WHAT DO BED BUGS LOOK LIKE?
Bed bugs are wingless, approximately ¼ inch in length with a flattened, oval shape and rusty brown in color. Younger bed bugs are smaller and often lighter in color. Female bed bugs can lay from 1-12 eggs a day and 3 or more generations can occur each year. A bed bug can live up to 18 months and survive without a blood meal for a year. Since bed bugs are only active at night, any daytime sightings may indicate a heavy infestation.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE BED BUGS?
Usually the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small, rusty spots on your mattress and bed linens. These are bed bug droppings and blood spots. Bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping. Red, itchy welts are an indication of an infestation. Bed bug “bites” occur when the bed bug is actually drawing blood. It may take as long as fourteen days for a welt to appear from a bed bug “bite”. The victim of a bed bug should resist the urge to scratch the “bites” as this may intensify the itching and cause an infection. Some people have a reaction to bed bug ‘bites” and may need to seek medical assistance.
WHERE SHOULD I LOOK FOR SIGNS OF BED BUGS?
Check for bed bugs on the seams and folds of mattresses, bed frames and head boards. Bed bugs may also be behind baseboards, pictures, frames, windows, door casings, loosened wall paper, curtains, cracks in plaster and electrical wall plates. They can be in furniture, closets and cracks and crevices around the house. Adult bed bugs can hide in any space as thin as a piece of paper; young bed bugs are even smaller.
HOW CAN I AVOID BED BUGS?
Do not bring items that are known to be infested into your home. Be sure to inspect any furniture or secondhand items that are brought into your home for bed bugs. When returning from a trip, inspect your luggage and clothes for bed bugs.
HOW DO I GET RID OF BED BUGS IF I HAVE THEM?
- Reduce the amount of clutter to achieve a good treatment and eliminate hiding places. Vacuum mattresses, box springs, and carpets. Dispose of vacuumed contents in a sealed plastic bag immediately.
- Enclose mattress and box springs with bed bug proof zippered cover. Cover should remain in place for more than one year.
- Wash and dry bedding and garments on high heat to kill any bed bugs.
- Use bed bug interceptors under the legs of the bed and furniture to determine if bed bugs are present.
- When disposing of bed bug infested materials always label them clearly “BED BUGS” so others do not take the materials and infest their homes.
- Complete elimination of a bed bug infestation may be difficult without a knowledgeable Pest Control Service. It may even take as many as five or more treatments to control the population.
- Do-it-yourself measures used by homeowners and renters sometimes cause more problems than benefits.
- “Bug bombs” and foggers are not recommended for treatment.
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