Your Guide to Bed Bug Control. Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. They are reddish-brown in color and prefer to live on sofas, clothing, and bed mattresses. These insects move fast, and their size makes it easier for them to hide. Therefore, they are tough to catch, causing many problems for residential and commercial property owners.
Bed bugs can be found worldwide and survive in any climate, even tropical and freezing temperatures. Their presence does not determine the cleanliness of where they are located since they can also live in well-kept homes and five-star hotels. But, they still need to be eliminated as soon as they are spotted due to the risks they carry.
In this blog post, we cover everything you need to know about bed bug control, including how to get rid of bed bugs, signs of a bed bug infestation, and when it’s time to call a bed bug exterminator. Let’s dive in!
What to Know About Bed Bugs and A Guide to Bed Bug Control
Most insects are dangerous because they spread diseases. For example, cockroaches have known vectors for salmonella infections and typhoid fever. However, bed bugs don’t transmit diseases and are not known to contaminate food and water. So, what makes them dangerous?
The most problematic thing bed bugs do is bite. They feed mainly on the blood of humans but also suck the blood of rodents, birds, and bats. Once the bed bug pierces the skin, it can take 3 to 15 minutes for the feeding to finish. Unfortunately, you won’t even know this is happening because the bugs excrete a small amount of anesthesia and an anticoagulant as they bite, making it painless. Also, as they feed, they become redder since they fill up with blood.
How To Identify a Bed Bug Bite
Bed bug bites are commonly confused with flea and mosquito bites. This is an issue since identifying bites is the best way to spot an infestation.
Flea Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites
Flea bites look like small red spots surrounded by a reddened halo and are immediately itchy. On the other hand, bed bug bites are red, swollen spots with a dark center and are not itchy right away.
Mosquito Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites
Mosquito bites are often solitary and isolated, while bed bug bites appear in clusters arranged in a line or zigzag pattern on the skin. Also, like flea bites, mosquito bites are immediately itchy, while bites from bed bugs take longer to irritate.
They Cause Allergic Reactions
The bites affect each person differently. Although it’s rare, some people are allergic to bed bugs. An allergic reaction from a bed bug bite causes severe itching and burning in the affected area, which can later develop into blisters. In addition, lesions from constant scratching may lead to secondary infections such as cellulitis, folliculitis, and impetigo.
They Multiply Fast
A female bed bug typically lays one egg a day, but it can produce five to seven eggs at its peak. It takes 10 to 15 days for the eggs to hatch, making bugs that live approximately four to six months.
In favorable conditions, the bugs can develop fully in just under a month. This means your small infestation can grow into a major one if you don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent the bugs’ spread. Therefore, you must perform immediate bed bug control procedures to stop the insects from doing more harm.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Bed bugs live solely off of blood. Although they also feed off of animals, humans are their primary targets. For this reason, they are found everywhere people gather, including schools, offices, and public transportation. In addition, they are known for latching onto clothes or suitcases, allowing them to travel wherever these items are taken – and they spread so quickly because of this.
Since they don’t fly or jump, most people think they are easily contained in one infested room. However, this is far from the case. Bed bugs move fast and can quickly move from one area to another. In addition, they can fit into cracks and crevices due to their size, allowing them to travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings. Therefore, if you live in an apartment or a condo, your place can become infested with bed bugs if you have neighbors with the same problem.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
As mentioned above, seeing bites is the best way to identify a bed bug infestation on your property. However, here are some other signs you can look out for:
Bed bugs release pheromones as their way of communicating with their kind. While this scent is very faint, it can get mixed with the odor of dead bed bugs and their excrement. This produces a musty smell that is described to be like wet towels or moldy laundry.
Finding inexplicable tiny bloodstains on your sheets may be a sign of a bed bug infestation. As they feed, their flat, seed-like bodies become engorged with blood. You might inadvertently crush a bed bug if you suddenly shift or move in your sleep.
Bed bug fecal marks are small, dark spots resembling an ink dot from a marker. These come from droppings consisting of digested human blood. The marks appear dark brown or black, giving off a faint unpleasant smell.
These fecal marks are challenging to wash off. Just like ink, water causes them to smear and spread. You can usually find droppings in large numbers around the bugs’ hiding places.
Bed bugs go through five lifecycle stages before reaching the adult phase. In every stage, they will shed their exoskeleton to accommodate growth. This process is called molting and produces shell casings or shed skins in differing sizes. If you find yellow, translucent shells that look like hollow outlines of bugs, it may be time to call bed bug control because you may have an infestation in your hands.
Bed bugs lay one to seven eggs a day which looks ovular in shape and pearly white, resembling tiny grains of rice. At the edge of an egg, there is a hinged cap which the newly hatched bug emerges from.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs multiply quickly, and they cause a lot of distress for people who have to share their space with them. But the good news is you can eliminate them. Of course, it will take time and patience before they are entirely eradicated, but, of course, being bedbug-free is well worth the effort.
If you want to know how to get rid of bed bugs, then keep the following steps in mind:
Identify Affected Areas
You want to detect a bed bug problem as early as possible. If you are planning to call a bed bug exterminator, it’s more cost-effective to treat a small infestation than a larger one. However, they will be harder to detect when fewer in number.
Still, you can spot them if you know where to look, and more importantly, what signs to look out for. They are usually found in small, narrow areas like couches or mattress seams. In addition, you can check for them in cracks in bed frames, between couch cushions, in furniture joints, inside the folds of curtains, and underneath loose wallpaper.
Once you find signs of bedbugs, keep them contained so it is easier to remove them. An easy way to do this is to run your vacuum over any possible hiding places. Then, seal up the vacuum contents and throw them away.
Gather the affected linens or clothes and seal them in plastic bags until you wash them. You must set the highest possible temperature for your washer and dryer to ensure all bugs are killed. If there are items that you can’t wash, place them inside the dryer at the highest temperature for 30 minutes.
Before treating the affected area, it’s best to prepare it. First, get rid of any clutter the bugs can hide in, like books, magazines, papers, or clothes inside the room. Throw out everything you can and place the material items in the dryer. If that’s not possible, seal the items in a bag and leave them under the sun for a couple of days.
It would be best if you also sealed any open areas—glue down loose wallpaper and caulk cracks in headboards, bed posts, and furniture.
Remember! Don’t move any items from an infested area to a clean one to prevent possible contamination.
Proceed With Treatment
Pesticides are highly effective for bed bug control, but some chemicals can be hazardous when used indoors. Therefore, only use products approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and specially made for use on bed bugs. Here are a few names you can try:
- Pyrethrins and pyrethroids: These are the most common chemicals used to kill bed bugs. However, due to their prevalent use, some bed bugs have become immune to them.
- Desiccants: These are substances that destroy the bugs’ outer protective coating. Common examples include boric acid and diatomaceous earth.
- Pyrroles: These are chemicals that disrupt the bugs’ cells.
- Neonicotinoids: These synthetic forms of nicotine are explicitly developed to attack the bugs’ nervous system. These work on bed bugs that have become resistant to pyrethrins and pyrethroids.
No matter which chemical you use, it is crucial to follow the instructions when applying the products, so make direct contact with the bugs.
It will take some time before the bed bugs are wiped out from your space. You’ll need to check the infested areas once every seven days and look for signs of activity. In addition, you may need to continuously launder your sheets and other items weekly to stop them from repopulating.
Get rid of clutter that can be possible hiding spots and vacuum your place often, including underneath and behind all furniture.
Also, consider what you bring into your residential or business property. For example, be cautious of second-hand or refurbished items.
Get the Bed Bug Exterminator Involved – Guide to Bed Bug Control
While it’s possible to get rid of bed bugs on your own, having the extermination done by professionals is the best way to go. A professional bed bug exterminator is equipped with the proper tools and knowledge on how to get rid of bed bugs in the most effective and efficient ways. This leaves you more time to do other important things.
In addition, a pest control company uses professional-grade treatments unavailable in the supermarket. These chemicals kill bed bugs long-term, so you don’t have to worry about them re-emerging soon.
If you require bed bug control services, call Pest Control Unlimited. We are a locally owned and operated company that offers professional pest control solutions for residential and commercial spaces. In addition, we provide free inspections and same-day emergency visits.
Contact us today, and our friendly customer service team will be more than happy to help you.
Want to learn more about reducing the risk of a bed bug infestation or Guide to Bed Bug Control? Click here.
Are you looking for a lawn care services company that will give you lawn care tips or services contact Turf Unlimted.