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How to identify and get rid of Bed Bugs

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects with flat bodies similar to the size of an apple seed. These insects are tough, smart, reproduce at amazing rates and live off the blood of animals or humans. Immature bedbugs, called nymphs, can develop into an adult in as little as a month and produce three or more generations per year.  A healthy female bedbug can lay around 500 eggs in her lifetime.

Silverfish

Bedbugs are experts when it comes to hiding to avoid detection and can live for months between meals. It’s no surprise these tiny bloodsuckers can cause a lot of havoc in your home especially if they get into bed with you and enjoy a blood meal while you are asleep and leave red, itchy welts all over your body.

Where Bed Bugs Hide

These sneaky pests can enter your home through various methods including luggage, clothing, used beds and couches, and other items. Their small and flat bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces.

Their initial hiding places include:

  • Mattresses
  • Box springs
  • Bed frames
  • Headboards

These areas provide easy access to people to bite in the night, however, they may scatter through the bedroom, moving into any crevice or protected location.

They are also found in areas around the bed, inside books, edges of the carpet, and inside your closets as bedbugs can attach to clothing.

Signs of Infestation

Bedbugs are normally active during the night and like to bite people while they are sleeping. Most bites are painless at first, but can turn into itchy welts shortly after. If you wake up and identify itchy areas that you did not have when you went to sleep, you may have a bedbug infestation, especially if you purchased a used bed or other used furniture around the time the itchiness started.

Below are some other signs that can be used to detect a bedbug infestation:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases
  • Dark spots on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls
  • Small, pale yellow eggs, egg shells, and yellowish skins that young bedbugs shed
  • A musty odor which is produced from the bugs' scent glands

If you suspect you have bedbugs, remove all bedding and check carefully for signs of live bedbugs or their excrement. Remove dust covers from box springs, peel back fabric from where it is stapled to the wood frame and examine the seams in the wood framing.

Preventing and getting rid of Bedbugs

Although bedbugs are a nuisance, there are many things we can do to prevent and get rid of them from our homes. This starts with cleaning up the places where bedbugs live and includes the following:

  • Clean bedding, sheets,clothing and curtains in hot water and dry them on the highest dryer setting.
  • Place  items that can't be washed such as stuffed animals, shoes, and other items in the dryer and run on high for 30 minutes.
  • Vacuum your bed and surrounding area frequently. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately after.
  • Protect mattress and box springs with a tightly woven, zippered cover to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping.
  • Get rid of clutter around the bed.

If your mattress has been infested, you may want to get rid of it and get a new one, but take care to rid the rest of your home of bedbugs or they will infest your new mattress.

Still worried about bedbugs in your home?

While cleaning up infested areas is helpful when it comes to controlling bedbugs, if you do have or suspect an infestation, it is best to call in the experts to provide professional treatment.

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