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No matter how clean your bedroom is bed bugs are a nuisance that could be lurking in your mattress. Let us git rid of them so you can sleep comfortably again.
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No matter how nice or clean a bedroom looks, it could be infested. Bed bugs live anywhere people sleep—in homes, hotels,hospitals and schools—and quietly feed on human blood. If that’s not enough to motivate you to get rid of bed bugs, the tell-tale itchy red bumps they leave behind on your skin should do the trick.
Finding and eliminating bed bugs is best left to the professionals. Bed bugs like to hide in small crevices, making them difficult to detect and even harder to kill. They often hide in bedroom walls, mattresses, carpet, nightstands and even alarm clocks.
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae. They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. They are oval in shape and grow up to 4 to 5 mm long when fully grown. Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown. Bed bugs are also known as “mahogany flats,” “red coats” and “chinches.” The adult bed bug does not have wings and has a flattened body.
Bed bugs are both dorsoventrally flattened and thin, which creates a great advantage for them. They can hide in unusual places such as behind baseboards, floor cracks, and under carpets or behind loose wallpaper, which can make them difficult to detect. Not only can they be hard to detect, but bed bugs also tend to stay close together and have a distinctively sweet, yet unpleasant smell. Fecal smears on mattresses and nearby furnishings are also signs of a bed bug infestation. Their bites can leave itchy welts on the skin and can cause allergic reactions, such as severe itching, though not everyone reacts to their bite. Bed bugs have existed since the ancient times and are found throughout the world. There are different species of bed bugs, but the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is particularly adaptable to human environments. Bed bugs have a great worldwide distribution, due to human travelers who transport them in luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture. Though they may reside in unusual places, they are also likely to be found in small cracks near a bed or in comforters and bed sheets.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
It’s possible to pick up bed bugs almost any place—they’ve infested offices, stores, hotels, gyms and countless other places. They can hide in your luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, and hitchhike a ride back to your home, condo, townhouse or apartment. Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to control without the help of an experienced pest specialist. A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness — you can pick them up in the FINEST hotels, and they can hitchhike into the CLEANEST homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.
When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to remember the following action steps to help avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.
- Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
- Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including the head of mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
- Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
- Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
- Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs at bay.
- Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
- Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
- Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
- Inspect your residence regularly—after a move-in, a trip, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.
Think You Might Have a Bed Bug Infestation?
Notify your a Pest Management Professional immediately, or tell your property manager if you are renting so they can begin to create a customized treatment for your bed bugs. Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an even larger infestation
Do you have bed bugs? Schedule a free estimate. Or Call 804-704-0574
BED BUG FACTS TO KNOW
1.) A Clean Home Does Not Reduce the Threat of Bed Bugs
It’s intuitive. Having a clean home keeps pests and insects away. Well, that may work in the case of fruit flies and cockroaches, but when it comes to bed bugs, a clean home is irrelevant. Bed bugs are only interested in one thing: your warm blood. We would still recommend tidying up once in a while, but don’t expect to scare the bed bugs away with some vacuuming and dusting.
2.) Bed Bugs Feast on Your Blood When You Are Most Vulnerable
Bed bugs are naturally nocturnal, but only because that’s when you’re asleep. They typically live less than eight feet from where you sleep and wait to attack when you’re relaxed and dreaming. Even more disturbing, bed bugs initially give you an anesthetic so that you won’t notice them and swat them away.Once they’re done gorging on your blood, they’ll crawl back to the safety of their hiding place – typically any small crevice they can find.
3.) You Could Develop a Severe Allergic Reaction to Bed Bugs
Anyone can develop an allergy if a bed bug sucks their blood enough times. Bed bug bites cause itchy red welts that can easily become infected as a result of scratching. They also typically deposit feces shortly after eating, and if that occurs directly on the open bites, this process could cause skin inflammation or infections.
Bed bug bites CAN cause SOME unlucky few to have such symptoms as anemia, anaphylactic shock, asthma, and blistered skin eruptions.
4.) Bed Bugs Have Mutated and Are Resistant to Pesticides
Back in the days when DDT was utilized without regard, bed bugs were often treated with pesticides – and many even believed that they were eliminated just after World War II. However, the use of pesticides allowed bed bugs to mutate over generations. They developed a multilevel resistance to insecticides and are now 250 times more RESISTANT to common pesticides.
5.) Bed Bugs Have the Potential to Transmit MRSA
Until recently, the popular belief was that bed bugs are annoying, but at least they don’t transmit diseases. All that changed recently when a collection of researchers and scientists at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital discovered the supervirus MRSA in several bed bug samples. Since all it takes is an open cut or wound to transmit MRSA, it’s entirely plausible that we could contract the staph infection from bed bugs.
6.) Bed Bugs Can Survive for a Very Long Time Without Food
Unlike humans, who need that 4:00 PM snack just to remain sane, bed bugs can live for nearly a YEAR AND A HALF without any food at all by hibernating. Even after a year, what wakes them from their deep slumber is your body heat and the carbon dioxide that you exhale. Which means that bed bugs are essentially real world vampires that potentially haven’t eaten in more than a calendar year!
7.) Bed Bugs Have Evolved for the Sole Purpose of Sucking Your Blood
Unlike humans, who have evolved to create the wheel, control fire, bed bugs exist for one reason, and one reason only. Tens of thousands of years ago, bed bugs were nest parasites, which means that they inhabited the nests of animals like birds and bats. Over the course of millennia though, they evolved to crave bigger prey, and set their sights on humans. Now they hide in our nests – aka our mattresses – lying in wait.
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