How Can You Tell If Your Mattress Has Bed Bugs
Bed bug infestations can be difficult to deal with if you are not sure of how to detect bed bugs. An infestation that spreads throughout a household can result in expensive termination services. This is why it is important to be aware of all the signs that point to your home being infested with bed bugs. If you or a family member are dealing with a bed bug issue, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore bed bug litigation lawyer. The dedicated lawyers at Whitney, LLP can help you file a claim against a negligent landlord that allowed a bed bug infestation to happen. Whitney, LLP explains the warning signs that may point to a bed bug infestation.
Look For Evidence Of Bed Bugs On Your Mattress
Evidence of bed bugs can be seen on your mattress everywhere that they travel on their host. If you are experiencing intense itching or swelling in one area of your body, this can be a sign that they are nearby as well as a symbol of an infestation already taking place. To check your mattress for bed bugs, look for evidence of feeding and nesting.
Where They Come From
No place is immune to bed bugs, as they can live anywhere with a body to feed on and in indoor temperatures between freezing and 120 degrees,” says Gaughan.
You can pick up bed bugs any place people gather, and contrary to popular opinion, they don’t mean that where you’re living is dirty or has poor sanitationbed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and luxury resorts, per the CDC.
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How Are Bed Bugs Formed
Warm temperatures between 21 degrees to 26 degree Celcius are favourable for bedbugs.
There is a common belief that bedbugs are caused by filthy and dirty environment. But that is not the case.
Bedbugs can live in any environment, whether dirty or clean, as long as the conditions are favorable a warm temperature and a food source.
Bedbugs cannot live on hosts, that is you, because you move too much. They need a safe place to hide, then come out and feed when it is safe for them to do so and then go back to their hiding. After feeding on human blood, they hide for 5 10 days and during this time they digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.
A female bedbug can lay 200 500 eggs during her lifetime and may lay 2 5 eggs per day.
So as you can see, a presence of only a single fertile female bedbug can cause an infestation in your environment.
Encase Your Mattress And Box Spring In A Cover
If youve decided that getting a new mattress is too expensive and DIYing your extermination is too dangerous, consider purchasing a special mattress cover and box spring cover. These highly specialized covers make it virtually impossible for bed bugs to escape. For this method to be most effective, leave the cover on for a year to ensure the bed bugs inside are all dead and are no longer reproducing.
This method is best if the bed bugs are only in your mattress, but it wont do anything if bed bugs are in your bed frame, nightstand, or anywhere else in the room.
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Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs
When a bed bug infestation is discovered there are multiple methods for controlling it. Be aware that it will take time and patience there is no quick fix for eradication. There are both chemical and non-chemical approaches are available. While using one or the other works, an approach that uses a combination of both can be the most effective. Using this combination of approaches is often referred to as integrated pest management.
Preparing for control is very important whether you are considering hiring a professional or planning to do it yourself.
Controlling bed bugs using integrated pest management means using a variety of methods, including both chemical and non-chemical techniques.
If you would like to use a do-it-yourself approach, be sure to come up with a plan to execute to ensure eradication and safety. All do-it-yourself products, especially foggers, should be researched and employed properly. In addition, you should be careful to only use legal control methods, as others may cause serious harm.
Hiring a pest management professional is a good option in many cases, but you need to be careful in how you select a company.
What Does A Bite From A Bed Bug Look Like
Bites are often tiny, flat or raised spots that become inflamed, itchy, red, or blistered as a result of the bite. Bed bug bite responses may not usually manifest themselves immediately after being bitten and may take several days before symptoms manifest themselves. Bed bug bites, on the other hand, do not cause the same reaction in everyone.
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Catching Bed Bugs In Their Hiding Spots
Earlier, we discussed how to tell if you have bed bugs based on their hiding spots. So how do you catch them? Since bed bugs are afraid of the light, they are difficult to eliminate since they dwell in dark areas. You need to carefully search every darkened corner of your home to catch them.
Below is a list of some of their common hiding spots:
S To Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Mattress
If youre opting to DIY your bed bug extermination, keep in mind that you may need to go through the process several times. While bed bugs dont carry any diseases, youll want to be thorough as they reproduce quickly. This can be long and tedious, while also lacking effectiveness for large infestations in which case it would be necessary to call in professional exterminators.
A Few Simple Precautions Can Help Prevent Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home:
- Check secondhand furniture, beds and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes or a cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs.
- Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
- Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
- Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags . Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home.
- If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
Other Signs Of Bed Bugs
Some additional symptoms of bed bug infestations include:
- Bites on the legs, arms, neck, or face
- Blood spots, specks or smears on bed linens
- Hatched egg shells or un-hatched pearl white eggs glued on mattress seams or headboard areas
- Brown or black stains on mattresses, headboards or boxsprings
- Cast skins in bed crevices or fabric folds
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You Notice An Unexplained Musty Odor
If you detect an unfamiliar and musty odor in your home, it could be a sign of a bed bug infestation.
The NHS advises thatan unpleasant, musty scent in your bedroom could signal the presence of the pesky critters. This is because bed bugs release pheromones that can be quite strong when large amounts of the insects are present.
How To Check Carpet For Bed Bugs
Since bed bugs are clever at hiding, it is not enough to check the carpet as it is on the floor. You need to check the bottom side of it and the floor boards under it as well. These insects can easily fit themselves into the smallest gap and hide there.
Cracks between floor boards should be checked using a flashlight a cardboard or something similar that can fit in the gap. Bed bugs are likely to jump out as you slide a cardboard through the cracks. If there is a bed bug infection, then you will probably find some shed skin in those cracks as well.
The favorite spot for bed bugs is going to be somewhere under the carpet. However, they are quickly going to rush away as you lift up the carpet. What you should look for are signs such as bed bug excrement, shed skin, blood drops or dead bed bugs.
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S To Prevent A Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs need warmth and blood to survive and can be found on any furniture or upholstery. No matter where they are found, they find their way to your mattress. They have easy access to food there and a warm environment. Follow a few steps to prevent bed bug infestation.
- De-clutter your bedroom, reducing hiding spots for bed bugs
- Seal cracks on the baseboards, walls, and electrical outlets where bed bugs may sneak in or hide
- Continue to use a bed bug proof encasement on your mattress
- Regularly vacuum your mattress, bed bases, bed frames, headboards, footboards, carpets, curtains, and other upholstered furniture, removing bed bugs if any
- Check for bed bugs in your hotel room to avoid bringing them back home with you
- Wash clothes in hot water immediately after returning from a trip
- Avoid keeping luggage on your bed bed bugs may travel by sticking to your bags
- Inspect second-hand furniture for bed bugs, before buying
Can Bed Bugs Live On Mattreses
Mattress is a common place where bedbugs are found because, mattresses provide favorable living conditions for them a warm temperature and a food source of human blood.
Mattresses can also provide a safe hiding place for bedbugs because it has lots of crevices and tiny spaces.
It does not matter whether the mattress is new or old.
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How Fast Do Bed Bugs Spread
Bed bugs only need a few minutes to travel between surfaces to find new hiding areas. Therefore, bringing any affected furniture or item into the room can quickly lead to a possible bed bug infestation. However, bed bugs dont reproduce as quickly because the female typically only lays one egg per day, and it will take for that egg ten days to hatch.
Look For Signs Of Bed Bugs In Your Linen
Your bed sheet, blanket, pillowcases, and every other thing on your bed can show some signs of bed bug infestations. Here are the signs you should look out for.
- Bed bug carcasses. You may see dead bed bugs that have been crushed in your bed. Bed bugs also shed as part of their life cycle. You may see carcasses and exoskeletons around.
- Bed bug eggs. Bed bug eggs are milky white capsules. They may be hard to spot because they can be as small as 1 mm. But the fact that they are often found in clusters makes them easier to see.
- Bloodstains. Since bed bugs feed on your blood, your blood splatters on your linens once you crush the bed bugs when you move around in bed. The bloodstains can appear like drops or smears.
- Brown smear marks. You may see red smear marks because of blood. But you may also see brown smear marks. These can be bed bug carcasses, exoskeletons, or feces. Whatever they are, they are equally disgusting.
- Live bed bugs. The most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation is seeing live bed bugs. These parasitic insects are reddish-brown and wingless. They can be as small as 1 mm and as big as 7 mm.
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How To Check Items For Bed Bugs
You can check any item for bed bugs just by grabbing a flashlight and taking a close look at it from all angles. Make sure to look at parts of the item that are not so obvious and may be a bit hidden from sight. Lift up the item if you can and check the bottom side, including gaps, cracks and darker spots.
In case you notice any blood drops, shed skin, eggs or dark fecal spots, then there is almost certainly a bed bug infection going on. If there are any red stains, it means that a well-fed bed bug got crushed there. You are going to find these signs easily with a flashlight, especially if the item is light in color.
Bed Bug Hiding Places
At the beginning of an infestation, beg bugs tend to hide near the place they feed,. They hide onunder the mattress and the bedspring , meaning close to the sleeping person they will bite.
When the infestation grows, the bed bugs can spread and hide elsewhere in the bedroom. They can then move to other rooms.
Here are examples of possible hiding places :
- Bedsprings, seams and bottoms of mattresses, and hems of bedding
- Headboards, bedroom furniture and drawers
- Clothing, backpacks, handbags and suitcases
- Chairs, wheelchairs, sofas and covers
- Carpets and curtains
- Mouldings and window or door frames
- Back of baseboard heaters and electrical outlets
- Peeled tapestry, frames and posters
- Cracks in the plaster, wood or floor
- Papers, books, telephones, radios and clocks
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What Do Bed Bugs Look Like To The Human Eye Are Bed Bugs Visible
When checking for bed bugs, you will need a good idea of what youre looking for.
These household pests are commonly thought to be invisible to the naked eye, or just a spec of black. However, they are much more prominent than that.
The adult bed bug is a reddish-brown color and is approximately the size of an apple seed . Their eggs, on the other hand, are much smaller and white in color.
If you dont find any bed bugs in your search, but still find some of their molts , then your search isnt over yet.
There are 7 stages to a bed bugs life-cycle, so just because you dont find the adult bed bugs, that doesnt mean that you wont be able to find their eggs that resemble grains of salt.
For more information on the lifecycle of a bed bug, visit out other article The Bed Bug Life-Cycle.
How To Prevent Bedbugs
An article in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners recommends using the acronym SLEEP to prevent bedbugs from coming to your home after traveling:
- S is for survey. When traveling, look for any signs of potential bedbugs, such as rust-colored spots on sheets, bed skirts, or mattress tags.
- L is for lift. Look at bedding, the bed frame, and furniture for any signs of bedbugs.
- E is for elevate. Place luggage and other personal items on luggage racks away from beds.
- E is for examine. Look at luggage and clothing items before returning home.
- P is for place. Place all clothing in a dryer on high heat for at least 15 minutes after getting home.
Bedbugs can also hitchhike onto many items you could bring into your home. This includes used furniture and clothing. Before you bring these items into your home, do a thorough inspection.
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Should I Also Try Pesticides
Pesticides may not be effective and can be dangerous if used improperly. If you decide to use pesticides, follow these rules:
- Only use pesticides that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and make sure they are labeled to control bed bugs.
- Do not apply pesticides directly to your body .
- Do not use outdoor pesticides indoors.
- If you decide to hire a pest control company, make sure they have experience with bed bugs. They should follow the steps of IPM, along with any pesticide application. Use a company that is registered and employs licensed applicators. The Department of Environmental Conservation has a list of registered companies.
It takes time and persistence to get rid of bed bugs, and in some cases, the cooperation of landlords, neighbors and others. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It can also be expensive when pest control companies are called in. Just remember – bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a health concern and, with vigilance, you can avoid or deal with infestations.
If you are a renter, the Residential Tenants Rights Guide can explain many of the laws that can help you and provide resources where you can find more information about landlord and tenant issues, like bed bug infestations.
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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