KEY POINTS

  • Bed bugs are a problem that  confronts thousands of homes all over the world
  • There are certain signs that will tell you of an ongoing infestation
  • You might have already "smelled" the distinct odor that denotes the existence of bed bugs

Sometimes, you can tell what room you are in just by its smell. Kitchens normally emit the scent of food, while bathrooms usually take on the smell of soap. Smelling a musty odor in your bedroom, however, is something else and should cause you to worry.

One of the biggest problems a home could have is the proliferation of bed bugs. While you may keep your rooms clean at all times, the parasites which may have stuck to your clothes as you sat on the train could spread in your house. In fact, bed bugs that can invade your house may come not only from train seats but also from planes, hotels, and many other places.

In general, bed bugs would take seven weeks to grow from an egg into an adult. This means that if you discover a bed bug infestation in one of the rooms in your house, it may have been there for over seven weeks.

To make matters worse, studies have shown that these tiny parasites have developed resistance to several chemical treatments. This makes their eradication or elimination a bit difficult.

A Global Concern

Since the late 1990s, the spread of bed bugs has been increasing at a rapid pace. Today, there is practically no country on the planet that does not have a bed bug problem. bed bugs, signs, odor bed bugs, signs, odor Photo: danydory - Pixabay

Households in the UK report an unabated increase in bed bug infestation since the year 2006. Compounding the problem is the failure of many residents to report bed bug infestation in their homes because of shame.

What these residents do instead is to buy do-it-yourself chemical treatments and make an attempt to get rid of the parasites themselves. While there may have been a few that became successful at this effort, most have failed.

A Rapid Increase

Bed bug infestations start when a mated female managed to sneak inside your home. They then lay eggs at a pace of around three per day. If there is sufficient food available, that is, the blood on your body, they may be able to lay over 300 eggs in the female bug’s lifetime. According to Colonial Pest Control, their tiny white eggs oftentimes are stuck to isolated surfaces and usually near a host. They hatch within ten days.

Nymph bugs look like adults but are a bit smaller. For them to grow, they need to get a blood meal. Depending on the condition inside your home, nymphs may take around 100 days for five molts to happen before they can mate.

They need approximately a month and a half to two months to transform from an egg to an adult bed bug that can mate. They then live for approximately ten months to more than a year, even without a host.

A Telltale Smell

You can always tell if there’s a bed bug infestation in one of the rooms in your house. Like many other bug species, these tiny parasites emit odors referred to as alarm pheromones. When they get disturbed, you may start noticing a sweet or musty odor; in some instances, it may smell like coriander. This odor may also be coming from the bugs’ fecal material. Bed bugs have been found to be very sociable, and oftentimes, male adults want to mate with females constantly.

Getting Rid Of the Parasites

It is highly recommended to regularly clean linens, beddings, curtains, clothing, and similar materials in hot water. You also need to set your dryer setting to maximum when drying the clothes and other materials. 

For mattresses, you need to use a stiff brush to remove bed eggs and bugs off the seams before vacuuming them. You also need to vacuum the bed and its surrounding area frequently. If there are cracks in plaster around the bed, try to immediately repair them so they will not serve as hiding places for the parasites.