Last week was National Bed Bug Awareness week, and even though no one wants to think about it, with all the summer travel coming up we want to make sure you’re prepared if you find those creepy crawlies in your home.
Here’s our list of the Top Tips and Information on bed bugs to help you if you think you may have some in your home.
- Identify or Find Signs of Bed BugsThe most obvious way to find out if you have bed bugs is to look around a bed in the seams of the mattress and box spring. However, heavily infested rooms may have bed bugs in the seams of chairs and couches, in electrical appliances, in drawer joints, or even under loose wallpaper and wall hangings. Whenever you change bedding, clean, or are staying in a hotel, be sure to look for:
- Rusty or reddish stains from bed bugs being crushed
- Dark spots no bigger than a bullet point (this is excrement and may bleed onto fabric)
- Eggs and eggshells, which are about 1mm
- Pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger
- Live bed bugs
Bed bugs are a translucent white in their nymph state, but brown when they mature. They grow to about 3/16ths of an inch and are oval with four-segmented antennae and prominent compound eyes. Bed bugs themselves can’t fly, so if you’re seeing anything with wings, it’s most likely not a bed bug. And bed bugs do bite, and they unfortunately bite humans because they feed on blood.
2. How to Prevent an Infestation
There are a few simple precautions that you can take to help prevent bringing bed bugs into your home.
- First, always check if you’re bringing in secondhand furniture (beds, couches, dressers, etc) before bringing them into your home. Because bed bugs are hitchhikers, you’ll want to check suitcases and backpacks as well to see if they may have come home with you.
- Using a cover that encases the mattress and box springs both acts as a protective covering and eliminates hiding spots. A lighter colored cover will make any bed bugs easier to see if you do find them in your home.
- Even though cleaning can be a pain, by reducing clutter in your home you can reduce places for bed bugs to hide. Vacuuming frequently can also help to eliminate any successful hitchhikers, though you’ll want to dispose of the vacuum bags in an airtight bag.
- If you live in a multi-family home or use shared laundry facilities, you’ll want to be vigilant. Transport clothes in plastic bags, and remove directly from the dryer into the bag to fold at home. Install door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement from the hallways. Seal cracks and crevices to discourage bed bugs from coming through.
- If You Find Them In Your Home – Don’t Panic!
3. If bed bugs still managed to get into your home, don’t panic – there are ways to get rid of them!
The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare your home for a treatment. We usually recommend a chemical treatment since we have found that a heat treatment can potentially warp your floors and do other damage to your home. Bed bugs can be very hard to get rid of once they take hold.
To prepare for a bed bug treatment download our Indianapolis bed bug prep sheet. Preparations you can do include (but are not limited to) laundering and vacuuming frequently, as well as removing clutter from around the room and under the bed. And be sure to call Perseverance Pest Control at 317-288-3315 during business hours or fill out our contact us form after hours to help you get rid of bed bugs once and for all!