature and the food available. Since it takes only five weeks for hatched nymphs to grow to maturity, your problems could expand exponentially within a relatively short period of time. Infestation scan be hard to control.
For more on the bedbug lifecycle, see the University of Minnesota Extension page on bedbugs: https://extension.umn.edu/biting-insects-and-insect-relatives/bed-bugs
Identifying and Addressing a Bedbug Infestation
Rutgers University has provided this video as a resource if you are dealing with a bedbug infestation.
How to Apply Crawling Insect Control Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Bed Bugs Naturally
Microscopic CRAWLING INSECT CONTROL diatomaceous earth particles are deadly to the Bed Bug. The particles attach themselves to the bed bugs body and physically “scratches and dehydrates them to death!” Because it kills them mechanically, they cannot become immune to it like they do with so many other chemicals on the market. Because it’s a mineral, once you put it down it stays there and keeps working. You may sweep it up as you get rid of the dead Bed Bugs, but CRAWLING INSECT CONTROL diatomaceous earth doesn’t lose power over time.
How to kill bed bugs with diatomaceous earth in 9 steps:
- Wash Your Sheets and Bedding
Wash all bedding and clothes in hot water—add a little Clorox with the soap (optional). Dry in the dryer on the highest heat setting. Seal clothing and bedding you are not using and be sure to keep it out of the contaminated area. If you can, use a steam cleaner on your mattress, box spring, cushions on furniture, and any area of furniture you can access.
- Move Furniture Away from Walls
Bed bugs cannot fly, so make sure bed is away from the wall and there is no bedding touching the floor. Take the time to move bed, dressers, shelves away from walls if possible. Also make sure there is no skirting or anything other than the 4 legs/bottom of furniture or bedding, touching the floor. Be sure to follow this protocol the entire time of application! Better safe than sorry!
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Bed
With your hands or an applicator, dust some CRAWLING INSECT CONTROL diatomaceous earth in a light and visible application to your mattress, box spring, ridges along mattress, and box spring.
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Other Furniture
Apply to other furniture like chairs and couches in the same way. Apply under cushions and to the ridges of the cushions. Also, apply some to the inside of the furniture and down on the sides.
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Baseboards
Apply to the very front of baseboards, or mop boards, in ALL rooms. Be sure to have an even and light application – not more than a 1/8th of an inch thick. Be sure NOT to miss a spot. You do not want to give them a small path to get around this product. If you are not able to move furniture away from the wall, be sure to apply it to the base (where it touches the floor).
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Your Furniture
Apply the product to the legs of furniture and your bed. Be sure to form a circle in a light and visible fashion around the legs. If your furniture or bed does not have legs be sure to apply to the area where the item touches the floor.
- Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Small Openings
Take off the electrical outlet covers and light switch covers and using our pest pistol, puff some DE into the walls via the outlets and light switches. Also, take our Pest Pistol Powder Duster and puff the product in the small crevice that is between the baseboard/mop board and the wall. Bed Bugs love to live there and are the main way they spread from room to room. Be very careful – use nothing that would conduct electricity and shock you.
- Vacuum or Sweep up Diatomaceous Earth after 7 Days
Keep the application down for seven days and then clean all applications to the flooring and around the legs of your bed and furniture bases.
- Reapply Until Bedbugs are Gone
Reapply to those same locations in the same fashion for the next seven days. You do not have to worry about the application to furniture, walls, or in the frame of your bed, it will stay there for good. You may clean these spots after your bedbugs are gone. We suggest you leave the product in those locations for further use and as a preventative measure against any insects that may want to enter your home.
Bed Bug FAQ’s
Bed Bugs are usually no more than 1/4 inch in length in their adult state. They can engorge themselves with human blood in less than 15 minutes causing their bodies to fill to as much as three times its normal size. Fully engorged bed bugs bear little resemblance compared to the their original state and are often thought to be a different insect altogether.
Most commonly, people notice small reddish or brownish spots on their linens. These spots are the bed bug’s droppings. Another sign is swelling where you’ve been bitten. Sometimes you can smell them because they have a rather pungent odor which is caused by an oil-like liquid they emit.
Furniture that is inspected should be inspected thoroughly. Remove “pull out” drawers and inspect any and all small creases and openings. Doing this in a garage or outdoors is preferred, if possible.
The covering on the bottom of a box spring bed should be taken off for inspection and treatment measures. If the infestation is severe, you may want to dispose of the mattress.
Bed bugs like to hide in the cracks and electrical outlets in walls, behind wallpaper, baseboards and picture frames, between beds, around the creases of mattresses and in bedding materials.
Bed bugs are often carried into houses by clothes, luggage, furniture, and bedding. They crawl up into your bed by climbing sheets, furniture legs, or by infested laundry placed onto the bed.
Newly hatched bed bugs will immediately seek a blood meal and will require five significant blood feedings to reach adult size. They will molt between feedings by shedding their exoskeleton. Bed bugs can survive up to a year without a blood meal.
Everyone will react differently to bed bug bites. Some people may not even notice them. Others will have a very intense itching sensation. Scratching only makes the itching worse and can cause an infection. There are a few things you can do to stop the itching:
1. Do not scratch the bed bug bites.
2. Apply a calamine lotion to each bed bug bite or area of bites.
Bed bugs can lay between one and five eggs per day, up to 500 eggs in a lifetime, with an incubation period of 10 days in warm weather (slightly longer when cool).
Bed Bugs are usually no more than 1/4 inch in length in their adult state and can engorge themselves with human blood in less than 15 minutes causing their bodies to fill to as much as three times its usual size and turning red. Fully engorged bed bugs bear little resemblance compared to the original state and are often thought to be a different insect altogether.
There are other types of bed bugs including the bat bug, the chimney swift bug, and the swallow bug. All of these relatives survive on blood feeding. However, these secondary parasites thrive on either bats or birds as their primary victims.
Some people may be allergic to bed bugs, and the degree of itching is determined by how allergic a person is. If you notice any signs of infection, call your physician IMMEDIATELY. Scratching the bites can result in an infection. If you do not get an infection, the bites are merely an irritating nuisance. It may take a few weeks for the itching to subside and for the welts to disappear. BED BUGS DO NOT CARRY PATHOGENS as mosquitoes or ticks do!
PERMA-GUARD CRAWLING INSECT CONTROL—EPA REGISTERED AND APPROVED!
EPA REG. NO. 73729-1-67197 EPA ESTABLISHMENT NO. 67197-UT-001
Be sure to keep the application in walls, inside furniture, the bed frame, and mattress/box spring. Do not clean before the suggested application period has expired. Any application that is applied to the flooring needs to be cleaned with a household vacuum every seven days, then reapplied right after you clean for a fresh application, for another seven days. Total application time is four weeks. Repeating the directed application and cleaning cycle for four weeks ensures cutting off the gestational period of the bed bug.
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