" All About bed bugs describes everything a home owner or traveler needs to know to avoid bringing the insects into the home. If you are unfortunate enough to have a bed bug problem, this page provides the facts you need to decide whether or not to hire a bed bugs pest control expert or to attempt treatment yourself. Given the difficulty of finding all bed bug hiding places, we strongly suggest that a home owner request a free list of qualified experts by clicking here or call a well known pest control company such as Service Magic (1.877-233-1145). If you choose to "do it yourself", be sure to follow the manufacturers directions for the use of all bed bug pest control products mentioned."
Bed bugs are insects that feed off of a human or animal host. They look like small oval and flat insects, although the appearance changes depending on their lifestage. Baby bed bugs are called nymphs and are straw colored. Adult bed bugs are approximately 1/4 in length before feeding. Bed bug babies or nymphs are smaller and lighter in color.
Bed Bug Life Stages
Bed bugs prefer to feed at night, just before dawn. When not feeding they tend to hide near the host, which in the case of people is around the bed. When learning all about bed bugs it is important to understand where they bite, which is exposed areas of the body when sleeping. This is why most bed bug bites appear on the legs, arms and neck.
Picture Bed Bugs Before and After Feeding
Bed bugs can look like other insects, so it is important to confirm that you in fact have a bed bug infestation. Other signs such as also waking up with bed bug bites are a confirming sign that your home is suffering from a bed bug infestation. Most people do not show a bed bug bite reaction, so infestations can often grow in size before the insects are detected. Be sure to share a sample with a professional that knows all about bed bugs to confirm that you do in fact have a bed bug problem.
Bed Bugs Pictures Side View
Picture of Adult Bed Bug on Hand
Steam heat or heat itself is also an effective way to kill bed bugs at 114F. A good source for a low cost bed bug hand steamer is Dermisil. Heater units are used by pest control professionals to either superheat a room, apartment or an entire building. The heat is set above the required 114F temperature to ensure that the heat penetrates all objects, such as inside a mattress or clutter.
We strongly suggest that if you are a home owner you call in a professional for an inspection. Be sure to only work with companies that have experience and therefore know all about bed bugs and therefore have the know how to fight a bed bug infestation. Importantly, firms that know all about bed bugs have specialized equipment and insecticides that is too expensive or unavailable to home owners.
To start, you can use our free service to get a list of qualified experts here. You can also call a well firm that pre-screens exterminators such as Service Magic, via their toll free number which is 877-233-1145.Treatment can be expensive, so be sure to speak to more than one firm and ask them all about bed bugs, their expertise and if they guarantee that the problem will be taken care of.
Many firms that know all about bed bugs, know that it is very helpful to use bed bug sniffing dogs to identify areas where bed bugs are hiding. This can be a very accurate approach, although there is usually a fee associated with the use of a bedbug sniffing dog. Be sure to be present during the inspection to visually confirm the presence of bed bugs.
If you decide to do it yourself, you can save money with a kit which contains all of the products needed (mattress safe spray, crack/crevice spray, dust, mattress/box spring covers etc.). Good choices are the New York Bed Bug Kit (contains combination of insecticide sprays and organic dust) or a kit that is completely organic such as the one offered by Dermisil for Bed Bugs. The kits will make sure that you know all about bed bugs before taking the time to remove them.
There is no evidence that bed bugs spread disease even though they leave behind saliva when puncturing the skin. The bugs actually do not actually bite, they have a stylet on the head which enters the skin looking for a blood capillary to feed on. Experts whose careers are all about bed bugs confirm that they do not spread disease, so the only real problem is the discomfort and skin reactions caused by their bites.
Bed bugs have to be carried into a home, apartment, cruise ship, hotel room or hospital. The bugs hitch a ride on items such as used furniture or luggage. They can even be found in new furniture or a new mattress in particular if the same truck that delivers new mattresses is also used to cart away used.
Picture Bed Bugs on Back Pack
Bed bugs have nothing to do with the cleanliness of an apartment or room. People that do not know all about bed bugs often think you can only find them in poor communities or cheap hotels. This is not true. Bed bugs can reside anywhere. They are just as likely to inhabit a 5 star hotel as an apartment complex.
However, if people are more likely to live in a building where a bed bug infestation has spread, then they are also more likely to spread the insects to other locations such as hospitals and schools. Even when discovered, it is very difficult to point to a specific person as the cause or carrier of the bedbugs.
Bed bugs can be seen with the naked eye. They also leave behind feces on mattresses. The easiest way to check for bed bugs is to pull back the sheet of the bed and to look for red/brown markings on the mattress. As mentioned, the appearance varies depending on life stage and before/after feeding. When in doubt, call in someone that knows all about bed bugs such as a hotel manager, building manager or pest control professional.
Picture Bed Bugs on Mattress
Climb-up Interceptors can also be helpful when identifying bedbugs in a home. These are 4 small bowls that are placed under each bed leg that trap the bed bugs before they can climb up onto the bed. This combined with moving the bed away from the wall/furniture and by keeping blankets off the floor, can help keep bed bugs away.
Picture Bed Bugs Mattress Spots
As mentioned, bed bugs do look like other insects such as bat bugs. Many local government agencies have services to identify a bed bug sample. You can also send a sample bug to a firm that evaluates insects (pdf download), who will also confirm that your sample is in fact a bed bug.Bed bugs are often confused with many insect species including bat bugs, ticks and small cockroaches.
Bed Bugs Are Often Confused with
Bed bugs can be killed with organic products, insecticides, freezing and heat. Individuals that know all about bed bugs usually use some combination or these products when removing an infestation. The process requires killing visible bed bugs and then making sure any late hatching bed bugs and their eggs are also killed.
The key to removing bed bugs from the home is to be thorough. Every inch of the infested room needs to be inspected and treated. The basics include:
Local government agencies are finally learning all about bed. Many localities are passing laws regarding bed bugs in apartments. In general, apartment owners have an obligation to provide a safe living environment for tenants.
The first thing you should do is notify your management company or landlord. If you are lucky, they will know all about bed bugs and have a plan for how to treat a bed bug problem. Research all about bed bugs in apartments shows that early and fast action is critical as there is a 20% chance that bedbugs will spread to an adjoining apartment and a 7% chance that they will spread to an apartment above or below the infested unit.
If your apartment does not have bedbugs, but they are in your building, you can spread bed bug dust along the perimeter of the room, in cracks etc., as a first line of defense. You can also use a good crack and crevice insecticide that has a lasting effect such as Phantom.
Any apartment treatment program should include an education program for tenants. Every tenant needs to know all about bed bugs. Often used furniture and mattresses are the source of a bed bug infestation. Banning or making sure that these items are treated first, is an important preventative. Rented furniture should also be inspected before bringing it into a home or apartment.
Apartment buildings are often treated with a combination of insecticides and heat. The key is to make sure a treated apartment are free of clutter, so that treatments can reach all areas. All items such as furniture and mattresses can be treated. All apartment owners and renters that live in the treated area must participate.
When waiting for treatment, protect the bed by moving it at least 6 inches from the walls and adjoining furniture. Keep all blankets and linens from hitting the floor, removing a way for the bed bugs to climb onto the bed. Place Climbup Interceptors under each bed leg or use double sided tape as an alternative. You can make your own interceptor by placing a cardboard ramp on the outside of a bowl. Inside of the bowl place a layer of talcum powder. Bedbugs will climb up the outside and get stuck in the bowl.
Another tip for preventing bed bugs in apartment buildings is to install a heat room in the building where any furniture or at least used furniture can be subject to high heat before moving to an apartment. The key is proactive education all about bed bugs and bed bug prevention efforts.
Whether avoiding bed bugs and cruise ships or if your goal is traveling without bed bugs, there are things you can do to avoid bringing them home with you. Be sure to know all about bed bugs before you go on your trip.
Most people show no skin reaction to a bed bug bite (actually a puncture). Those that do show a reaction usually have round raised red areas with a clear center. Beyond the skin reaction, the bites itch. Try not to scratch to avoid infection. Use an insect itch cream made for bed bug itch such as All Stop or buy an anti-itch cream in your drug store. Bedbug Bites should go away by themselves in 3 to 5 days. Bite skin reactions tend to be immediate, but could be deflated by several days.
Picture Bed Bugs Bites
In highly allergic people, bed bug bites can be more pronounced and take the shape of a wheal, which is a round red area approximately 2 inches in diameter. The size of a bite reaction will vary between people and even between episodes. In some cities many doctors do not know all about bed bugs, so they may not pick up on the signs. Ask specifically if you have bed bug bites.
Bed Bug Bite Wheal Skin Reaction
Bed Bug Bite Picture on Leg
More Severe Allergic Reaction to Bed Bug Saliva on Skin
See other pages on this site to learn all about bed bugs bites.
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