France has been invaded by bedbugs since 2017, with 11% of households affected. Bedbugs have appeared in cinemas and public transport with many reports of sightings of the insect on the velvet covering of bus, metro and train seats. Then the insect appeared in schools, children then spread them in their respective homes. Travelers realized they were infested when they returned home. Once the insect reaches an apartment, it will contaminate the other apartments in the building.
In Paris, everyone knows someone close to them who has been affected. Anxiety, anguish and psychosis set in.
A single female can lay between 200 and 500 eggs in her lifetime, at a rate of 5-15 eggs per day. An adult specimen can live between 6 months and 2 years. These bugs can reproduce from 40-70 days. The laying time after fertilization is 3 to 10 days. Thus, a single specimen can generate several tens of thousands of individuals during its lifetime across 10-15 generations. Assuming that conditions are optimal and that the animal has easy access to food, a female can directly and indirectly create a total of 1.22 x 10^35 specimens (or 1220 tryllions). They feed on the blood of animals and humans.
The insect uses an anesthetic so as not to wake its host. Bedbugs can increase their volume by 200% by sucking blood from their victim. The bedbug bite creates itching that can last several days. We will have a tendency to scratch, this will create genes during the day, we will have difficulty concentrating in our studies, at work. Dermatological signs are reddish spots or reddish plaques.
Bedbugs are often accompanied by other insects during infestations: cockroaches, silverfish, ants. Why are these insects only now appearing in large quantities and not previously? The main factors that have developed in recent years are:
- short-term rental (Airbnb type),
- second-hand purchases of clothing, mattresses,
- global warming,
- resistance to pesticides.
Another factor which is controversial and which has not yet been proven is the movement of populations. Note that hotels can also be infested. The new weather conditions are very favorable for this type of insects.
How to get rid of bed bugs ?
Once a bedbug is in a home, it is difficult to get rid of. You should wash all your clothes at 60 degrees. You have to put pesticides in the apartment, wash the floor using a mixture of white vinegar, natural essences (lavender, lemon). Optimally, you should also put the mattresses and bed covers in suitable bubbles which are heated to 60 degrees for several days. A cheap solution is to wrap your mattress in plastic cling film. Bedbugs often hide in drawers full of clothes.
How to protect yourself from bedbugs?
Bedbugs are macroscopic insects, so they can be easily found. However, it is very difficult to really guard against them if you have just encountered them. Traps can be placed at the foot of the bed to prevent these insects from reaching the mattress. You can put anti-dust draft excluders under the entrance door to your apartment or house. You can put bags filled with plants with natural essences (lavender) here and there in your apartment.
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