What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny insects, generally less than a quarter of an inch long, that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They can easily get into your home where they spread throughout furniture, bedding, clothing, and other commonly used items. They can multiply quickly – a female bed bug lays hundreds of eggs in her lifetime! This means hundreds of baby bed bugs can make their home completely undetected in beds, carpeting, closets, and other hidden areas.
Any homeowner can fall victim to bed bugs without noticing. The longer the infestation goes, the worse it can get. Bed bugs are extremely thin and can move into cracks and crevices with ease, allowing them to move to different parts of the home. This can lead to a greater infestation of the house, apartment building, or business complex.
Now that you might be wondering, “do I have bed bugs?”, let’s investigate how you can spot them and prevent future infestations.
How Did Bed Bugs Get in My Home?
Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and will attach to your clothing, luggage, and other objects in order to eat. Did you recently stay at a hotel, motel, or someone’s house? Did you sit on any furniture at a business? These simple, regular actions can lead to a bed bug infestation.
A misconception about bed bugs is that they live in dirty homes or areas. This is not true, as bed bugs feed on blood. They are happy anywhere that they can eat, meaning that the cleanest homes can fall victim to bed bugs. Having a clean home will not stop bed bugs from settling in.
Bed bugs are also a pest year-round, and going out in a specific season will not protect you from an infestation. The best way to avoid bed bugs is to inspect the area that you’re staying in to see if you notice any signs. If you do, alert the staff, business owner, or homeowner right away.
Signs That You Have Bed Bugs
While bed bugs are incredibly difficult to spot, there are some indicators that they have moved in to your home. WebMD provides some helpful tips on what to do look for and how to handle a bed bug infestation. A few things to look for include:
- Blood stains and spots on bedding and pillows
- Fecal spots, shells, or eggs on bedding, clothing, or luggage
- Musty odors around the bed
- Dark red or rusty looking spots on walls, curtains, bedding, and clothing
- Red bites on the body
For many, bed bugs can cause skin irritation and itchy reactions. If you notice any of these issues, call Eastern-Burkholder Exterminators, Inc., right away. We are available 24/7 to provide professional inspections and bed bug extermination.
If you’re unsure if you have bed bugs, we can still help. Our exterminators know the signs and can quickly inspect your home to give you peace of mind.
Tips for Keeping Bed Bugs at Bay
One you find bed bugs, it’s next to impossible to remove them on your own. There is no store-bought option that is 100 percent effective at keeping bed bugs out. There are some ways, however, that you can limit the amount of bed bugs or stop them from spreading until you can have a proper extermination.
Mattress covers can help to trap bed bugs and keep more from entering.
Vacuum carpets, drapery, mattresses, pet beds, and other infested areas. It can also help to scrub them with a brush to bring eggs and bugs to the surface.
Wash bedding, clothing, and drapery in hot water and dry at the highest setting.
Dry items that you cannot wash on the highest setting as well.
When vacuuming, be sure to remove the vacuum bag from your home. It’s best to place it in a sealed bag and place it outside and away from your home. The EPA provides detailed instructions on how to decide the proper treatments, like reminding homeowners that bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding. This means that even in a plastic bag, the bed bugs may not die for at least a year.
Even with these tips, there is no indication that bed bugs will not return to your home. Trust a skilled exterminator to remove bed bugs for you, keeping your home safe year-round.
I Got Rid of My Infested Mattress, but They Came Back. What Do I Do?
Remember, bed bugs easily spread throughout the home. Just because you threw away an infested mattress, bedding, clothing, or other objects does not mean that the bed bugs are gone. The best way to completely eradicate bed bugs from your home is to consult with a professional exterminator.
Bed bugs can pose a threat to anyone that comes to your home or anywhere you go. They attach to clothes and other fabrics, meaning that you can transport bed bugs to other areas.
Also, take care in disposing of any items that have bed bugs or that were exposed to bed bugs. The EPA recommends destroying furniture or marking it with a warning that there are bed bugs present.
Bed Bug Prevention – Keep Them from Returning
Now you know what to look for and how to rid your home of bed bugs. But how do you successfully prevent them from moving in or coming back?
Bed bug prevention is easier said than done, but it is possible. The EPA provides some tips for preventing bed bugs from gaining access to your home, including:
- Check over any new or secondhand furniture for the tell-tale signs
- Remove or reduce clutter throughout the home, like piles of clothing or blankets
- Patch holes or cracks in the walls
- Vacuum often – If you suspect bed bugs, dispose of the bag properly
There are many other tips for successful bed bug prevention, and a quick call to Eastern-Burkholder Exterminators, Inc., can help you to better protect your home.
Eastern-Burkholder Exterminators Can Protect Your Home
For over 30 years, homeowners in the Mid-Ohio Valley have counted on Eastern-Burkholder Exterminators, Inc., to rid their homes of bed bugs and other pests. Our exterminators have the know-how to keep your family safe, while keeping bed bugs out year-round. Call us to schedule a pest inspection or 24/7 for emergency extermination services.