Bed bug infestations have become a growing concern throughout the U.S. in recent years. The reason why these infestations have become so common is because they are so easy to go unnoticed. Bed bugs are tiny pests that are difficult to spot and even harder to kill. Even if only a few bed bugs are in your home they can breed very quickly, turning a small problem into an infestation.
This is why an emergency room in New Port Richey shut down their entire facility for a day after a patient came in crawling in bed bugs. You might ask yourself, was this really necessary since only one person came in with bed bugs? The answer is an astounding yes because without proactive treatment bed bugs can quickly infest an entire facility leaving others in harms way. No matter if its a hospital or your own home, not treating the situation promptly can lead to a much bigger problem that can become both expensive and unhealthy for those who live there. The key to avoiding an infestation is to understand what causes bed bugs to enter your home and what you can do to prevent an infestation from growing.
Causes of Bed Bug Infestations
The reason why bed bug infestations have become so common is because the bed bugs themselves are very small and difficult to spot. Most bed bug infestations also go unnoticed because bed bugs leave few signs of their presence to the untrained eye. Able to fit into spaces that are no wider than the edge of a credit card, bed bugs will hide until they need to feed, which is only once every three days. Baby bed bugs, or nymphs, will need to eat more frequently but they are so small you can hardly see them with the naked eye. When a bed bug eats, it usually sucks blood from a human when they are most vulnerable which is when they are sleeping. What makes them so hard to detect is that most people will not feel the feeding process. The only traces they will leave behind are small bite marks on a person’s body. Over time, even a small amount of bed bugs will grow into an infestation if gone undetected.
Detecting Bed Bug Infestations
The good news is there are some distinct signs that reveal the presence of bed bugs in your home. When bed bugs feed, they leave a pattern of bite marks on their victims in the form of a line. Although not everyone will have severe reactions to the bites, you can still spot the bites if you look carefully. Another sign to look out for is bed bug excretion. After a bed bug feeds it will excrete small black dots which you can spot on your bed or infected furniture. These small dots will be easy to spot if you take a moment to do a full examination of your mattress. Also be sure to look our for the distinct musty odor they excrete and the spot of blood they leave behind when crushed. If you feel you have witnessed any of these signs you should contact a professional for an assessment in order to avoid an infestation from growing.
Treatments for Bed Bug Infestations
If you think you have a bed bug infestation after conducting a thorough inspection, there are many ways to exterminate them. Although home remedies are an option, it is recommended to contact a professional bed bug exterminator to ensure procedures are done correctly. Professionals will use a number treatments to eradicate the bed bugs from your home. The first and easiest is to remove all infested items. Although this can be the easiest, it is often unnecessary and can be costly. Another common treatment is chemical spray. Chemical spray will fill a room with toxic gas that can kill most all of the bed bugs and has been a standard in the industry for decades. The third and most modern treatment is using heat. A bed bug exterminator will use special heating machines that raise the temperature of a home to around 140 degrees. Once set, they will maintain that heat for up to three hours to ensure all bed bugs either flee the property or die due to the heat. This option is a very effective solution to kill bed bugs and provides the least amount of health risk as well. No matter what method you find to be the most effective, it is key to attack the problem as quickly as possible, because even a few small bed bugs can turn into an infestation in no time.
Bed bugs can effect anyone, and without proactive detection can grow to an infestation in no time. In order to keep your home bed bug free be sure to look out for the key signs these small pests leave behind. If you notice any suspicious signs of bed bugs, contact a professional exterminator immediately to ensure they are removed from your home and don’t grow into a frustrating and expensive problem.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, owner of The Bed Bug Tracker, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.