As much as we love empowering individuals to resolve their pest problem, if you think you have bed bugs, please, contact Environmental Pest Management. Bed bugs take the cake concerning the nuisance, the difficulty in eradicating, and the levels of anxiety and stress imposed on our clients. How to get rid of bed bugs is very challenging.
How Did I get bed bugs?
That’s what everyone will want to ask you. The reason people will ask is that no one likes to believe that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and for no reason. Don’t spend too much time wondering about how you caused this. Don’t burden yourself with guilt and shame.
Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime. They’re attracted to human blood. They find it through carbon dioxide. If you exhale in the night, you’re fair game.
Maybe you bought a used mattress from Craigs List. Perhaps you stayed at a hotel. Heaven forbid you stashed your suitcase within 12 inches of the bed. It could be you moved, and the moving truck had bed bugs in it. Please, please, PLEASE! The problem will only get worse if you spend time worrying about what you did to cause it. Bed bugs are a growing nuisance. Period.
Do bed bugs spread disease?
Bed bugs do not spread disease. They don’t carry disease. You can let that fear go. However, even though they are not carriers, most of us till want to know how to get right of bed bugs because the bites are so annoying.
How to identify them:
The easiest way to determine whether you have bed bugs is whether you have the tell-tale bites. Likely you will not see them or hear them. They sleep during the day. They’re attracted to carbon dioxide at night. So they’ll come out to feed while you’re sleeping. There are exceptions. But the exceptions are few.
In the morning, you will wake up and see a tell-tale row of bites on your upper arms, your lower legs, or your neck. The bites will look like Victoria Beckham’s neck tattoo. At first, you might think, maybe I have spiders? Or, perhaps a mosquito bit me last night.
But unlike mosquito bites or spider bites, bed bugs often bite in tell-tale rows. That is because they are very sensitive to movement. If you so much as shift in your sleep, they will stop feeding, make a lateral move, and resume feeding when you’re done moving. (Their sensitivity to movement is the good news; I’ll explain why later.)
You’ll notice the bites before the other tell-tale sign: drops of blood and fecal matter on your sheets and pillow-cases. Bed bugs will defecate before feeding. You won’t notice them, at first, because those drops of fecal matter and blood appear like the dots of a ball-point pen that has bled on your sheets. Without the bites to alert you to bed bugs, those pen pricks might seem like make-up on your sheets.
Bedbugs vs. Fleas
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Sometimes people will see a tiny bug crawling on their legs in the morning and think they have bed bugs. Bed bugs do not want to spend time on the human body. They’re cold-blooded. They want to feed and get the heck out of Dodge. They’re not going to be awake in the morning or afternoon and wanting to crawl on your moving leg. That’s not their style.
Bed bugs are dark. They’re quite large, very visible to the human eye. Think about a dark sesame seed. That’s roughly the size. If you see a tiny, hopping, translucent bug crawling on your leg at 9 am, that’s not a bed bug.
How Can I get rid of Bed Bugs myself?
Here are some things you can do to give yourself peace of mind until you can get to a phone to call us.
Seriously declutter your room. Bed bugs are not attracted to grime. They seek hiding spots. The ideal (hostile) environment for a bed bug would be a room with nothing under the bed, very little clutter around the room, minimal furniture, and a bed pulled away from the wall.
Pull your bed six inches away from the wall. Bed bugs can’t fly. The can’t jump. The only way they can get to your carbon-dioxide-emitting body in the night is to crawl to it. If you pull your bed away from the wall and no bedding or bed parts are touching the wall, the bed bug will need to travel along the floor. That brings us to bed bug traps.
Get bed bug traps for your bed legs. Go to your local home improvement store. Bed bug traps look like discs with ridges in them. Your bed legs sit in them. The bed bugs try to crawl up them and cannot. They get stuck in the ridges. You’ll want to check the traps each morning. You might find live bugs. Depending on your comfort level, find an appropriate way to…make sure they don’t reproduce.
Vacuum regularly around and under your bed. Make sure to carry the bag or empty the canister outside.
Purchase mattress protectors. You do not need to throw out your mattresses. If you purchase dust mite and bed bug protectors (available everywhere), you will trap the live bugs inside. If they cannot get out to feed, they’ll die. You might want to put a piece of painters tape over the zipper to ensure that they don’t crawl through the tiny opening.
Examine your bed frame. The frame, more than the mattress, might be where they are hiding. You can use a brush with some detergent or bleach water to scrub in corners. You can also use a hairdryer.
Bed bugs are cold-blooded. They will explode when you turn a hair-dryer on them. You’ll want to pay attention to any cracks in the frame, whether through wood grain or where joints come together. That’s where you’ll find them colonizing. And if you want to prevent reinfestation, the bed frame is vital to check, according to the EPA.
You’ll want to wash your sheets and bedding in hot water and dry on high each week. So much vigilance is exhausting. But worth it. Bed bugs need to feed about once a week. They don’t procreate often. You will need to do this to catch the hatched or live bugs.
Also Read: Beg Bug Control
You could undoubtedly eradicate bed bugs yourself. But unlike so many pests, bed bugs hide well and sleep during the day. You might work for months and still wake up with the tell-tale bites on your arms and legs. There’s no shame in admitting defeat and calling us. We know how to find them. We know where they hide. Let Environmental Pest Management come to the rescue.