If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you aren’t alone. While the common bed bug was almost completely eradicated in the United States over the last 50 years, its been making a comeback. Even though bed bugs don’t carry disease or pose a serious health threat, they’re extremely annoying and cause a great deal of stress and discomfort.
If you suspect your home is infested with these pests, here’s what you need to know:
Know the Signs of Bed Bugs
The first thing you need to do is know whether or not you have bed bugs. Your first indicator will be when you wake up with itching, red marks that you didn’t notice previously. You might also see some bugs crawling on your bed, although bed bugs are usually tiny and difficult to spot. To be sure it was a bed bug that bit you, look for these signs:
- Red blood stains on your bed or pillows sheets.
- Dark spots on your sheets, mattress, or wall.
- Egg shells, fecal matter, or shed skins around your room or home.
- A musty, nauseating odor.
Find Where They Live
The key to treating bed bugs properly is hitting them where they live. Bed bugs can hide in small crevices and creases, making treatment a difficult process. Here’s where you need to check for bed bugs:
- Every inch of your bed: pillows, sheets, mattress, frame, box spring, and side dressings.
- All items stored beneath your bed.
- Bedroom furniture such as chairs, dressers, and nightstands.
- Carpeting, wood moulding, and the edge of your wall.
- Clothing, stuffed animals, other miscellaneous bedroom items.
Make sure to carefully check your other rooms, as well, since bed bugs can spread quickly.
Remember that one of the best ways to prevent re-infestation is depriving the bed bugs of places to nest. An estimated 66% of bed bug cases treated by experts are made worse by a cluttered home, providing the bugs plenty of places to hide.
Getting Rid of Them
Unfortunately, prevention isn’t possible once the bugs have infested your home. Here’s what you need to do as soon as you’ve identified bed bugs:
- Gather things like bed sheets and clothing that might contain bed bugs and place them in a laundry bag. Wash them in hot water and dry them for an extended period of time. The heat will kill the bed bugs, so you’ll want to discard the bag.
- Scrub every piece of your bedding with a stiff brush to remove all bugs.
- Spray all infested areas with insecticide. If you want to avoid chemicals, a steam-sprayer will also kill bed bugs successfully.
- Thoroughly vacuum your home to remove dead bugs and any remaining live ones from your carpet.
- Fix any cracks in your walls or wallpaper to remove any potential hiding spots.
These tips will help you identify, prevent, and treat very minor infestations, but the best way to truly get rid of them is by calling a local professional, like Professional Termite & Pest Control Inc. Bed bugs can live well over a year without feeding, so it’s hard to know if they’re truly gone or not without an expert’s assistance.
If you suspect that you have bed bugs, you should consider calling your bed bug control experts. They will be able to help you sleep tight again in no time!