Bed bugs, my worst nightmare! One in five Americans actually experience a bed bug infestation! These resilient pesky pests can hide all over your home feeding off you and your family.
Many commonly think that bed bugs are similar to mosquitos, the worst happening as a result of bed bugs are some annoying bites. However that is the farthest from the truth.
If you don’t act quickly on bed bugs, you can be chasing a viscous cycle of infestation.
What Exactly Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs like to hide in bed frames, carpets, or at the edge of a mattress. They’re so small you could hardly notice just one or two. They kind of look like apple seeds, they’re small and dark brown. They can move quickly and hide in small cracks in your home. They wake up at night and feed on the blood of humans, which is why they like to live close to beds, hence the name.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs?
All it takes is one bug or even one egg hitching a ride home with you to start an infestation. The most commonly known place to catch those hitchhikers are hotels, however, you can brush up against a stranger who’s been infested and easily bring them home.
A single bed bug can lay roughly 250 eggs in its lifespan. That’s 250 bed bugs hatching in your home, which then can create an infestation!
Life Cycle of a Bed Bug
Bed bugs have 7 stages of life. They start as an egg which is typically laid in crevices or cracks in your mattress or baseboards. They then hatch into younglings or nymphs. They’re smaller than adult bed bugs and can not breed yet.
Typically the bed bugs life cycle ends in 6 months however they’ve been known to live up to one year without food!
Their life cycle is also why it’s so hard to get rid of bed bugs. There are unfortunately no single issues that can eliminate them. Specific pesticides only eliminate one life cycle and leaving the rest to continue breeding and growing.
This is known as the bed bug cycle. Ineffective methods will not eliminate the whole population, so it’s so important to hire a professional to help you with your bed bug problem.
How Do You Detect Bedbugs?
Depending on how bad your infestation is, you may not realize you have a problem. Their bites can be subtle, so if you’re not getting eaten alive, you probably can’t conclude that you have an infestation.
The first step is to have a licensed pest control tech come inspect your home. More often than not bed bug bites get misdiagnosed as well as improperly identified by the untrained eye. However, you can first check your mattress and sheets. You may find very small blood stains or smears where you possibly squished one in your sleep.
Bed bugs also shed their skin transitioning between stages so you may find hollow shells around your home. Even if you see a single bed bug, just know there are more prepared to wreak havoc.
How to Stop the Bed Bug Cycle
If you are certain you have an infestation, it’s best to call the exterminator before it gets out of control.
Heat treatment is one of the best ways to address bed bug issues. It kills all three stages of bed bugs and typically only requires one visit from the bug guys. Make sure you vacuum really well after! The carpet, furniture, all the things to make sure you get rid of the dead bugs.
There are also effective chemical treatments that require multiple visits just to be sure the infestation is taken care of. Chemical treatments don’t kill the eggs however, which is why several treatments are required to get every stage of their life cycle.
Tips for Preventing Bed Bugs
A clean home will always deter bed bugs and make it easier to find them if you have them. You can also avoid buying second-hand furniture or making sure it’s thoroughly cleaned before you bring it into your home or even loaded into your vehicle.
Although we can’t completely stop them, we can take preventative measures to reduce the risk of bringing them home.
Be Proactive About Bed Bugs
Yes, bed bugs are disgusting and very stressful, however, dealing with them is not hopeless! Call us at Nemesis Pest Control if you’re concerned about a potential bed bug infestation. We always provide a no-cost inspection of your home to determine the best effective treatment.