Maybe the bed bug is not “public enemy number one,” but it could be a close second. Bed bugs are an actual health threat and are one of the most annoying pests out there. Not only do they feed on human blood, but these terrible little bugs will ruin a perfectly good bed in no time. What’s more, they are tiny and hard to find, making them even more of a nuisance. However, there are ways to get rid of and control bed bugs. In this article, the exterminators at James River Pest Solutions will share how to identify and remove bed bugs.
First Step: Identify the Bed Bugs
Knowing what you are looking for is the beginning of the total extermination of these bugs in your bed. So, here are the three stages and a description of each… that is, if you can even see them.
Adult Bed bugs are approximately the size of an apple seed, and they are brown with a flat, oval body. When they have fed, the bugs will look more round and swollen with a more reddish-brown color. And they are smelly. Yes, that’s right, smelly. The glands on the underside of the bed bug produce an unmistakable musty odor. YUCK.
Young Bed bugs are much smaller and translucent in color. If they have not recently fed, they are almost impossible to locate.
Bed bug eggs are the size of a pinhead and are pearl-white in color. If they are over five days old, you may be able to see the eyespot.
Second Step: Locate the Bed Bugs
Locating the bed bugs as early in the infestation as possible is best before they have the chance to spread. And looking for bites on the skin is not always the best way to notice the issue; it is a bit late by then. In fact, certain people don’t have any reaction to the bites at all; therefore would never see them that way. Additionally, the bites are often mistaken for chigger or mosquito bites. So what is a homeowner to do to remove bed bugs?
The best way to locate the bed bugs is to be aware of the following circumstances.
- If you wake up itchy where you were not itchy before, you might have bed bugs.
- Do you find bloodstains on your sheets or pillowcase? You might have bed bugs.
- If you see dark or rusty spots on your sheets and mattress, you might have bed bugs.
- Unfortunately, if you locate bed bug fecal spots, eggshells, or shed skins, you might have bed bugs.
- Should you smell an offensive, musty odor in your bedroom and cannot locate the cause, you might have bed bugs.
Bed bugs come in through other people, luggage, clothing, and used furniture. They live in groups, hiding in places with easy access to human blood. Usually, you will find them hiding in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards.
In addition, if a room becomes heavily infested, you may also see them around electrical outlets, around door frames, in drawer joints, in couch seams, and the curtains’ folds. But the most imperative thing to do is call a professional to remove bed bugs as soon as you know they are there.
Third Step: Help to Remove Bed Bugs
When the bugs appear, there are a few ways to control the population from spreading and getting bigger. However, there is no quick fix to remove bed bugs. With professional treatment by your local exterminator, they can be eradicated.
Here are some of the steps you can take to begin slowing the spread before your exterminator comes in to remove bed bugs.
- Gather all loose fabrics such as bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing. Place them all in the washer for a sanitizing cycle and dry them in the hottest setting.
- Use a whisk broom or brush to loosen bugs and eggs on the mattress and in the seams before thoroughly vacuuming.
- Then vacuum the bed and area all under and around it. And if they are found on couches or chairs, repeat the procedure for those items as well.
- When finished, place the vacuum cleaner itself in a large plastic bag and put it outside until the canister’s bugs are dead.
- Try a zipper bag for the mattress that is a tightly woven fabric. Keep the bag on the bed for a year until all the bugs are dead. Unfortunately, you may need to replace the mattress if the bugs are inside.
- Repair any cracks in plaster, flooring, wallpaper, and any other hiding spots.
- Eliminate any and all unnecessary clutter around the bed.
After all these steps are complete, your local pest control company should finish the job. Inform your technician of the steps you have taken and allow them to complete the job from there.
Remove Bed Bugs from Your Home
Your trusted exterminators will use chemicals to remove bed bugs, so be sure to listen to all precautions and follow instructions to entirely eliminate the pests.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the most common chemicals used are Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids. However, some infestations can become resistant to the compounds. Here is what they say.
“Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids: Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common compounds used to control bed bugs and other indoor pests. Pyrethrins are botanical insecticides derived from chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are synthetic chemical insecticides that act like pyrethrins. Both compounds are lethal to bed bugs and can flush bed bugs out of their hiding places and kill them. However, where resistant bed bug strains exist, these treatments may cause them to move to a new hiding place or temporarily flush them out of existing locations.”
So, your exterminator may opt to switch up the chemicals. They may try any number of the following combinations.
- Desiccants such as Diatomaceous earth and Boric acid.
- Biochemicals like Neem oil.
- Pyrroles to disrupt the resistance.
- And insect growth regulators.
But here is the good news, you do not have to be concerned with all those technical terms when James River Pest Solutions is called in to remove bed bugs from your home.
Preventing an Infestation
Contrary to what you’d think, getting bed bugs in your home is not a sign of a dirty house. Bed bugs travel and like both dirty and clean homes. In fact, fancy hotel rooms are cleaned daily, and they get them too. If there is a food source (YOU), they are more than happy to move on in. But there are some steps you can take to prevent ever getting bed bugs in the first place.
- Reduce the clutter in your home to eliminate dark hiding places.
- Vacuum often to eliminate the hitchhikers.
- Make sure hiding spots like peeling wallpaper and the like are repaired as soon as you notice them.
- Take extra precautions when using public laundry facilities. Check for signs of bugs before using the washers or dryers and use the hottest setting for the dryer, just in case.
- Please check all used furniture for signs of bugs and vacuum before bringing the piece into your home.
Ultimately, the best way to control the chance of getting the bugs in the first place is to get on a pest control plan with your local exterminator. After all, that is what they specialize in!
The James River Pest Solutions professionals will identify the bugs and help you remove bed bugs quickly. If you notice any of the signs we have mentioned here today, have James River come out to investigate. Then be sure to get on an extermination protection plan. It is truly the best way to receive the attention and care you and your family need when dealing with bugs of any sort.
And if you notice the signs of bed bugs or an infestation you cannot identify, call James River right away!