Once a common health problem was almost eliminated, bedbugs have had a successful resurgence in the last decade. They are increasingly becoming a problem in homes, apartments, condos, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, and cruise ships. Once they are inside a structure, they can easily move from room to room or apartment to apartment. And while they don’t spread disease, they are annoying and need to be taken care of with a professional bed bug exterminator service.
How Do I Get Bed Bugs?
We know how annoying they are, but how do bed bugs end up in our homes? There are many different ways, but some of the more usual ways you end up with a bedbug infestation.
- Used Furniture – Furniture picked up from the side of the road or your local goodwill – especially upholstered furniture – may be hiding a bed bug infestation. Do a careful inspection of the furniture before bringing it into your home because they don’t just hide in beds.
- Travel – Bedbugs can easily be picked up traveling on public transportation or hotel room. If traveling overnight, check for bed bugs on your mattress or in your hotel room – no matter how nice the hotel or resort. Also, check your luggage when returning home from a trip. According to the National Pest Management Association, nearly 80% of people are most concerned about getting bed bugs from travel.
- Guests – If you have guests over, they may bring them in without knowing. They may have picked them up from their own home or traveling.
Think that you might have been exposed? Want to get an expert opinion? Give Willard’s Pest Control a call to learn more about bed bugs and how to control them. Our bed bug experts are standing by to talk about treatment options!
What Are The Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation?
If you’ve been traveling recently or you’ve been around others that have, there is a chance you’ve picked up bed bugs. The signs of infestation can be hard to detect initially with bites similar to other bugs. But here are other signs that those bites might be more, and you need to call your Willard’s Pest Control to discuss bed bug removal and treatment options:
- Red Itchy Spots – Clustered flat, red welts are a key sign of bedbugs. Bed bug bites can be very irritating, with scratching potentially leading to bleeding and infection. They tend to bite on exposed skin, typically on the arms and shoulders, whereas fleas tend to bite around the ankles.
- Musky Smell – If you smell an unpleasant, musky odor in your home, this could be due to bedbugs releasing a specific pheromone with a very distinct smell. When in large numbers, this smell can be quite strong, like a wet towel.
- Blood Stains – After feeding on humans, bed bugs may be smashed, leaving a telltale trace of blood on your bedding, pajamas, skin, or mattress.
- Droppings – Bed bug fecal matter is dark due to their blood diet and consistency of coffee grounds. Since bed bugs don’t travel far from a bed, you’ll likely find droppings on your mattress, sheets, nightstand, and other furniture surfaces near your bed.
- Bed Bug Shells – As they mature, they molt or shed their skin several times. Their brown shells are around 4mm in length and tend to look like apple seeds. You’ll likely find the exoskeleton in your mattress or under the bed.
If you have any of the above signs, give Willard’s Pest Control a call to discuss removal and treatment options. The sooner you get bed bugs and gone, the sooner you can get to better sleep.
What Do Beg Bugs Look Like?
Seeing signs of bed bugs listed above? Think you’ve spotted one on your mattress or box springs but not sure. Here is what they look like:
- Size – About 2-5 mm in size, bed bugs are about an apple seed’s size. Young bedbugs called “nymphs” look like adults, only smaller.
- Shape – Small, flat oval bodies and are wingless. Usually flattened from top to bottom, bedbugs will swell like a balloon when engorged with blood. They do have vestiges of wings called wing pads that never fully develop.
- Color – Adults are typically brown, although they turn into rusty brown after feeding. Nymphs are smaller and lighter in color, typically cream or tan.
- Other Characteristics – Bed bugs have 6 legs and antennas.
If you suspect you have an infestation, call Willard’s Pest Control to discuss bed bug treatment options with our exterminators.
There are 5 stages the nymphs pass through to adulthood. Each juvenile stage requires a blood meal to mature to the next level. Entire development from nymph to adult requires 6-8 weeks. Adults can live an average of up to 1 year. Eggs are tough to see as they are cream-colored and only 1mm in length. Bedbugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts. They pierce the skin, injecting an anti-coagulant, then withdraw blood until full (video). Adult bedbugs will feed every 5 to 10 days.
How To Prevent A Bed Bug Infestation
Bedbugs are often mistakenly associated with filth. They are attracted to exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat. They feed on blood, not dirt or waste. The sanitation of an environment does not affect bedbugs. Since prevention is key, what can you do to mitigate the risk of an infestation? Here are some tips from our bed bug control experts.
- Seal Your Home – Bed bugs can also come in through cracks in your home, so be sure to caulk any cracks bigger on the inside and outside of your home.
- Inspect Used Furniture – If you purchase second-hand furniture, especially upholstered furniture, be sure to check for any signs of bedbug residue. A good cleaning and treatment are recommended before bringing it into your home. Used mattresses are not recommended.
- Travel Inspection – When traveling, inspecting your hotel room, mattress, and bedding for any traces of bedbugs is a must, according to Wikipedia sources. Clean your luggage after returning home from any trip to remove any potential traces of bed bugs.
While we hope you don’t have to deal with the annoyances that come with bed bugs, give us a call if you need information from a local pest control company about bed bug treatment options.
About Willard’s Pest Control
Willard’s Pest Control Company, established in 1987 as a one-person family operation. Today, 32 years later, we are a growing family run exterminator company employing 30+ people for our pest control services. We specialize in all types of pest treatment services, including bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, and more.
We believe in providing safe, honest work to the Seattle community people and are actively involved in the Washington State Pest Management Association. Through this association, we work to promote professionalism and safety within the extermination industry.