Nightmares typically happen when you’re sleeping, but a bed bug infestation in your bed is a waking nightmare! The very thought of these pests invading your home and crawling in your bed, biting you while you sleep, is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine. How did they get there? How can you get rid of them? Read on for the answers to these questions and other bed bug FAQs.
- First, how do you know if you have bed bugs? You may be waking up with itchy bug bites every morning but be unable to see any bugs when you look in your covers. This is because bed bugs are extremely good at hiding. Look along the seams of your mattress, as well as on your box spring, headboard, other furniture, and behind picture frames. If you have an infestation, you’re likely to find live or dead bed bugs, shed skins, and droppings that look like pepper. You’ll also see dark smears from fecal matter and blood smears on your sheets from the bed bugs feeding. It’s important to note that bed bugs do not limit themselves to beds and bedroom furniture. They can hide under the edges of wallpaper, in electronics and outlets, and in carpet edges, but they tend to stay within six feet of their host.
- What do bed bugs look like? An adult bed bug resembles an apple seed, about 6mm long with a long, flat, thin, leathery body and no wings. These bugs can be red to brown, and they turn bright reddish after a feeding. Young bed bugs are creamy yellowish, while bed bug eggs are pearly white and easy to spot on a dark background.
- Do bed bugs carry diseases? Here’s the good news: there’s no recorded episode of a bed bug infecting a human with a disease. The bites can, however, become infected if left untreated. What’s more, some people are allergic to bed bugs and may have a strong reaction.
- Are bed bug bites harmful? The answer depends on the individual being bitten. For some people, bed bug bites are painless and don’t leave a mark. Other people react to a bed bug bite, developing reddish, itchy lumps, often in clusters of two or three. Bug bites become harmful if they become welts or blisters, which can lead to a secondary bacterial infection.
- Will bed bugs attack pets? Bed bugs prefer human blood, but if a human host is not readily available, they’ll eat the blood of any vertebrate animals. That means they’re likely to bite your pets and cause them to itch.
- What’s the average lifespan of a bed bug? If a bed bug problem is not controlled, bed bugs can live up to 13 months. They can go without eating for long stretches, and females live longer than males, on average. During her lifespan, a female bed bug can lay one to five eggs each day, and those eggs hatch within two weeks.
- Will keeping the house clean repel bed bugs? Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t afraid of cleanliness, and they can infest even the cleanest house. Keeping your home free of clutter and dirt, though, gives bed bugs fewer places to hide.
- How do bed bugs get into a house? Bed bugs can’t fly, but they’re expert hitchhikers. They can jump on a suitcase while you’re staying at a hotel, hide in secondhand furniture long enough for you to buy it and bring it home, hop on your clothes while you’re riding public transportation, or travel into your home on the clothing and luggage of houseguests.
- Are there effective do-it-yourself treatments? Bed bugs can easily get into a house, but bed bug removal is tricky. Some people swear by essential oils or alcohol treatments, but these things aren’t effective unless they’re applied to each bed bug. Even insecticides you can purchase as a homeowner are often no match for a bed bug infestation.
- Do you really need to call a bed bug exterminator? Getting rid of bed bugs on your own can be extremely challenging, especially if you have a severe infestation. Professional exterminators have the knowledge and tools to eradicate bed bugs, whether using heat or professional-grade insecticides.
- How can bed bugs be prevented from returning? Be vigilant about inspecting your home for bed bugs, especially if you’ve been traveling. Check your hotel when you travel, keep your bags off of hotel floors and beds, and clean your clothes immediately upon returning from a trip.
If you’ve found evidence of bed bugs in your home, call All Star Pest Management for bed bug extermination. The exterminator Baltimore area residents have trusted for more than a decade, we’re a family-owned and operated business providing customized solutions to deal with any pest problem you’re facing. The team at All Star Pest Management respects the home of every client, and they’ll treat your infestation conveniently and effectively while treating your home or business as if it were their own. To make an appointment, call 410-772-0204 in Catonsville or 410-730-6304 in Columbia or request a free estimate through our website.