Bed bugs strike fear and panic in the hearts of humans everywhere. The tall tales about these creepy crawlers make us feel powerless in our own homes (and hotel rooms). When an unexpected visitor does show up, it’s important to get proper bed bug treatment as quickly as possible.
One of the most common misconceptions about bed bugs is that they are a sure sign of a dirty room. The truth is, bed bugs don’t care if you vacuum and dust. They don’t feed on debris so they can show up in the most pristine environment. Bed bugs feed on human blood, so anywhere people are present, bed bugs can come along for the ride. That means you can find them essentially anywhere- in your home, school, office, car, hotels, and shopping malls.
Full-grown bed bugs are tiny. They are about ¼-inch long, a flat, oval shape, and are often a dark red-brown color. The bed bugs themselves like to hide in crevices, so they are often hard to see. They can hide in the seams of chairs, couches, between suctions, in drawer joints, electrical outlets, underneath wallpaper and even in the head of a screw.
How To Identify Bed Bugs
Bed bugs get their name because they are usually found within 8 feet of where people sleep. They’re also usually active only in the wee hours of the night and tend to hide during the day, making them tricky to find.
The easiest way to detect their presence is to look for peppercorn-sized black spots in your sheets, clothing, or luggage. These black spots are digested blood secreted by the bugs and left behind. You can also check for skin sheddings, which may be left behind, but are often too small to notice.
Another way to detect bed bugs is to check yourself for bites. Bed bug bites are often grouped together on the skin and look like small, flat or raised areas. They are found on the parts of the body that are exposed during sleep. The bites are usually not painful but can be itchy and become swollen.
Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to preventing a massive infestation. If you miss just one pregnant female, you can be infested with over 300 adults and 1,000 new eggs in just three months. In six months, it can turn into a full-on infestation of 13,000 or more bugs across your entire Lexington, KY home.
Professional Bed Bug Inspection
The only sure-fire way to know if you have bed bugs is to hire a professional to come out and inspect your home or business. Many homeowners believe that if they wash their sheets and deep clean the room, that will take care of any minor bed bug problem. The truth is, an infestation can reoccur for months if not handled properly the first time. Even if you throw out your bedding, the eggs can hatch and the bugs can crawl right back into your home.
Bed bugs are smart. They hide in safe places where you likely won’t see or reach them. They move fast and scatter easily, which can put other areas your home at risk of infestation. Even if you attempt a DIY extermination method, bugs can simply travel to other areas of your home and survive the extermination process.
Hiring a professional pest control service also means they can advise what to do further if you do indeed have bed bugs. Even if you’re in doubt or unsure, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Bed Bug Treatment and Removal
When they have the capability to hide in tiny cracks, it is difficult to find and kill the entire infestation at once. The most effective way to treat and remove bed bugs is to hire an exterminator. The exterminator will likely treat the area on several occasions over a period of time to ensure the entire population is eliminated.
Preparing For Treatment:
A professional exterminator will advise you to toss your mattress, pile your furniture together, and remove all light switch plates. Clearing clutter is helpful in finding the bed bugs, but please be careful in the manner you move items from the infested areas. Place trash directly into plastic trash bags and immediately take them outside. Eliminate any and all cardboard boxes, for these are the most common breeding ground for bed bugs. Bedding and clothes can also be comfortable homes for bugs, so they’ll need to be washed with extremely hot water. Once the preparation is complete, the exterminator is ready to handle the rest.
Methods of Removal
Exterminators may use several methods to remove bed bugs, depending on your environment and the number of bed bugs that are identified. They may use steamers, freezing, heating, and chemical treatments across the house. Heating and freezing are the most effective bed bug treatments and take less time to work than chemicals. However, regardless of what treatment your exterminator uses, it will require more than one visit to completely eliminate the problem and reach total removal of the bed bugs.
One of the most common bed bug treatments is heat. A bed bug dies as soon as their internal body temperature rises above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Professional exterminators often use steamers that reach 180 degrees to try and eliminate the infestation. Steamers and residential heat dryers are safe for family and pets because they only use the power of heat and/or water without any added chemicals. This method safely treats all mattresses, box springs, and upholstered items that may otherwise need to be discarded with the use of chemical treatments only.
Freezing is the newest and most effective treatment to kill bugs. Rapid freezing uses a special machine to spray a mix at -110 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemical mix remains frozen on contact for 1-2 weeks and leaves no gummy or wet residues. Of course, the homeowners will need to be out of the house during this time. However, it eliminates the entire infestation very effectively.
Chemical Fumigation Treatment:
Professional fumigation treatment is becoming more popular in the effective effort to eliminate bed bugs. The chemical fumigation treatment is a highly specialized process, and should only ever be handled and carried out by a pest control professional. During a fumigation treatment, your home will be “tented”, meaning it is covered and sealed completely. Before treatment begins, family members and pets alike must not be present on the property. During fumigation, a certain gas is pumped into the house and distributed by strategically placed fans as the process for bed bug elimination takes place.
Cost of Bed Bug Inspection and Treatment
The cost will depend on the severity of the bed bug infestation, the size of the area affected, and what type of treatment is used to eliminate the problem. The initial inspections alone vary from company to company, while the price of bed bug treatment can vary drastically, depending on the method. A heat treatment may cost a few thousand dollars compared to the cost for fumigation services, which is usually between $5-10/square foot of your home. However, again, it can vary depending on the company and the extent of pest control management that needs to take place.
Why Pest Control Pros?
The best way to confidently identify and eliminate bed bugs is to call a professional exterminator. Pest Control Pros has the experience and knowledgeable experts to help you with your pest problem without tossing out all of your most precious belongings. We use the latest technology, the most effective treatment, and unparalleled training to protect your home, your family, and your pets from unwanted guests.
If you’re concerned about a possible bed bug infestation in your home, give us a call today to receive an estimate on your assessment or schedule an inspection.
Our company is honored to work with homeowners and businesses alike in Lexington, Kentucky. We are also proud to partner with those in the surrounding areas for all pest control service, treatment, and maintenance needs. We serve those in the following cities: Richmond, Berea, Paris, Winchester, Mt. Sterling, Nicholasville, and Georgetown.
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