Did you know that there are over 200,000 cases of bed bugs in the US each year? Bed bugs feed solely on the blood of animals and humans and can infest just about any living space with ease. Often brought into a home through luggage, used furniture, or by a pet, bed bugs are small brownish insects with an oval shape. These pests leave itchy and irritating bites on their victims and have caused health concerns from the EPA in recent years as their numbers grow in the United States.
So how do you spot a bed bug infestation and what do you do once you have found one?
How To Spot Bed Bugs
Hence their name, bed bugs are most commonly found in the lining and edges of box springs and mattresses. Unlike ants and bees, bed bugs do not create nests but rather gather together in communities to make their home. The first and most obvious sign of bed bugs is waking up to tiny bites on your body after sleep. But that can be misleading since other insect bites can occur overnight. A physical inspection with checking under the sheets for these small critters is your first task.
The EPA suggests looking for:
- Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by an anticoagulant in their saliva in order for blood to flow freely after feeding.
- Dark spots (about this size of a: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric as a marker would.
- Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm in size) and pale yellow skins that nymphs (immature bed bugs) shed as they grow larger.
- And of course, live bed bugs.
Bed Bugs do not just dwell in your mattress and bedding. If your living space is heavily infested, you may also find them in these places:
- Between the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
- Living in drawer joints.
- In and around electrical receptacles and appliances.
- Hiding under loose wallpaper and wall hangings.
- In the seam where your wall and ceiling meet.
What To Do If You Think You Have Bed Bugs?
Getting rid of bed bugs is a two-step process and one that needs to be done thoroughly and with great care.
1) Call Any Pest, Inc to eliminate the bed bugs with a whole-house heat treatment. Bed bugs will die after exposure to heat over 113°F. We will place heating units around the affected areas to raise the temperature in your home and position high powered fans to circulate the hot air throughout the rooms.
- Furniture and clutter should be pulled away from walls at least 4 inches.
- Do not use any pesticide bombs, foggers or sprays prior to heat treatment.
- Do not remove anything from the treatment area except for garbage or items to be permanently removed.
- Bed linens should be removed from beds and bagged.
- Unplug all electronics except major appliances.
- Notify Management prior to treatment of any fire sprinklers, heat sensors or laminate furniture.
- Permanently dispose of all trash and unwanted items before treatment.
- Improperly secured pictures and posters that may blow down should be taken down and laid flat.
- Vinyl or faux wood blinds have a low heat tolerance; they should be placed in the heat-sensitive pile.
- Heat sensitive items should be placed in an easily accessible area like a table.
2) Second, you need to physically remove the dead bed bugs from their dwellings.
- Wash all sheets and bedding with hot water and dry with highest dryer setting.
- Use a stiff-bristled cleaning brush to remove bed bugs from the mattress and box springs
- Vacuum all areas where you see bed bugs.
- Keep the area around your bed clean and tidy
- Repair any cracks or sagging wallpaper areas where they may hide
Any Pest has the trained technicians and experienced knowledge to service your bed bug infestation and implement the proper steps for control and prevention. We use the Convectex Heat System to efficiently and properly eliminate a bed bug infestation. The CDC recommends this heat treatment for bed bug control.
Bed Bug Prevention & Control Services In Atlanta
At Any Pest, Inc we adhere to the highest standards and stay up-to-date on the latest industry technology and information. We offer free consultations, prompt service and customize all plans to meet your specific needs. For a more environmentally-friendly approach, inquire about our botanical and Eco-friendly pest control products. We have affordable pest control plans for the protection of your home and family and offer referral discounts for customers with existing or recurring service agreements – call us today for a free consultation or contact us online!