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Bed bugs the blood-sucking insects that cause every homeowner to panic immediately they’re sighted.
Really, there’s no underestimating how much discomfort and stress they can cause both at night and in the day if they manage to get into your house.
And since mattresses are one of the favorite areas, people keep asking “can bed bugs live on air mattress?”
This article gives a detailed answer to that question.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs measure between 1 mm to 7 mm in length and have a round shape and are reddish brown in colour. They are also usually tapered. A bed bug is as much a parasite as it is an insect.
They feed on blood. Though they don’t have wings, what differentiates them from other house insects like fleas is the horizontal ridges on their bodies.
Bed bugs reproduce fast. Adult ones drop about five eggs each day, and these eggs are so tiny they look very much like specs of salt.
Each egg hatches two weeks after it is dropped, releasing up to ten yellowish-white nymphs. As these nymphs develop and grow, their colors change to reddish-brown.
What Do Bed Bugs Eat?
Primarily, bed bugs feed on blood. They do not only feed on human blood but animal blood as well, though they prefer human blood.
This implies that people who have rodents in their homes need to also treat their homes against bed bugs. People don’t usually feel like the bite of bedbugs.
This is because as they bite, they release saliva which can make the skin go numb. It takes a bed bug approximately five minutes to drink a few droplets of blood.
How Long Can Bed Bugs Survive Without Eating?
Do you wonder why bed bugs are so hard to eradicate? It’s because apart from being able to reproduce rapidly, they can go a long time without actually feeding.
In fact, they can go for several weeks without blood. Adult bed bugs eat every 5 to 10 days but will still continue to live if they don’t feed for as long as 5 months to 1 year.
What Attracts Bed Bugs To a Place?
Bed bugs get attracted to body heat. Therefore you’ll find them flocking to wherever they sense body heat. Apart from this, bedbugs also try to detect the odorless gas that humans release as they exhale, carbon dioxide.
In cases where they just want a place to hide, bugs go for dark areas close to where their hosts are and hide there until they’re ready to feed again.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
People have varying reactions to bed bug bites. However, bedbugs do not carry disease and are thus not likely to cause any severe illness after they bite their host. That being said, some people show signs and symptoms of the bite while others do not.
The two common reactions to the bite are marks on the body and itches on the bitten area. Continuous scratching of the bitten area can lead to the person getting a secondary infection as a result of the bacteria underneath his or her nails.
Meanwhile, some people have allergic reactions to the saliva that is released during bug bite. Usually, the allergy manifests through excessive swelling of the bitten area. Though it is rare, the bite can result in anaphylaxis.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Bedbugs bite look very much like bite marks of fleas or mosquitoes on the body. However, this depends a lot on how the individual reacts to the bite. Usually, when people see or feel these marks, they know their home is under the attack of bedbugs. The insects can bite a person on any area of the body.
However, the areas prone to being bitten are exposed areas like the neck, legs, feet, face, and arms. Myth has it that bed bugs bite thrice in a straight line.
Don’t pay any attention to this. It has been discovered that bed bug marks come in a single mark, a straight line, or even in clusters.
What Are The Other Signs of Bed Bug Infestation?
Actually, bite marks can be misleading. Since bedbug bite marks look so much like the bite marks of other insects, it is vital that you have different ways to tell whether or not your house is being infested by bedbugs.
Luckily, there are other tell-tale signs of a bedbug infestation. One of them is the sweet musty odour that an infested room emit.
There is also their eggs or molted exoskeletons that may be found around upholstered furniture and mattresses. Besides, when you see tiny blood spots in your house, take note. They are likely to be bed bugs’ faecal smears.
How Do Bed Bugs Infiltrate a House?
Truth be told, bedbugs do not just jump into your bedroom from nowhere. If they’re there, then they must have gotten there somehow. Chances are that you or brought them inside your house from a place visited recently.
Places like unsanitary hotel rooms, subways or even movie theatres are likely to be housing them, and if you’ve been to any of those places recently, you have your answer.
Bedbugs are known for their stealthiness. They can easily hop onto your body and go undetected while you transport them wherever you go.
If you’re someone who owns a pet or two, you might also want to consider the possibility of your pet inviting the insects in. Remember that bedbugs can drink animal blood as well. So, if they manage to get on your pet, the pet may unknowingly bring them into your house.
Where Else Do Bed Bugs Hide?
The minute bedbugs manage to infiltrate your house, they start to put things in place to make themselves comfortable. They’ll try to find convenient places to hide, and since they love dark and cozy spots, that’s where you’ll see them.
Because they have flat bodies, bedbugs can easily squeeze themselves into tight holes. Usually, they hide in cupboards, pumping pipes, electrical wires and holes in the wall. They also find it easy to live in mattresses, box springs, sofas, lounge chairs, luggage and bed frames.
Besides the fact that bedbugs love both clean and dirty areas, they also find cluttered places ideal because that way, they can go unnoticed. This is why they find picture frames, dressers, and baseboards safe to stay in. As you know, it is hard to get rid of bedbugs when the room or area is clustered.
Can an Air Mattress Get Bed Bugs?
Bedbugs have a habit of drilling tiny holes in the fabric if mattresses and hiding inside. These holes serve as a sort of house or hiding place until at night when they come out and suck the blood of their host.
This blood-sucking insects and their malicious ways have been a source of concern to many people. As a way of tackling the issue, they ditch their conventional bed for an air mattress. However, most of these people still ask the baffling question: can bed bugs live on air mattress too?
Well, the simple answer is “NO”. Air mattresses are constructed with vinyl or PVC. The significant advantage of these materials is that they don’t provide a comfortable environment for bedbugs to live in.
The fabrics used are protected against punctures, and the mattress itself is filled with air. Of course, bugs can’t stay inside them. Other beds are constructed with foams, and these foams house bedbugs well.
However as much as air mattresses are unlikely to harbor the insects, they aren’t always a total repellant for bedbugs. This is because air mattresses have a flocked top that provides excellent cover for bugs and their eggs. So even on air mattresses, you may sometimes encounter bugs.
How Can I Protect My Air Mattress From Bed Bugs?
Once bed bugs penetrate into your house, getting rid of them may not be an easy task. Apart from the stress and expense, it’ll eat up a chunk of your precious time to completely eradicate them.
Again, there’s the paranoia and uncertainty that you feel even when you’ve managed to eliminate the bed bugs. The best thing to do is to safeguard your air mattress from being infiltrated by bed bugs in the first place.
Luckily, it is easier to prevent bedbugs from infiltrating air mattresses than other mattresses. Simply buy zippered encasement covers and enclose your air mattress and pillows in them. Even if you don’t do this, make sure to inspect the seams thorough daily to ensure that there are no bugs on the mattress.
Also, avoid using a memory foam top except it is encased in a cover. You should also change sheets every day, and put them directly into the washing machine. Wash them with hot water and set your dryer at high heat.
How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Once you detect bedbugs in your house, the best thing to do would be to ask for the help of pest control. They have the experience needed to effectively rid your home of the parasites.
Even if your house is not under bedbug attack, you don’t have to wait. Put everything in place to prevent them from entering your home.
Now that you have your answer to the question: can bed bugs live on air mattress? We hope this influences your mattress buying decision.
Air mattress is affordable and effective and is not a bad choice. However, whichever mattress you buy, make sure to prevent bedbugs from investing in it. This way, you can get your quality sleep.