Bed Bugs 101
Part 1: What are Bed Bugs?
- Bed Bugs are small insects that are usually active at night when people are sleeping. Adult bed bugs have flat rusty-red-colored oval bodies.
- Adult bed bugs are about 1/4 inch long (about the size of an apple seed).They are big enough to be easily seen, but often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, or walls
- Bed Bugs feed on human blood and can sometimes survive a year after feeding.
Part 2: How Can You Get Bed Bugs?
- Bed Bugs do not feed on filth and dirt. This means even the cleanest of homes can get bed bugs.
- Buying used furniture or picking up furniture from off the street.
- Bed Bugs are “hitchhiker” bugs meaning they can hop on a suitcase when staying at a hotel, stick to your boots if in a bed bug infested area or attach to your clothes when at the movies.
- Can be brought in from visitors.
Part 3: How to Check for Bed Bugs?
- Are you being bitten? Most bed bug bites occur at night when you are sleeping so you may not know you are being bitten
- Are there any blood spots/stains on your sheets or couches?
- Lift up the corner of your bed and check spring as well as mattress seams to see if any bed bugs are dwelling.
- Are the bugs oval with reddish or brownish color? Do they have obvious horizontal folds on their body?
- Bed Bugs do not have wings and can’t jump
- Bed Bugs are usually where humans sit or sleep
Part 4: How can I prevent them?
- Do not bring furniture, beds, box springs or mattresses from off the street into your home.
- If you suspect you’ve been around an area that has beg buds immediately wash your cloths in hot water and dry in hot heat (or store in sealed plastic bag until you can).
- Ask maintenance to seal any crack or crevices in your home.
- Purchase a mattress and box spring cover (can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, etc.)
Part 5: What do I do if I have them?
- CALL! Do not wait to call your housing management if you think have bed bugs. The longer you put off the bed bug infestations the worse it will get.
- DO NOT FOG! Foggers only disperse the bed bugs and make it much more difficult to treat the program. Let a professional take care of the problem.
Part 6: How do I prepare for a Bed Bug Treatment?
- Strip all bedding and wash while professionals are spraying your home.
- Same goes for clothes! Everything should be laundered when the pest control professional is treating your home.
- Take out everything from your dressers.
- Vacuum and throw away bag.
- Make sure the bottom of your closet is empty and accessible (they will need to spray all baseboard areas).
- Reduce clutter – move everything away from the walls at least 8-12 inches so it is accessible.
- Remove everything from under your bed.
- Unhang pictures and frames (another bed bug hiding spot).
YES, IT IS A LOT OF WORK, BUT A BED BUG INFESTATION WILL NEVER IMPROVE OR BE ELIMINATED IF THESE STEPS ARE NOT TAKEN CORRECTLY.