Bed bugs are terrible houseguests. When they move in, it can make you want to move out. If you're dealing with bites, and losing sleep, we have some tips to help you deal with these frustrating insects.
Step 1: Know Your Enemy
Bed bugs don't come into your home from your yard; they hitch rides. The first step in getting rid of bed bugs is understanding the nature of a bed bug infestation. Methods that work to drive pests out of a home don't work with bed bugs. They don't want to live outside, no matter how uncomfortable you make their lives.
Step 2: Find The Bugs
Bed bugs are tiny insects; but they're not so tiny that you can't see them. If you know where to look, you might be able to treat these insects directly. Bed bugs hide in tight spaces, creases, cracks, crevices, and voids. Some of the places they hide in are impossible to directly treat, but here are a few that aren't.
Look between your mattress and your box spring. If you see these insects huddled together amidst shed skins, black and brown stains, and white eggs, you've found a bed bug infestation. Keep in mind that the entire infestation can be in a spot the size of your thumbnail. If you spray every insect with a desiccant agent, such as rubbing alcohol, you can dry them out and kill them. Be sure to have this spray available before you do your inspection so the bugs can't get away before you spray.
Inspect the cracks and crevices in your bed. If you detect movement or dislodge evidence, such as skins, eggs, or bugs, you can pour rubbing alcohol into the crevice. This liquid will dry up and eliminate the bugs.
Inspect bookbags, duffel bags, backpacks, pocketbooks, luggage, and other carriable items that bed bugs use to get into homes. If you find eggs, skins, or bugs, you can treat these items with rubbing alcohol or put an item into the dryer for 30 minutes. Heat is one of the best ways to kill bed bugs in all stages of development.
Keep in mind that bed bugs can avoid desiccant sprays. They can also avoid many other products that are topical, even insecticides. If you don't give them a liberal dose, they could survive to continue to plague you. This step is not the end-all for bed bug control. Far from it. It is only useful when you catch bed bugs early and they are concentrated in one spot.
Step 3: Stop The Bites
If you apply encasements to your mattresses and box springs and install traps under the legs of your beds, you may be able to protect yourself from bed bugs while you sleep. If bed bugs are hiding in your mattresses or box springs, using encasements could arrest your infestation. But be aware that any bed bugs hiding in the frame of beds can bypass your traps and will feed on you unhindered by your encasements. A thorough inspection of your bed frame is essential.
Step 4: Consider Where You Got Them
If you have success arresting the infestation in your home, take a moment to consider where you might have gotten them so more don't come in. The most common way residents get these bugs is by staying somewhere overnight. If you or someone else in your home has stayed overnight somewhere away from home, this could be how you got your infestation. Take precautions.
When You Don't Catch Bed Bugs Early
If you detect bed bugs early, the methods above can give you control of the bugs, but what do you do when you don't catch them early? We strongly recommend having a licensed pest management professional perform a pest control evaluation and guide you in selecting a strategy that will work best to arrest your infestation. In many cases, bed bug control requires a multi-pronged approach. A pest management professional has the education, experience, and resources to appropriately deal with bed bugs in a way that prevents them from evading treatments.
Do You Live In Monmouth County?
If you live in Monmouth County, you're in our service area. Contact us and tell us about your bed bug infestation. Our service team uses Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods to get rid of bed bugs. This approach uses smart, environmentally friendly solutions first, and a limited and targeted application of EPA-approved pest control products only as necessary. We can help you find the right combination of control methods to address your infestation in a way that meets your specific needs and your budgetary constraints. We understand that some residents are living paycheck to paycheck. Who has money for a bed bug treatment? While it is certainly best to hit these bugs with everything, a slow and selective approach can work too. Reach out to us today to schedule a pest control evaluation. We'll find the bed bug control solution that works best for you.