When it comes to pests, there are few with the reputation for being as hard to get rid of and as big of a nuisance as bed bugs. In fact, people are often terrified of getting bed bugs because of how difficult they can be to get rid of once you have them, even though bed bugs aren’t particularly dangerous and don’t really cause any damage. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take them seriously—they can make life incredibly uncomfortable.
The following are a few red flags that you should keep an eye out for as well as a few tips on how to get rid of bed bugs that you’ll want to know about:
Bed Bug Red Flags
Knowing how to identify the red flags of bed bugs will help you to determine whether or not you have a bed bug problem or if your home might be vulnerable to a potential bed bug problem. It’s important to take precautions against a potential bed bug infestation, as well as know how to catch a bed bug problem before it becomes too big to handle.
- Sighting – Bed bugs are extremely small and can be difficult to spot, especially since they mostly come out at night. If you do have a bed bug problem, odds are it will originate from your bed, which is of course why they are called bed bugs. They tend to start from your bed because this is where they can feed at night; however, they will spread as they multiply. Look in the folds of your mattress, the underside of your box spring, and in the crevices of your bed frame for potential bed bug sightings. Check nearby curtains, cracks, and holes as well. You may be able to spot them during the day, but they’ll be easier to see when they come out at night.
- Bed bug stains – If you see dark spots on your bedding or mattress, then there’s a chance that these stains are being left behind by bed bugs. Bed bugs will leave behind dark spots caused by their feces. They may also leave behind spots of blood if they have been biting you or anyone else sleeping within your home.
- Bed bug bites – Bed bug bites can be very itchy and tend to be grouped together. They are small red bumps that can be mistaken for mosquito bites and will often appear on areas that are exposed, such as arms and legs. Bed bug bites don’t generally hurt and are harmless in most cases. They may cause severe discomfort as a result of the itching. However, some people may experience allergic reactions as a result of the bites, which can vary in severity.
Preventing Bed Bugs
Because getting rid of bed bugs can be quite a challenge, it’s best that you take preventative measures to avoid getting them in the first place. The following are a few tips for preventing bed bugs:
- Be careful of where you stay – Look into the reputation of any hotels you’re staying at to reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs back home with you. Inspect your mattress and sheets carefully for signs of bed bugs, and do not place your suitcase or clothing on the bed.
- Be careful of the furniture you buy – If you buy second-hand furniture, be sure to inspect it thoroughly for the presence of bed bugs.
- Keep your home clean – Keep your home clear of clutter so bed bug inspections can be performed more thoroughly.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs may be difficult to get rid of, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get rid of them. There seems to be a misconception about bed bugs that once you have them, you pretty much have to burn everything you own and relocate to another country. Don’t worry, it’s not all that bad! Yes, it can be a real annoyance trying to get rid of them, but it’s not impossible.
While you can try to get rid of bed bugs on your own, it’s best if you seek the help of a pest management professional. They have the experience and knowledge to help you address your infestation most effectively. The following are some of the tips that you will want to follow:
- First of all, you’ll want to remove your linens, curtains, and any clothing in the vicinity of your bed bug problem. These items should be washed and dried on the highest setting, as the heat in the dryer should kill any bed bugs that are present.
- Vacuum the area in order to remove as many eggs and bed bugs as you can. Make sure that you remove the vacuum cleaner bag right away and that you seal it in a plastic bag so that the bed bugs can’t get out.
- Do not throw out any furniture. One of the most common mistakes that people make when they have a bed bug problem is to toss out their mattress, bed frame, or furniture onto the street. These items can still be saved, not to mention that by putting them out on the street, you risk spreading the bed bug infestation since they can easily come back in.
A pest management professional will then treat the area. The type of treatment will depend on the extent of the bed bug problem. In all cases, they will recommend follow-up services to eliminate any eggs that were left behind.