Keeping Bed Bugs Away and at Bay


Bed bugs are more disgusting than maybe you even knew. But, you’re about to find out! It’s gross, but someone needs to tell you. Honestly you need to know in order to either prevent infestation or deal with one that’s already happened. Strap on your seat belts and get on the gross-mobile. Here are 16 things about bed bugs you didn’t want to know, but have to.

Like A Power-Colored Rainbow

Red and black are known as “power colors” which is why many politicians and business people wear them. Bed bugs feel the power, too, however, and tend to gravitate toward linens donning those two colors. The exoskeleton of a bed bug is actually red in hue and scientists believe that is part of why red sheets attract more of these nasty critters. Familiarity breeds contempt, and in this case, more mites. So stick to lighter, more bug-repelling colors like white, yellow and green in your bedroom. Scientists also think those colors repel ants and spiders, so you could be getting triple benefits from the right color schemes.

If You Can’t Stand The Heat, Get Off Of My Pillow

If you are ever unfortunate enough to have to call a professional in to tackle your bed bug problem, you will see them use steam cleaners along with their chemical treatments. It takes heat to make steam, and heat is a big enemy of the dust mite or bed bug. Use a dry steam, though, as hot water alone won’t kill these persistent pests. That means, if they’re on your clothing, throw everything into a dryer on hot for 30 minutes prior to washing. Somehow bed bugs survive the washing machine, which is, just….nasty.

Take A Bite Out Of Their Crimes

Bed bugs feast on blood. To survive their version of dust-mite-puberty and make it into the adult stage they have to feed on blood once during their “immature” stages. The females need even more blood in order to produce eggs. In some ways it’s just like a human life cycle, only, you know, disgusting. It also means that bed bugs do bite you and your pets in order to feed. The thing is, they’re tiny. They don’t just bite once. That’s good news, actually, because the amount of bites you have does not directly correlate to the number of bugs that bit you. Until you eliminate them there is not much you can do about this, but as a small (microscopic, really) comfort to yourself, don’t exaggerate your reaction to the amount of bites on your body.

Move Along, Please – There’s Nothing to Bite Here

These tiny, nasty creatures like to feed in still places. That is why they infest yours beds more than any other place – because you are generally still while sleeping. IF you turn over in your sleep mid-bite, the assaulting bed bug is going to withdraw its attack. Granted, you can’t set a turn-over-to-shake-off-the-bed-bugs-timer every hour of every night, but you can shake out your sheets every morning to help dry out moisture and scare off at least some of the critters.

12 Terrible Minutes

Twelve minutes is how terribly long it takes a bed bug to feed on your blood. Yuck. Once the feeding is done the mites will retire to a more “private venue” to digest their food. Like humans, they also excrete waste. It’s disgusting but true. Those little brown, rusty spots on your sheets…? They are quite possibly bed bug waste removal spots. Double-Yuck. You can bolster your natural defenses against these 12-minute attacks by feeding yourself these specific foods that bed bugs appear to dislike. 

Beggars Can’t Be Choosy

Bed bugs prefer human blood but are just as prone to biting cats, dogs and birds if they have to. The bites don’t actually hurt so you don’t know they’re happening at the time. But it’s nice to be wanted…right? Not.

Hide and Creep

Bed bugs are small, thin and sneaky. They can fit into super small areas like mattress seams, cracks in your headboards, behind wallpaper, in books and behind picture frames, etc. They can live up to an entire year without feeding if the infested area is cool enough so the fact that you don’t notice them doesn’t mean they’re not creeping around.

Clean Up Your Clutter - NOW

Look – clean up your bedroom, short-and-sweet. Bed bugs love clutter and messes so the less of those things you have, the less places they have to hide. To sum up your cleaning session you can use vacuum to remove all the unwanted tiny things away so visit for more information about what kind of vacuum you should be using. 

Flexible Feeding Schedules

These things know us better than we do, it seems. While it is true that bed bugs seem to prefer feeding at night, they prefer still, blood-giving things more. So if you sleep during the day, they’ll feed during the day. They’re basically available anytime of day to do the deed. They’re so flexible the should work retail.

Run, Run Run Around, They Still Get Around

Many people dream of traveling the world. What they don’t realize is that bed bugs are already seasoned travelers. They can – and do – hide in luggage, bags, folding chairs, towels (gross) and anything else you can pack. This means that you carry them with you. Great! At least they’re meals are free. Seriously, though, check your luggage and check every room you check in to for the usual spots prior to spending the night or even unpacking. Change rooms – or even hotels if necessary.

You Have to Crawl Before You Can Creep

Bed bugs can’t fly, but unfortunately that doesn’t stop them from getting around. They also aren’t long-jumpers. They crawl, though, which somehow makes them even grosser to think about. They can reach up to 100 feet each night, although they’re hoarders and homebodies who like to stay within the confines of your 8x10 bedroom as much as possible.

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

We’ve already regrettably covered the bites (more on them right below) and blood spots on your sheets. As if that wasn’t disturbing enough bed bugs also leave feces and molted skin in their nasty little wakes. The bites are usually groups in small areas of your skin and form a line or zigzag pattern. You can tell it’s a bed bug bitten area because it will eventually become raised, itchy or blistered. And it will most likely be flat and small to match its inflicting offenders. Bed bug bites can take days to manifest symptoms and your reaction to them depends on your system and tolerance. As if this wasn’t all disgusting enough, bed bugs shoot and anti-coagulant into your skin when feeding. And, the more times they have to bite you to get their feast on, the worse your rash/reaction will tend to be.

One …ONE … Good Thing

As horrible as they are, bed bugs don’t spread diseases. If the bites itch and you scratch them excessively, that could lead to an unfortunate infection. But the critters themselves are not general carriers of diseases.

Preventative Measures

Check furniture and mattresses for the usual signs of bed bugs before purchasing and bringing them into your home. Buy a protective cover for your mattress and check it frequently for holes. Vacuum your bedroom and mattress weekly to help prevent stowaways from work or school from making new homes in your home. And, if you use a public laundromat, always carry your laundry in plastic bags to and from the facility. Fold your clothing at home – it’s worth the extra effort.

Persistent and Problematic

Bed bugs reproduce quickly making them hard to kill off completely. Their eggs are resistant to many types of extermination tactics and attacking them once is most likely not going to rid your room of their nasty infestation. If you’re not going to call in a professional exterminator, you could have months of time on your hands before you can be bed bug free. Assess the issue and if it’s bad enough, call in a pro.