Bed bugs are becoming a frequent problem. They’re so small you may not realize you’ve got a problem until they overwhelm you with bites. Most people know that bed bugs are bad news, but they may not know where they come from or how to deal with them. Today, we’ll answer the most common questions we get concerning bed bug control.
Bed bugs are hitchhikers, meaning they can attach to clothing and other materials and follow their transport. They can even latch on to things like purses. Unfortunately, due to their exceedingly small size, and their ability to scuttle away quickly, they can be hard to spot and catch. Also, many people believe that they only live underneath mattresses to bite humans as they sleep. That’s not always the case. Bed bugs can hide in hotel rooms, dressers, desk drawers, even in vehicles.
Bed bugs are small and oval in shape. Adults are about the size of an apple seed. They are flat and brown in color but will turn reddish after they’ve eaten. Bed bug eggs are roughly the size of a speck of dust, which makes them nearly impossible to see.
Bites are red, round, itchy, and often appear in a line. They will go away with time, but you can use an over-the-counter anti-itch cream to relieve symptoms. Try to avoid over-scratching. While the bites can be merely annoying for some, for others, the bites are so painful, they will scratch until they break the skin. You should avoid doing so, as this opens the skin up to infection. In some cases, people experience an allergic reaction. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you believe you’re having a severe reaction to a bed bug bite.
No. Many people assume that if you keep a neat house and are a clean or tidy person, you can’t get bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs don’t discriminate when it comes to where they seek their meal. They are opportunistic, not particular. In other words, it doesn’t matter how clean you are. If a bed bug has a chance to cling on, it will do so. Now, if you keep a tidy home, it may be easier to spot them. For example, if you throw clothes on the floor, you may not notice bed bugs as you’ve given them more places to hide. But again, even if you are tidy, this won’t stop them. So if your home becomes infested, don’t be hard on yourself. It’s truly not your fault, and there’s nothing to be gained by beating yourself up.
One of the biggest causes of bed bug infestations is that they don’t have a nest as other insects do—for instance, fire ants. With fire ants, you can generally avoid problems by steering clear of their colony’s earthen mound. With bed bugs, they move from host to host, which makes them great at spreading. But the largest cause of bed bugs is actually travel. Because they can hide out in just about any form of clothing, bag, luggage, or furniture, it’s incredibly easy for them to spread. We’re not suggesting you avoid travel completely to avoid bed bugs, but it’s something to be aware of. When staying at a hotel, always check reviews before booking to see if there have been reports of bed bugs. It’s also a good idea to lift the mattress and check between the sheets before you unpack. If you see bed bugs, take photos, request a new room, or get a different hotel altogether.
Bed bugs don’t live on people the way lice do. So while you certainly can get bitten if you sleep on an infested mattress, there’s no need to do something drastic like shaving your head.
No! While their bites are annoying and can cause allergic reactions, they do not carry disease. So there’s a bit of a silver lining to this problem.
Usually, the first sign of bed bugs is red itchy bumps. If you didn’t have these bites when you went to sleep, you might have bed bugs. Other common signs of a bed bug infestation include:
If you believe you have an infestation, remove all bedding and the dust cover on the bottom of your box spring. Look for bugs or their excrement. If needed, peel back the fabric that’s stapled to the frame. Be sure also to check any furniture in the bedroom. This includes bookshelves, radios, the edges of the carpet, and closets.
Call an exterminator. Some people think bug spray will work for bed bugs, but unfortunately, this is not the case. The only way to remove them all effectively is with a professional bed bug treatment. At Cramer Pest Control, we actually use heat treatment. We heat your house to 135 degrees so that bed bugs will be killed no matter where they hide – and no chemicals are involved.
The experts at Cramer Pest Control are equipped with both the tools and the expertise to rid your property of bed bugs quickly. Our treatment uses heat to kill all stages of the bed bug life cycle without strong chemicals. If you see bed bugs, don’t wait – contact us today. The longer you delay, the worse the problem will become. Call (704) 763-0204 for North Carolina or (803) 802-7540 for South Carolina. You can also contact us online to schedule an appointment.
If you’d like to learn more about bed bug control or other pests, check out our blog for more information. We’re also on Facebook! Like our page to stay up-to-date on the latest deals and service offerings.