Bed bugs are more common than you think. They pop up even in the most unexpected place, the cleanest of homes and the poshest of hotels. But what as a homeowner can you do when you find a bed bug? Here are some ideas on how to detect them and then get rid of bed bugs quickly.
Dealing with Bed Bugs – How to Detect and Get Rid of Them
Perhaps you’ve woken up to see some strange spots on your pillowcase. Or maybe you got stuck with some itchy insect bites, whose origins you have no idea of. It might be one big coincidence – or you may actually have bed bugs.
We know! The prospect is horrifying – but at the same time, it’s more common than you think. If you notice the signs of bed bugs, then you might want to contact a bed bug exterminator and have them take a look at the situation. In the meantime, you might want to try improving your situation as well.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are very small insects – and the chances are that unless you are specifically looking for them, you might not be able to see them directly. They are good at going out of sight, particularly since they love hidden spots and crevices. They love playing hide and seek and they probably won’t stick around in plain sight for too long.
That being said, while bed bugs are indeed smart enough to hide, they aren’t smart enough to erase the evidence of their bloodthirst. Here is the first clue to help you get rid of bed bugs. Aside from the actual bites on your skin, bed bugs leave behind them some careless clues that will indicate there’s an infestation going on:
1. Bed Bug Shells or Moulted Skin
If you are dealing with an infestation, the chances are that you’ll have a lot of bed bug shells or moulted skin in your bed. With each meal that they have, these pests grow and reach maturity – and as they do so, they shed their old shell so that they can grow a new one. These shells will look like the bed bugs themselves – the only difference being that the shells are translucent.
2. Faecal Spots
Bed bugs eat a lot of your blood, and they probably aren’t even sorry about it. That being said, just like us, they also have to eliminate what they eat. As a result, you’ll see a lot of dark stains on your bed, which is pretty much your blood that has been digested and afterward excreted.
3. Blood Stains
It may be because the bite did not close up properly, or because they drank too much and accidentally “spilled” some blood. If you see blood stains on your night clothes and your sheets, you might want to conduct a bed bug search.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Once you’ve determined that you have a bed bug problem, it’s time that you address the situation. Obviously, the first thing that you’ll want to do is call in an exterminator. They’ll have special techniques such as the bed bug heat treatment that will get rid of your problem faster.
In the meantime, here is what you might want to do.
1. Clean the Clutter
Before you begin waging the war against bed bugs, you first need to pr ep the area. This will maximize the odds of your cleaning spree. De-clutter the room first, as this will reduce their hiding spots. Throw out the things that are beyond infested, remove the linen, and vacuum the carpets.
Everything that can be washed, do so with hot water over 46 degrees Celsius. If they can’t be washed, consider putting the infested items in the freezer and leave them there for a few days. You can just as well kill bed bugs with extreme cold as you can with heat.
2. Seal the Cracks
While bed bugs are not smart enough to hide their mess, they are certainly smart enough to flee a crime scene, given the opportunity. If you come guns blazing with various pesticides, bed bugs will enter panic mode and will start looking for cracks to hide in. So take the calm approach, it’s the best way to get rid of bed bugs.
This is why you might want to seal the cracks around light sockets, electrical outlets, baseboards, and so on. This way, the bed bugs won’t get a chance to sneak into them and save themselves.
3. Use Non-Chemical and Chemical Treatments
Keep in mind that for safety purposes, you might want to let the professionals handle your bed bug problem. However, if they cannot arrive soon enough, there are some things that you can do in the meantime to keep the situation under control.
The most common chemicals used in killing bed bugs are pyrethroids and pyrethrins. Pyrroles are also a great option to eliminate bed bugs by disrupting the cells, whereas neonicotinoids mess with their nervous system.
You may also use desiccants against bed bugs. These substances will destroy the outer protective coating of the bed bugs – and without that, they would die shortly. Plus, unlike pesticides, it is rather difficult for bed bugs to become resistant to desiccants.
4. Retreat for a While
Bed bugs are quite hardy critters, and all they need is a meal out of you in order to get their strength back and lay some more eggs – in other words, create an even bigger army. This is why you might want to retreat as needed after putting on your treatment methods.
With bed bugs, things are rather tricky. You might think that you killed them all, but before you know it, you spot them once more. This might force you into using different methods to exterminate them. Ideally, you might want to bring an exterminator in the equation, as they have more efficient methods of getting rid of bed bugs.
If you want to prevent such a situation from happening again, you might want to be more careful about home surroundings. Wash your clothes in hot water after returning from a trip, keep your home clean of clutter, vacuum and wash your linen often, and cover the mattress with a bedbug cover.
The Bottom Line
Dealing with bed bugs might be rather troublesome as a homeowner in your own property. And it might take multiple treatment sessions to get rid of bed bugs entirely. Depending on the level of the infestation, you might want to dial the pros, as they will have the proper technique to get rid of your problem for good.
About the author
Luqman has been a pest control technician for over 20 years. He is passionate about solving people’s pest and wildlife control problems through innovative, eco-friendly, and humane methods. Luqman currently works for Pestend Pest Control Barrie. He believes that pest control is a science and feels that his function in his community is very important since he helps people live in peace without causing unnecessary harm to animals.