Have you noticed some mysterious red, itchy bites on your skin lately? Are there strange, tiny bloodstains on your bed sheets and mattresses? These are the biggest signs of a bed bug infestation and now is probably the right time to look for an effective bed bug treatment.
Bed bugs live and hide in bedding, mattresses, bed frames, and box springs. Although they don’t spread any diseases, the itching from their bites can be so bad, that some people will scratch enough to cause breaks in the skin that get infected easily. Bed bug bites can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Due to their size and nocturnal nature, bed bugs can easily go undetected. Even when you detect them, they can be very hard to deal with. The success of the bed bug treatment depends on the thoroughness of the preparation, the extermination itself, and the follow-up. Therefore, it’s important to get acquainted with some basic information about bed bugs before you start the battle against them.
Essential things you need to know about bed bugs
Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of people or animals. Adult bed bugs are approximately 4-5 millimeters in length, oval-shaped, flat and reddish brown in color. The immature bugs, also called nymphs, may be translucent or light tan in color. Bed bugs are often more red in color after feeding.
These bugs are found worldwide, most often in hotels, motels, and apartment complexes where a lot of people come and go. They hide in small crevices, and can come into your house on luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows, boxes, and other objects. Bed bugs usually hide in beds, floors, furniture, wood, and paper trash during the day. They are active at night, when they feed.
Bed bugs tend to feed every five to ten days, even though they can survive without feeding for several months. After feeding on the host's blood for several minutes, they retreat to their hiding place. They are attracted by warmth and generally try to remain within close range of their host between feedings. Bed bugs can spread into cracks and crevices in the bedroom and lay their eggs.
The bites of bed bugs are painless initially, due to the anesthetics and anticoagulants in their saliva which they inject when piercing the skin of their host. The first signs of bed bug bites are usually straight rows of red and itchy bites on the skin, most often on the arms or shoulders.
Other signs of a bed bug infestation include dark spots of insect waste where they might crawl, as well as bloodstains on your bed. If there is a large infestation, you may feel a musty odor from the bed bugs' scent glands. You’ll also see the bugs themselves, especially along the seams of mattresses.
The most effective bed bug treatment
When it comes to bed bugs, good housekeeping does not eliminate the problem, since they can thrive in a spotlessly clean room. However, the bed bug treatment has to begin with cleaning up the areas where bedbugs live.
Cleaning up your home
Start by cleaning the bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water. Then, dry them on the highest dryer setting, since extreme heat kills both bugs and their eggs. Items that can’t be washed, such as stuffed animals, can be cleaned from bed bugs in the dryer if you run it on high for 30 minutes.
Scrub the mattresses with a stiff brush to remove bed bugs and their eggs. Declutter the area around your bed. Vacuum the bed and the entire bedroom. When you’re done vacuuming, place the cleaner bag in a garbage can outside your house, in a plastic bag.
Get rid of places where bed bugs can hide. Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper. Put a tightly knitted, zippered cover over your mattress. Bed bugs can live up to an entire year without feeding. Therefore, if you are not sure that you have dealt with the infestation, get a new mattress. But, be aware of infestations in other areas of your home, too, since bed bugs can easily infest your new mattress.
While cleaning up infested areas can be helpful in eliminating bed bugs, you may need to use chemical treatments to get rid of them entirely. One of the more effective chemicals against bed bugs is isopropyl rubbing alcohol. You will need to mix it with water before using it as a bed bug treatment.
You can also use insecticides such as resmethrin, permethrin, propoxur, or chlorpyrifos, in the form of dust or spray. Hydroprene can be also effective against bed bugs, but it takes more time to fully eradicate the bugs since it’s used to sterilize adult bugs.
Getting professionals to deal with the infestation
The downside of trying a DIY bed bug treatment is that you can never be completely sure that it’s effective. Since bed bugs are very small and can starve for months, they can hide in your home and wait for a moment to infest your bed again. Also, while trying to get rid of bed bugs with chemicals, you may harm your family’s or your pet’s health. Moreover, some bugs have become resistant to insecticides and pesticides.
Therefore, it’s better to hire experienced pest control professionals for any bed bug extermination. These professionals will perform a thorough inspection of your home, detect the level of infestation and treat it accordingly.
Our KY-KO Pest Prevention professionals are trained and experienced to handle all bed bug infestations quickly and efficiently. You’ll be able to get back to your bed-bug-free life in no time. We offer a free inspection to homes in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and all the other Valley cities.
We are the only pest prevention company which offers The Owner’s Pride Guarantee®. We guarantee quality service to keep our customers satisfied. It comes with every pest control service we offer, so you can rest assured knowing you’re covered by the strongest guarantee in the business.
The only thing that will be left for you is to be careful not to bring bed bugs into your home again. They are very efficient hitchhikers and can be easily transported on clothing, luggage, beds, and furniture. Just be careful when staying at hotels, motels and hospitals, and check your home for bed bug infestations regularly.