Bed bugs are hardy, crafty little insects that can be difficult to find and kill. The quickest, surest way to get rid of them is by hiring a local pest control company in Katy, TX that deals with bed bug infestations all day long. It is possible to exterminate bed bugs alone, but you’ll need a great deal of patience. Let’s look at how to get rid of bed bugs and put an end to those itchy red bite marks.
How Do You Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Identifying a Bed Bug Infestation
Adult bed bugs are four or five millimeters wide with oval bodies that are brown in color, or reddish after feeding. But sightings are rare, so the first sign of bed bugs is usually small rows of two to four itchy red welts on your skin. This linear bite pattern is the distinctive calling card of bed bugs as opposed to the random, individual bite marks of mosquitos.
You might also find tiny rust-colored spots on your bedsheets or mattress, which are bed bug droppings. Clusters of these droppings indicate where the crafty critters are living. These clusters smell foul and can sometimes be found elsewhere in your bedroom. Another occasional sign of bed bugs is red smears of blood on your bedsheets, where a well-fed bug has been crushed.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
Motels and hotels are notorious for collecting and spreading bed bugs. Even high-end hotels sometimes suffer from this problem. While a guest sleeps, the pests creep into your luggage or clothing and hitch a ride to your home. So if you’ve recently traveled, you might have brought an unwanted guest or two back with you.
Why Bed Bugs Are So Tough to Kill
Without using the specialist chemicals and methods of professional exterminators, bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of. Few pests can hide as well as bed bugs. They’ll hunker down in the tiniest nooks and seams of your mattresses, curtains, couches, or other furniture, and they only scurry out at night to feed.
Bed bugs can also survive for months without eating, which is why they can live in an empty hotel room for weeks on end, waiting patiently for the next guest. On top of that, a single female might lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. All this makes for a frustratingly hardy adversary.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs On Your Own
If your infestation is still small, you stand a chance of eradicating the bugs before they begin to reproduce. Here’s how to do it.
1. Find the Infested Areas
Bed bugs like to live near their source of food, which is you. So first and foremost, scour your mattress for signs of bugs or bug droppings. You might also find them in cracks in the bedframe, furniture joints, curtain seams, couch cushions, clothing drawers, electrical outlets, and any other small cracks in your room.
You should use a magnifying glass and flashlight as you search. Also, use your nose; pay attention to any musty or unpleasant smell. The bed bug smell is so distinctive that some inspectors train dogs to find them from the smell alone. This is one of many good reasons to let an exterminator handle the bed bugs for you.
2. Vacuum the Infested Areas
Vacuums can be very effective at sucking up bed bugs once they’re located. Run the nozzle of a powerful vacuum over all suspected bed bug dens. Then seal the vacuum bag securely in another plastic bag and throw it out.
3. Treat Clothing and Linen With Heat
Immediately seal up any clothing, linen, and curtains that might house bed bugs. Unfortunately, this means every such item in your room.
As soon as possible, wash clothing and linen at the highest possible temperature, or at least put them in the dryer for half an hour on full heat. This will usually kill any bed bugs hiding inside.
4. Seal Off Unwashable Items
For any linen or clothing that you cannot wash, seal it up in a plastic bag. Then leave the bag sealed for several months to ensure that any bed bugs inside starve to death. Alternatively, you can put the bags in a very cold freezer for a week, which will kill them just as well.
5. Clean, Destroy, or Discard Furniture
Do your best to clean all the furniture in the infected room thoroughly. A steamer is a very effective cleaning tool for bed bugs. In particular, make sure you give your mattress a very thorough steam clean.
Unfortunately, any furniture that cannot be properly cleaned needs to be thrown out. When you do this, it’s considered common courtesy to break up the furniture so that no one else will take it home. You can also leave a sign on it warning of bed bugs.
6. Remove Potential Hiding Places
You will need to treat your infected room chemically. But first, prepare well for the treatment. Purchase a bed bug-resistant cover to seal up your mattress, which will trap any surviving bed bugs inside and prevent others from getting in.
Get rid of as many cracks and hiding places as you can. Make sure all wallpaper is glued down properly. Use caulk to seal cracks in furniture, floorboards, and baseboards. Use tape to seal electrical outlets. Finally, check any books, magazines, bags, and electronics carefully and either remove them or throw them out.
7. Treat the Room With Insecticides
By now, you may have successfully gotten rid of your bed bug problem. But you should never underestimate how tough these little critters are. It’s advisable to take one final step and use a good insecticide product to cleanse your room.
There are all kinds of products designed for this purpose, the most common of which are insecticides based on pyrethrins and pyrethroids. These two chemicals have, however, been used so widely that some bed bugs have become resistant to them. Your other options include pyrroles, desiccants, some plant-based products, and bug bombs. Research the pros and cons of each one before you choose.
8. Check the Bed Bugs Are Gone
Following treatment, you’ll need to keep a careful eye out for surviving bugs. Check the previously infested areas once a week. And of course, don’t ignore any telltale signs of bite marks returning. You may have to repeat the entire treatment process several times, so prepare yourself for a long-haul battle.
Hire a Local Pest Control Company in Katy, TX
Professional exterminators take most of the stress and unpleasantness out of a bed bug problem. We give you specific instructions on prepping your home for treatment, guiding you every step of the way.
When it comes to the treatment itself, exterminators use superior bed bug insecticides, which aren’t available to the general public. We can also use special heat treatments that turn an entire room into a dry heat sauna, wiping out all hidden bed bugs inside.
Commercial Extermination for Apartment Complexes
If not dealt with promptly, bed bugs have a tendency to spread from apartment to apartment until an entire complex is infested. Needless to say, this is a nightmare scenario for residents and landlords alike.
The cost of exterminating an infestation in just one or two apartments is a fraction of the cost of dealing with an entire infested complex. So as with most pest infestations, it’s best to nip the problem in the bud early on.
Call Life After Bugs today to solve your bed bug problem once and for all. We’re a fully licensed, family-owned business that specializes in pest control throughout the Katy, Houston, and Richmond areas. We pride ourselves on exceptional service and results. Just take a look at the many testimonials of our prior customers who are now living happily bed-bug free.