How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you’re frustrated because bed bugs have taken hold in your home, then read this bed bug extermination guide.
You’re about to learn everything you need to know about how to get rid of bed bugs without stress or anxiety.
So if you’ve noticed the horrifying experience of a bed bug crawling on your leg in the middle of the night, then read this guide!
In this bed bug guide, you’ll discover the following:
- How to quickly identify bed bugs without second-guessing
- Strategies to prevent bed bugs from entering your home
- How to tell if your home has a severe bed bug problem
- What to do if bed bugs are in your home
- The strategy of bed bug extermination
Facts, Identification, and Control
Before you learn about bed bug prevention, it’s essential to know these critical bed bug identification insights.
Bed bugs are genuinely frightful creatures. Upon first glance, you’ll notice that bed bugs are flat, small insects. About the size of a popcorn kernel, they are easy to miss unless you pay close attention.
Like all insects, bed bugs have six legs. Unlike many other insects, bed bugs have no wings and contrary to some belief, cannot fly.
Bed bugs range in color from pale to dark brown. One thing all bed bugs have in common is their color after feeding. After a bed bug finds a host and claims a blood meal, bed bugs turn dark red.
Facts About Bed Bugs
Where Do They Live?
Before you discover how to get rid of bed bugs, you must first understand where they live. The distressing reality about bed bugs is that they prefer to live close to their host. If you fear that your home has bed bugs, then you need to check around the proximity of your bed.
According to the EPA, bed bugs prefer to live around five to twenty feet from their host. A bed bug’s dwelling area is called a harborage.
Sneaky hiding spots (harborages) that bed bugs love:
- In the crevice of your mattress
- Behind your curtains, or in the fold of curtains
- In your pillowcase, bed, bed linens, mattress or box spring
- In your carpet, floorboards, or baseboard
- Under clutter laying around your bed
- Under your keyboard, suitcase, backpack, or clothing
- In shoes, slippers, or any object near their host
- Bed bugs are skinny and excellent at hiding. They can easily hide just about anywhere!
What Do They Eat?
Bed bugs love to feast upon the blood of humans and animals. If bed bugs dwell around your bed, then your blood is at risk. Bed bugs only feed one or two times per week, though most human hosts would probably agree that once or twice is far too much.
Other food (blood) sources of bed bugs may include:
- Warm-Blooded Animals
How Did I Get Bed Bugs?
One of the biggest misconceptions about bed bugs is that they prefer unsanitary conditions. The unfortunate reality is that bed bugs don’t discriminate when it comes to a hot meal. Bed bugs strive for warm blood, not necessarily dirty or grimy conditions.
Bed bugs love to grab hold of anything of yours that they can. They’re adept hiders, and can easily squeeze in between a fold of your pant leg, or nearly any accessories that you possess. They then hitchhike on you until you arrive at your home, and then a potential infestation begins.
A bed bug can “find” you while visiting these locations:
- Public transportation
- College dormitories
- Rest homes
- Movie theaters
- Anywhere humans travel!
How Serious Are Bed Bug Problems?
Stress and Anxiety
While bed bugs aren’t known transmitters of diseases, they are positively stressful. The prospect of bed bugs feeding on your blood is enough to cause anxiety, especially if you loathe parasitic insects (and who doesn’t). Stress and mental trauma are easily the most troublesome bed bug problems.
Loss of Sleep
If you’re stressed out about bed bugs, it’s tough to get a good night’s rest. Achieving quality sleep while stressed is nearly impossible. This loss of sleep isn’t suitable for your body. According to Harvard Health, a lack of sleep also takes a heavy toll on your mental health as well.
Allergic Reaction to Bites
This article by the Mayo Clinic states that some people suffer absolutely no adverse reaction to bed bug bites. However, some instances of allergic reactions do occur. It’s important to note that if you experience severe skin irritation, you should seek medical treatment.
Mattress or Carpet Damage
Amid severe bed bug infestations, you’re likely to experience a messy situation. Your mattress or other harborage areas probably contain blood and fecal stains from your unwelcome bed bug guests. Damaged property due to bed bugs isn’t a sight that will improve your day!
What Can I Do About Bed Bugs?
If you discover that you are the unwilling host of bed bugs, then you must relax and keep calm. Few things in this world are as distressing as parasites actively feeding on your blood. Thankfully, there are steps and measures you can take.
The first step is to determine the bed bug’s harborage areas. Once you discover where the unwelcome guests live, managing, and exterminating them becomes feasible. Before we discuss bed bug control tips, let’s look at the telltale signs of bed bug infestation.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?
The number one way to spot a bed bug infestation is the identification of a bed bug. In other words, if you see a bed bug in your home, then it’s time to take action.
Another surefire sign of bed bug infestation is if you have bed bug bites. According to this article on WebMD, bed bugs emit a numbing agent when feeding. That’s why it’s challenging to detect bed bugs as they bite you, and often you notice only after the fact by detecting bed bug bites.
If you notice blood or fecal stains on your mattress when you change sheets, there’s a solid chance that those stains are the result of bed bugs. If you notice a musty odor, then pay extra close attention.
Bed Bug Prevention and Control Tips
# 1 – Don’t Bring Bed Bugs In.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. Their very survival depends on it. You must diligently guard against introducing bed bugs into your home. If you travel, stay at hotels, or use public transportation, check your person and belongings before entering into your home.
Bed bugs love hitching a ride on the following objects:
- Second-hand furniture
# 2 – Live A Clutter-Free Life.
Bed bugs are expert hide and seekers. They easily squeeze, sneak, and hide in the most common locations. The more clutter you have around your bed, the easier it is for these nasty little beasts to disappear. Try your best to eliminate excess junk, so you offer no quarter.
Follow these tips to eliminate clutter:
- Rid yourself of excess magazines or newspapers.
- Keep the area under your bed empty if possible.
- Keep your dirty laundry off the floor.
- Toss any old clothing or linens that you don’t use.
# 3 – Vacuums Are Your Best Friend.
Don’t give festering bed bugs a chance to sneak across your floor successfully. Vacuum as regularly as you wish, and remember that you can also vacuum your mattress and box spring regularly to help eradicate any unwanted guests.
Critical bed bug vacuum tips:
- If you suspect a severe bed bug infestation, properly dispose of your vacuum bag after vacuuming
- Vacuum under your bed, and around the corners of suspected rooms
- Consider thoroughly cleaning the crevices of furniture near any bed bug harborages
# 4 – Wash All Bed Linens Regularly.
Bed bugs cherish an opportunity to sneak and hide close to you. If you suspect bed bugs, then washing your bed sheets and linens consistently and reliably is vital. When you remove your bed linens, also examine your mattress and bed frame for signs of infestation. Don’t forget to dry your clothes! This article by the EPA suggests that a clothes dryer produces enough heat to kill bed bugs.
Important bed linen tips:
- Washing alone may not kill the bed bugs and eggs! However, a high heat drying cycle should do it.
- Never forget that the heat of your dryer is the perfect homemade bed bug killer!
- Your bed is the perfect spot for bed bugs to hide. Inspect every detail closely.
- Don’t forget to search under your mattress, and inside every crevice of your bed frame.
- A light-colored bedspread makes it much easier for you to spot bed bugs. Food for thought!
Bed Bug Professional Pest Control
The problematic nature of bed bugs is that they are difficult to exterminate once they infest your home. They’re incredibly versatile and cunning hiders, and can easily sneak in areas that you won’t easily detect.
According to this article by MedlinePlus, bed bugs survive for over a year without feeding. A bed bug’s resilience spells trouble for a novice trying to combat them alone. That’s why hiring a professional exterminator is smart if you detect a bed bug harborage in your home.
Benefits of hiring a professional bed bug exterminator:
- Professional exterminators provide peace of mind so you can finally get an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
- Experienced bed bug exterminators offer various treatment options. They have tricks up their sleeve to eradicate bed bugs.
- Most reputable bed bug exterminators offer a guarantee. So even if the bed bugs come back, you’re covered.
More Information on Bed Bugs:
- The Official Bed Bug Listing from the EPA
- The Official Bed Bug Listing from the CDC
- Preventing and Getting Rid of Bed Bugs Safely (Free PDF From NYC Health)
- Bed Bug Overview from the American Academy of Dermatology
Bed Bug FAQ
Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions on the topic of how to get rid of bed bugs.
# 1 – Can Bed Bugs Make You Sick?
# 2 – What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs, also known as Cimex lectularius, are flat, reddish insects that love to feed on human (and animal) blood. Bed bugs are nocturnal and prefer to feed in the middle of the night when their hosts are asleep.
# 3 – How to Prevent Bed Bug Bites While Sleeping
The number one way to prevent bed bug bites while sleeping is to exterminate them from your home. During this process, you may consider using bed bug interceptors.
Bed bug interceptors are ingenious bed bug traps that you place at the foot of furniture in your home. The interceptors allow bed bugs to enter. However, they cannot climb out of the interceptor.
Another huge tip is never to let blankets or sheets overhang from your mattress. Remember that bed bugs cannot fly; they must climb into your bed. Position your sleeping quarters, so your bed is difficult to access!
Along with this same strategy, ensure that your bed never positions against any walls. Bed bugs love it when they can access your bed by climbing adjacent walls, so don’t grant them that privilege.
# 4 – Why Are Bed Bugs Attracted to Humans?
If you suffer from a bed bug infestation, one of your top questions is likely to be what attracts bed bugs in the first place? Bed bugs are attracted to the heat from your body. Bed bugs also gravitate toward carbon dioxide.
# 5 – Can you ever get rid of bed bugs?
It is possible to get rid of bed bugs. However, it takes time and expertise. Only certified and experienced exterminators have the necessary skills to get the job done. Just contact us today and will find you one that covers your area.
# 6 – Can a hair dryer kill bed bugs?
A hairdryer can kill bed bugs provided you hit them directly with the heat and do so for several minutes. It is not an effective way to kill them, too many bugs will be missed. Only a professional exterminator equipped with a proper heat generator can get the job done.
# 7 – How do I check my mattress for bed bugs?
To spot the signs of bed bugs on a mattress, look for clusters of little spots. They can be brown, black or red. Using a magnifying glass, you may even spot little oval-shaped pale white eggs. If you see any of these signs, contact PestGuide.
Bed Bug Guide Final Thoughts
Discovering a bed bug crawling over your body as you attempt to sleep is unsettling.
If you discover bed bugs in your home, don’t panic. Instead, take precautionary actions to help eliminate the pests before they set in.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem. Remember that it only takes a single bed bug to infest your home.
If you find a bud bug, don’t wait! Double-check your home to inspect for bed bugs, and try to find their harborage area.
Once you locate where the pests live, management and extermination become much more feasible.
If you feel overwhelmed, then consider contacting a licensed pest controller for help. They have an abundance of experience dealing with these hideous beasts and can help rid your home of bed bugs.
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