Today we are flashing back to one of our most popular blog articles, “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!” by Kacey Wyman, originally posted on our website on October 3, 2011.
5 Things You Need to Know About Bed Bugs
What do they look like?
Bed bugs are 4-5 mm long with an flat, oval body shape. Adults are reddish brown after feeding. Babies are transparent until feeding.
How do they enter your home?
Staying in a hotel is the primary means of contracting a case of infectionous bedbugitis.
How do you avoid bringing bed bugs home?
After checking into your hotel room, place your suitcase in the bathtub. Inspect the room thoroughly. (Tip: Toss a small flashlight in your suitcase before you leave home!)
Begin by pulling the sheets back and inspecting the seam of the mattress. Look for black fecal spots or the actual bug, which is normally the size of an apple seed. Also look in corners of the room, along the headboard, and in drawers. If found, ask for a room that does not border that room.
Inspect clothes when you pack to go home. Once home, unpack clothes on a light-colored surface and place all clothing in a plastic bag until you are able to wash and dry them. As an added precaution, vacuum your suitcase..
Fast Fact: Female bed bugs lay 1-5 eggs a day. They can live about a year as an adult and can go many months without feeding.
Where do they hangout in your home?
Your bed will be a favorite spot, so check your mattress seams, tufts, buttons, bed frame, and box springs. They may live on couches, chairs, under carpeting, along walls, and behind switch plates and outlets. You may also find them inside night stands and dressers. Again, you are looking for the actual bug or fecal matter as you inspect these areas.
What do their bites look like?
The bites from a bed bug usually appear in a row and come in sets of three. (“Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!”) When bed bugs feed, they like to have their stomach and back pressed against something, which is why the bites will show up on your favorite side that you sleep on.
How do you get rid of them?
Heat can help attack a bed bug infestation. (120 degrees will kill all stages). Chemicals also work, provided you follow the label instructions carefully.
However, many over the counter solutions are ineffective because bed bug treatment has to be very specific to your situation. It’s difficult to know when you’ve succeeded and when you should keep treating. In the end, this is one pest where your dollar will go further if you hire a professional right away.
Have questions about bed bugs? Worried your home may be infested? Give us a call today to find out more!