Have you woken up to strange, phantom tickling sensations in the night? If you live alone, you quickly realize there’s only one thing that could be tickling you. You bolt out of bed, turn on the light and pull out a magnifying glass to examine your sheets. The pleasant, tickle-inspired dream you were having quickly turns to 50 shades of brown as you look down in horror at your sheets.
Oh no, bed bugs!
Don’t panic just yet, we are actually cursed with a few species of tiny bugs that bite us in our sleep. Ok, I guess you can panic, that’s even more terrifying.
While there are many pests that could be bothering you, chances are you either have bed bugs, fleas or carpet beetles. How can you tell the difference? Click here for a comparison guide.
Keeping them out
While I’m meticulous about keeping my house bug proof, when you live with other people there’s a decent chance they or one of their guests could bring home an illegal immigrant.
In addition to hitchhiking a ride on humans, used furnishings are another favorite trojan horse of pests. While the threat may be obvious from a dorm ejected couch or curbside mattress, smaller objects pose a risk as well. Bed bugs have been known to inhabit devices as small as an alarm clock. Fleas are usually brought in by pets.
Getting rid of them
Since bed bugs can withstand freezing cold and go months without feeding, the best option for getting rid of them is to call a professional. Using pesticides will drive them away temporarily, but this only masks the problem and makes it harder to kill them. If you are desperate for a good night sleep, this product works really well, but again it’s only masking your problem. A professional will typically (and expensively) treat your home by heating the entire house over 130 degrees, which bakes the bugs. Fleas and carpet beetles are more easily controlled, especially if you don’t have carpet. Carpet beetles are attracted to linens, and can often be found in laundry areas. Fleas can be killed with mothballs, and both pests can be killed with normal pest control spray.
We know fleas are small, and we know bacteria is small, but did you know that if you were the size of a flea, you could see bacteria with the naked eye?
- A human is 180 centimeters long.
- A flea can be as small as .1 centimeters long. Source
- Some bacteria are between 10 and 20 micrometers long. Source
- A 180 centimeter tall man is 1800 times the size of a .1 centimeter flea.
- A .1 centimeter flea is 50 times the size of a 20 micrometer bacteria.
To put this in perspective, if you were the size of a flea, that bacteria would be over an inch long in proportion.
(180 / 50 = 3.2 CM)