A bed bug is a small pest that can be found lurking in homes and businesses. They are small, roughly 5-7mm in length and 2-3mm wide, oval-shaped, and brown. Unlike other bugs, they are considered true insects because their bodies are divided into three segments with three sets of legs. When people find even one bed bug, it is often a sign of a much larger infestation waiting around the corner. When this happens, home and business owners need to look into the various methods available in the industry to find a treatment which works for them.
Currently, the most popular pest control treatments today are ones which take advantage of the techniques from Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a new way of combatting pests which combines multiple methods of pest control for maximum efficiency and preventative power. A practitioner of IPM could combine chemical pesticides with environmentally friendly elements like heat, laundering fabrics, and sealing up entryways to eliminate pests and prevent their return. For bed bugs, the above combination includes the main treatments available for home and business owners. When choosing the right treatment, people need to check the strengths and weaknesses of each one and determine which ones they are comfortable with.
When people think of bed bug treatments, they almost always think of chemical pesticides first. There are over 300 registered products with the EPA that are used to kill bed bugs that fall into seven different categories. The two categories people should know about, though, are desiccants and the combo of pyrethrins and pyrethroids. The majority of pesticides fall into these categories. Desiccants are important pesticides which dry out the waxy outer shell of a bed bug, causing it to become weakened and dehydrated before eventually killing it. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are toxic chemicals will kill bed bugs quickly. A pesticide can be an effective treatment to combat a bed bug infestation, but it comes with weaknesses. Many pesticides are pyrethrins and pyrethroids, and bed bugs can detect the chemicals and leave the area. They will hide in a new location and will return when the chemical has lost its effectiveness. Because a bed bug can live without food for 18 months, it’s easy for it to live somewhere else for a temporary period of time.
People who are interested in a safer, more efficient treatment can ask a pest control provider about heat treatments. The application of heat is considered one of the safest and most effective ways to exterminate bed bugs. Heat treatments require a professional pest controller who will adjust the temperature of a home or business to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours. Adult bed bugs cannot survive under those conditions, and neither can their offspring or eggs. Unlike other treatments, the application of heat is also inescapable for most bed bugs because they cannot just move to another location in the house. At present, a heat treatment is one of the best ways for a home or business owner to combat a bed bug infestation.
The final types of treatments available can be done at home, but will not fully eliminate a bed bug infestation. People can wrap up smaller items and keep them in the freezer for four days at 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Most fabrics like bedsheets and curtains can be laundered it hot water – typically 120 degrees Fahrenheit – to kill bed bug young and eggs to eliminate them from some common possessions. Finally, people can use common cleaning methods like vacuuming to pick up any bed bugs, larvae, or eggs lurking in the carpet or along baseboards. Unlike the first two methods, these treatments can be used to mitigate the effects of an infestation but are not useful in the long run. Because bed bugs are adaptable and difficult to exterminate, it’s a good idea to contact a top rated exterminator to find the right treatment for each property.
Bed bug bites are one of the most common ways people know they have the pest somewhere in their homes. Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, and feast on the blood of humans and animals because they are parasites. Bed bug bites are caused from one of the insects latching onto a person to eat. These marks do not always appear right away. Sometimes, bite marks will appear several days after the bed bugs have eaten. Bed bugs also do not eat every day, so it’s possible for there to be a cycle of days where bites appear, disappear, and then reappear. So what do these bites look like?
Bed bug bites tend to leave a red, swollen area where the pest bit into the skin. These marks can often be seen arranged in a line or grouping because bed bugs feed together, often many at a time. These bites can also cause blisters and hives when a person has an allergic reaction to the pest and the residue they leave behind. These marks can typically be found on the arms, hands, legs, and feet of a person, as well as other areas which are exposed when someone is sleeping. On the bright side, bed bug bites are not known to spread disease. Usually, the worst reaction someone has to a bite is allergic, and some people might excessively scratch the marks. If this occurs, it is best to be careful as scratching can cause skin irritation and a possible infection.
One of the biggest downsides to bed bug bites is that they are not easy to distinguish from other bug marks. Bed bug bites bear a remarkable similarity to mosquito bites because of their itchy, red, and swollen characteristics. One of the best ways to tell the difference between the two is to check their quantity. Mosquitos, even when there are several with them, do not typically bite in the same region, while bed bug bites will almost always be in groups. These bed bug bites can also be mistaken for the bites of fleas. The main difference between the two is that flea bites are much smaller. Fleas also tend to feast on a person’s legs and ankles, while bed bug bites are more common throughout the body.
Like many other marks, bed bug bites do not require hospitalization or severe medical treatment. People can usually treat the irritation by applying a soothing antiseptic cream to stop the itching. It is also best to stop scratching so the marks are not agitated further. If someone suffers an allergic reaction and it is not severe, taking an antihistamine can help diminish the symptoms. However, if someone develops a rash, has trouble breathing, or shows any other signs of a serious allergic reaction, then they should be taken to a doctor or hospital immediately.
Because bed bug bites indicate that the pests are present in a residence and are comfortable enough to feed off of people in the home, the best course of action is to call a pest control company. Many home remedies fail to eliminate bed bugs because they are prolific, capable of hiding in tiny spaces, and often hard to find. Bed bugs have been known to live behind window frames, in the cracks of walls, and even around and behind electrical outlets. Trained exterminators have access to the components for fumigation to fully seek out and destroy entire groups of bed bugs without harming the residents of a property. They can also target bed bug eggs and larvae that might be hiding throughout a home. If you see bed bug bites on yourself or your family, call our pest control specialists quickly to exterminate them before they make you a meal again.
Jose D. has been providing pest control solutions to North County San Diego residents since 2000!