What is a great Bed Bugs Solution for your house?
As we approach the end of the summer, many people are coming home from vacation with fun memories, a keen desire to use their own bed and bathroom again, and in some unfortunate cases, a newfound collection of bloodsucking bed bug hitchhikers.
Bed bug infestations are climbing across the U.S., and if you’ve been noticing signs of bed bug bites, such as swollen red marks with dark red centers, itchy spots you didn’t have when you went to bed, blisters or hives around the site of the bite, or bites that are grouped together in a line or small area, it’s time to see if you’ve brought home some unwanted bedmates.
What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs are around the size of an apple seed, which is to say, three-sixteenths to one-quarter of an inch (five to seven millimeters) long. When they aren’t engorged with blood, their abdomens are flat ovals, and their bodies are brown.
They have dark eyes protruding from the sides of their faces, three-jointed legs, and no wings, and their appearance could be compared to that of a wood tick.
When they’re full of blood, their flat abdomens become rounder and turn dark red, while their heads and legs remain brown.
Their eggs are one-sixteenth of an inch long, off-white, translucent and ovular, and their recently-hatched nymphs are pale brown and semi-opaque.
Bed bugs can be easily confused with bat bugs, which can be identified by the longer hairs along the lateral edges near the head.
The University of Minnesota’s “Let’s Beat the Bug” campaign found that 76% of samples submitted for identification aren’t actually bed bugs, so it’s important to have a specialist verify whether your uninvited guests are what you think they are before attempting to get rid of them.
What if you think bed bugs are biting you, but you can’t find any bugs?
Bed bugs’ flat bodies make it easy for them to hide in narrow cracks, so they can often avoid being spotted. But even if you can’t get a good enough look to identify them, you can still diagnose your pest problem by noticing the other signs bed bugs leave behind, such as:
- Dark or rust-covered spots of bed bug waste.
- Blood stains on fabric.
- Excrement on the walls.
- A musty smell.
- Shed insect casings and discarded eggshells.
- Black streaks on wood and fabric.
- Black stains in seams and stitching on upholstered furniture and mattresses.
What is the best way to kill bed bugs?
One female bed bug can lay two hundred to two hundred fifty eggs in her lifetime, so once an infestation has taken hold, it can be very difficult to get rid of it on your own.
Pesticides tend to be ineffective, since bed bugs can hide from them in cracks and crevices, and even a few survivors can renew the invasion with a vengeance.
If it looks like you have a bed bug problem, here are some methods you can use to try to get rid of your unwanted guests:
- Frequently vacuuming the bed and surrounding area, and putting the vacuum’s bag in a plastic bag in an outdoor garbage bin as soon as you’re done the vacuuming.
- Using a stiff brush to dislodge the bugs and their eggs from the seams of your mattress before vacuuming.
- Removing the bugs’ hiding places by gluing down peeling wallpaper, removing clutter around the site of the infestation, repairing cracks in your walls or floor, and encasing your mattress and box springs in a zippered, tightly woven cover so the bed bugs can’t enter or escape. These resilient creatures can live up to a year without eating, so keep the cover on for at least twelve months to ensure that all the little bloodsuckers are dead.
- Washing and drying all the fabrics on and around your bed on the hottest settings you can. If they can’t be washed, put them in the dryer on high for at least half an hour.
These methods will get rid of some infestations, or at least significantly reduce them, but they aren’t always enough. If you’ve got a bad infestation, or you’ve got better things to do with your time than fight a persistent bug invasion, we’re here to help.
Want a permanent bed bugs solution?
If bed bugs have gotten a foothold in your home, and you want to get rid of them so you can sleep in unbitten peace, we can make that happen for you. Visit this page and contact our pest control experts today!