One in every five Americans has experience with bed bugs being in their home. If that fact doesn’t give you the creepy crawlies, we don’t know what will. It can be overwhelming to think that you might have an infestation on your hands. If you’re worried about what might be lurking in your mattress, you’re going to want to keep reading. We’re about to reveal all of the facts you need to know about the pest control.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Before we get into the process of dealing with bed bugs, it’s crucial to determine what they are, so you know what you’re up against.
Bed bugs are small insects that survive on blood from animals and humans. Adult bedbugs are identifiable by their flat apple seed-sized bodies. After they’ve fed, their bodies swell and become reddish in color.
Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs throughout their lifetime. These eggs are as small as a dust mote and hatch about a week after being laid.
Immature bed bugs, also known as nymphs, will shed their skins several times before they reach adulthood. Before each skin shed, they’ll require a meal of blood. In favourable conditions, nymphs will become mature within a month.
Though they are inconvenient and a complete nuisance, bed bugs don’t transmit diseases.
Where Do They Come From?
There are several ways you can introduce bed bugs into your home. Unfortunately for homeowners, bed bugs are great hitchhikers and can come home with you from anywhere. If you’ve recently been to a hotel or resort with an infestation, they can hitch a ride back with you on your clothes on luggage.
Though they’re tiny, they can easily travel from room to room. If you live in a multi-unit dwelling, such as an apartment or condo building, they can move between units easily.
Symptoms of Bed Bugs
Before you consider home remedies or calling a professional, you need to know what kind of bugs you’re dealing with. Pest infestations may differ wildly and require different approaches.
You may not even know if you’ve bitten by a pest until well after the fact. Some house pest administers a small amount of anaesthetic before feeding on humans. This numbs the area so you won’t feel their bite.
Because of this, it may take a few days before symptoms of a bite begin to appear. They often will become red and swollen. You may notice a cluster of bites in a line in a particular area of your body.
If you have an infestation in your home, they might not feed on your and your family every night. Because they can go several days without feeding, it can take weeks before you begin to recognize a pattern in your bites. By then, a full infestation could be well underway.
If you think you might have an infestation on your hands, you’ll need to look for signs of them. Bed bugs are often found inside the components of your bed, such as the mattress and box spring. They can also hide behind baseboards or wallpaper.
You might be able to spot the bugs themselves. You may see tiny black droppings or drops of blood on your bedsheets, too. These are all telltale signs of an infestation.
Home Remedies to Try
There are several home remedies you can try to rid yourself of an infestation.
The best defence against bed bugs is cleaning up the area(s) you found them.
Use a stiff brush to scrub your mattress of any bugs, their eggs, and their droppings. Wash linens in hot water and dry them at the highest setting possible. Vacuum and steam clean your mattresses and furniture.
As soon as you’ve vacuumed, remove the bag, secure it in a plastic bag, and toss in your garbage outside. You don’t want to risk the bugs crawling out of the bag and infesting other areas of your home.
Get a Mattress & Box Spring Cover
Invest in a tightly-woven zippered mattress cover. Bed bugs can live for as long as a year without feeding, so leave that cover on at least that long if you can. This will help to ensure any remaining bugs and eggs are dead and unable to escape.
Consider a New Mattress All Together
Many people choose to buy a new mattress after they’ve learned they have an infestation. This option isn’t for everyone, of course, but it’s an excellent way to get that creepy-crawly feeling off you.
If you want to pull out all the stops, choosing a chemical treatment is your next best option. It’s important to note that you need to invest in products that are made for use in the home.
Chemicals can be hazardous if misused. Do not use the treatment if it does not explicitly say in the instructions that it’s safe for use in your home.
When to Call a Professional
Because we live in the information age, everyone thinks that they can tackle their bug problem on their own. With a plethora of treatment options at our fingertips at any given time, it’s clear to see why. Exterminators can be expensive and if you can try DIY treatments first, why waste money on a pest guy?
Many home methods may not work, and every minute that goes by means another 60 seconds of a bed pest in your home. If you’re itching to get rid of your house infestation or your apartment bed bugs, calling a professional will be your best bet. Remember, the earlier you catch the infestation, the easier it will be to treat.
They’ll be able to identify that it is indeed bed bugs you’re dealing with and know the best course of action to combat them.
Knowing How to Deal With Bed Bugs is Half the Battle
Now that you know how to deal with bed bugs, you can choose which treatment method works best for you. Whether you decide to tackle them on your home or with the help of professional, hopefully, your infestation is easy to control.
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