“Debunking the myths & mystique of bed bugs” report – Part 3
Here it is folks, Part 3, the final part of our Bed Bug Report (which is not to say we’ll stop posting bed bug information going forward).
Just to recap, in the first two parts we covered quite a number of bed bug topics, including…
• The growing bed bug population
• Bed bug biology & ecology
• Potential health risks & concerns
• How bed bugs get into our homes & buildings
• How to avoid bed bug infestation
• The social stigma associated with these unwelcome visitors.
In this final part we’ll cover…
• How to detect bed bugs
• How to get rid of them
• Why you shouldn’t consider the task of getting rid of bed bugs a ‘Do-it-Yourself’ project.
So, put on your detective hats and look for some bed bug clues…
As you may remember from Part 1 of our Bed Bug Report – looking for bed bugs usually becomes a higher priority when you first notice their small bite marks on your skin, which weren’t evident when you went to bed the night before.
We described bed bug bites (which may not be immediately noticeable) as being similar to a mosquito bite, in that they itch, and usually develop into small bumps or reddened rashes.
So, as you begin to scratch and realize you may have a pest problem, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re actually dealing with… right?
We hope so…
Because you sure don’t want to let a bed bug infestation spiral out of control.
Whether or not you’ve noticed any bites – or if you’ve recently stayed in a hotel, traveled, or visited your favorite antique or second-hand furniture store on a sunny weekend afternoon – these are all places from which bed bugs could have hitched a ride into your home or property.
That said, to determine if you have a bed bug issue, look for…
Bed bugs (or their eggs) – in well-concealed places, including…
• In or near beds
• In the crevices, seams & folds of a mattress
• On/in the box springs
• On or behind the headboards
• In or on bedroom furniture (nightstands, blanket boxes, etc.)
Small bloodstains – from your bites or from crushed bed bugs (on mattresses/pillows/sheets, etc.)
Dark spots – from bed bug droppings (on mattresses/pillows/sheets, etc.)
And, in more heavily infested areas, be sure to look for evidence of bed bugs…
• In the seams or cushions of your bedroom furniture, like chairs, smaller couches or ottomans
• In folds of your curtains
• In cracks & folds in your wallpaper
• Along your baseboards
• In your window & door casings.
While the bedroom is the most common place to find bed bugs, they don’t limit themselves to bedrooms. So in more serious cases, be sure to also look…
• Under appliances (washer, dryer, dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave, humifier, dehumidifier, etc.)
• Behind wall hangings & pictures
• In cupboards, closets, drawers, etc.
• Through piles of books & papers
• Through boxes
A few more things to keep in mind…
When acting as a bed bug detective hat, bring along a flashlight. Indeed, a bright, inexpensive LED flashlight is a great tool to help you detect and identify bed bugs.
Remember, bed bugs are very small… about the same width as the thickness of a credit card.
That means, if you can fit your credit card into a crack or crevice – bed bugs can likely can fit in there, too.
Never underestimate these nasty suckers, and where they can hide.
If you suspect bed bugs could be hiding where you can’t see them, using a hair dryer may help flush them out. Since bed bugs and heat don’t mix – aim your dryer into cracks & crevices, and chances are it’ll help force them out of their hidey-holes.
Don’t be alarmed – if you’re successful in doing this, you could experience a mini-flood of panicked bed bugs trying to escape the heat.
Bed Bugs – Wanted Dead or Alive…
If you’ve found and identified bed bugs and/or some of their eggs (even if you’re not sure what you’ve found), put on some gloves, grab a pair of tweezers, and collect a specimen of your finding.
I know, I know – it’s not the most pleasant thing – but, it’s crucial. Put any bed bug and/or eggs you’ve found into a zip lock bag, and, once you’ve chosen a pest control company – give your baggie to them.
This helps them determine what pest you’ve actually found, and what they’ll need to do to effectively treat your home or building.
Whether you spot them (dead or alive) – or you’ve only found their leavings
You’ll want to have your home or building treated for them.
The first step will be to choose a licensed pest control company – a company with experience, that’s trustworthy and reliable.
They should do a full, complete inspection of all areas of possible infestation – and once they’ve identified the likely sources – they should give you their recommended treatment plan.
To reduce the chances they’ll return you’ll want to make sure you follow the “after treatment” preventative measures we listed in part 2.
Over the counter applications & pesticide alert…
These are NOT DiY solutions!
Unless you’re a trained pest control specialist, we don’t think home or property owners, landlords, maintenance guys, etc., should ever try to treat a bed bug infestation themselves.
Controlling bed bugs takes experience, knowledge, time, and a sound and safe strategy. And, if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, how to handle what can be dangerous chemicals, or don’t know effective removal methods, well, let’s just say your bed bug problem could get a lot worse.
And that would just delay taking the necessary action to get rid of them – meaning you won’t sleep tight and those bed bugs will bite until you do.
You should never take the use of store bought pesticides lightly. We recommend against non-licensed individuals using any kind of indoor pesticide to deal with their bed bug problem.
Using the wrong pesticide, or using it incorrectly
Can make you and others seriously ill…
• How will you know if you need to leave your home or building after using it, and if so, for how long?
• When can you safely return?
• Bed bugs have begun to build a tolerance to certain pesticides. Do you know which ones they are?
• Using the wrong pesticides can also drive bed bugs even deeper into cracks and crevices and other good hiding areas.
• The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved certain pesticides for use on bed bugs – do you know which ones
• If the EPA hasn’t yet reviewed a pesticide, it means you won’t know if it’s safe to use, or even how well it works – if it
works at all!
How will you get the answers to these and the many other important questions?
Bottom line – you want the bed bugs gone – and you don’t want to do anything that could cause health problems, or in more extreme cases, could cause death… right?
Here’s a quote from an article (which popped up on my Google Alerts just last week) which says it well…
“Parts of the house were treated with a flammable product (with residual fumes) for an infestation of bed bugs, and (the house) wasn’t adequately ventilated, police said.
As a result, something in the house ignited the remaining fumes, causing the house to explode and catch fire, police said.”
We know bed bugs aren’t easy to talk about – and no doubt – after reading all 3 parts of our report, you can see why.
But, is the reason there isn’t much awareness – much less better education or information available to the public – because folks find it tough to talk about them?
That’s just NOT a good excuse…
People need to understand what’s happening so they can protect themselves and their homes/properties – and the only way that’ll ever happen is to talk it out.
We hope you’ve found our 3-part, Bed Bug Report informative & educational.
If you, or someone you know, suspects they might have an issue with bed bugs – you know what to do – leave it to a licensed professional.
If you have questions, concerns, or would like a FREE, no-obligation inspection…
Call professionals at TermiGuard Pest Control Services TODAY!
We’re dedicated to providing you healthier living…