Bed bugs are notorious for their tendency to feast on human or animal blood, as their prey soundly sleeps. They are elusive to detect and even harder to kill. They are known to be very good at hiding. As we are speaking, the bloodsucking insect can be moving house underneath your wallpaper, in your shoes, on your mattress, pillows or… your blanket.
A Short Introduction to Bed Bug Behaviour
Bed bugs can sneak into your house without you suspecting a thing. The bugs are capable of hopping into your suitcase on your way back from vacation. Before you know it, they will start ordering furniture from IKEA for their newly acquired living space.
Now, let’s talk a bit about their eating habits.
Bed bugs favour the taste of human or animal blood. They feed on you mostly at night time but that doesn’t mean that you’re protected in the day. Bed bugs are opportunists and won’t have any second thoughts about enjoying a quick snack as long as they have the chance.
These pests feast fairly quickly. One can fill its tummy in about 3 to 12 minutes. Once done, the bed bug goes back to its hiding place and stays there for around a week to mate and lay eggs. When it’s done playing house, the whole cycle repeats itself.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live?
Bed bugs tend to get creative while on the market for a new home. Your bed is their primary target: in the seams and tags of the mattress and in the cracks on the bed frame and headboard. But some of them get a bit more imaginative with their living space.
- In the seams of anything cushioned: chairs, sofas, decorative pillows, ottomans.
- In your blankets.
- We are dead serious about this one – bed bugs actually live in drawer joints.
- In electrical receptacles and appliances.
- Under loose, ripped, or lifted wallpaper.
- Inside of your cats/dogs boudoir.
- Inside mirror and picture frames.
- In the small space where the ceiling and walls meet.
- Inside your favourite childhood stuffed bunny.
- In between the pages of your books.
- Even in the head of a screw. A SCREW!
Why Do Bed Bugs Get in Your Blankets?
No part of your bedding is safe from a bedbug family looking for a new house. If bed bugs choose to infest your blanket, it would be because of the warm and cosy environment, and of course, the abundance of food. Another reason is to lay their eggs.
If one morning you wake covered in small itchy bumps, the experts at Fantastic Services advise you to remove every bedding item you own and carefully inspect the area for signs of a bedbug invasion.
Get a magnifying glass if you need to and examine your blanket. Are there any rusty looking spots scattered on the fabric? If so, congratulations, you have just witnessed some bed bug poop. The following will cover all of the signs of a bed bug infestation for you to look out for.
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How to Check for Bed Bugs on Blankets
As you’ve probably noticed by now, these little bloodsuckers are indeed evil masterminds. However, they do a bad job at covering their tracks. The clues that they tend to carelessly leave behind are easy to spot and are a positive indicator for bed bugs in the blankets.
Abandoned Bed Bug Shells and Shed Skin
The more bed bugs eat, the bigger they get. When their protective armor gets tight, they shed it so they have more space to grow. The process is called molting. Each insect will experience this process about 5 times in its lifetime in the way to maturity.
If you have a full-on horror movie worthy infestation going on, there will be hundreds if not thousands of skins abandoned by the bed bugs. The molted shell resembles the form of the bug but is lighter in color and transparent. You can find different sized shells due to the different life stages the little buggers go through.
Fecal Matter Stains on your Sheets
If you spot scattered dark-brown spots on your bed sheets, you are looking at some bug poop. People tend to confuse the poop marks for blood stains but that is not the case. Yes, the bugs fecal matter highly resembles blood spots, but it’s actually a lot darker in colour. So if you find such marks, you probably have bed bugs in the blankets,
A musty smell
If your nose detects a very strong and far from the pleasant musty odour that highly resembles the smell of an old wet towel, bed bugs are the ones to blame. They release pheromones and the stink can become unbearable if the infestation is big. If your bedroom starts smelling like an icky locker room, we advise you to start looking around for unwanted house guests.
Annoying Itchy Red Bumps
The indicator of a bedbug infestation that you just can’t miss is the bite marks. However, the problem is that the bites can look like they’re caused by another insect like a mosquito or look like a rash. Some people won’t even react to a bedbug’s bite. On the other hand, doctors say that if you are repeatedly exposed to bedbug bites, symptoms will eventually show up.
Here are the symptoms of a bedbug bite:
- Raised, red welts bumps;
- Burning and itching sensation;
- Bed bug bite rash across a localized area;
- Straight lines of multiple bites marks.
Suspicious Blood Stains
Much like with the bites, blood marks aren’t a sure indicator of a bedbug infestation. You can usually find blood stains on your sheets, pillowcase, and occasionally on your pajamas. These spots are the result of the blood-filled creatures being mercilessly squished.
If you spot any of these signs of a bed bugs infestation, gather all your bedding items and look for the existence of actual living bed bugs. After that, check the seams in the wood framing. Investigate around the bed. Check your bookcase, the edges of the carpets, go through your closet and even examine the electrical outlets.
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How Can I Stop Bed Bugs from Attacking My Blankets?
By now you may be asking yourself “How dare bed bugs live in my blankets?” Don’t worry, there are certain measures you can take to stop the parasitic insects from invading your home. For your convenience, the experts at Fantastic Services have gathered a list of all the ways to prevent bed bugs in the blankets.
Buy a Bed Bug Monitor
This kind of device actually exists, no joke. The special monitors are made to slip under the feet of your bed and that way they stop the insects from climbing on to your bed. It’s really easy to install: just carefully lift each leg of your bed and put the monitor under it. The idea is that you check regularly the gadget for any bed bug activity.
Be Extra Careful with Laundry Facilities
If you are a fan of public laundromats, you have to be extra careful with your clothes there. Why? Because this is one of the ways in which you get bed bugs in the blankets. The insect is notorious for its hitchhiking habits and it loves to travel from home to home thanks to laundromats.
- When you use the service, make sure to transport your items to the laundry facility in a sealed plastic bag.
- When you are done with washing and drying them, again, store them directly in another clean plastic bag.
- Avoid to iron and fold them in the laundromat facility.
Wash your Blankets on a Regular Basis
Take the time to wash your whole bedding, including the blankets, once or every other week. Wash them on a higher temperature so you can demolish every type of unwanted visitor that may be living there. This is also another answer to the “How do you kill bed bugs in blankets” question.
Get Mattress Covers
Most mattress covers are made for non-vinyl mattresses and box springs. The idea behind the cover is that it acts as a barrier between the actual mattress and the insects. Mattress covers are made from high-quality materials, which makes them durable and tear resistant. Therefore, they can’t form folds, bed bugs can’t hide there. This is also an effective method on how to get rid of bed bugs from blankets.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Blankets
In order to reclaim your home after a bedbug attack, the first thing you need to do is to clean all the areas in which the insects live. Here is how to remove bed bugs from blankets and from any other of your possessions.
- Wash all bedding, linens, clothes, and curtains on a high-temperature setting. After you’ve washed them, put the items in the dryer, again on a high setting. If you have any infested stuffed animals and shoes that don’t do good in the washing machine, skip the process and just put them in the dryer for 30-40 minutes. This also applies for getting rid of bed bugs in blankets.
- Get a brush with harder bristles and scrub your mattress. You need to do this so the bed bugs and their eggs fall down on the ground. Then, vacuum them.
- Vacuum the area around your bed as frequent as you can. Clean the area around your bed as frequently as you are able to. Always empty your vacuum outside of your property.
- Put your mattress in a cover made from a thicker material. This way you can encase the bed bugs inside. Over time they will die from hunger.
- Fix any existing cracks in the plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper. This way you eliminate any potential bed bug hiding spots.
- Take care of the clutter around your sleeping area. The less clutter, the fewer places for surviving bed bugs to hide.
And if nothing helps with your the bedbug problem, just throw out your mattress. We advise you take care of the infestation situation before you buy a new mattress. Because if you don’t, then the bed bugs will infest that one, too.
As you can see for yourself, dealing with bed bugs is a troublesome and time-costly activity. It doesn’t matter if the vermin have taken over one mattress or your whole property, a professional pest control technician is your best chance. Professional exterminators can kill bed bugs in blankets with special products and equipment that can put an end to the tyranny for good.
Picture Source: Akos Nagy/shutterstock.com
Posted in Insect Infestations
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