Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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    Bed Bugs and Covid-19: Interesting Similarities

    Bed bugs are like Covid-19, they are undetected at first. Covid-19 carriers do not necessarily get themselves infected (patient 0) but can infect other people whom they have physical contact with. Bed bugs are travelers. They hitch-hike in bags, luggage, suitcases, laptop bags, furniture, shoes, and most very likely you won’t even know that they are there.

    Bed bugs and Covid-19 both need a host to live. A host necessarily means a person.

    Viruses are known to change per their environment to camouflage their presence and can quickly enter its host, the human body. Interestingly, Covid-19 is a new strain. Hence, it has already adapted to change.

    Bed bugs are also known to adapt to environmental change. They are known to crawl to find the right circumstances for them to thrive. Bed bugs usually can be found around sleeping areas (bed, mattress, recliners, couches, etc.) where they have easy access to the host’s blood. Covid-19, likewise, stays inside a human’s throat and nose, which can cause coughing. It becomes fatal when it will find its way to the lungs.

    Bed bugs are lazy. They will stay put in a place if they have everything that they need, i.e., food, shelter, and comfortable temperature. They can multiply in the perfect environment. Similarly, if a person has been exposed to Covid-19 and the virus would find its way to the human respiratory tract, it is thought to infect the cells, which will then multiply and cause damage. Once the cell is infected, it triggers a response from the immune system. If the person’s immune system is weak, the infected cells thrive and multiply and can cause even death.

    Interestingly, bed bugs too can kill, though not at all times, but according to facts, one old woman in Pennsylvania died of a blood infection (sepsis) due to a bed bug infestation.

    Cleanliness does not do away with attracting bed bugs nor Covid-19.

    Even if you are nasty clean, it does not mean that you are out of bed bug trouble nor CoVid-19 threat. To defend yourself against infection of CoVid-19, your immune system has a lot to do about it. The earlier you had taken charge of your health, there is a higher chance that you will not become the next victim.

    In a similar sense, bed bugs do not have any definition of cleanliness. Your diligence to inspect your things will make a difference if you have a bed bug infestation or not.

    Perhaps you might be wondering what the things to do when you find yourself in a bed bug infestation situation are. I have laid out two things for you. One is prevention, and the other one is containment.

    The saying “Prevention is always better than cure” also works with a bed bug infestation situation. It is the best bed bug tip ever. If cleanliness is not one of the bed bugs tips, what is? It has something to do with de-cluttering. Clutters are hiding places for bed bugs. The idea is to de-clutter to minimize hiding place for these critters.

    But what about bed bugs being hitch-hikers which don’t have to do with clutters but has something to do with bags, furniture, luggage, suitcases, and the likes. Does this mean that there is also a bed bug travel advisory just like Covid-19? In a real sense, there isn’t any. If you are a globe-trotter, who stay in hotels or pension houses or Air BnB accommodations, the best thing to do with your bags is to place them away from the bed as far as possible as you could and put them on top of the luggage rack or if your accommodation does not have one, place the bag on the coffee table.

    Traveling or not traveling, awareness is the key to tracing if you have bed bugs in your life, in your home or not. Just like Covid-19, the best prevention for the disease is the contact tracing which needs to be strictly implemented. Likewise, locating bed bug markings on your bed, identifying bed bug shells if there are any, identifying bites on the skin, and identifying bed bug smells are the essential keys to avoid bed bug infestation.

    But if you find yourself trapped in a bed bug infestation situation, it is high time to talk about containment. Just like Covid-19 which is a highly-mutated virus and its nature is nothing much like its sister-viruses SARS, MERS; over time bed bugs also have evolved and getting resistant to pesticides. So how much is effective enough to contain bed bugs.

    Studies show that adult bed bugs can live without sucking blood for around five months. Hence, one very important bed bug tip to contain infestation is to starve the bed bugs.

    The process is simple, once the decluttering is done and the hiding places are reduced, use a vacuum to suck them from crevices, mattress linings, pillow linings, furniture gaps, etc. Vacuum bags need to be replaced often to minimize spread.

    Sealing of used vacuum bags and re-bagging them are very important to trap these buggers to starve them to death, hence automatically reducing their numbers.

    Heavily infested things need to be discarded at once. You can consider computing the value you are getting and not the cost when you replace these things.

    In the same sense, you need to count the value you are getting when you are forced to cancel your trip in the name of social responsibility with the current Covid-19 situation.

    For if you think only of the money-spent, risking the health of your immediate family and dear friends when you come back, and the possibility of infecting them of Covid-19 if you are a Covid-19 carrier is a high price to pay. Hospital costs could be higher than the flight ticket and room cancellation fees too.

    If you are a busy career person or business person, you can engage in a pest control company. Make sure that this company is highly-recommended and cost-economical as well as environmentally-responsible.

    Just like Covid-19, you can turn for help with consuming potent probiotics, potent vitamin c, or potent multivitamins with chelated minerals, antioxidants, and plant extracts. You need to make sure though that your macro-food intake is healthy fats, healthy and natural carbohydrates, and clean protein. Take the required rest, manage stress, exercise and enjoy the sunshine between 7 am to 8 am or from 3 pm onwards.

    The above are the basics. Take charge and take control.

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