Texas Bed Bug Expert


7 Ways to Avoid Bed Bugs at Home

Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects that feed on human blood. They can be spread through bites and licked wounds on people or animals. Bed bugs are found worldwide, but they’re most common in temperate climates. Bed bug infestations have been on the rise in the United States, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says that bed bug infestations are especially likely to occur in areas where there’s a lack of effective pest control, such as shelters or homeless shelters. A bed bug infestation can cause a range of symptoms, including itching and irritation around the bite site; redness and swelling at the bite site, and bruising or bleeding at the bite site.


What are bed bugs?

Before feeding, bed bugs are tiny, flat, wingless insects that are reddish-brown in appearance and roughly one-quarter inch long (about the size and shape of a small apple seed). They hide during the day in cracks and crevices of walls, floors, and furniture, as well as on beds (mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, and headboards). They emerge in the evening. They can move quickly while crawling but cannot fly or jump.


Signs of Bed Bug Infestation

Small reddish-brown fecal patches on beds, furniture, or walls are the most obvious sign of bed bugs. If these spots are discovered, an infestation may exist. Bed bugs can also be identified by bites on the arms and legs. Even though these bites may be minor, they become obvious if they enlarge and start to itch. These bites may not show up for two to three days, which allows the infestation to spread. However, without more bed bug proof, bites by themselves do not suggest an infestation. Bed bug molt skins, their eggs, empty eggshells, or even the bugs themselves can be used to spot infestations. Even though each of these objects is relatively little, the human eye can nevertheless see them. After molting or emerging from the eggshell, bed bug skins and their eggshells both have a pale white appearance.

Here are 7 ways To avoid bed bugs at home


1. Look for signs of an infestation

Bed bugs are small and flat, and they can be hard to see. You’ll need to inspect your mattress and box springs, headboards, dressers, nightstands, and any other furniture you sleep on. If you have bed bugs, you should also look in the seams of mattress covers and mattresses, around the zippers or buttons on drawers, inside electrical outlets, or behind all of your bed frame’s joints. These bugs hide in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on blood from their hosts.


2. Check for bites

One sign that you might have a bed bug infestation is insect bites on your skin — especially if you’ve been bitten multiple times over a short period of time. Bed bugs do not leave red welts; instead, they inject an anesthetic into their victims’ bloodstream so they don’t feel pain while they’re feeding. In addition to these telltale signs of bed bug bites, bedbug bites may also look like mosquito bites or even hives if they’re accompanied by itching and swelling (this is called “breakfast-in-bed syndrome”)


3. Check all your linens

Make sure to check all of your linens for bed bugs: sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and even towels can be harboring these bloodsuckers. Look for any small holes or stains that may have been made by them as well as any discoloration or bites on your linens. The highest temperature setting should be used to wash your bedding once each week, and the linens should be dried on high heat for about an hour. Bed bugs cannot survive the heat. Any live bed bugs as well as their eggs will be killed by the hot water and dryer heat.


4. Vacuum often

Bed bugs don’t like to live in clean places, so vacuuming regularly will help keep them away from your home and belongings as well as remove any nesting sites that may have been missed during regular cleaning or inspection efforts. Dusting should be done weekly to remove any active hiding spots, then vacuumed up after each dusting session to reduce the chances of reinfestation within your home or office space where you spend most of your time. Bed bugs leave behind a telltale trail of their whereabouts with the fecal matter they shed while feeding on you or another host who has been bitten by them. So make sure you’re vacuuming every week during peak breeding season (which lasts from March through September). Use a vacuum that features a HEPA filtration system to prevent dust build-up around the house which helps keep other pests out.


5. Inspect your furniture and bedding

It’s important to inspect your furniture for signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs like to hide in cracks and crevices, so look for any small holes that may have been made by them. If you find an area that looks suspicious, use a flashlight to check inside the fabric or wood, as well as the frame or surface underneath it. You will also want to inspect your mattress, box spring, pillows, and bedding.


6. Kill bed bugs with heat

The heat method is by far the most effective way to kill bed bugs. It’s also the one that poses the most danger since you can leave a hot spot on your mattress where the bed bugs hide or worse, burn your skin on contact with hot surfaces or furniture. Not sure how to achieve the proper temperature? Use a heat gun (not an iron) and set it at 90 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat before you leave the room and reapply as needed. Avoid using any type of fabric softener on your bedding, because it will make the fabric more vulnerable to damage from bed bugs.


7. Check Luggage

Bed bugs can be found in hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities. If you’re traveling long distances, check with the hotel chain before booking a room if you suspect there may be bed bugs. Place your luggage on a firm surface, such as a table, as soon as you enter your hotel or rental property. Then, draw back the sheets and check the mattress. Look for minute blood stains, insects, or bed bug casings along the mattress’s corners and edges. If you do bring bed bugs home from vacation or another trip, use plastic covers for all of your luggage so that bed bugs can’t get inside by crawling across the fabric surface or hiding underneath.

Symptoms of a Bed Bug Bite

Some people who are bitten by bedbugs never experience any visible symptoms. A bedbug bite can cause no reaction in between 30 and 60% of people, according to Pest Control Technology. When symptoms do appear, the bites frequently include:

  • Red and swollen, with a dark spot at the center of each bite (they may also look like a hive or welt)
  • Arranged in lines or clusters, with multiple bites grouped together
  • Itchy
  • Burning
  • Fluid-filled blisters
  • You may also find blood stains on the sheets from scratching

Bed bugs are a problem that affects people of all income levels and backgrounds. Bed bug infestation has become a problem at homes, apartments, hotels, and other places visited by human beings. Their feces, the dead skin they shed, the blood they suck, and the eggs they leave behind are clear indicators of the presence of bed bugs. They are small in size but can cause health problems in your family members.  Therefore, you should know what precautions to take. Bed bugs are relatively common, but you can avoid them by following these 7 simple ways and by taking a few minutes of your time to read the “Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety”. Or the best thing to do is to call a licensed pest control service. That way, professionals can come to inspect your home for bed bugs, and take care of the problem for you—and get rid of the creepy critters before they spread. It’s easier than you might think to get rid of them on your own, but it’s also much harder, and less effective than hiring experts.

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