Bed bugs can be a serious problem when not prevented. Even though they do not spread any disease to humans, they feed on blood. Some people can also be allergic to their bites. So before your home gets infested by these annoying bugs, you may follow these tips to ward them off your premises.
How Do I Check for Bed bugs?
Bed bugs can significantly impact health and quality of life once they infiltrate your personal space. Therefore, being able to recognise them is crucial in order to take immediate action to prevent and control bed bug infestations. Bed bugs have these particular features:
- They can be seen with the naked eye.
- The colour of adult bed bugs is usually brown. Their colour changes from red to dark brown when filled with blood.
- They have an oval form, are 4 to 7 mm in length, and are about the size of a flattened apple seed.
- They do not fly or jump.
- They move as quickly as an ant.
- They live for five to six months. When dormant, they can survive for more than a year without eating.
On the other hand, their eggs have these characteristics:
- They are whitish
- They resemble a pinhead in size
- They are laid out in groups and attached in small, confined areas
- They hatch after 10 to 14 days
To spot their presence, look for them at night when they are most active and inspect your bedrooms. They stay away from light, looking for cover in dark, tight, and inaccessible areas. They tend to hide under the mattress and the bedspring. So, carefully inspect these other areas where they may hide to avoid further infestation damages.
- Hems of bedding
- Seams and bottoms of mattresses
- Bedroom furniture and drawers
- Clothing, backpacks, handbags, and suitcases
- Chairs, sofas, and covers
- Carpets and curtains
- Mouldings and door or window frames
- Back of electrical outlets
- Cracks in the wood, plaster, or floor
- Papers, books, radios, telephones, and clocks
How Can Bed Bugs Get Into My Home?
Even in the cleanest homes and hotels, bed bugs can be found. They can manoeuvre through gaps the thickness of a credit card and other similarly sized, unreachable spaces. They may originate from worn furniture or other infested areas and can travel in bags, backpacks, purses, and other items placed on padded or soft surfaces. In addition, they can also move across rooms in multi-unit buildings like hotels and apartment buildings.
Other ways bed bugs spread, potentially reaching your home, include:
- Close contact with regularly used items, such as clothing, handbags, mattresses, sofas, and more
- Transporting infested items, especially during a house move-in
- Through clothing, bedsheets, or any fabric brought to a private or public laundry facility
- Secondhand items
How Can I Protect My Home Against Bed Bugs?
When you are at a hotel, put your bag on a suitcase stand rather than on the bed or floor. Maintain a certain distance between your rack and any furniture or walls. When you get home, wash all the clothes you took outside and hot dry them. Additional tips to follow to avoid infestation include:
- Avoiding clutter around the house to reduce the number of areas where they can hide
- Inspecting all secondhand items
- Carefully prepare your move-in. Inquire about the proposed measures of your mover against bed bugs. Items like clothing, bedding, mattresses, curtains, and other belongings must be placed in tightly sealed bags. If you have items placed in boxes, block the holes and gaps with adhesive tape. On your moving day, ensure that the truck has been cleaned before loading your belongings.
What Are The Indicators That Bed Bugs Have Already Infiltrated My Home?
Some clues can help spot their presence: clues on the skin and on the bed.
Bites. Their bites are similar to those of mosquitoes, and both cause itchiness. Their first bites usually are clustered or aligned on your skin if you have slept in a heavily infested area. If the infestation is not addressed, bites will appear all over your skin.
Signs of live and dead bugs. You would see small black spots on bedsheets, mattresses, or bedsprings. These are bed bug excrements. There would also be shed skin, laid eggs, dead bugs, or even live bed bugs on the bed or near it.
When Should I Call For Pest Control Services?
It is challenging to eradicate bed bugs. DIY methods are unreliable and rarely effective for long-term extermination. Here are four warning signs to consider hiring a bed bug exterminator.
Discomfort from bed bug bites
Their bites cause physical symptoms, such as itchy rashes and hives. It is also challenging to deal with the psychological stress brought about by the infestation.
Presence of multiple adult bed bugs
It is time to call an exterminator if you notice a large number of bed bugs in a single area.
Their typical hiding places are mattresses and furniture. But if you start to notice their presence in other areas, their population has likely grown.
Infestations keep returning
If these pests keep coming back even after personal efforts to get rid of them, it is high time that you need a bed bug specialist to control and eradicate them.
Protecting your home against bed bugs and inspecting for their potential presence are what you can do to help prevent bed bug infestation. But the moment infestation occurs, getting rid of bed bugs on your own is not a good idea. Immediately call for the help of a professional pest control service to control the infestation and ensure the complete removal of these pests.