Bed bugs are an unfortunately yet highly prevalent pest in today’s urban areas. Even though they were considered to be completely eradicated, they have made a resurgence in the North American region in the last several years. If you suspect you may have a bed bug issue on your hands, here’s what you should do.
Know the Symptoms
Before you jump to conclusions that you have bed bugs, educate yourself on symptoms and signs. Some of the telltale signs that you or a loved one may be dealing with a bed bug infestation are:
On the body: If you have bed bugs then you may notice itchy red welts that may be dark in the center and lighter in surrounding areas on your own body that produce a burning or painful sensation. You may also experience difficulty sleeping due to itchiness.
On the bed and furniture: The first place you should look if you suspect you may have a bed bug issue is your actual bed. After bed bugs feed on humans, they’ll leave behind blood stains resembling small rust spots – look for these small sports near corners and edges of the bed. Also look for the tiny, brown, oval-shaped exoskeletons of bed bugs in your sheets – bed bugs shed their skins as they mature. You may also be able to find droppings or eggs.
What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs
If you do find any of these symptoms and signs of bed bugs in your own bed, the first thing you should do is strip your bed of all bedding and wash them and dry them in the hottest setting on your machines. If you have stuffed animals or pillows that can’t be washed, run them through the dryer on high. Treat your mattress with bug killing sprays, or if you are uncomfortable with the chemicals, scrub the mattress with a stiff brush and use a vacuum attachment to go over it and remove eggs and bugs. Vacuum the entire area surrounding the bed, and any other linens in the immediate area, like curtains. Once you finish doing this treatment, encase the mattress and box springs with a prevention-specific zippered cover. Hopefully the cleaning methods remove the bed bugs, bit they can live for up to a year on their own, so the cover serves as the final line of defense to kill them.
If you feel uncomfortable doing these treatments on your own, you can always seek the help of a professional who is specifically trained and educated on how to get rid of bed bugs. Search for local bedbug removal services, and let the professionals do what they’re best at.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs
After you eliminate your bed bug issue, you may be wondering how you got them in the first place. Despite popular belief, bed bugs are not caused by pure dirtiness and unsanitary living conditions. They must be transferred from another person or item to start manifesting. This is why bed bugs are more common in highly populated areas – they can get transferred between people through belongings and clothes and move into surrounding homes.