What feeds on blood, is nearly impossible to kill with your own power, and lurks in the dark shadows? Yes, Halloween is coming, but we’re not talking about vampires. We’re talking about bed bugs!
Those dreaded pests strike fear in the hearts of both travelers and homeowners. Rather than running in fear, learn more about these pests so you can stop a problem when it’s small and prevent infestation.
What Are Bed Bugs?
The inner science nerd in all of us wants to know: what are these little guys? They’re parasitic insects that feed on blood and have a particular taste for human blood. Beyond that, they’re harmless.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
When you’re thinking about whether or not you have bed bugs in your home, you’ll need to be familiar with how they look at three different stages. Bed bug eggs are tiny – the size of a pin head. It takes a very careful eye to find them.
Young bed bugs are translucent and can be hard to spot if they haven’t fed recently. If they’ve eaten, they’ll have a rusty, red color. Adults can be as big as an apple seed and they stink.
Where Do Bed Bugs Live?
Don’t let the name fool you: bed bugs live all over the place, not just in beds. From the thrift store to high-end clothing stores with purses priced higher than your first car, any place is susceptible to bed bugs.
In recent years, bed bugs have been increasingly problematic – likely due to the fact that people are traveling more than ever before. Bed bugs travel on luggage and clothing.
Do They Carry Diseases?
Currently, there’s no evidence that bed bugs transmit diseases to humans. They feed on blood and leave itchy bites on the skin but they’re not deadly. The problem is once they’ve taken up residence, they don’t leave.
How Does a Bed Bug Infestation Happen?
Bed bugs travel throughout the country on clothing and luggage. When they arrive at a new location (like a hotel), they travel through pipes, and in vacuum cleaners.
Because they’re so small and hard to spot when they’re young, people often transport bed bugs all over the place before realizing they’ve got a problem.
How Can I Prevent Bed Bugs?
Be vigilant! Check luggage and clothing when you travel. If you find anything, call a professional. It’s so much better to catch them early (when you suspect you see the first bug) than waiting until you have an infestation.
Getting rid of bed bugs is not a DIY process. These little critters are tough. They can live for a year without eating. They survive cold (close to freezing) and hot (up to 118 degrees).
Is Heat Treatment Effective Against Bed Bugs?
Whole home heat treatments for bed bugs are generally done by pest management professionals. We will set up specialized equipment that will raise the temperature in your home. As your home heats up, we will start rotating belongings (cushions, clothing, luggage) to make sure the heat is distributed evenly.
The temperature in your home will be increased to between 130°F and 140°F degrees and stay there for a number of hours. Both adult bugs and eggs are killed off in the process.
Why it Works:
Bed bugs find their food (blood from humans and animals) by sensing the heat bodies produce. During the early stages of heat treatment, bed bugs will come out of their hiding spaces because the heat tricks them into believing food is present. The temperature slowly rises to deadly temperatures — bed bugs will die at 118° F (48° C) within 90 minutes, and almost immediately at temperatures above 122°(50° C).
Whole Room Treatments Gets Every Corner
When bed bugs invade your home, they get into any space where they can hide — mattresses, box springs, carpets, baseboards, cushions, and more. Because they multiply rapidly, it’s not very effective to treat only where you can visibly see bed bugs. They could be anywhere.
Heat treatments do not offer any residual benefits though, and you could quickly become reinfested with bed bugs after heat treatment if proper prevention steps are not taken.
Our Memphis bed bug exterminating professionals know how to spot eggs so you can catch bed bugs early. They’ll create a treatment plan to make sure you don’t end up with a complete infestation.
Concerned about bed bugs? Give us a call now and we’ll make a thorough search of your home. If we discover bed bugs, we’ll create a plan of action to eliminate them.