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Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Oh no. You’ve gone to bed and woken up covered in itchy welts. But what is it? Allergies? Mosquitos? Fleas? Or is it the dreaded Bed Bug? If you think your home might have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to seek out a pest control expert as soon as possible. Pesticides can be dangerous, so it’s best to leave them to the experts. Pest control experts like Skeeter Beater can help you identify all of the signs of these unwanted house guests. Keep reading to learn more about these mattress marauders, where they come from, and most importantly: how to get rid of them.
Bed bugs are small, brown insects that survive by consuming the blood of animals. They are often found in clothing, furniture, and (unsurprisingly) bedding. These annoying pests are so small that they might be difficult to find in your bed. While they might be difficult to see, the signs of bed bugs can be hard to miss. Mostly active at night, bed bugs come out of hiding in order to feed on humans. They leave itchy bite marks on people after using their beak-shaped mouths to ingest a small amount of blood. While these bites are irritating, they’re usually harmless.
Bed bugs can be found throughout the United States, but they’re most common in large cities like New York or Chicago. Most bed bug infestations begin when the pests hitch a ride into your home on clothing, luggage, or even animals. This can make prevention difficult. Bed bugs are often associated with poor hygiene, but they can be found anywhere, including very clean homes or hotels.
Bed Bug Bites
It’s important to know what bed bug bites look like if you think your home might be infested. Bed bug bites are larger than those left by other biting insects, like fleas or mosquitos. While flea bites are small, and usually only occur around the legs or ankles, bed bug bites can be found on any skin that is exposed as you sleep. That being said, bed bug bites typically occur on the abdomen or upper body.
Since bed bugs usually feed while you’re sleeping, they tend to leave a lot of bites at once. These bites might be grouped together or follow a zig-zag pattern. They may even be accompanied by small patches of dried blood on your sheets or pillow. Since bed bugs are very small, the amount of blood they drain is very little. Bed bug bites should be washed with soap and water. Anti-itch products can be used to reduce itching. Some people may be allergic to bed bugs, so it’s possible you may notice swelling or hives alongside the bites.
Early Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed bug bites are the most common sign of an infestation. These itchy bites are usually found in clusters or following a zig-zag pattern. Since bed bugs are more active at night, it’s common to go to bed free of bites and wake up covered in them by morning. If this describes your insect bites, you might have bed bugs.
In addition to the tell-tale bites, bed bugs can be identified in a number of ways. After biting you, the wound left by the bite might still bleed. This can lead to small blood stains on your bedding. Blood stains may also be caused by crushed bed bugs that had just bitten you. Dark spots in general may be a sign of bed bugs. Not only can they cause blood stains, bed bug droppings, sheddings, and crushed bed bugs can all create small, dark marks on your bedding.
Bed bugs may give your mattress a sweet, yet musty smell as they secrete pheromones into their surroundings. Over time, the smell will become stronger as the infestation grows. Combined with the smell of bed bug droppings and dead bugs, the smell can become very troublesome.
Despite these possible signs of bed bugs, the best way to confirm an infestation is to identify a bed bug itself. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects with six legs. They are typically very round and flat. They can be found in bedding, clothing, luggage, and furniture. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, be sure to search all around your home. Bed bugs can hide in very small, dark areas you may not think to look at. If the infestation is new, the bugs tend to hide in pillowcases and mattresses. For older infestations, however, bed bugs might have lodged themselves into better hiding spots like baseboards.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
If you think you have bed bugs, the best first step is to call a professional. The experts at Skeeter Beater know exactly how to handle bed bugs. In addition to their expertise, there are some ways you can manage the infestation yourself. While things like essential oils might claim to repel insects, nothing beats a professional exterminator. If you do try to manage the infestation on your own, it’s important to try to stop the bugs from spreading. Try to identify any possible hiding places they might get to like cracks in the wall or under clutter. These areas should be sealed off or cleaned so that bugs can’t make them their new home.
Next, take all the affected items and put them into plastic bags. This can include sheets, blankets, pillowcases, etc. Anything that can’t be treated or placed in a bag should be put in a plastic container so the bed bugs can die off. For the mattress itself, you can purchase a protective cover that can zip up. This will seal all of the bugs inside where they can die off. While sleeping on a mattress that you know has had bed bugs might seem difficult, mattress covers are much cheaper than a new mattress.
For washable items, be sure to wash and dry them with plenty of heat. Heat is one of the best ways to kill bed bugs. Cold can also be used to kill bed bugs, but only if your home freezer gets cold enough. If your freezer reaches zero degrees, you can place items in there for three days to kill bugs. Steam cleaners and vacuums can also be very effective at eliminating bed bugs and their eggs. While these tips are helpful, they can’t beat Skeeter Beaters. Our professional exterminators are the best way to handle any pest control problem. If you have bed bugs or pests of any kind, contact Skeeter Beaters to ensure the job is done right.