Bed bugs are sneaky creatures. They usually travel by attaching themselves to luggage and clothing, which allows them to quickly find new homes where they can be a major nuisance. These tiny bugs have been around for ages and though not too common nowadays, they pop up enough that homeowners may need some help.
The thing is: bed bugs don’t discriminate. They will enter and thrive inside any residence, in any country, anywhere in the world – as long as they’re given the opportunity to do so.
So first, let’s take a look at the signs you have bed bugs sharing your home with you, and then the best ways to get rid of them!
“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation. – Michael Jordan
Signs of infestation
The most obvious sign of a bed bug infestation are the itchy red spots you’ll see on your skin, along with small blood spots from either crushed bed bugs or from your own body where they bit you. Bed bugs got the name because mattresses are one of their favorite spots to hang out on, since they’ll get free meals there at least once a day.
You can also locate them by finding tiny dark spots in mattresses and bed sheets, which are bed bugs fecal matter, or even the tiny yellow egg shells from where young bed bugs hatched. If you ever find these, you should take action immediately to find where they are and exterminate.
And of course, you can find the culprits themselves. Bed bugs are very small, bigger than fleas but way smaller than a house fly. If they’re not hiding, you can spot easily enough on a white bed sheet, for example, due to their dark reddish color.
Find out where they are
Once you’ve seen signs of bed bugs, the next immediate step would be to find out where they are. You can usually get a good idea by just turning over your mattress and looking around your bed, but if one room has a contaminated spot, it’s possible they’ve branched out – so look everywhere you can around the house just to be sure.
I recommend bringing a flashlight (a smartphone one will do) to help you search through nooks and crannies, such as:
- Curtain folds
- Mattress seams
- Behind bed frames
- Under cracked paint
- Loose floorboards
Be creative, because they sure are.
You can also bring a magnifying glass if you have one available, as these can help you see minor signs of bed bug presence.
Containing the infestation
Now that you know where the little buggers are located, it’s time to deal with them.
One of the easiest and most effective bed bug treatments is to vacuum them, sealing the vacuumed bag with a plastic bag and throwing it away. If the infestation isn’t serious, this should take care of the problem as long as you’re very thorough in your vacuuming – if you missed some unhatched eggs the infestation will return at some point.
The other way is to seal up all the affected areas with plastic wrapping until you can wash them. You can vacuum things like mattresses and furniture, but for clothing or bed sheets, the real move is to use a dryer at the highest possible setting for 60 minutes in order to kill the bed bugs. This way you’ll surely eliminate even the ones you can’t see. Once that’s done, now you’re free to wash everything and go back to using it.
But what if an entire piece of furniture is affected? You have a few options:
- First is vacuuming, but just vacuuming on it’s own doesn’t guarantee you’ll remove all the bed bugs so don’t take that as a guarantee.
- Second, and probably the least practical way to do it (but still works) is to wrap the furniture in plastic and leave it hidden for a few months – in that time all the bed bugs within will be dead.
- Third, you can wrap the furniture in plastic and throw it away. But if you do, be sure to write “bed bugs on the plastic so that no one takes it and spreads the infestation!
- And finally, you can call a pest control expert that can help you salvage the furniture and deal with the rest of the infestation.
A word on pesticides
Regular pesticides are effective against most bugs, but they’re not very good against bed bugs in particular. You’d have much more success looking for bed bug specific options, but even then, those are usually better handled by pest control professionals.
We don’t recommend using any sort of poison or fogger without any prior knowledge and protective gear – if you’re having trouble with bed bugs, call a pest control expert! You can get free quotes very quickly and have bed bug treatment cost in your hands to make a move before the problem gets any worse.
Monitor the infested areas
If you’ve called a bed bug exterminator then you probably don’t have to worry about the infestation once the job is done. But especially if you’ve handled the infestation yourself, you should keep a close eye for further signs of bed bugs for a few months, since it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how they got into your home in the first place and they can survive for at least three months without feeding.
So turn your mattress around every now and then, look behind the bed frame, under furniture, anywhere you found bed bugs originally just to be sure they’re not making a comeback!
Need help dealing with bed bugs in your home? Get free quotes from a pest control expert in your area today!