Bed bugs have bee a huge problem in many homes across America for many years. Bed bugs are one of the tiniest pests that can infest our homes and living spaces. Common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) adults grow only about ¼ of an inch long and eggs are about the size of a pin head. This makes them especially hard to see and what’s scary is that females can lay 1-5 eggs per day or between 200-300 during their lifetime. In 180 days, one mated adult female can result in 7,848 adults; 121,449 nymphs; 69,909 eggs and 169,490 bites.
How Bed Bugs Can Infest Your Home
Bed bugs can spread very easily by hitchhiking from host to host on many different items found in the home. These items include clothing, luggage, furniture, bedding, backpacks, animal cages, and more.
Bed bugs can infest almost any space they are able to fit into, although, typically, they prefer wood and cloth surfaces. They have also been known to inhabit hollow bird perches in cages and even electronic devices such as alarm clocks.
In order to keep these pests under control, proper inspection of the home is crucial.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
Typically, the first signs of an infestation is often the presence of itching bites. However due to the varied reactions of bed bugs bites, the presence itching bites is not conclusive for bed bugs. Other, more concrete signs of Bed Bug Infestations include:
- Blackish stains (blood) on mattresses and box springs, and the edges of carpet where it meets the mouldings.
- Shed exoskeletons along mattress seams, behind headboards, in ceiling/wall junctions, along baseboards and stuck to personal belongings.
- Look for fecal spots along the mattress seams and on the tag, on the wood frame of the box springs, behind the headboard, along the tops of baseboards or the edge of carpeting, ceiling/wall junctions and behind pictures on the wall, at electrical outlets, and in curtain seams where they gather at the rod.
If you notice any of these signs, most likely in your bedroom, you need to call Bingham’s Professional Pest Management right away. Signs like these insinuate a problem that has grown to need professional help.
Contact Bingham’s Professional Pest Management to discuss:
- Bed Bug Inspection
- Bed Bug Treatment
- Bed Bug Monitoring
Bingham's Professional Pest Management will be happy to answer your bed bug questions and advise you on the best solution.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
It’s possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place – they've infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and countless other places we never would have imagined just 10 years ago. They can hide in your luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, and hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment. Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to eradicate without the help of an experienced pest control professional.
A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness – you can pick them up in even the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
Some treatment options include:
Heat Treatment - Infested clothing and sheet can be placed in a dryer on the highest temperature setting. This will kill all stages of bed bugs in approximately 12 minutes.
Steam Treatment - This option can be very expensive and only has a success rate of 65% There are hundreds of steam machines you can buy for bed bug work.
Cold Treatments - This treatment kills bed bugs when the snow crystals land on the bug and convert to CO2 gas. You still have to bag clothes and wash with hot water, clean up areas, and vacuum before treatment.
Bed Bug Fumigation- Fumigation is 100% effective on infestations if performed properly. Fumigation controls all infested articles no matter the sanitation condition of the structure. 100% eradication of all life cycles including Bed Bug eggs.
Protecting Your Home Against Bed Bugs
Follow these recommendations to reduce the risk picking up bed bugs:
- As previously mentioned, the first sign of a bed bug problem is having itchy red bite marks on your skin, so if you have see this, or have heard of a bed bug invasion in your neighborhood, check your bed for flat, reddish brown bugs about the size of an apple seed. They leave rust-like red spots on bedding and mattresses and brown skin sheddings on furniture, walls and floors.
- To keep your home as clean as possible, wash drapes and bedding and inspect the window frames, bed frames and mattresses. Vacuum fabric furniture and mattresses, especially in the seams and behind the cushions. Having a clean house won't necessarily prevent a bed bug invasion, but the routine cleanings and inspections give you the chance to discover the insects during the early stages of an infestation if they do arrive. If you've found the bugs in your home, it is best to enlist the help of an exterminator.
- After inspecting and vacuuming the beds, carefully checking the frames, headboards, mattresses and box springs, encase the mattresses and box springs in bug-resistant covers. Choose mattress pads that cover the entire surface and close with zippers. Put pillow covers on all the bed pillows, too. The casings help keep bed bugs from out of mattresses and pillows.
- One common reason for the spread of bed bugs is an increase in travel. Bugs from infested areas move into non-infested areas by getting into luggage and clothes. Use luggage racks in hotel rooms to keep luggage and other belongings off the floor and furniture. Keep clean and dirty clothes in sealable bags. Ask for freshly cleaned blankets for the beds. Finally, inspect your luggage and clothes thoroughly when you get home and wash and dry all your clothes on the highest heat settings allowed by the fabrics.