There is a stigma attached to having bed bugs, one that assumes you are a dirty person or live in a dirty environment – there is no truth to this whatsoever!
Bed bugs do NOT discriminate, they infest four star hotels just as aggressively as cheap ones, in fact, they have been found on buses, trains and even in schools and hospitals! Every time you vacation, you run the risk of bringing home bed bugs, the key is learning to recognize them BEFORE it’s too late!
What do they look like?
Below is a picture of an infestation which shows what bed bugs look like:
The most common method bed bugs use to infest your home are through used furniture such as mattresses, bed frames and night stands. If you see an item near a dumpster or buying from a second hand store, make sure to check thoroughly BEFORE you bring it home!
In this section, we’re going to show you how to recognize signs of bed bugs and how to get rid of them should you accidentally bring one home with you.
A female bed bug lays 200 eggs in her lifetime with eggs being small, sticky, white “rice” like and hatch in only 10 days. The nymphs (babies) molt 5 times before entering adulthood (takes about 21 days) and after the first feeding, have a dark center. The adults look like an apple seed and are a quarter inch in length and feed on blood to survive.
Adults feed by sucking your blood for about 10 minutes sometime before dawn while you’re in deep sleep and less likely to notice. After feeding, they defecate (leave feces) which looks like brown spots on the bedding. When there are a lot of bed bugs, you’ll smell a sweet musty odor.
The smell, dark spots and moltings are dead giveaways to their hiding spots. This is what you’re going to look for when search for bed bugs.
What do bed bug bites look like?
Typically, the leave a bite pattern in the form of a line, but in serious infestations, they can attack in full force, as shown in the image below!
How to kill bed bugs!
It is true that bed bugs love clutter – places like books, stuffed animals and electronic equipment are a safe-haven for these blood suckers and make it hard to treat. There are a number of methods, but the best ones include heat treatment (can be expensive) and the all natural way using food grade diatomaceous earth. MAKE SURE it is food grade and NOT the DE used in swimming pools!
There is no guaranteed solution to get rid of bed bugs and just because you hire an exterminator doesn’t mean you won’t have to do a lot of work on your end! You’ll be required to organize, clean (lots of laundry on high heat), apply mattress covers and more. However, some pest control companies offer their own guarantee that if their treatment doesn’t work the first time, they’ll come out again free of charge and this is what you want to look for.
If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, then you can pick up some food grade diatomaceous earth (perma-guard) and using a clean plastic ketchup bottle as shown in the image to the right, puff the dust into areas that you suspect harbor bed bugs. Vacuum a few days later and repeat.
The key here is prevention – get this free manual for the prevention and control of bed bugs!