According to the CDC, bed bugs are a resurging worldwide problem.
Bed bugs are spread by people as they travel from place to place.
People can unwittingly carry bed bugs home with them after staying in a hotel or at someone else’s house. Our pets can also carry them into our house.
If you or anyone you know has experienced a bed bug infestation, then you know it can be annoying and expensive to resolve the issue.
As in most things, the best way to protect yourself from bed bugs is to know more about them, put together a bed bug kit, and know when to call in professional exterminators.
Read on to learn more.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs exist on every continent except Antarctica. They’ve even been found on airplanes.
Bed bugs are insects that are brown in color, range in sizes between 1mm to 7mm, and live off blood from humans and animals. Bed bugs do not carry any known diseases.
How to Tell If You Have Bed Bugs
Many people discover they have bed bugs only after they notice bite marks. Bed bug bites are red and usually appear in a line. They may also be itchy.
It can take up to 14 days for bites to start to itch, so it is best to perform regular inspections so you can catch their presence earlier to prevent an infestation.
Bed bugs at home are pretty easy to detect. Inspect your bed, sheets, and pillowcases for bloodstains and excrement. Because bed bugs live off blood, their excrement will be dark or rusty in color.
Bed bugs shed their skin several times before fully maturing so you will likely find eggshells, skin, and casings around infested areas.
If your bedding smells musty, it could likely be the bed bug’s scent glands you are smelling.
Don’t feel ashamed if you have bed bugs. No matter how clean and tidy your house may be, bed bugs will live in any warm and dark hiding spot they can find. This can be in between joints in headboards, under a mattress, and even in the ruffles of curtains.
What to Put in Your Bed Bug Kit
Once you’ve realized you have bed bugs, you will need to remove any clutter from the room and isolate your bed.
Having a bed bug kit at home can help you get rid of the pesky creatures if you notice them soon enough but it’s important to know when to call the professionals in. If you try to get rid of bed bugs and they keep returning, you probably have an infestation and should call someone qualified for the job. Heat treatment is currently the most effective way to get rid of bed bugs.
Here’s what to put in your bed bug control and treatment kit and how you can potentially get rid of bed bugs yourself.
1. Big Plastic Bags
As soon as you learn you have bed bugs, you’ll need to gather up all your clothes, bedding, curtains, towels and any other cloth items you have in the infected room.
Tie the bags securely and keep them tied until you can wash everything in water over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Water has to be that hot in order to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
Once your cloth items have been laundered, place them in clean new bags. You will need to store these items away from the infected room until you’re sure all the bed bugs are dead.
2. Stiff Brush for Cleaning
You will need to clean the entire room. Use a stiff brush to make sure all eggs and shed skins get loosened up for easier pickup.
You won’t need to scrub the walls and ceilings, but you will need to scrub along baseboards and around window frames.
You will need to vacuum the entire room including your entire bed and frame, inside your dresser drawers, along baseboards and molding, and window frames.
Use the hose attachment, but don’t use the brush attachment. Bed bugs can hide in the bristles to keep from getting sucked in.
After vacuuming, remove the vacuum bag and place it into a plastic bag. Tie the bag tightly to keep the bed bugs from escaping and then throw the bag away into an outside trash can.
4. Use an Insecticide
Once everything is cleaned and vacuumed, apply a liquid insecticide by spraying it anywhere you saw evidence of bugs.
Spray all the furniture in the room, including the entire bed and bed frame.
You’ll also want to spray into any crevices (which you’ll later caulk) where bugs may be hiding.
Bed bugs like to hide in any nook and cranny they can find. While you can’t caulk your electrical outlets, you can caulk the following areas:
- Along the edge of baseboards and any cracks in baseboards
- Around pipes that enter your house through the wall or floor
- Around cables or wires that enter your house
- Along the edge of moldings and any cracks in the moldings
- Cracks in the headboard
- Around window frames
The caulk will help keep any bed bugs that escaped from returning to your room after you’ve treated it for bed bugs.
Some Bed Bug Infestations Need a Professional
Fighting a war on bed bugs yourself can be daunting and, unfortunately, not always successful. Bed bugs are extremely resilient and they’ve mastered the art of survival.
You may need to beat your bed bugs with heat treatment. In addition to killing bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle, heat can penetrate into areas that are difficult to reach with any other method of treatment.
Check Your Beds Today
If you haven’t checked for bed bugs, take time out today to do a quick inspection.
If you find evidence of any bed bugs, gather up the tools you’ll need for your bed bug kit and work on evicting them from your house.
If you want some help or your efforts don’t resolve your infestation, contact us for a free quote. Bed bug treatment is the only thing we do because we want to do it right every time.