Bed bugs are creepy pests. They're also widely misunderstood insects. So it isn't surprising that we get a lot of questions about them. Join us today as we look at a few of those questions. Our answers will give you insights into how to check for bed bugs, how to prevent bed bugs, and how to contain a bed bug infestation. If you're currently battling a bed bug infestation and you're done with those bugs, remember that you can jump to our contact page at any time to request professional bed bug pest control in Charlotte. Our highly trained and super friendly technicians have experience in effectively controlling bed bugs.
How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs?
When a bed bug infestation in Charlotte starts, it isn't always obvious that bed bugs are definitely the pests that are causing your problems. Some customers wonder if they have bed bugs and others think they have bed bugs when they don't. There are a few ways you can tell for sure.
Bed Bug Bite Diagnosis: Many pests can bite you. How can you tell that bed bugs are the pests biting you? Consider these facts.
- One bed bug will typically bite more than once. Most often, they take three meals. Several bed bugs will leave three times as many bites.
- Bites are often slight at first. They may only look like tiny raised bumps.
- Bed bug bites are sometimes associated with a significant rash that encompasses the bite wounds.
- Bed bugs feed in the same area as a group.
- A group of bed bugs will move across your body as it feeds, making the bites look like a path.
- Bed bugs typically bite skin that is exposed during the night and they are attracted to the upper body, neck, and face because they're drawn to carbon dioxide.
Bed Bug Warning Signs: Along with bites on your skin, there are other warning signs to look for in your home. Here are the signs to look for and where you may find them.
- Bed bugs often stain fabrics with blood excretions. These stains may appear red but are often tan or brown.
- Bed bugs excrete black feces. You may find black fecal spotting or feces mixed with tan, dried blood stains. Look for these on sheets and bedding.
- Bed bug nymphs shed their skins several times as they develop. You may find these yellowish skins in tight seams and compressed spaces.
- Bed bugs have an odor. Some compare this odor to a musty towel you might find on the floor of a locker room. Others say the smell isn't so bad. If you notice a smell that is a little off, you may have bed bugs.
Bed Bug Identification: While it is often hard to find bed bugs because the places where bed bugs hide are difficult to inspect, it is helpful to know how to identify bed bugs, just in case.
- Newly hatched bed bugs are 1mm long, six-legged, pale-colored insects.
- Developing nymphs are tan and somewhat transparent. You should see black feces inside the abdomen of a bed bug, or red blood if it has had a recent blood meal.
- Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and shaped like one as well. They are a rusty reddish color most of the time but may appear more black or red.
Locating bed bugs is the first and last step in bed bug control. It is the first step because it helps you tell that you have a bed bug problem and also where the problem is mostly located. It helps at the end because it gives you peace of mind knowing the bugs are gone.
How Did Bed Bugs Come Into My Home?
Bed bugs in Charlotte aren't like most other pests. They don't live in your yard. They are indoor bugs that hitch a ride into your home. You can't keep them out by applying a pest control treatment to the exterior of your home, and you're not going to have much success driving them out of your home with repellents. What you can do is use the knowledge of how bed bugs get into your home to prevent an infestation or help to stop bed bugs from continuing to get into your Charlotte home if you currently have an infestation.
- Bed bugs move passively from one place to another. When they hide inside an object that is movable, they can move with the object.
- They don't just hide in beds. They can hide in couches, chairs, computers, alarm clocks, pianos, and more. All they need is a void to hide in.
- Bed bugs avoid the light. They will transfer when an infested object is touching an object that is not infested.
- Bed bugs aren't just found in hotels. They are found in many places, including movie theaters, libraries, and office spaces.
- Bed bugs don't live only in dirty places. Since they move passively, they make the best of whatever location they find themselves in and will establish themselves close to beds, couches, chairs, and in areas that are dark.
- Bed bugs often get into wall voids and can go between one apartment and another inside an apartment building or multi-family home.
Use these facts to determine how bed bugs may have gotten into your home or to keep them from getting in. If you already have bed bugs, you may be asking this next question.
Can Bed Bugs Spread?
Yes. Bed bugs spread inside the structures they infest. But they don't do it quickly. They must find a safe and reliable food source and stay near it until they grow a population. In most cases, they're found near the location where someone is getting bitten. If you know how to clean bed bugs up in areas where they are infesting, you may stop your infestation. How do you treat bed bugs?
- Keep a vacuum in hand as you inspect. If you see these insects, suck them up and dispose of the bag outside.
- If you find an infested item that can go into your dryer, put it through a thirty-minute dryer cycle.
- If you find an infested item that can go in the freezer, put it in a sealed bag and store it in your freezer for four days.
- If bed bugs are in your bed, do a detailed inspection to locate them. Inspect seams, cracks, stitching, and recesses. Look under labels and around grommets. They'll hide in the tightest of spaces. Use your vacuum to suck them up or contact a licensed professional.
- Vacuum your floors routinely as you work to address your infestation.
- Routinely wash linen and bedding in soapy, hot water and put the items through a dryer cycle.
When bed bugs are isolated to one location, which happens initially, these tips can stop your infestation. Once they spread, things get tricky. Bed bugs can get underneath furniture, behind baseboards, inside wall voids, and in other places that are hard to treat. If you go to the store and get bed bug control products to address your infestation, you'll find (as many people do) that these products don't work well. But the problem isn't the products. Bed bug control is a process of inspections, treatments, and evaluations. Without training in pest management, bed bug control is challenging. It is best to contact a licensed professional for a professional bed bug treatment in Charlotte, if these insects have spread.
How Can I Get Bed Bugs Away From My Home For Good?
If you get a bed bug treatment and all the bugs are gone, what comes next? Is there a way to keep bed bugs away from your home for good? No. There is no pest control service to prevent bed bug infestations. The best a professional can do is provide you with routine inspections and fast treatments to stop these insects before they make you miserable. But there are ways you can prevent bed bug infestations.
Use the facts we provided above to consider how bed bugs get into your home and apply the following tips:
- Always check any room you stay in while away from home, no matter how clean it is and even if it is in the home of a relative or friend.
- Use a sealed plastic bag to contain laundry items while staying away from home.
- When you return home from a trip, wash all your laundry in hot, soapy water and put your wash through a dryer cycle.
- Refrain from putting your belongings next to the items of co-workers or students at work or school.
- Keep watch for bed bugs and warning signs of bed bug activity in public transportation and public venues. If you see them, take steps to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.
Bed bugs are found in many places you may not expect. Stay vigilant. If they ever find their way into your Charlotte home, remember that Go-Forth Pest Control can help you get rid of bed bugs. We use industry-leading control methods to make sure no bugs remain. We can help. Reach out to us today for service and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Charlotte.