Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. But, really, let’s talk about them. Bedbugs are small, easily seen bugs, that feed on human blood and are very common around the world. Fun fact, bedbugs acquired their name because of their preferred homes as sofas, bed mattresses, and other soft furnishings. Bedbugs are not harmful to seniors but could lead to extreme itchiness and create tremendous discomfort. Scratching bed bug bites can lead to irritation and severe infection. It is very important to be aware as a loved one or caregiver of the signs of bedbugs.
There are many myths behind getting bedbugs, and it has nothing to do with dirty sheets. It is important to understand that because of this myth many seniors are embarrassed to talk about having bedbugs. If your senior citizen suffers from poor eyesight or physical challenges, they might not realize they have bedbugs. This is why you should learn common signs to insure that your loved one is safe from bedbugs. Here are some signs:
• Small red bites in a row or clusters
• Brown streaks on bed sheets
• Dark spots around furniture
• Blood stains on bed sheets
• Fecal spots, egg shells, shed skins
• Bedbugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals
• Most bedbugs feed on their hosts while they are asleep
• Peak time for feeding is about 1 hour before sunrise
• Bites can take up to 9 days to become visible and start itching
If you suspect you or your loved one may have bedbugs, you should immediately wash (on the highest heat possible) everything in sight such as clothing, sheets, and curtains. Washing on the highest heat is critical to eliminate most bedbugs. Along with washing items, you should also vacuum all areas, even the bed. Unfortunately, vacuuming will only control the bedbugs. Chemicals are needed in order to fully get rid of the bed bugs. Make sure the chemical you are using is safe to use on laundry and bed sheets. Typically, the chemical will go straight into the washing machine as if you were washing clothes. To be 100% safe, hire an experienced pest control professional.
Dangers & Treatment
The good thing about bed bugs is they do not pose a health risk, rather they can just be a hassle and annoyance. You can calm the itchiness with calamine lotion or an ice pack. If your loved one has experienced bedbug bites you or the caregiver should use mild soap and warm water on the bites. Most bites tend to go away after a couple of weeks, if the bedbugs are treated and killed. If the bites are causing a severe reaction, visit a dermatologist right away.
Bed bugs are no laughing matter and it's important to keep a close eye out for them. Just remember, they are more annoying than dangerous. It's important to clean linens at least once a week, if possible to help avoid bed bugs. For Papa's Sake Home Care can help for as little as 4 hours once a week with light housekeeping to keep the bed bugs away. For questions, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 873-0234. After reading this, we hope you can sleep tight and not let the bed bugs bite.