What You Need to Know about Bed Bugs

There are two words that make every homeowner and sleep lover cringe: bed bugs. Yes, no one wants to think about having bed bugs, but, sadly, for some people bed bugs are not just a nightmare, they’re a reality. Maybe these pests are lurking nearby and you are not aware. Or maybe you suspect you have bed bugs and don’t know what to do next. No matter what, it is always a good to be knowledgeable about potential threats to your home and your health.

Be Proactive

Its been said that the best offense is a good defense. To keep bed bugs out of your home altogether, there are a few helpful tips to follow. Do not buy used furniture or, if you must buy it, do not bring it into your home until you and/ or a competent expert first examines the furniture for signs of bed bugs. Signs of bed bugs may include the bugs themselves, alive or dead, shed skin, feces, and eggs. Its also hugely beneficial to cover your mattress and box spring with a plastic cover which can be sealed shut. These keep bed bugs from burrowing into the mattress, where they can hide for years at a time. They are forced to stay on the surface of the bed, allowing them to be more easily spotted and removed.

Taking precaution can lessen your chances of attracting bed bugs, but it isn’t  100% effective. Many people fear they have bed bugs because they have discovered new bug bites on their body. It is important to not automatically assume these are bed bug bites. There are a few questions you need to have when evaluating these marks: Do you have new bites every time you wake up? What exactly do the bites look like? Typically, bed bug bites are small red bumps that can become inflamed and swollen and cause severe itchiness. In fact, the protein in their saliva is so potent that this itchiness can reappear without the presence of new bites.

Often times, you’ll find multiple bites all in a row, showing the bug’s path of attack. Check your sheets for signs of their presence. You may be able to find skin that they’ve shed or even their feces. Since they feast on our blood, most of their waste is made up of just that; blood. Their waste is small, black and typically spherical. It won’t flake apart if you rub it in your fingers, but it will smear if you rub it with a wet rag. At the end of the day, the only way to really prove beyond a doubt that you have a bed bug problem is to produce an actual bed bug. They are small and brown and have hard, smooth bodies. If you find one, resist the urge to kill it! Find a tupperware container and keep it for identification. If you’re truly concerned, but cannot find an actual bug, there is no shame in calling a local pest company out for an inspection. Its always best to know what you’re dealing with as soon as possible.

Hire a Professional

If you do, indeed, have bed bugs and you want them gone, there is one thing you must understand. It is essential to hire a professional pest control company to get rid of your bed bugs. Many people do not want to face the social stigma of having bed bugs and hope to get rid of the problem quietly and affordably on their own. Unfortunately, this just does not work. Successful elimination of these bugs requires expert knowledge of their biology and hiding places, determined through an inspection. The expert technician will know strategies, techniques, and products which can be used effectively, safely, and legally.

Bed bugs can detect and avoid chemical deposits often found in cleaning agents. An adult bed bug can live longer than a whole year without feeding and most insecticides labeled for use against bed bugs in the U.S., Canada. and Europe last no longer than one to three month. This means they can stay in their hiding places until the product wears off and go right back to biting you. Bed bugs will routinely travel up to a 20ft radius in one night  for a blood meal. They are small, thin, and can hide deeply in very narrow cracks. The average person could not hope to effectively control even a small, localized infestation. If there is any sort of silver lining in this situation, it is the fact that, while bed bugs have been documented to carry as many as 28 human pathogens, there is no recorded instance of them transmitting these pathogens to humans. They are an incredibly insidious pest that cause us great discomfort and stress, but the can not transmit any serious disease to us. They cause itchy bumps, sleepless nights, and embarrassing stigmas from friends and neighbors, but nothing more.

If you find yourself fighting off bed bugs in the night, it is important to seek the help of an expert pest control company immediately. It takes a long time to get rid of bed bugs and they are good at hiding from insecticides. You really need all the help you can get.