Bed bugs used to be a pest of the past, but their numbers have been increasing since the 1990s. They are able to spread far and wide thanks to the increased number of people who travel.
Dealing with bed bugs can be incredibly stressful. They are resilient pests that are incredibly tough to get rid of. If you find that you are having to deal with bed bugs, calling a professional is in your best interest.
Read on to find out exactly how to tell if you have bed bugs and which bed bug treatment will work best for you.
What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
When it comes to how to identify bed bugs, you will look for insects that are small, oval, and brownish in color. They survive by consuming the blood of humans or animals, including your family pets. An adult bed bug has a flat body that is about the size of an apple seed. After they eat, their bodies will swell and take on a reddish color.
These pests don’t have the ability to fly, but they can move quickly over floors, ceilings, and walls. Bed bug eggs are about the size of a speck of dust, and females can lay hundreds of eggs over their lifetime.
In addition to knowing what bed bugs look like, you might also be wondering: How long can a bed bug live?
On average, an adult bed bug can survive for about 5 months without feeding on blood. Compared to other insects, they are also slow reproducers. It takes the eggs 10 days to hatch, and then 5 to 6 weeks before the nymphs develop into adults.
Although, once they have become established in your home, they will thrive and multiply.
Where You Might Find Bed Bugs
How a bed bug gets into your home will vary, but they hitch rides on luggage, clothing, beds and couches that were used, or other items. Since they are so small and their bodies are flat, they can fit into spaces that are no wider than your credit card.
Once they get into your home, they will typically hide in bed frames, headboards, box springs, and mattresses. This gives them easy access to their favorite prey: you.
Thus, if you wake up in the morning and say, “I found a bed bug crawling on me,” you might be right.
How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs
To know for sure if you have bed bugs, there are some signs. One of the early signs of bed bugs is that you will wake up with itchy spots that didn’t exist when you went to bed the night before.
Some of the other signs that might indicate you have a bed bug infestation include the following:
- Bloodstains on your pillowcases and sheets
- Dark or rusty-colored spots on sheets, bedclothes, mattresses, and walls from bed bug excrement
- Fecal spots, eggshells, or skin sheds in the places where bed bugs like to hide
- An offensive, musty odor that comes from bed bug scent glands
If you notice any of these indicators and are convinced that you have bed bugs, you might consider doing a more thorough search.
This will include removing all bedding and carefully checking for bed bug excrement. You’ll also need to remove the dust cover from the bottom of your box springs and check the seams in the wood frame.
It’s also a good idea to check the area around the bed. Bed bugs can hide in books, at the edge of the carpet, and in electrical outlets.
Since bed bugs can attach to your clothing, you should also look in your closet for signs of bed bugs.
How to Kill Bed Bugs
If you are convinced that you have bed bugs, then it’s in your best interest to work with a professional to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Bed bugs are resilient, and they can survive various chemical pesticides. There are a few chemical sprays that can take care of bed bugs, but they require more than one application.
Since multiple rounds of chemical treatments can disrupt your daily life and are usually ineffective for eradicating the entire infestation, you might consider getting heat treatments instead.
Not only is the heat treatment process more convenient, but it also has the ability to kill bed bugs at every stage of life. When temperatures are kept at a constant 120 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, it will kill bed bug eggs, nymphs, and adults.
How the Bed Bug Treatment Using Heat Works
To get rid of bed bugs, professionals have special heating equipment, thermostats, and sensors that heat the infested area to the desired temperature. The heaters are placed strategically around the room so that the heat will penetrate into carpets, mattresses, furniture, and cracks and crevices.
The technicians should also remove cushions, adjust the furniture, lift beds, and open drawers to ensure that every inch of the infested room receives the heat treatment. They should also adjust the fans and heaters to get heat into every nook and cranny that the bed bugs might be using as their hiding spot.
Unlike chemical treatments, heat treatments should only require one application. This can save you a lot of time and hassle and allow you to get back to your life as soon as possible.
Bed Bug Control
Since bed bugs are so small, it’s incredibly easy for them to get into your home. Many people think that only dirty houses get infested with bed bugs, but this isn’t true. Homes that are cleaned to immaculate standards can still become infested with bed bugs.
Some of the steps you can take to control bed bugs include washing sheets on a frequent basis and keeping an eye out for their signs.
If you travel often, you might consider examining the hotel room for signs of bed bugs before setting down any of your belongings. You can also store your suitcase in a plastic bag to reduce the chances of bed bugs getting inside.
Once you get home, it’s a good idea to immediately wash all of your clothes and store your suitcase outside or in the garage for a few days.
Should you find that you already have a bed bug infestation, then it’s in your best interest to give Custom Bedbug a call.
We only focus on eliminating bed bugs. Our bed bug treatment gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Don’t live with this pest for another day. Get in touch with us today!