Do you know what it takes to get rid of bed bugs? If you don't, you're not alone. Most Durham residents don't even know where to begin with these pests, which can allow infestations to last a lot longer than they should. Are you currently dealing with a bed bug infestation? Are you scratching your head (and other parts of your body), wondering how to find bed bugs or what to do when you find them? Join us as we look at how to detect a bed bug infestation in your Durham home, what you can do when you uncover bed bugs or their warning signs, and how professional pest control in Durham outsmarts bed bugs.
Easy-To-Spot Signs Of Bed Bugs In Your Home
Bed bugs can infest a home for months without revealing themselves. Wait. How is that possible? Don't bed bugs bite? Yes, but you may not know that bed bugs are biting you. Let's examine this first.
Bites: When bed bugs get into your home, they will bite you. It is what bed bugs do. But these bites may not look like bites, or you may not know what is biting you.
- The initial wounds caused by immature bed bug nymphs are slight and numerous and often have a pronounced rash. You might mistake these numerous, rashy bumps as an allergic reaction and not realize they're bug bites.
- You may know you are getting bitten by something but mistake the wounds caused by one adult bed bug as bites from an outdoor insect. The bump and rash caused by an insect bite can take hours, or even days, to appear.
- When more than one adult bed bugs start to bite you, it is easy to spot. Bed bugs feed as a group, and each insect typically bites three times. These bites will look like a path across your skin.
Insects: When you see bed bugs in your home, there is little doubt that you have an infestation. However, bed bugs are often mistaken for other insects or not properly identified as bed bugs.
- Newly hatched bed bug nymphs are 1/24 of an inch in length and pale-colored. When a nymph draws a blood meal, the blood fills its abdomen (which is its largest body part). When you see a recently fed nymph, it will look like a red insect with a white head. You might not know you're looking at a bed bug.
- Nymphs turn from pale white to a tan color as they develop. If you see a tan, flat, seed-shaped insect in your home, you might wonder if it is a bed bug but not know for sure. You may know that bed bugs are flat and seed-shaped but expect them to be rusty brown. Moreover, a recently fed nymph can look redder and be more of a pill shape rather than flat.
- Even adult bed bugs can elude identification. After an adult bed bug has digested a meal, it will no longer have a red coloration. You'll see black feces inside the abdomen. In dim lighting, the black coloration can make bed bugs look like black insects instead of rusty brown.
- You're not likely to see bed bugs. These insects hide in tight spaces. If you hope to find them, you need to know where bed bugs hide. While you may know that they like to hide in beds, you may not know that they squeeze into the seams on your mattress, slide under labels, and climb inside rips. They may also hide in bed frames, bedstands, and upholstered furniture. You'll need a flashlight and something to probe creases, seams, stitching, gaps, and cracks to dislodge them.
While seeing bites on your skin or finding bed bugs in your home are obvious signs of an infestation, you might not recognize these signs. You need to know how to identify bed bugs and the bites they leave on your skin. It also helps to properly interpert other warning signs of an infestation so that you know for sure you have bed bugs. Let's look at bed bug signs next.
The Symptoms Of A Bed Bug Infestation
When bed bugs infest your home, they let you know. While you may not see the source of your problem, you'll see the symptoms. What are the symptoms of a bed bug infestation? Black stains, blood stains, a bad smell, tiny white eggs, and shed skins. Here are a few places you may find these signs if you haven't seen them already.
- You may see stains. Bed bugs leave stains on pillowcases, sheets, bedspreads, clothing, upholstered furniture, and more. Look for black and tan coloration mixed.
- You may notice shed skins and black or tan stains on your mattress or box spring when you remove sheets.
- You might smell a faint odor that reminds you of a dirty, locker room towel.
- You might find tiny white eggs, shed skins, or the bed bugs themselves by probing a seam, cracks, or recesses in beds and furniture. Be sure to check couches, loveseats, and your computer chair, etc.
When you find secondary warning signs, it will help you properly diagnose your bed bug infestation. Once you've done this, you'll want to eliminate those bugs.
Why DIY Bed Bug Control Is A Waste Of Time And Money
There are ways to get control of bed bugs. Before we discuss how DIY bed bug control can fall short, let's look at how to treat bed bugs successfully.
- Put clothing, sheets, pillowcases, bedspreads, and other fabrics through a hot wash and a dryer cycle. Doing this can exterminate bed bugs in all stages of development.
- Treat infested items. You can use hot or cold. Put dryer-safe items in the dryer for thirty minutes. That's all that is needed to exterminate bed bugs. For an item that is not dryer-safer and small enough to put in a sealed plastic bag, put the item in your freezer for four days. Large items are more complicated to treat. Consult a licensed professional for assistance with these.
- Clean bed bugs up. Knowing how to clean bed bugs up in infested locations can quickly stop these insects. As you perform an inspection, keep a vacuum at hand. When you find bed bugs huddled together in a compressed location, such as under a mattress or couch cushion, suck them up. You may also use an attachment to suck them out of seams, pockets, and other hiding places.
Problems begin when bed bugs are not isolated or in locations that are easy to treat. Residents turn to over-the-counter products. These products fall shot in a variety of ways. Here are a few examples:
- Spray products are topical. They don't get to where bed bugs are hiding, and these insects work together to avoid treated areas.
- Traps promise to capture all the bed bugs in your home but fail to deliver. You can capture bed bugs with certain traps, but bed bugs can reproduce faster than you can remove them with traps.
- Mattress encasements are helpful, but they don't provide a complete solution. Often, bed bugs are in locations outside of mattresses and box springs. They'll just climb over your encasements when they come out at night to feed.
- You can use a mixture of bed bug products to stop bed bugs from biting you while you sleep (such as encasements and traps), but these pests can bite you when you're not sleeping.
Bed bug control is more about the process and far less about the products. Effective bed bug control requires specialized knowledge.
Call The Pros At The First Sign Of Bed Bugs In Your Home
Are you in Durham? Call The Eco Man Pest Solutions for bed bug control. The methods we use are appropriately selected and, most importantly, applied in a way that prevents bed bugs from eluding treatments.
- We apply products that are safe for your family, pets, and the environment. We use these products along with methods that are 100 percent all-natural.
- Where appropriate, we may apply a heat treatment to raise the temperature of a room for several hours. Heat exterminates bed bugs in all stages of development and radiates into hard-to-reach places, such as inside your mattress or box spring.
- We use steam to directly treat certain areas to target bed bugs where they're hiding and add more heat to make sure your treatment is successful. Steam gets deep into cold spots where bed bugs hide from heat treatments.
- We evaluate your pest control treatment and let you know when the bugs are gone. Once you get the all-clear, you're free to sleep confidently.
You don't have to let the bed bugs bite. When you detect evidence of a bed bug infestation in your Durham home, contact The Eco Man Pest Solutions. We have a long track record of success. We'll find those bugs and get rid of them. Reach out to us today to schedule a service visit. We're here to help.
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