Bed Bug General Information

Once thought to be just a saying, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” is, in fact, a real problem. They were a public health concern until the mid 20th century, whose appearance seemed to decline, only to reemerge. Bed bugs infestations are ever increasing, with no sign of being eliminated. Infestations have been found in college dorms, hospitals, hotels and even big name, high caliber retail stores.  The bed bug is a traveler. They travel from room to room of a house and even travel the world around. Their mode of travel is via clothing, bedding, furniture and luggage.

Bed Bug Infestation Signs

Until you or someone in your home as been bitten, you won’t know you have a bed bug infestation. Moreover, the bite of a bed bug doesn’t hurt. It will leave the skin irritated, with a small red bump. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, but it is common to find each bite surrounded by a small hard, swollen white welt, and will itch.

It can be hard to detect the problem because bed bugs are hard to spot and hide when they are not active. The best way to determine if you have bed bugs is to look for blood or excrement stains that may look like small rust spots on the bedding and the walls around the bed. You will also find their eggshells and shed skins in the places they hibernate and hide. When an infestation has become serious, you will notice a musty, sweet offensive odor that is extracted from their scent glands.

Health and Disease Dangers

The saliva injected into the skin when bed bugs bite commonly causes skin reactions. While not everyone has a reaction from their bites, those who do may suffer from lack of sleep from the bugs actively feeding at night. Arms and shoulders are the most frequently targeted sites. It may take up to nine days before wheals become visible. The allergic reaction most common is large welts, with associated inflammation and itching. The welts diminish to red spots that may be present for a few days. As with any bite, the welts can become infected with scratching.

Bullous eruptions and even an anaphylactic reaction are potential serious reactions to multiple bed bug bites, especially for those with severe allergies. Asthma has also been linked to infestations, resulting from allergens from bed bugs. The transmission of hepatitis B and other infectious diseases has been associated with bed bugs, as well, although research evidence has not proven this. People who have had bed bug infestations have experienced anxiety, insomnia and stress.

Public Health Concerns

Bed bugs are a significant public health concern, despite the fact that it has not been determined that bed bugs transmit disease, unlike other ectoparasites (external parasites) like body lice (Pediculus humanus corporis). Like head lice, bed bugs feed on human blood, but biological differences between the two ectoparasites impact their ability to spread of infectious diseases.

The negative health implications of bed bug infestation include physical, psychological and economic impacts, which can be overwhelming. The small bites may cause an allergic reaction and, in rare instances, develop into a whole body reaction (anaphylaxis). They may cause secondary infections, such as ecthyma, impetigo and lymphanigitis, as well. People who have an infestation in their home may also experience anxiety, insomnia and systemic reactions.

Bed bugs also take an economic toll. The losses from health care expenses, lost wages, lost revenue and reduced productivity are significant. While other treatments may take multiple visits to eliminate the infestation, Bed Bugs and Beyond uses a heat treatment that kills all the bed bugs and eggs on the first visit.

Places To Hide

Bed bugs will remain close to their food (human blood), and live in crevices, burrowing into wood much like a carpenter ant or termite. They take refuge in beds in the crevices, seams and tufts of the mattress and box spring, as well as in the bed frame and headboard. They can spread rapidly throughout any residential building, hotel or other accommodations.

Where to Find Bed Bugs

If you suspect you have bed bugs, it is essential that you thoroughly inspect the bed by dismantling and checking every part of it, from all sides. The bed bugs are a light brown or, if they have been feeding, they will be dark brownish (filled with human blood). You will also find the light brown skins of the nymphs. Look for dark spots of dried excrement on the mattress, box springs, frame and headboard, especially along mattress seams. Removal of the gauze fabric on the bottom side of the box spring is recommended, so that you can inspect inside the box itself and have access to treat the area. Examine the bed frame and headboard, especially in cracks, and in particular if the frame is wood. If the headboard is fastened to the wall, it should be removed and thoroughly checked, as well. When staying in hotels or motels, be sure to check behind the headboard as part of your inspection.

If you store objects under your bed, this is another hiding place for bed bugs, as well as dressers and nightstands. Empty and examine each drawer or door and treat the crevices, inside and outside. Be sure to check the underside of your bedroom furniture; bed bugs may hide in cracks and corners of the wood.

Bed bugs will nest in seams, skirts and tufts of upholstered furniture, including under and on the cushions. Sofa beds are also commonly infested, and need thorough inspection.

Examine carpeted floors along the walls, and especially behind beds and other furniture. The cracks in wood molding around doors and windows are hiding spots for bed bugs, as well as anything that is mounted to the wall such as pictures, light plates and outlets. You may also find bed bugs behind loose wallpaper, and inside clocks, phones, smoke detectors and televisions. Bed bugs will also find their way into closets and nest in clothing.

In order to find and treat your whole home, you will require the expertise of a professional bed bug exterminators, such as Bed Bugs and Beyond. It may take several hours or even days to thoroughly treat your home.

“Instantly Kill Bed Bugs”

As with anything that has the general public’s attention, you will find unscrupulous manufacturers that sell products claiming they will instantly and quickly  kill bed bugs regardless how bad the infestation. This is simply not true and will be a very expensive treatment for nothing. There are ways to treat for them yourself:

Simple Ways to Kill Bedbugs:

With so much media attention and popular misconceptions about bed bugs, you will find unscrupulous manufacturers that try to sell products claiming they will instantly kill bed bugs, regardless of how bad the infestation. This is simply not true, and will be a very expensive treatment for nothing.

Here are some approaches you can try to treat for bed bugs yourself, once you find them:

  • Find bed bugs. Point can of any bug spray and spray until they suffocate.
  • Find bed bugs. Sweep them up onto a dustpan, throw them into a bucket of boiling water (heat kills them!)
  • Find bed bugs. Suck them up with your vacuum.

The challenge is that you hard to find them. It can be done, but without the assistance of a well trained and experienced professional, they will be back. Contact Bed Bugs and Beyond and we will find and kill the adult bed bugs, nymphs and eggs, for lasting results.

Treat Them & Control Them

You can not just find them and spray them  then forget about them. You must stay on top of it and practice an integrated pest management approach with multiple tactics and preventive measures. Do regular inspection in all the areas discussed here: bedding, mattress, box springs, furniture, closets, woodwork around windows, doors. Any fresh sign of bed bugs, treat it again. Keep the area clean, washing bedding regularly.

Enlisting the services of a professional pest control firm, such as Bed Bugs and Beyond, for advise and assistance. They have the experience and expertise on how and where to find bed bugs, and with a wide range of management products and tools.

Remove any and all excess clutter and keep things picked up, put up and cleaned. Check all rooms  connected to the room they are found and do a thorough treatment as bed bugs will move on when treatment is affecting them.  It is important that treatment be thorough and targeted. If repeated treatment has not rid bed bugs, the items must be discarded. This includes clothing, furniture, anywhere they have nested.

Infested bedding and clothing should be bagged and washed in hot water. If items can not be washed, they should be  heated up to 120°F  or wrapped in black plastic bags the left in the hot sun for 2 to 3 days. Or freeze items up to 2 weeks will kill bed bugs out as well. Vacuuming will  remove bed bugs and their eggs from carpet, mattresses and box springs, walls, and surfaces with special attention to edges, seams and  tufts and around the perimeter of carpeted areas.  The vacuum cleaner bag should be placed in sealted trash bag and disposed of immediately.  A professional steam cleaning  is   helpful as well and make any repairs to cracks or loose wallpaper. This will minimize where bed bug harbor.

If box spring and matterss are discarded, the replacements should be placed in special allergan bags that state they are for allergies, bed bug and dust mite treatment. A professional pest control company may not treat the bedding with a pesticide bu they will use a steam machine and vacuuming.

Pesticides and Insecticides

You can not just spray once and bed bugs be gone. It must be an insecticide or pesticide that has residual effects and you must repeat the process on a regular basis. Spot treatments to all cracks, crevices, folds, seams and tuffs where bed bugs nest. Cleaning the area to be treat to remove any dirt and dust from the cracks and creavices will allow the insecticide and pesticide to penetrate.

Bed Bug Prevention

Bed bugs are mobile by nature which makes prevention almost impossible. Best defense is to avoid hotels, motels and apartments. These are placed that have constant change in ccupants and their belongings which allows the opportunity for bed bugs to be left behind and hatch more. Be wary of buying secondhand furniture and examine it closely before taking it  home. When traveling, examine all bedding and areas where bed bugs are known to nest. Do not put luggage on floor and keep clothing picked up as well. By avoiding the possibilities that breed and bring in bed bugs and seeking help from professional pest control when any sign of bed bugs are found.