What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat insects that are reddish-brown in color. Adults are about 3/16 of an inch long while newly hatched bed bugs (nymphs) are lighter in color and no larger than the head of a pin. Bed bugs do not fly but they can move quickly. Bed bugs feed primarily on human blood, but will feed on the blood of other mammals if necessary. Signs of bed bugs include blood spots on your mattress or bed linens, molted or shed skins and tiny red bites on your skin upon waking.
Why Do I Have Them?
Bed bugs are making a comeback in the U.S. with an increasing number of cases cropping up in homes, apartments, hotels, hospitals, office buildings, and schools. They are more likely to appear in a household where an individual has been traveling or has had visitors who’ve recently traveled. They also tend to crop up in homes where used mattresses, bed frames and other pieces of furniture have recently been acquired.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
Bed bugs feed exclusively on mammalian blood, with most species preferring human. They will bite any exposed skin and their bites can cause varied reactions. Some people experience little or no reaction while in some the reaction can be delayed, making it difficult to identify the cause. Others may have itchy welts and some swelling. It is possible, though not common, for a bite to induce a severe allergic reaction that requires treatment.
Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases. While they may cause discomfort and threaten your quality of life, health experts do not consider bed bugs dangerous to your health. Antihistamines can reduce the itchiness and swelling and antibiotics can prevent infection.
How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are challenging to control. Their ability to hide means that treatment must be extremely thorough and it is highly recommended that the services of a pest control company be used. At Plunkett’s Pest Control we use highly effective bed bug heat treatments to eliminate bed bug problems. You should never use bug bombs or foggers on bed bugs; they will have little effect and cause the bed bugs to move around your space even more. Even after treatment by a professional, in some cases infested mattresses or pieces of furniture may need to be discarded. If you’re unsure, ask your pest control technician.
Can I Do it Myself?
Due to the complexity of treatment and the time required, bed bugs are generally not a pest many people have success in eradicating. Do-it-yourself bed bug treatments and products are not usually effective and may contain pesticides that can be harmful to people and pets if they are misused or mixed improperly. Learn more about heat treatment, the most effective treatment of bed bugs.
How Soon Can We Get There?
At Plunkett’s Pest Control, our goal is to help you in the shortest time possible, causing you the least inconvenience while eradicating your bed bug problems in the most cost-effective manner. We understand the anxiety bed bugs can cause and will schedule your treatment as soon as possible.
How Can I Prevent This in the Future?
Bed bugs are very difficult to prevent, given their ability to enter the home in a number of different ways. The best thing to do is beware of the signs and call Plunkett’s Pest Control as soon as you spot bed bugs to reduce the risk of major infestation.
How to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling
One of the easiest ways to develop a bed bug infestation in your home is to inadvertently bring bed bugs home with you while traveling. Plunkett’s Pest Control offers tips to help you avoid bed bugs while traveling this year:
- Pack clothing in sealable plastic bags
- Learn how to inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bug activity such as blood spots or shed bed bug skins
- Inspect your room before bringing any luggage in
- Store your luggage on a stand instead of the floor and keep closed except when in use
- Do not put your clothing in the closet or dresser
- Upon returning home, do a thorough inspection of your suitcase before bringing it inside
- Immediately wash all clothing and dry on the hottest temperature available to kill any bed bugs or eggs that may be present
- Vacuum your luggage before storing them again