What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny, oval-shaped insects, about the size of an average apple seed. To live, they feed on the blood of animals and people. You can identify them by their flat bodies and reddish-brown coloring. If you or your family are bitten by bedbugs, some of the potential effects include skin rashes, infections, and allergic reactions. They are not considered especially dangerous, but they are definitely a nuisance.
What Causes Bed Bugs?
Any pest infestation can make you feel icky. Their presence can also make you feel like it is your fault they are there. However, when it comes to bed bugs, they are not the result of dirty dishes or messy floors. They are world travelers. Believe it or not, bed bugs were almost entirely wiped out as recently as the 1950s but have unfortunately made a comeback. One of the reasons for their successful return is world travel. They like to hitch a ride in luggage or clothing and take up residence in you. If you have stayed in a hotel or vacation rental, you may have potentially exposed yourself and your items to bed bugs. They can also live in used furniture and move in with you on the chair you got for a great deal.
Tips for preventing bed bugs include:
- Store your luggage somewhere other than on the floor of your hotel room
- Vacuum frequently, especially after you travel
- Wash your clothes and clean your luggage as soon as you return
- Encase your mattress with a protective cover
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might end up with bed bugs in your home.
What Are the Signs of Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs are tiny, they are not invisible. More importantly, there are a number of signs that indicate the presence of bed bugs. Some of the signs include:
- After molting, bed bugs will leave behind their exoskeleton.
- If you are looking for them, you can often find their little red-brown bodies in the folds of sheets.
- Even if you do not see the pests themselves, you may see the evidence of their blood and fecal matter as rust-colored dots on your sheets, mattresses, and furniture.
- You may never quite see them, but you can often smell their sweet, musty odor.
- The most significant evidence will be bite marks on you or your family members. You will see small bug bits often on a person's face, hands, arms, or neck. These bites will likely be itchy and can cause rashes and allergic reactions.
Bed bugs are certainly not the type of pest you want hanging around your home. They are not welcome guests, and your family wants you to send them packing immediately.
What Can You Do To Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
While bed bugs are not necessarily inevitable, they are not altogether uncommon. If you have them, you need to get rid of them. A few tips for sending them away include:
- Remove any clutter in affected rooms
- Wash all bedding and pillows from affected beds (sheets, pillowcases, bed skirts, etc.)
- Vacuum carpets, molding, windowsills, etc. every day that you suspect there's an infestation
- Scrub mattresses and mattress seams with a stiff brush
- Have your bed bugs professionally exterminated
Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years and are commonly found in beds but can also be found in couches, chairs, and any other fabric. Once bed bugs infest, they can multiply very quickly; a good rule of thumb is that if you see one, there are probably already hundreds more. There is good news for homeowners in the Carolinas and Virginia. Rid-A-Bug is here to help you get rid of bed bugs quickly and efficiently.
Throughout our decades of exterminating, we have seen our share of these little nuisances. There are few insects as universally hated as bed bugs. If you see signs that bed bugs have hitched a ride to make their home with you, contact us immediately. We can typically respond within 24-hours and send those bed bugs away for good.