What Not To Do
If you have bed bugs, do not:
- panic and reach for the insecticide spay at once, but do keep calm and make a plan.
- use agricultural, garden, or home-made pesticides, as these can be hazardous, ineffective, and may make the problem worse
- use products that are not EPA-registered and do not have an English label
- apply pesticides to the body, as this can be dangerous
- use rubbing alcohol, kerosene, or gasoline, as these can start a fire
- move things from room to room or get rid of belongings, as these will spread the problem and most things can be treated successfully
- put items in black plastic in the sun, as it will not be hot enough to kill the bugs
Bed bugs are found in all 50 states, and they can affect anyone in any place, although they are more common in urban areas.
It is worth remembering that bed bugs:
- do not spread disease
How Do Bed Bugs Get Into My Apartment
Bed bug in textured ceiling with droppings around harborage between popcorn texture.
Bed bugs are no longer an unusual pest in apartments. Since approximately 2000, bed bugs have reemerged as an important pest in the United States. Bed bugs are occasionally introduced into an apartment via luggage that has become infested from a hotel or hostel. In apartment complexes, it is probably more common for bed bugs to enter a home from a nearby infested apartment, during moving, or through picking up used or recycled furniture or mattresses. Once introduced into an apartment building, bed bugs can readily spread from one infested unit to another.
Tips For Identifying Bed Bugs
Here are some additional tips for recognizing and identifying adult bed bugs:
- Bed bugs have a narrow head and thorax with a wide abdomen.
- They have small, vestigial front wings but cant fly. If it flies, its not a bed bug.
- Adults are flat and brown/rusty colored, while nymphs are pale. Once fed they elongate slightly and turn reddish.
- They have 6 legs and 2 antennae. Their antennae have 4 segments.
- Bed bugs tend to hide in the joints of furniture, the seams of mattresses, and the folds of curtains. They are also common in the cracks behind bureau drawers, baseboards, and bed frames. Check for bugs, eggs, shell casings, and fecal stains in these areas.
- Bed bug indicators are a great tool to help catch live bed bugs.
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What Does A Bed Bug Look Like Up Close
Although other bugs are mistaken for bed bugs, they do have some features which will help you to correctly identify them, and these are:
Head short and broad with distinct eyes that are clearly seen on each side of the head.
They have a long proboscis to feed, which pierces your skin and sucks your blood. When not feeding, the proboscis is tucked back underneath the body.
Bed bugs have two antennae, each with four segments that work together as sensors for locating a blood meal.
Thorax is attached to the head and abdomen and enables the body to move.
Its not always easy to tell the difference between the thorax and the body, but the thorax is in three segments and the segment nearest the head is flatter and partly surrounds the head.
The legs and wing pads are also attached to the thorax.
Abdomen the bed bug has 11 segments on its abdomen so the body can expand whilst feeding.
After feeding the body looks swollen, elongated, and darker in color.
You can also tell if the bed bug is male or female by the shape of this area. The female is larger with a rounded abdominal tip, whereas the male has a more pointed abdominal tip.
4. Here is a good picture of a bed bug as it shows you in detail all of the features mentioned above.
You can see how the segments on its body expand and become darker in color as it fills itself up with blood.
This is what a bed bug looks like after feeding.
5. A closer image of number 1 above. Although this photo is a bit blurry .
What Does A Bed Bug Bite Look Like
You cant describe the bites as looking only one way. Some look and feel like mosquito or flea bites. Some people dont react at all. On the opposite extreme, others get big itchy welts that take two or more weeks to heal. Theres a myth that bed bug bites occur in threes , but its not true. Bites can occur singly, in clumps, or in a line. Bites can show up within hoursor two weeks later. Confirming an infestation on bites alone is impossible. You need evidence: a bed bug.
Bed bugs usually feed while people sleep, about an hour before dawn. But if theyre hungry and given the opportunity, they feed anytime. Feeding itself is painlessthe bed bugs saliva numbs the skin and makes the blood easier to drink. But later, many people react to the saliva, getting itchy bumps or rashes. After feeding for about five minutes, drawing only a drop or two of blood, bugs return to their hiding places. Although bed bugs can live for over a year without feeding, they typically seek blood every five to ten days.
The only way to know for sure what bit you is to find a bug and get it identified.
Bed bugs live off only bloodlike mosquitoes do. They probably prefer to feed on people. But if people move out, bed bugs can survive by feeding on rats or miceso control these pests, too. Theyre attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxidewhat we animals breathe out. They usually feed about an hour before dawn, but given the opportunity, they may feed at other times of day or night.
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What Do They Look Like
Though most bugs look alike, some characteristic features are special only to the bed bug. They are described below:
- Bed bugs are reddish-brown in colour and only a few millimetres in length.
- They have short legs and can move swiftly.
- They are flat and oval in shape.
- The baby bed bugs are milky white and can be more difficult to spot.
- Bed bug eggs are small and white and are covered with a sticky substance.
- The shape of the bed bug might get elongated after a feed, and they might crawl a lot slower than usual.
Bed Bug Bites On The Skin
Familiarize yourself with what bed bug bites look like. They may look like another familiar insect bite, but more often, bites from bed bugs are swollen, itchy, and red. In addition, bed bug bites are quite small, but different people react to these bites uniquely, so the size of the bed bug bite wont be the same for everyone.
You can look for bites around your face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and legs. These parts of the body are what is quickly exposed when we sleep on the mattress. However, do note that your bodys reaction to the bed bug bite might take a few days to show symptoms.
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How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
It will take at least three weeks to be rid of bed bugs. Heres why:
- Preparation usually takes about a week
- Two weeks in a freezer kills the crawling bed bugs
- Insecticides dont kill the eggs, which take about two weeks to hatchthe pest management professional should reinspect and apply more insecticides if needed two full weeks after the first treatment.
- The fastest IPM fix relies on the team effort of a PMP and the owner. The owner must do the necessary preparation and do the cultural and mechanical control work while the PMP handles the insecticides.
- Fumigation and full-structure heat treatments work after one treatment, but are very costly. Fumigation is not the same thing as fogging.
What Color Are Bed Bugs
Immature bed bugs, commonly referred to as nymph, are translucent, that is, they are almost colorless. When they first hatch, the bed bugs are colorless but they become brown as they grow. Adult but unfed bed bugs have a rusty brown color.
Adult bed bugs that have fed on a blood meal appear to be red brown in color. The additional red color after the mature bed bug feeds can be explained by the color of your blood.
The color of the bed bugs determines how visible they are. When immature, the bed bugs are less visible since they are translucent. An adult bed bug that has had a blood meal is more visible than one that has not fed.
There are several factors that determine the color of the bed bugs. Some of them are discussed below
Bed bugs that have fed are more visible than those that have not fed. As sated above, a bed bug that has had a blood meal will have an extremely visible color which is red-brown as opposed to the unfed bed bug which is just brown in color.
Stage in life cycle
An immature bed bug is almost colorless meaning you can hardly see it. A bed bug is however very visible once it is an adult since it acquires a brown color which you can easily see with your naked eye.
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How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Clothes
- Keep bed bug contaminated laundry separate. Place the laundry in a sealed plastic bag before taking it to the washing machine. You want to avoid spreading bed bugs to other areas of your home. Once you put the clothes in the washing machine throw away the plastic bag outside. Make sure you check the laundry bins for any bed bug stragglers.
- Wash and dry on the highest heat setting your washer and dryer has. Bed bugs and their eggs are instantly killed when they reach 122.
- Store the clean clothes in a sealed plastic bin while the bed bug infestation/treatment is ongoing.
- If you have dry clean only clothes, talk to your dry cleaner. We recommend calling them and asking if they handle bed bug contaminated laundry and ask them their procedure for bringing it in. Dry cleaning can kill bed bugs but not because of the heat used in the dry cleaning process. The most common chemical used in dry cleaning is Perchloroethylene or PCE. Bed bugs exposed to PCE will die in the dry cleaning process.
How Kill Bed Bugs
How does heat treatment kill bed bugs? Bed bugs die when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period. If performed properly, heat treatment for bed bugs can be a highly effective procedure. When bed bug control professionals do a full-room heat treatment, the temperature in your home rises to as much as 145 °F.
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What Does Bed Bug Poop Look Like
Bed bug poop is digested blood and as it dries and soaks into fabric, it looks like rusty brown/black streaks or dots, similar to an ink stain.
The first place to look for bed bug droppings is in the corners and seams of your mattress as they hide close to a host.
You might also find bed bug feces in clusters on your pillowcases, duvet, sheets, behind switch plates, on curtains, the couch, and anywhere else they hide
37. Bed bugs are hiding under the mattress piping in this picture.
The mattress is the first place to inspect if you think you have bed bugs.
The dark spots are fecal matter.
38. The image below shows a bed bug infestation that has been left to grow for some time. The tell-tale signs are the dark blood spots on the mattress.
Image credit: Flickr.com Lou bugs pixCC Licenses/by-nd/2.0/
39. This is a photo I took while treating a bad infestation. This mattress was very heavily infested which is evident by the number of blood spots and smears on it.
If your mattress has got to this stage, dont try and treat it yourself as it will be impossible to get rid of the infestation. Only a pest control company will be able to eradicate it at this point.
If the infestation is really bad then the pest control technician will most likely recommend you get rid of your mattress.
But before you do, check out these guidelines so you know how to dispose of the mattress and box spring properly.
Image Credit: Flickr.com/BPCA CC Licenses/by/2.0/
Take Your Bed Frame Apart
To dive in deeper, take your bed frame apart, if it can be done, and clean every inch of it. Bed bugs can hide in the smallest of places, so its worth the effort to get rid of them. Use a magnifying glass and flashlight to see inside crevices and get a better look. If you have a wood bed frame and find any cracks, consider sealing them to prevent bed bugs from using them as a hiding spot.
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You May Be Eligible For A Payout
If you suffered from bed bugs in your hotel or apartment you can give us a call at 733 9217 for your quick and easy consultation.
If you choose to inquire about a claim, consultations are 100% FREE.
We understand the sensitivity of the situation, and the potential embarrassment that falling victim to an infestation can cause.
When working with an experienced bed bug bite attorney
You can not only receive compensation for your injuries, but you can also help prevent future infestations by discouraging future negligent practices.
Get in touch today!
What Should A Pest Control Company Do For Meand Vice Versa
Pest Management Professionals should be knowledgeable about bed bugs, educating you so you understand why time-consuming and thorough preparation is so important. If the company doesnt require you to do prep work, call the next company on your list.
PMPs may ask you to launder all clothing, bedding, and draperies buy resealable bags for all possessions in drawers, closets, etc. clean rooms thoroughly and vacate rooms on all treatment days. One thing that differs by pest control company is whether callers should do anything to the bed ahead of time. Theres no right way. Still, the company should be able to explain the why behind their methods.
The time and money it takes to battle bed bugs will be easier to grasp if you understand:
Clutter makes it harder for PMPs to find and treat all likely hiding spots of loner females that could restart an infestation.
Bed bugs arent found just in beds. Any space a credit card edge could slide in is a possible hiding spot. PMPs need to treat baseboards, picture frames, bed frames, dressers, drawers, and tables. Because preparation will disturb the bugs, you should choose a pest control company and learn their operating procedure before doing much to the room.
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What Shouldnt I Do When Trying To Eliminate Bed Bugs
Dont panic. Although bed bugs can be annoying, you can get rid of them if you adopt a well-considered strategy.
Dont put the legs of the bed frame in kerosene or coat them with petroleum jelly. Bed bugs have been known to climb on the ceiling and drop down onto the bed. Plus kerosene is a fire hazard.
Dont depend on thyme oil. Thyme oil may discourage bed bugs, but it wont kill them. Chances are itll spread, not fix, the problem.
Dont leave the home unoccupied through a winter as a control measure. Bed bugs have adapted to the unpredictable habits of humans. If given time to go dormantfor example, in a vacation cabin that slowly gets cooler, then cold over fall and winterbed bugs can survive, living without a meal for many months while waiting for humans to return. The quick penetration of killing cold is the key to any temperature treatment.
Dont turn up the heat. Exposing bed bugs to 120 ºF or more an hour will kill all life stagesand whole-structure or container heat treatments do work. But the caution is similar to using cold. High heat must be maintained at every point in the building: the outer walls, deep in the sofa, etc. for the full hour. Professionals enclose the structure, using tools to guarantee that it reaches the right temperature. If you go with a full-structure heat treatment, consider if the heat could damage furniture, appliances, and belongings.
How To Eliminate Bed Bugs From An Air Mattress
Getting rid of these tiny creatures from your air mattress is tough and tricky. They hide in spots that arent easy to spot. Moreover, apart from your bed, they are likely to have created multiple hiding spots in other places as well. They can easily be transported to the other areas of the house. You can even find them hiding in boxes, shoes, and suitcases. So, to make sure you check the spread of bed bugs in your house, following the strategies mentioned below.
- Keep your pets clean
Bed bugs can easily enter your house and infest different areas through your pets. If you sleep with pets and allow them to sit on your bed, sofa, and other resting places, you must ensure that your pet is completely clean and fresh. Bath your pets regularly to check the spread of bed bugs.
Also, the bathing must be done outside the house. Properly groom your pet and cut off all its long hair. Brush his/ her entire body vigorously. Use an anti-parasite shampoo while cleaning him/ her. But make sure it doesnt entire his/ her eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid vacuuming
Vacuuming never eliminates eggs or bugs. Vacuum cleaning machines can be infested with pets as well. Vacuuming alone isnt effective to remove bugs from your air mattress. You are supposed to add another strategy with vacuuming.
- Steam carpets and floor
Another effective method to control the spread of bed bugs is steaming. No matter at which stage their development is, steaming would be effective.
- Buy an encase cover
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