"Killing bed bugs involves multiple products and may require more than 1 treatment. The key to killing bedbugs is to be thorough in cleaning all services in the infested room. Apartment owners need to check adjoining apartments to determine the source of the bed bugs."
In fact, in any room infested by bed bugs, studies show that approximately 85% are found on or near the bed so that when it is time to feed during the 1 out of 10 day feeding cycle, they are near the person they are feeding on. Bed bugs can be found anywhere there are people and need to be carried by the host from place to place, such as in luggage. They are not caused by filth or a lack of cleaning. Bed bugs usually only move within 20 feed of the location they are carried to.
Bedbugs vary in size depending on where they are in their lifecycle. You can mail a bed bug into Harvard University to have it checked. Killing bed bugs starts with knowing what they look like at each bedbug lifestage.
Eggs: Small pin head white specks. They attach to surfaces in bunches with a cement like substance. 1/32 inches. Females lay 1 to 12 eggs/day. Bedbug eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days.
Nymphs: Small colorless "bed bug babies". Adults and bed bug nymphs are similar in appearance. After being born they look for a host right away. A bed bug will "molt" (loose its skin) 5 times before becoming an adult. It takes approximately 21 days.
Adults: Adult bed bugs are dull red/brown in color and are approximately 1/5 of an inch (A). After eating they elongate in size (B). Adults live for 12 to 18 months. According the Ohio State University cooperative extension, 3+ generations can exist in 1 year. Bed bugs can survive for months between meals.
Picture of Bed Bug Before and After Feeding
Bed bugs feed at night and and bite the host for a period of 10 to 15 minutes in different places. They then go and hide until the need to feed again, which can occur in up to 10 days.
Killing bed bugs involves looking in the areas where they hide. This includes:
Basically, anywhere there is a rough surface and that is near the bed, is a likely hiding place. Recent studies show that 85% will be around or near the mattress.
Look for the signs of a bed bug infestation including blood stains, dark spots from feces, shells from bed bug eggs (white shells) and a distinct odor (described as being sweet and musty).
Multiple products and cleaning approaches will be needed for killing bed bugs. These may need to be applied several times. You can hire a professional bed bug exterminator or do it yourself with a Bed Bug control kit which includes everything you need such as the one offered by Dermisil for Bed Bugs.
Note that if you are in an apartment, you will need to check with the apartment above and below and rooms next to the infested room. Bed bugs could have traveled to your apartment from these places. Obviously, even if you remove the bedbugs from your apartment, they can travel back from others requiring all to kill bedbugs to be successful.
The key to do it yourself approaches for killing bed bugs is to look everywhere, use the right products and to be thorough. Even professionals often need to repeat treatments 3 to 4 times.
Using the list above as a start, locate the areas where the bed bugs could be hiding. Look everywhere for signs of the bedbugs.
2. Sanitation (products can be purchased in a kit, see above)
a zippered mattress cover designed for trapping bed bugs. A low cost cover is offered by Dermisil .
Wait for the mattress to dry from any spray. Cover the box spring as well. Trapped bed bugs will die. Those born from eggs you missed will also die when they can't feed. There is no need to throw out a mattress if it is covered.
It is very easy to miss bedbug eggs since they are small and cannot be killed by sprays. The only way to kill them is to:
Professional Approaches to Killing Bed Bugs
It can take two pest control experts a full day to clean all surfaces and make sure that you are killing bed bugs throughout the room. Professionals will use a combination of the products listed above in addition to some techniques such as:
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