How to get rid of bed bugs
Bed bugs are extremely common and easy to get. They like to hitchhike. So they can jump on you from someone else’s clothes in passing, hop in your suitcase at a hotel, or come in with your delivery boxes. Since they are so easy to get, many people have been in the unfortunate situation of trying to figure out how to get rid of bed bugs.
First, you will need to know what exactly a bed bug is. Bed bugs are tiny and are light brown, oval shaped insects. Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood. The adults have flat bodies that can fit through extremely small cracks. However, their bodies swell up, become rounder, and turn more vibrant red in color after bed bugs get a good meal. The female bed bugs can lay hundreds of sand grain sized eggs throughout their lives. Bedbugs don’t carry diseases, but their bites cause uncomfortable, itchy, red swelled bumps.
Now, you’ll need to know how to tell if you have bed begs or not. Those itchy red bumps are probably the biggest indicator. However, sometimes people attribute the red bite marks to other causes such as rashes or a mosquito bites. Unfortunately that often leads to untreated bed bug infestations. An untreated infestation will, of course, make the infestation worse. To confirm a bed bug infestation, you must locate and identify the bed bugs themselves.
Besides the bite marks, are there other indications of a bed bug infestation? One of the more obvious signs of a bed bug infestation are blood spots on the bed. The blood spots can be found on pillows, mattresses, sheets, or pillowcases. They are dark brown, reddish, and rusty in color and are caused from bed bug feces. There is often an unpleasant, pungent, moldy odor that appears from the bug’s scent glands. To see exactly where the bed bugs are active, check the lining that is on the bottom of the box spring as well as the wooden frame. Examine all the small cracks of the mattress and box spring. As mentioned above, bed bugs are small and they like tight spaces. Therefore, when looking around the bed and surrounding areas, make sure to include papers, books, carpets, outlets, and baseboards. Since bed bugs can travel relatively far (considering their size), make sure to check out your closet and clothes as well.
Now, most importantly, how to get rid of bed bugs:
The best thing to do if you suspect a bed bug infestation is to do a thorough clean! Remove all the bed clothes, curtains, and washable rugs. It is important to do this immediately. Wash them in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting. Wash your clothes with the same settings if you suspect your closet is infested. Tumble dry items that can’t be machine washed like stuffed animals and shoes.
Getting rid of the bed bug eggs is just as important as getting rid of the live bed bugs. To remove bed bug eggs, scrub your mattress seams with a dry, stiff bristled brush. This will help to loosen the eggs. Vacuum your mattress, rugs/carpets, and baseboards as often as possible. It is important to immediately remove the vacuum bag/dirt collector from the vacuum cleaner, place in a sealed plastic bag, and discard the plastic bag in the trash can outside. This will keep the bed bug activity from spreading throughout the house.
Preventing Bed Bugs
There are preventative measures to ensure that you keep the bed bugs away too. A mattress encasement is a key tool for fighting bed bugs. If you have both a mattress and a box spring, cover both with a tightly woven mattress encasement that has a tight zipper. The mattress encasement will keep any bed bugs or eggs that were not removed while cleaning from escaping, reproducing, and feeding. However, bed bugs can live up to an entire year without feeding, so do not remove the mattress encasement for at least one year to be safe. If your mattress is too infested to be treated, make sure you eradicate the bed bugs before bringing in a new one.
Bed Bug Extermination
Like other pest infestations, cleaning up and keeping things tidy can help stop the spread of a bed bug infestation. However, getting completely rid of bed bugs usually requires chemical treatments. Putting chemicals around your home, and especially in your bed, can be a dangerous risk. So, if you choose to try a do-it-yourself treatment, make sure to follow the instructions precisely. Make sure you do your research as to not put yourself or your loved ones at risk.
Now that you know a little more about how to get rid of bed bugs, be aware that self-treating them can be dangerous, expensive, and time consuming. Do-it-yourself bed bug products often end up being more expensive and still not work as well as professional treatment in the long run. If you live in the South Carolina low-country region, Advanced Termite and Pest Control in Charleston can take care of your bed bug problem. Advanced Termite and Pest Control services the entire Charleston area and has been locally owned and operated for over ten years.