What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, wingless insects that have not been known to transmit disease. Adult bed bugs have flat, oval shaped bodies. They are between 1 to 7 millimeters in length (about the size of an apple seed). Newly hatched bed bugs, known as nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and become darker as they reach maturity. Adult bed bugs are much larger, brown to reddish-brown in color. Bed bugs are attracted to their hosts by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide when we exhale. They reach their host by walking, or sometimes climbing the walls to the ceiling and dropping down on the host.
If you suspect that you have Bed Bugs?
You can certainly conduct your own inspections; however, pest control professionals know exactly where to look and what to look for, making them more likely to find low levels of infestations. We recommended you:
Contact your land-lord or property management- they should bring in a qualified exterminator to inspect for and measure the infestation of bugs in your unit (and any adjoining units).
Do not throw away your mattress or furniture-You risk dropping bedbugs and eggs with every step you take, and instead of getting rid of the problem you'll spread it.
Do not procrastinate!
Where are bed bugs found?
Bed bugs can be found anywhere, homes, apartments, group living situations, hotels/motels, and even public transportation. Anyplace where people sleep or spend significant amounts of time. Their usual hiding places are in seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, along and directly behind headboards. Once a bed bug population multiplies, they can be found: behind baseboards; in cracks and crevices of furniture, floors, or walls. A bed bug infestation is apparent by noticing black or brown spots (which are their waste products) on surfaces. The eggs, egg shells, and exoskeletons of the bed bugs can be found in their hiding places as well.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Just thinking about them can cause you to itch and lose sleep. If not careful, the itching and excessive scratching can cause skin infections. While in other cases, bed bugs bites can cause allergy type symptoms, including rashes and lymph glands. Allergic reactions to bed bug bites can also induce anaphylaxis, a rapid and whole-body allergic reaction characterized by abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, anxiety, swelling, chest and throat problems or even unconsciousness. Anaphylaxis reactions are very serious often and require a dose of epinephrine (adrenalin) to save the patient.
If you are experiencing bug bites?
Feeling like you're having an allergic reaction, contact a physician. Topical antihistamine or anti-inflammatory medications may relieve your symptoms. See; Bed Bug Do's
Bed Bug Do's?
DO's - Things you can do until your professional treatment. These are no substitutes for treatment, but may reduce the number of bites and confine the spread of bedbugs.
1.) Do thoroughly clean and de-clutter the rooms where you are getting bitten.Bedbugs love clutter because it makes moving around easier for them. Do Declutter, but remember, anything removed should be inside plastic bags before leaving the infested room.
2.) You should vacuum beds and carpets and wash all the sheets and bedding in the hottest water you can and dry in a hot dryer. If it can't be washed, dry clean it or put it in a hot dryer for 20 minutes. Commercial dryers are especially good for pillows, bedspreads, and bulky items. Laundromats reach very high temperatures and often offer free dryers.
3.) Put Isopropyl 70% alcohol in a spray bottle and spray the seams of the mattress, the headboard, and the box springs, if you wish. Test on a small section of furniture to see if it stains. Alcohol kills on contact, but it does not remain on the surfaces to continue killing bedbugs. If someone visits with a suitcase, or you return from travel, spray the suitcase as well. After using the alcohol spray, make sure everything is dry before you sleep there. Remember that the alcohol is a temporary fix.
4.) Put a clean, light-colored sheet or mattress cover on the bed every day. When removing the sheet, roll it down instead of pulling it off, put it in a plastic bag to transport to the laundry room, and wash in hot water right away.
Bed Bug Do Not's?
1.) DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR MATTRESS OR FURNITURE.
YOU ARE THROWING AWAY MONEY. With every step you take you
risk dropping 1 or an egg and this will not get rid of your problem.
Not only will you still have your bedbugs, but the expense of
replacing the furniture and paying for treatment as well can be
2.) Don't move with bedbugs, they will follow you. The odds? 100%.
You can leave with only the clothes on your back and your most personal items, and bedbugs will still come along for the ride. It only takes one fertilized female or a few eggs to re-infest your new home and belongings. Once your home is treated, we recommend that your do not move for two months, or you risk taking the problem with you.
3.) Don't move objects and furnishings from room to room. If you move your pillow, blanket, or stuffed toy to another room to sleep, whether in another bed or a couch, you risk spreading the problem. If you need to go to a different room, go there with clean pajamas, clean bedding and clean pillows. If your child simply has to have that one stuffed toy to sleep, put it in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.
4.) Don't try to treat this by yourself. Hire a professional.
1st Reason: There are products you can buy at you local home improvement stores that should never be used inside a home, especially not on a bed or in a bedroom. Just because you can buy these in a store does not make them safe.
2nd Reason: You may chase the bedbugs into other rooms and deeper into furniture and wall voids. When a repellent chemical is used, bedbugs will be literally crawling up the walls. In addition, potential reactions between chemicals could thwart the efforts of your professional to get rid of the problem.
5.) Don't count on outdoor temperatures to kill this type of bug. Putting stuff out on the porch may slow things down, but we do not live in a climate that will actually kill a bedbug.
Bed Bug - Pre-Paration Sheet!
If you can assist with the following preparation prior to your treatment date it will make our program a success:
Please remove all bed coverings down to the bare mattress and box spring. All water beds must be completely drained before treatment.
Remove and inspect all items from under bed.
Completely empty all bedroom closets, all bedroom draws, all bed bedroom cabinets, and all bedroom shelves. Inspect all items.
Remove all items from inside and on top of all furnishings in areas to be treated. This includes televisions, stereos, books, decorative items, etc.
Remove all radiator and baseboard heater covers.
Remove all stapled fabric from bottoms of box springs and all other furniture to be treated.
Launder all bed coverings, clothes, and curtains that are in the bedroom area. Do not return them to the bedroom until after the treatment is completed.
Thoroughly vacuum all areas to be treated. When this is completed, discard vacuum cleaner bag outside or empty and clean vacuum canister outside. Inspect vacuum cleaner to make sure that no bed bugs remain in or on the vacuum cleaner itself.
Thoroughly inspect all items stored in the areas to be treated. This includes all items stored in boxes and other containers. And if you have any questions consult your Technician prior to your treatment. We do not inspect your personal items.
All people and pets must vacate apartment/home during treatment and for a period of 3-4 hours immediately following treatment. This is a drying period and you should not be back in until it is dry.
Bed Bug - Treatment!
Pictures and wall hangings
Wall fixtures, lamps and table-top lamps
Electrical face plates
Drawers and furniture
Box spring and bed frame – After treating, encase the box spring in a Bed Bug Encasement (recommended).
Bed and furniture legs
Bed Bug - Post-treatment!
What to expect after Treatment for Bed Bugs.
1.) Initial treatment requires most of the technicians service, time and expense. 85% of activity will be eliminated on day one if preparation steps are followed.
2.) Follow up services are required at 14-21 day intervals to care for egg and adult development.
Full control can not be obtained without your help and your cooperation with pre-treatment preparations, post treatment and the elimination of excess clutter and storage.
3.) A minimum of two to three services are normally required.