After noticing a bed bug, you should:
- Remove all the clutter from the area
- Wash any clothing, bedding, rugs etc. and set in the dryer for a maximum of 20 minutes on the highest heat to kill any bed bugs left
- Vacuum up your room, focussing on the cracks and carpet seams
- Contact your local pest control professionals to exterminate your home instead of trying to do anything yourself
- Cover the mattress with plastic and have it stored somewhere for a year
- Do not let any new resident into the home until it has been completely cleared by the pest control professional
Despite that alarming information, bed bugs are classified as a nuisance and not an urgent health concern, as reported by CTV in 2009. But, they are serious pests and do require immediate attention by the home dweller. Long term effects of bed bug infestation are likely to impact an individual’s mental well-being, much more than physical well-being. Therefore, combating bed bugs as soon as they are detected will not only prevent them from spreading, but will reduce the amount of suffering those living with an infestation may experience.
Knowing the signs of a bed bug infestation is as early as possible is important so lets us look at some ways to spot signs, according to the EPA.
How to Check for Bed Bugs
Knowing what to look for in your home or if you travel a lot what to look in your hotel room when searching for bed bugs could make a huge difference in regards of the follow up treatment. Detecting the infestation at early stages will lower your treatment bill and will make the whole bed bugs removal process shorter and less painful.
- Bed bugs will secrete small, reddish, brown spots on bed sheets, pillows, pillow covers, mattresses, headboards, etc.
- Look for bed bug droppings (bed bug poop), that can be as small as the period at the end of this sentence.
- Bed bug babies inside eggs will look like white seeds that are roughly 1mm long and almost impossible to spot.
- Ensure to inspect all of the cracks and small hiding spots they may be.
According to Pest Control Canada, spraying pesticides will not guarantee that you are getting rid of bed bugs for good. Control by Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the best approach that includes a multitude of practices to eliminate bed bugs.
They suggest having a pest professional investigate your home to find the best solution. These experts know exactly what to look for and where, and will be able to recommend the most effective tools and ways to remove the bed bugs from your home. It will take a thorough search and involve a treatment that may last hours to days to completely exterminate the bugs.Experts understand that bed bugs have become resilient to pesticides and now focus on killing them with changing temperatures. They also know that increasing or decreasing the temperature in your home will not be effective at all.
Signs of A Bed Bug Infestation
There are several signs of a bed bug infestation. The most common ones are:
- Blood stained sheets and/or pillowcases
- Bed bug eggs, shed skins, or fecal spots
- Bed bug musty odor from their sweat glands
- Dark, rusty looking spots on the bedding
What do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?
Sometimes, identifying which bug bit you can be confusing since many of bug bites look incredibly similar. There are however, ways of distinguishing the bed bug bites from other blood suckers.
Bed bug bites look like small, red welts on the skin. They look strikingly similar to mosquito bites and will feel extremely itchy. Depending on the person, reactions vary. Someone’s welts may look larger or itch more. See image below.
You would not notice the bite at first. Some bodies will show an instant reaction while for others it may take some time. If someone is bitten multiple times, it increases the body’s reaction time. The bites will usually be in a pattern, one that will either be in a line or a zigzag shape.
According to popular pest control website Terminix, there are several signs to look out for when in search of bed bugs:
- Red and itchy welts that are flat and usually a small cluster or zigzag pattern on the skin
- If you start feeling discomfort or itching while asleep or attempting to sleep, it is likely that bed bugs are the culprit
- When you start noticing red marks on your arms and shoulders, that is a sure sign that these blood suckers have attacked
- There is no denying these annoying pests have a foul odor resembling a wet towel. When there is an infestation, you will be able to smell the pheromones from the group.
- Do not forget to do a home inspection, especially in your bedroom. Check your mattress, box spring and everything else around your bed.
- Check your dressers, drawers, and headboard as required for any reddish-brown spots.
- Do not forget to check your closet. Bed bugs are attracted to clutter, and if your closet is known for piles of clothes and a mess of things then it is likely they have found that spot and nested there
- Do not underestimate the power of your nose. The scent alone will give it away.
Unlike many other insects, bed bugs have become resilient to a variety of things including: temperatures, environments, pesticides, and more. It is rare to find a pesticide that works on bed bugs as over time they have built up such a resistance to the ingredients in these chemicals. They have become so immune to living in people’s homes, and in different climates, that it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them or be successful at it.Bed bugs (as their name implies) can be found nesting in your mattress. These apple seed sized critters are small but big enough to spot. Signs of bed bugs includes: blood stains on the sheets from feeding, bed bug droppings, or their carcass if you squashed them while you were sleeping.
The reason why bed bugs will attack at night is because we are most vulnerable while we are asleep and become easier targets. Bed bug bites are almost unnoticeable when it’s happening. They have a special liquid substance that they inject into your skin prior to feeding to numb the area and lessen the chances of you feeling the bite, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Bed Bugs on Airplanes
Bed bugs aren’t called hitchhikers for nothing. They are famous for boarding airlines with us and making way into our handbags and carry-ons. Here are some airlines who have had incidences with bed bugs on their airplanes:
United Airlines says that it is rare to find bed bugs on a flight. In 2011, the airline reported an incident of bed bugs when their passengers got off the flight with a slew of bite marks. An uncomfortable flight for everyone when they can’t run or hide from the issue for several hours.
Yearly, British Airways will operate more than 280,000 flights. Of those flights, one was bound to get a bed bug infestation. The mother claimed that the bed bugs were “falling out from behind the TV.” A terrifying experience led them to finding multiple red bumps on their arms. The airline apologized and said they would further investigate the issue.
Ultimately, airlines should take serious precaution and double check the seats, TVs, and anywhere on the plane where bed bugs could be found. Inspecting the flight before the next passengers arrive should be a requirement to avoid such incidences in the future.
Tip: Do not make a claim against the airline if you find bed bugs. Most of the time it is from travelers boarding the flight; either you or someone else. It very likely that if you are the victim of the bed bug bites, it is you that brought them aboard.
Do you love to travel? Most people do. Travelling can be an exhilarating experience for many, except when you realize you’ve brought some extra travelers along with you. Our nemeses, the bed bug! It isn’t uncommon for frequent travelers to find themselves face-to-face with the blood-sucking pest. Ever since the 1800s, when international travel was becoming more common, the bed bugs made their resurgence into the Americas and every other continent. The bed bug issue was never concerning until they began multiplying everywhere and were easily transferred from one person to another.
It’s a common myth that those who live in dirtier environments tend to invite more unwanted pests into their homes, but we know now that that isn’t the case. Yes, bug bugs love their hiding spaces and thrive off of your clutter and your pile of clothes or old things you throw in your closet, but it doesn’t matter how dirty (or how clean) your home is, there’s always a chance of bed bugs making their way into your home and making a comfortable nest for themselves in your bedroom.
“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite,” brings a whole new meaning to international travel and hotel stays for visitors. In this article, we will discuss the major American cities with the highest bed bug infestations, the hotels that have reported them, and tips on how to avoid bringing home these annoying bugs.
News channel 8 suggests the acronym S.L.E.E.P when inspecting for bed bugs:
- Survey your hotel room for any signs of an infestation such as red spots on the sheets
- Lift the mattress and any other possible bed bug hiding spot
- Elevate luggage on a rack instead of on nearby furniture or the floor
- Examine your luggage for any unwanted critters that may have found their way into it, especially when returning home
- Place all of your clothing items into the dryer for a good 20-minute dry on the highest setting