Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Most of you probably remember hearing that from your parents as you were growing up. Our parents thought it was cute and funny. We thought that we were about to be eaten by huge bugs!
As a parent myself, I know why my parents did that to me, because it was their way of getting back at poor behavior.
Today, though, as many media sources have reported, bed bugs are something to think about.
With the help from our friends at Rose Pest Solutions, we thought we would answer some common questions:
What are bed bugs?
- Bed bugs are tiny insects ranging in size from 1/32” (1st stage nymph), to just less than 1/4” (adult size). They need a blood meal in order to molt and survive.
- They feed about once per week, but can go long periods of time without a meal.
Are bed bug bites dangerous?
- While bed bugs will ingest blood from multiple hosts, they haven’t been found to transmit any pathogens or diseases.
- Most bed bug bites resemble a mosquito or flea bite as they may leave you with a red, swollen, itchy welt. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the bite, similar to that from a bee sting, some may feel nothing.
What causes bed bug infestations?
- Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. Most infestations begin when someone brings them into the home. They move from place to place by attaching themselves to clothing, furniture, luggage, boxes, etc.
- Bed bug infestations are not caused by poor sanitary conditions. They can live in clean environments as well as dirty, but clutter often provides undisturbed areas for the bed bugs to nest and breed.
- Failure to detect an infestation early can make the bed bug problem worsen over time.
What am I inspecting for?
- You are inspecting for both live and dead bed bugs.
- The residue you’ll see is actually bed bug droppings. This residue is called spotting. (See Fig.1 & Fig.4)
Where should I inspect for bed bugs?
- Mattresses - Inspect the mattress along the seams and around each of the buttons (see fig 1)
- Box springs - Inspect along the seams along the top and underneath near the staples, wood seams and construction points. (see fig 5)
- Bed Frames and Headboard – Inspect carefully along cracks, crevices, wood supports and other hardware. (see fig 3,4)
- Bed Linen and Clothing- Inspect all pieces very closely for signs of spotting or bed bugs.
- Upholstered Furniture – Inspect along all seams, under cushions and the underside of each piece. Also inspect along baseboards near beds, sofas, chairs, as well as ceilings and wall hangings.
- Boxes - Carefully inspect boxes or any other items that are on the floor, especially those that are close to the bed or sofa. (see fig 3) Rose Pest Solutions recommend using only plastic storage containers.
More information after the photos...
Fig 1: Bed bugs on mattress seams.
Fig 2: Bed bugs were found on this sock under the bed. The sock must be laundered as it cannot be treated with pesticides.
Fig 3: Bed bugs were found in boxes under the bed frame.
Fig 4: Signs of bed bugs and spotting around two nail holes. The board was under box spring.
Fig 5: Bed bugs found on the corner of a box spring mattress.
What you need to know
How can I keep this from happening?
It is virtually impossible to guarantee that you will never get bed bugs, but there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk.
- Don’t bring un-inspected, used or second hand items into the home, including furniture, beds or mattresses.
- This is especially important when it comes to furniture left on someone’s curb. Never, ever, take that. You are just taking someone else’s bed bug problem to your house.
- When traveling, inspect the rooms you stay in for bed bugs.
- If you suspect that you came from a location that may have had bed bugs, inspect everything when you get home and wash your clothing immediately or place your clothes in a sealed bag until they can be washed.
- Always use lab-tested and approved bed bug covers on your mattress and box spring. You can purchase quality bed bug covers directly from Rose Pest Solutions.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water and machine dry on high.
I found bed bugs or bed bug evidence! Now what should I do?
- Don’t be rash and pitch all your clothes and furniture, they can be saved with the procedures available today.
- Contact Aspect Properties and tell them what you have found. Save a sample of your findings in a container or plastic bag so that a Rose Pest Solutions' representative can verify they are bed bugs.
- Rose Pest Solutions will conduct a thorough inspection of your home and belongings and provide you with an assessment of the situation along with a course of action to handle and eliminate the problem.
- Please keep in mind that many people bring bed bugs into their home unknowingly, so there is a high chance that you would be charged for Rose Pest Solutions' services.
How should I prepare for treatment?
- Aspect Properties will provide you with a preparation sheet outlining the steps you must take prior to treatment.
- These steps include:
- Clearing the rooms and closets of all clutter.
- Strip the beds and wash the bedding and sheets in hot water.
- Move all your furniture and wall hangings away from the walls.
It is so very important to keep an eye out for bed bugs. Last thing you want is to let the bed bugs bite!