Bed bugs are no fun. They’re obnoxious, hard to deal with, and ready to ruin all of your fun travel memories. But there’s some things you can do to avoid them.
We’ve been helping people kick pests to the curb for over 75 years now. In that time we’ve fielded countless questions about the bed bug prevention, and helped homeowners all over the Southeast with the best bed bug treatment options.In this blog, we’re answering all of you most frequently asked bed bug questions. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about bed bug infestations and the best-practice solutions recommended by Terminix.
Bed bugs can come from anywhere. They can be found practically everywhere people can be. In terms of volume, the biggest cause of bed bugs in homes these days is travel. Second-hand furniture is another common avenue for bedbugs to get inside a home.
Bed bugs travel by concealing themselves and hitching a ride. They can attach themselves to almost anything, from pants, socks, and purses to luggage, boxes, and all sorts of everyday household items. Once inside a home, bed bugs tend to gather around sleeping areas, like beds and couches.
What do bed bugs look like?
As adults, bed bugs look kind of like apple seeds. They’re reddish-brown colored, about a quarter of an inch long, with a flat, egg-shaped body. During early stages of development bed bugs are much smaller and translucent white in color. Their eggs are the size of a pinhead, pearl white, sometimes with a spot.
How do you keep from bringing bed bugs into your home?
Unfortunately for all of us, there is no magic wand, treatment or device that will guarantee a completely bedbug-free life. The surest way to keep bed bugs out of your home and out of your bed is to practice good habits and stay vigilant when traveling or visiting a place you suspect might have bed bugs.
When traveling, follow these tips for the best chance at bed bug prevention:
- Use hard-case suitcases when possible. There’s fewer places for bed bugs to hide in them.
- Always check your hotel room or short term rental for signs of bed bugs before you start unpacking.
- Check around the headboard, mattress edges, boxspring, and corners of the bed—and any other nooks and crannies where bed bugs might be lurking in wait for their next meal
- Keep bags and luggage elevated off the floor and away from the bed while staying in a rented room—the luggage rack you’ll find in most hotel closests comes in handy here!
- When returning home, unpack immediately and double check your luggage for stowaway bed bugs before putting it up. If possible, vacuum and scrub out suitcases in the garage before bringing them back in.
- After unpacking, using the highest heat settings, wash and dry all of the clothes you took with you as soon as possible.
What do bed bugs eat?
Bed bugs feed on blood—hence the phrase “don’t let the bed bugs bite”. Cimex lectularius, the bed bug that most typically finds its way inside, prefer human blood, but will feed on pets and other mammals if they have to.
Interestingly, bed bugs can go for long stretches of time between feedings. That’s partly why they can be so hard to treat and spread so easily. In the right conditions, bed bugs can survive for 400 days— more than a year —without feeding.
Can bed bugs fly?
Bed bugs cannot fly. They are wingless, with vestigial wing pads. Bed bugs use their feet and legs to move around.
How soon will I know if I have brought bed bugs home?
If you’ve brought bed bugs into your home without realizing it, you’ll probably start to notice them within a week. Typically, adult bed bugs need to feed every 5 to 7 days—after a week you might start seeing blood stains on your bed sheets and bites on your body. However, because of their extreme fortitude and resilience—remember, bed bugs have been found to survive for as long as 400 days without food—bed bugs can start to show up long after you’ve returned from your vacay and returned to work. No signs of bed bugs a week out is not a guarantee that you didn’t bring any home!
Can bed bugs spread diseases?
No, bed bugs do not transmit diseases. The biggest health concern with bed bugs is itchiness and irritation, though some people may experience an allergic reaction to bed bug bites.
What should I do if I find a bed bug in my bed?
If you find bed bugs in your bed or think you see signs of bed bugs, you should call in the pros as soon as possible. It’s much, much easier (and cheaper!) to treat a small, relatively new bed bug infestation than it is to treat one that’s had time to establish itself, multiply and spread.
How do you get rid of bed bugs?
Once bed bugs have established themselves in your home, it can be very difficult to get rid of them. The most effective, surefire bed bug treatments are those provided by pest control professionals—like the ones Terminix provides.
Our strategy for getting rid of bed bugs utilizes the latest technology, providing maximum efficacy for minimal impact. For bed bug treatment, we use what’s known as a biopesticide, a revolutionary new approach which uses bed bug-attacking fungal spores to control the population. The treatment is safe for both humans and pets, and provides several months of protection per application.
Even better, our bed bug treatment services are backed up by the pest control industry’s strongest guarantee: if the bugs come back, then so do we. Not sure if you’re dealing with bed bugs or not? Give us a call to get in touch with your local Terminix branch today and request your FREE inspection.