You may have read that bed bug infestations are becoming increasingly common throughout the world. If you have experienced a bed bug infestation, you know how difficult they can be to eliminate completely.
Bed Bug Appearance and Behavior
Bed bugs are small, about the size of an apple seed. They are reddish-brown in color and will appear swollen and redder after a meal.
Bed bugs drink blood and are attracted to body heat. While bed bugs can live up to a year between meals, they prefer to eat every couple of days.
Signs of an Infestation
Although bed bugs are small, adults can be seen with the naked eye. Here are some signs to look for to identify a bed bug infestation:
- Adult Bed Bugs – Look for adult bed bugs hiding in the folds or crevices of mattresses, box springs, headboards, pillows, cushions, etc.
- Feces or Casings – Look for dark, rust-colored spots (bed bug feces) on your sheets or pillowcases. Additionally, bed bugs shed their shells as they grow, and the hollow casings left behind are evidence of a possible infestation.
- Odor – Bed bugs have scent glands that produce an offensive, musty odor.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Unlike their blood-sucking cousins, mosquitoes, bed bugs are not known to spread disease and are therefore more of a nuisance than a threat to your health. That being said, some people can experience an allergic reaction to bed bug bites.
Furthermore, since bed bug bites are so itchy, it is possible to develop a secondary skin infection from excessive scratching. Additionally, the disruption in the quality of your sleep that the anxiety of a bed bug infestation causes should not be taken lightly.
Bed Bug Management
Since bed bugs subsist only on blood, cleanliness is not a factor in preventing or eliminating an infestation. Even the poshest five-star hotels can be home to bed bugs. Because bed bugs can live for up to a year without eating, removing them completely can be a serious task. The steps below can help with an infestation.
- Clean—Cleaning will help you see the signs of an infestation. Be sure to clean all bed linens with high heat. Use a stiff brush to clean the mattress and bed frame to remove any bed bugs or eggs. Vacuum the bed and the surrounding area and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag. If possible, wash pillows and stuffed animals as well.
- Dispose—If your mattress is infested, you will need to get rid of it because bed bugs can live deep within.
- Encase—Use a tightly woven, zippered mattress cover to completely encase the mattress and box spring to keep bed bugs from entering or escaping. As previously mentioned, bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding, so be sure to leave the covers on for at least a year.
Oliver Exterminating Is Here to Help
While cleaning the infested area is helpful in controlling bed bugs, complete elimination of a bed bug infestation is best done by a professional. It is important that you use a pest management company you can trust. Oliver Exterminating is committed to eliminating your pest problem, from bed bugs and birds to rodents and roaches. We are professional, knowledgeable, and safe. Contact us today!