Bed bugs are disturbing pests. They hide from view, come out at night, and bite you while you sleep. If your bed bug infestation grows, they can even begin to bite you while you're awake. Are bed bug bites dangerous? No. But repeated bites are detramental. It is best to catch bed bugs early and deal with them quickly. If you're thinking, "That sounds like a great idea!" then you've come to the right place. Today, we'll discuss the early signs of bed bugs, what it is like to have an infestation, and how to keep bed bugs out of your Durham home. The Eco Man Pest Solutions doesn't just provide advanced bed bug pest control in Durham, we also empower residents to prevent bed bug problems and deal with bed bugs when they are found. We're sure you'll find some great tips and insights here.
Early Warning Signs Of Bed Bugs
It is helpful to catch bed bugs early for many reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is that it can save you money. When bed bugs first get into a home, they tend to stay in one spot where feeding is easiest, but they will eventually start to spread around your home, getting into hard-to-treat places. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for a professional to treat your bed bug infestation.
Where do you look for early signs? If you're the one getting bites, the first place you should look is your bed. If someone else is getting bites, check their bed first. To do this, you'll need to know how to check for bed bugs.
What You'll Need: A flashlight and a butter knife.
What You're Looking To Find: Black spots or streaks, brown stains, yellowish insect skins, tiny white eggs, or bed bugs.
Where You Need To Look: When bed bugs hide in a bed, there are a few locations where warning signs are most likely to be found, but they aren't the only places. You need to search every tight space and dark recess. But start with these areas.
- Check your sheets, pillowcases, bedspreads, mattress, and box spring for black or brown stains.
- Drag the butter knife along the seams and bring evidence to the surface.
- Probe underneath labels on your mattress or box spring.
- Inspect around vents and grommets on your mattress.
- Look for black stains around any rips or tears in your mattress or box spring.
- Use your flashlight to look in every recess, nail or screw, and gap in your bed frame.
Where Else You Need To Look: Bed bugs can hide near your bed. They'll hide in a long list of places. Here are some places to check first.
- Look underneath the feet of your bed and nightstands.
- Check along your carpet edges.
- Use your flashlight to check your baseboards, outlet covers, and any crown molding.
- Inspect your alarm clock and any items sitting on your nightstands.
- Inspect upholstered furniture in your room.
Other Places To Look Besides Your Bed: At the start of an infestation, bed bugs may establish themselves around living room furniture, computer desks, book reading nooks, and other places where you may lounge. The longer you have an infestation, the more likely these places will have bed bugs.
- Check your office chairs, computer desks, and computers.
- Check under couch cushions, around stitching, and inside pockets.
- Check underneath cushions in window nooks.
- Check any areas where you sit or lounge.
The only place you don't need to check is pet bedding. Bed bugs don't prefer to bite dogs or cats. They have a preference for human blood and they're also not equipped to move through fur or hair.
Now that we've laid the groundwork for locating bed bugs in your home, let's discuss some other signs you may see if you have an infestation in your home. You won't need to go looking for these signs.
What A Bed Bug Infestation Is Like
When bed bugs get into your home, you may notice them and not realize it. If you hope to catch them early, you need to know how to identify bed bugs and how to clean bed bugs up when you find them. You also need to know how to recognize bed bug bites.
What Bed Bugs Look Like In All Stages: You've probably seen a bed bug. You know they are seed-shaped insects with six legs, a brownish-red coloration, and horizontal lines on their abdomens. But bed bugs don't always look like this.
- You may find bed bug eggs. These are 1mm long and white in coloration. You may find them as individuals or in small batches. Bed bugs prefer to lay these eggs in tight spaces.
- You may see newly hatched nymphs. Baby bed bugs are insects with six legs and three body parts, just like the adults. But these nymphs are only 1mm long and pale in coloration. They're also transparent. So, if you see a bed bug that has drawn a blood meal, it will look like a tiny red insect.
- You may see developing nymphs. These insects are between 1mm and 4.5mm in length. They have a tan or yellowish coloration and you may see blood or fecal matter in their abdomens.
When you see a bed bug, it will likely go into hiding as quickly as possible. Get your vacuum and check the furniture item. You may get lucky and find the bed bugs where they're hiding. If you do find them, you can suck them up and dispose of the bag outside. If they're inside an item, such as an alarm clock, you can put the item in a sealed plastic bag and store it in your freezer for four days. That will do the trick. If they're in an item that is dryer-safe, you can put the item in your dryer for thirty minutes to address the bugs and eggs inside.
What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? Most of the time, you won't see bed bugs at all. You'll find bites on your skin and wonder if you have bed bugs. Here are a few facts you should know about bed bug bites:
- If one bed bug bites you, you'll likely have three bites in a line or zig-zag pattern and close together. The bites will look like a path on your skin if several bed bugs have bitten you.
- Bed bug bites are often slight at first. They may just look like a bumpy rash. Over time, your reaction to the bites will likely worsen and become more irritating.
- Bed bug bites may not immediately swell, itch, and have a rash. It can take hours for this to happen, so you might not see the bites when you wake up. If you notice bites during the day, keep this in mind.
- Bed bugs tend to bite skin that is exposed during sleep, and typically on the upper body.
- A bed bug bite won't have an ulcer or pustule at the center.
If you detect bed bugs and manage to get rid of them quickly, the next step is general prevention. Let's take a look.
How To Stop Bed Bugs From Coming Back
You can use all of the tips provided above to not only find bed bugs in your home but also to detect them when you stay somewhere away from home. Always perform an inspection before you spend the night somewhere. And teach your kids to watch for bed bugs and warning signs of an infestation. Here are a few more tips that will help you prevent bed bugs from coming home with you or your kids.
- Keep laundry items in a sealed plastic bag.
- Use luggage racks when opening your luggage.
- Protect your luggage when stored. You can put them in plastic bags or spray them with lavender to keep bed bugs out.
- Wash all laundry in hot water and put the laundry through a dryer cycle when you get home. Also, wash what you're wearing.
Along with being vigilant to check for bed bugs when spending the night somewhere, always keep watch for signs when you're away from home during the day. Bed bugs don't just live in hotels, motels, and residences. They're found in public transportation, schools, office spaces, and public venues.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In My Home Permanently?
There is no way to permanently keep bed bugs out of your home. There is no way to successfully prevent them 100 percent of the time. If you try to do this, you're likely to be exhausted. The best solution for bed bugs is to perform routine inspections of your home, detect them early, and contact The Eco Man Pest Solutions for a bed bug treatment, if needed. We'll target those bugs and make sure no bugs remain in your home. We'll also provide advice to prevent infestation by helping you analyze where you may have picked up bed bugs. When you have The Eco Man Pest Solutions service team in your corner, you have fast and effective pest control. Connect with us today for service.
Eco Man Pest are the best to work with that I've had in the Triangle since moving here 20 years ago and using at least 5 other companies thus far. The Technician was so nice, knowledgeable and efficient. Thanks again Tim...