When it comes to bed bugs, you can get them in a million different ways. And once you have them, it can be a real challenge to get rid of them. Below, we’ll discuss how you get bed bugs and what you can do about it.
Let’s get to it…
What Are Bed Bugs, Anyway?
Bed bugs are tiny oval-shaped brown pests. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and flat. Adults are easier to spot and you can typically find them around the seams of your mattresses.
These small pests feed on blood from humans and pets. While they are usually hiding during the day, bedbugs will come out at night and leave bites all over your body. Instead of staying on your body, like lice, these insects will crawl back into their hiding place once they’re done feeding.
Bed bugs aren’t a new issue. For almost 3,000 years, these insects have been associated with humans. They can come from any place that people are frequently in; these include hotels, schools, offices, and nearly any other location.
Having a bed bug infestation can be extremely stressful. Knowing what they look like and where they came from can help you avoid a bed bug problem in the first place. Or it can help you identify if the problem is bed bugs or another household pest.
Once you know the problem is bed bugs, you can focus on the specific ways to get rid of these relentless bugs.
Identifying Bed Bugs
If you think you may have an issue with bed bugs, the first place to check is any dark places around your bed. Look in the corners of mattresses and sheets, as well as in the crevices of the headboard.
Before feeding, bed bugs look flat and brown, but they turn a reddish color and become swollen after eating – closely resembling an apple seed with legs. Nymph bed bugs, or immature bed bugs, will shed their skin after each feeding. This discarded skin is also a telltale sign that you have a bed bug infestation.
Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs. These eggs are a pearly color, typically found in small clusters, and can be very hard to see. If you are looking in dark areas, you may find them though.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Wherever there are people, you will find bed bugs. Often called hitch-hikers, these insects can travel in your luggage or any soft surface that comes into contact with a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are most commonly found in hotels, dorm rooms, and apartment buildings as these are areas that have frequent turnover.
It’s essential to look out for bed bugs when you are in public places. Even libraries or offices can have bed bugs issues. You can check any area that has folded or tufted fabric, as bed bugs will often hide in there.
Be careful when bringing second-hand furniture into your home. These pieces can be a common space for bed bugs to hide, especially mattress seams. It’s always best to have everything deep cleaned before bringing it inside.
Bed Bug Bites
While bed bugs can bite both animals and humans, they much prefer humans. Any exposed skin can become a target for these bites.
Usually active at night, these bugs will crawl out of hiding and bite you while sleeping. Generally, they feed for three to ten minutes. After, nymphs will shed their skin. They then crawl back into hiding until they need to feed again.
Bedbug bites are painless, though some people may have an allergic reaction to their saliva. Most of the time you probably won’t notice if they are biting you during the night.
Bites from a bed bug are characterized by their redness with a darker spot in the middle. Like other bug bites, they will be itchy raised bumps on your skin. Unique to bed bugs is that the bites are typically arranged in a cluster.
The marks will also be specific to areas that are exposed while you sleep. For example, you’ll probably find marks on your face, neck, arms, and hands.
Bed Bug Hideouts
These tiny pests can hide almost anywhere. They are most commonly found in areas of clutter or items that aren’t frequently moved, like a pile of clothes or bedding. Closets are a great hiding place for bed bugs, along with suitcases and other luggage.
You should keep your luggage off your bed if possible and check the seams of mattresses and box springs when staying at hotels. Bed bugs love dark hiding spots that won’t be disturbed.
Upholstered furniture seams are another commonplace for these bugs to hide. But, they can be in more unexpected places as well. Light sockets or under the covers of electrical outlets can sometimes be home to bed bugs.
The area you should always check if you think you have bed bugs in your bed frame and surrounding areas. These small crawlers can get into headboards, blankets, and even carpeting near the baseboard.
As unlikely as it may seem, bed bugs can even hide behind peeling paint or wallpaper or in cardboard boxes. When moving, it’s essential to check your house for any signs of bed bugs.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
The telltale sign of bed bug infestation is seeing their shedded skin or their eggs. Nymphs shed after biting, so these skins can be in your sheets and bedding.
A typical indication is blood on sheets or other items in your bedroom. 10% of the time, adults will void earlier blood meals when going for their next feeding.
Another sign of bed bugs is dark or rusty spots on mattress seams or other potential hiding places. These marks could be bed bug droppings. Bed bugs also have an extremely musty smell that you may notice.
Possible Reasons Why You Have Bed Bugs:
A common reason for bed bugs is frequent travel. As we noted, bed bugs are wherever people are. Trains and planes with soft seating can easily be hiding bed bugs. Airport lounges and hotels have the same issue.
It’s essential to keep up on pest control to ensure you don’t have any issues.
Bed bugs also have a natural insecticide resistance; 90% of commercial-grade insecticides won’t kill these insects.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
The first step in alleviating the stress caused by bed bugs is to take care of yourself and prevent them from biting you.
Here are a few ways to avoid bed bug bites:
- Cover up before going to bed
- Use bug spray or other insect repellents before bed
- Cover your mattress and box spring with a zipper plastic cover
Next, it’s time to prevent a bed bug infestation, so you don’t have to deal with any tricky removal methods. Try the following tips:
- Keep areas free of clutter, especially around the bed
- Check mattress seams and other hiding places when traveling
- Avoiding putting luggage on the bed
- Inspect all second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home
If you already have bed bugs, don’t worry! The following methods should help hold them at bay:
- Vacuum around the bed and immediately dispose of the contents
- Dry your clothes on high heat – bed bugs have a 100% mortality rate when exposed to temperatures higher than 122 °F for more than two minutes
- Freeze your bedding
Bed bugs are tricky to get rid of on your own. While these measures can help briefly, it’s crucial to get a pest management professional in to make sure you’re not dealing with the problem for months.
Want to Get Rid of Bed Bugs? Big Dave’s Can Help!
Bed bug control is essential and not something you want to risk getting worse. Professional treatment is the best way to find bed bug treatments that work.
If you have any signs of a bed bug infestation, call Big Dave’s immediately and keep these pests from bothering you any longer.