What's a bed bug's favorite place to hang out in your Greensboro home? Well, it's in the name – your bed or mattress. Of course, these pests will congregate in just about any area where there's regular human activity, including living rooms or furniture. So, how do you keep them from coming into your home at all?
Here's what Greensboro residents should know about the symptoms of a bed bug infestation, where bed bugs come from, how to prevent them, and what pest control in Greensboro can do to help.
The Symptoms Of A Bed Bug Infestation In Greensboro
While there are multiple signs of bed bugs, most homeowners don't realize they've got a problem until they start finding itchy, red welts across their skin. Bed bugs are nocturnal and usually don't make their presence known until the infestation has really grown, but here are some of the tell-tale signs of bed bugs:
- Stains: Bed bugs can leave small, red bloodstains or fecal stains, which look like dark spots. These stains are often found on mattresses and bedding.
- Discarded skin: As bed bugs grow, they molt and leave behind shed skin. These small pieces are pale white and may be scattered around your bed.
- Bed bug bites: Waking up with small, red welts on your skin could be an indication of bed bugs. Bed bug bites are often arranged in a line, pattern, or small cluster.
- Eggs: Like many pests, bed bugs lay eggs, which are shiny and white. You may find these pin-sized eggs around bed bug hiding spots such as bed corners, cabinets, or baseboards.
While itchy red marks are usually the first sign that homeowners notice, it's important to note that not everyone has a physical reaction to bed bugs. Not everyone in your home may have bites, but that doesn't mean your house is bed bug-free.
Besides the signs above, live or dead bed bugs can be another symptom of an infestation. So, what does a bed bug look like? Bed bugs are small insects but still visible to the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, with reddish-brown, flat, oval-shaped bodies.
Bed bugs can sometimes be mistaken for other insects, so you'll need to look closely. During the early stages of a bed bug infestation, you may not see bed bugs at all – but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Because they're tiny and feed at night, bed bugs can go undetected for months at a time. These pests can also last almost an entire year without a blood meal, so they don't mind laying low for a while.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
What causes bed bugs? Where do they come from? Most pests enter your home through small cracks and crevices while seeking food, water, and shelter. Bed bugs, however, have a unique method of infestation. These parasites are "hitchhikers," latching onto personal items and catching a ride to your next destination.
When you visit an infested area, it's likely that some of these insects will latch onto your luggage or other personal belongings. Some common bed bug hotspots include hotels, nursing homes, college dormitories, and public transportation centers. That said, you can also pick up bed bugs at a friend's house or have bed bugs introduced into your home through visiting relatives.
As mentioned previously, bed bugs can last months without a blood meal. They don't mind sticking to the same hiding spot and waiting for human activity to come to them. So, even if you isolate the piece of furniture or mattress that has bed bugs, that doesn't mean they'll go away on their own.
Once they've caught a ride into your home, bed bugs will quickly spread throughout your home. They typically gravitate toward sleeping areas, often hiding in mattresses, box springs, headboards, and other items in your bedroom.
How To Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Inside
Are there ways to prevent picking up bed bugs when you go to other places? While these pests are tricky to prevent, here are some quick tips you can use next time you're traveling:
Since they're picked up through travel and often accidentally, preventing bed bugs is a lot harder than some other pests – but there are a few tips you can use to lower your risk of getting bed bugs, such as:
- Keep your luggage and clothing off of the floor: If you're staying at a hotel, you should avoid leaving your suitcases on the floor. Similarly, don't place your bags on the ground in airports or bus stations.
- Inspect your hotel room: Always check your room for signs of bed bugs before settling in. Inspect the sheets, mattress, headboard, and pillows for bed bugs, eggs, or dark stains.
- Promptly wash clothing after traveling: Once you return home, wash all of your clothes in hot water and dry them on high heat, regardless of whether you've worn them.
- Inspect secondhand items before you buy: You should always inspect used furniture and other items for signs of bed bugs before you purchase them.
- Use dust-proof encasements on your mattresses: Dust and mite encasements won't prevent bed bugs, but if these critters do show up, the encasement will make them much easier to spot. The encasement prevents bed bugs from burrowing into cracks and crevices of your mattress or other furniture.
- Avoid taking furniture or appliances from curbs: While free furniture might seem too good of a deal to pass up, an item infested with bed bugs could be a lot more trouble than it's worth.
Following these best practices can help you avoid a bed bug infestation in your home. However, bed bugs can happen to anyone and may not be entirely avoidable. If you do suspect that your home has bed bugs, be sure to call a professional bed bug control company as soon as possible.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Permanently?
Because they live almost anywhere with regular human activity – including public transportation, airports, and hotels – you can never completely prevent bed bugs on your own. The only completely foolproof way to prevent (and eliminate) bed bugs from your home is through professional help from Go-Forth Pest Control.
As Greensboro's trusted pest management service, we've got reliable treatments and experienced professionals to get rid of bed bugs permanently. If you're worried that you may have picked up bed bugs through traveling or you're finding them in your home, there's only one thing you can do – contact us at Go-Forth Pest Control today for more information about our bed bug control services near you or to schedule an inspection.