Few pests inspire more fear and disgust than bed bugs. They’re notoriously difficult to get rid of and often spread faster than they can be eliminated. Even the most careful homeowners can find themselves with a bed bug infestation on their hands, so it’s important to know how to identify these pests and what to do if they appear in your home or office.
Adult bed bugs are usually small, long, and brown with an oval-shaped body. They’re typically the size of an apple seed. If they’ve fed recently, the bug may have a more elongated and balloon-ish appearance. Younger bugs will usually be smaller and more translucent. They may be almost impossible to spot if they haven’t fed recently. The eggs from which bed bugs hatch are very tiny and whitish in color, making them very difficult to spot.
Bed bugs go through a life cycle, beginning with the egg stage and becoming larger as they become adults. They typically hide in groups, using their flat bodies to crawl into tiny, flat spaces. Bed frames, mattresses, and headboards are common spots where bed bug infestations to start. Bugs may also hide in crevices along the floor. Over time, the bugs can spread beyond the bed and infest other rooms. People with an infestation can also inadvertently bring the bugs with them in luggage or even on clothing. That’s why it’s important to catch and treat an infestation early.
Bed bugs reproduce and spread quickly!
Bed bugs are known for reproducing and spreading quickly (an adult female can lay one to ten eggs in a single day). They usually spread when a person brings infested items into a home, usually clothing or used furniture. A person might inadvertently bring bed bugs into their home after staying at a hotel where an infestation has occurred. Simple proximity to an infested home can also be a root cause. Bed bugs can travel through cracks in floors or ceilings, so it isn’t uncommon for an apartment to become infested if a neighboring unit also has an infestation. Luggage or clothing can transport bed bugs, so it’s always a good idea to check for signs of bed bugs after traveling.
The good news is that bed bugs aren’t thought to carry disease, but they can cause itchy or even painful welts on any exposed skin. The welts are a result of a reaction to the bugs’ bites. These bites are often the first sign of an infestation. You might also notice blood or excrement stains on bedding or mattresses, shredded skin or eggshells, or a musty odor from the bugs.
Bed Bug Prevention in Southwest Missouri
Prevention can go a long way when it comes to bed bugs. Always check secondhand furniture and bedding and use protective coverings on mattresses and box springs. A light-colored cover will help make any bugs easier to see if they do appear. Shared laundry spaces can be a source of an infestation, so always use plastic bags to move laundry to and from the laundry room and take laundry directly home after removing it from the dryer. Keeping your home as sealed as possible can help prevent bed bugs from spreading if you live in an apartment complex or multi-unit dwelling.
There are several ways to eliminate a bed bug infestation: sustained heat can kill bed bugs if the temperature is higher than about 130 degrees. Pesticides, steam, and freezing can also kill bed bugs effectively. Isolating and/or destroying infested items is important in controlling their spread. Because each situation is unique and bed bugs often require specialized treatment, it’s important to seek a professional like Bug-A-Way Pest Control Joplin’s bed bug expert to ensure that any bed bug infestation is eliminated safely, quickly, and in a way that prevents re-infestation.
Bed bugs are a serious issue, and you need professional help to eliminate bed bugs from your home!
If you’re dealing with bed bugs in Southwest Missouri, you may not know which option to pursue. Bug-A-Way Pest Control has a specialized treatment program built to keep property owners free from bed bug infestations. We use heat treatment to eliminate bed bugs quickly (four to eight hours in many cases). Treatment is effective against all life cycle stages. Our team uses electric or propane heaters and high-speed fans to circulate heat across the entire area being infested. This approach allows us to focus treatment on areas in homes and buildings that bed bugs tend to invade. Continuous temperature monitoring means we can ensure all bed bugs are exterminated, no matter where they are. If you’re facing a bed bug infestation, don’t go it alone.