ABOUT BED BUGS
Bed bugs are a resilient species that are well-adapted to survive. Added to this resiliency is the fact that people are traveling far more now than they did in earlier decades, which makes it easier for bed bugs to spread. Moreover, some of the more powerful pesticides were discontinued decades ago. All of this has led to an explosion in the bed bug population throughout the Bristol area and across the U.S.
Bed bugs are equipped with six legs and a pair of antennae. Their bodies are flat and shaped like an oval. Generally, they appear to be brown unless they have had a recent blood meal, in which case their bodies look redder and slightly inflated. Adults usually measure about five to six millimeters in length, but they can grow to 10 millimeters with a blood meal. Under magnification, it is possible to see small golden hairs covering the bed bug's body.
Blood is the only source of nutrition for bed bugs. Most commonly, this food is provided by humans, but bed bugs also may seek an animal host when a person is not available. Bed bugs only feed while the host is asleep. People who have an infestation report that they are most frequently bitten on the extremities, neck and face. However, bed bugs do not restrict themselves to these areas.
Bed bugs are most likely to be found in and around the places where people sleep. This is because they feed while people are sleeping. Accordingly, bed bugs will hide as close to the bed as possible. The seams on mattresses and box springs are common spots as are headboards and footboards. Bed bugs may conceal themselves in a lamp or bedside table. They also have been found behind picture frames and the plates on light switches and electrical outlets. Behind the wooden trim on walls is another typical hiding place.
Bed bugs may survive in other places while they are awaiting a blood meal. Infestations have been discovered on buses, trains and automobiles. Purses and luggage frequently transport these pests without people being aware of their presence. The small, flat shape of the bed bug's body makes it easy for them to hide virtually anywhere.
PROBLEMS WITH BED BUGS
Once a person suspects that they may have a bed bug infestation, sleep frequently becomes difficult if not impossible. It is incredibly disturbing to know that these tiny creatures are feeding themselves on blood while their unsuspecting host sleeps. Additionally, once the infestation is discovered, it is imperative that the infestation is contained as much as possible. This means quarantining the room and not removing any objects from it as they may be infested as well. Causing considerable inconvenience and disruption, it is wise to deal with this problem as quickly as possible to minimize the headaches involved.
Nocturnal bed bugs are rarely seen in the daytime, which is one reason why an infestation may be allowed to persist. People often misidentify the source of the red bumps they find on their skin in the morning, and with bed bugs being mostly out of sight, it is easy for the problem to remain largely unnoticed until a population explosion makes it impossible to overlook.
Their small size makes it easy for bed bugs to conceal themselves in unexpected places. The seams in a piece of clothing or a backpack may be ideal hiding spots. This is an especially useful trait, as the bed bug does not have wings. Instead, it generally relies on people to unknowingly transport them.
When temperatures are consistently between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, bed bugs thrive. Colder temperatures may slow them down, but it does not kill them unless they are exposed to sustained temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit for several days. While bed bugs can survive at higher temperatures, extreme heat does kill them. In fact, this is one of the most reliable methods for eliminating an infestation.
Bed bugs are not known to carry or transmit any diseases to people or pets. Nonetheless, there are rare occurrences of severe reactions to bites from these pests. The most uncomfortable symptom of this is extreme itchiness. Some people have scratched enough at these bites to cause an infection, which may need to be treated by a doctor.
Of more common concern is the loss of peace of mind that most people experience when they learn that they have a bed bug infestation. It is disruptive to not be able to sleep in their bed, and this can adversely affect all other areas of the individual's life. Prompt treatment of the infestation by an exterminator is the only reliable solution to this issue.
SIGNS OF A BED BUG INFESTATION
Indications that a bed bug issue may exist include:
• Bed bugs seen in and around the bed
• Finding a bed bug on a piece of clothing, a bag or inside a car
• Small spots of blood on sheets and pajamas
• Tiny fecal stains and shed insect skins found in bedrooms, particularly near the bed
• Discovering unexplained bite marks, especially in the morning
To help prevent a bed bug problem the following steps should be taken:
• When traveling, inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs
• Before returning home, examine luggage and clothing for concealed insects
• Check all used furniture and clothing for signs of bed bugs before bringing them home
• Transport dirty clothes in a plastic bag to shared laundry facilities
• Use a new plastic bag to bring clean clothing back home
• Fold laundry at home instead of in shared facilities
• Reduce clutter, particularly in bedrooms
• Use protective covers on mattresses and box springs
• Vacuum regularly to pick up bed bugs and their eggs
BED BUG CONTROL
Do-it-yourself pest control treatments for bed bugs are not recommended. Typically, these methods are not effective, which simply means that these pests have more time to multiply. At their worst, these treatment methods may prove to be dangerous to people and pets. Working with a qualified professional is the most sensible solution to the problem.
Licensed, knowledgeable exterminators may use a variety of methods to end a bed bug infestation. A high-heat treatment, which is accomplished using specialized equipment, usually is the best way to immediately eliminate the problem. People and pets must vacate the premises while this treatment is underway. The excessive temperatures kill the bed bugs and their offspring.
SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC. has been providing area homeowners and business owners with quality, long-lasting pest control extermination services for the past 20 years. And as a licensed pest control provider, we have the products, tools, and experience to eradicate any type of bed bug infestation.
We provide clients with a 100% guarantee and follow up visits to ensure peace of mind and complete bed bug eradication.
BED BUG INSPECTION
Bed bugs have been found in all 50 states. According to a recent 2015 poll, 99.6 percent of pest control companies polled reported treating bed bugs found apartments, homes, hotels/motels, and popular spots.
If you suspect you may have a bed bug problem, call us. We will conduct a FREE professional inspection of your home or business within a 10-mile radius of our office, searching for all of the known tell-tale signs of a bed bug problem, in all of the areas that could harbor bed bugs and bed bug eggs.
In the event bed bugs are discovered, we will discuss our findings with you and explain the best treatment options for your situation.