Bed Bug Control
Bed bugs are pests that can cause major infestations and many disruptions in your daily life. We’ll explore why these insects invade your home, what signs to look for to detect their presence, and when you should contact a pest control company near you.
Reasons for the Presence of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs, called Cimex lenticularis in the scientific world, are insects that feed on human blood. They are particularly attracted to places where they can feed undisturbed, which is why they often hide in beds, mattresses and box springs. There are several factors that can lead to a bed bug infestation in your home.
Conditions that are Conducive to Bed Bug Proliferation
Bed bugs prefer warm and humid environments. A high ambient temperature, poor ventilation or a high level of humidity in your home can therefore encourage their proliferation. It is essential to maintain a healthy, clean and ventilated environment in your home to limit the risk of infestation.
Travelling and Moving
Bed bugs are very resistant and discreet insects, capable of slipping into your clothes and luggage when you travel. If you stay in an infested area (hotel, hostel, vacation rental, etc.), bed bugs can cling to your belongings and be carried home without you even realizing it. To avoid this, check your accommodation carefully when you arrive, and take the time to wash and tumble dry your clothes and bedding after your stay.
Purchasing Furniture and Objects
Bed bugs can also hide in furniture, objects and textiles that you buy or collect during a move. Before bringing a new item into your home, inspect it carefully for bed bugs and treat it if necessary. Similarly, if you are disposing of an infested piece of furniture or item, be sure to treat it before giving it away or throwing it away.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs are very secretive insects, so it can be difficult to detect their presence before the infestation becomes serious. Here are some signs that may alert you to the presence of bed bugs in your home.
Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites are usually red and inflamed, and they often cause intense itching. Bed bugs usually bite exposed parts of the body while sleeping, such as the arms, legs, back and neck. If you wake up with bites clustered or lined up on your skin, you may have bed bugs in your home.
Bloodstains on Bedding
Bed bugs can leave blood trails on your sheets and pillows after feeding. If you notice bloodstains on your bedding, it may be a sign of infestation.
Bed Bug Droppings and Molts
Bed bugs also leave traces of their black, gritty droppings on the sheets, mattresses, box springs and walls of your home. They also molt regularly, leaving behind empty exoskeletons. If you find evidence of droppings or molting, this may indicate the presence of bed bugs.
Bed Bug Eggs
Bed bugs lay white, translucent eggs, usually hidden in the nooks and crannies of furniture, mattress seams and box springs. If you find bed bug eggs in your home, it means that the infestation is underway and that it is essential to act quickly to treat it.
Consequences of the Presence of Bed Bugs
Infestations of these pests are on the rise and affecting more and more homes in the United States. Their presence is not only unpleasant, but can also have serious repercussions on the health and well-being of those affected.
Effects of Bed Bug Bites on the Skin
Bed bug bites are usually painless, but they can cause itching and skin irritation. In some cases, they can cause more severe allergic reactions, including swelling of the skin, breathing difficulties or anaphylactic shock. People with eczema or other skin conditions are particularly vulnerable to bed bug bites.
The itching caused by bed bug bites can also disrupt sleep and cause significant stress and anxiety. In extreme cases, this can even lead to sleep disorders and mental health problems.
How Do Pest Control Companies Get Rid of Bed Bugs?
Pest control companies are professionals who specialize in the treatment of bed bug infestations. They use specific methods and products to get rid of bed bugs so you can get back to sleeping peacefully. Here’s how these professionals work.
Identifying the Presence of Bed Bugs
Before any intervention, it is essential to identify the presence of bed bugs in your home. They usually hide in mattresses, box springs, sheets, pillows, furniture or cracks in walls.
Signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Red, itchy bites on the skin, usually in groups of three or four.
- Blood stains on sheets or mattresses.
- Black or dark brown droppings that look like dots.
- White, transparent eggs, about 1 mm long.
- Dead or molting bed bugs.
If you suspect the presence of bed bugs, call a professional to make an accurate diagnosis and get a quote for the situation.
Heat treatment is an effective method of eliminating bed bugs and their eggs. Pest control companies use special machines that generate heat to create a high temperature in the infested room. Bed bugs and their eggs cannot survive temperatures above 120°F.
Heat treatment has advantages:
- It’s fast: a single intervention is usually enough to eliminate all bed bugs and their eggs.
- It is ecological: this method does not require the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment.
- It is safe for the occupants: there is no risk associated with the use of pesticides.
However, the heat treatment requires the intervention of a professional with the appropriate equipment.
Chemical treatments are commonly used by pest control companies to eliminate bed bugs. These treatments are usually based on specific insecticides, such as pyrethroids, neonicotinoids or organophosphates as dichlorvos (DDVP). These products are applied to infested areas to eliminate adult bed bugs and their eggs.
Pros of chemical treatments:
- They are effective in eliminating bed bugs and their eggs when properly applied.
- They are generally less expensive than heat treatment.
- They can be used in conjunction with other methods to maximize treatment effectiveness.
- They can be harmful to human health and the environment.
- Bed bugs can develop resistance to some insecticides, making the treatment less effective.
- They usually require several interventions to completely eliminate bed bugs and their eggs.
Freezing is another method used by pest control companies to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs. This technique involves exposing infested objects to temperatures below -0°F for several hours. Bed bugs and their eggs cannot survive at such temperatures.
- It is environmentally friendly and safe for human health.
- It can be used to treat specific objects, such as clothing, shoes or small furniture.
- It cannot be used to treat large areas or entire rooms.
- It requires specific equipment and the intervention of a professional.
Bed Bug Traps
Pest control companies can also use traps to capture and eliminate bed bugs. These traps are usually placed near infested areas and contain attractants, such as pheromones, to bait bed bugs. Once trapped, they can no longer feed and eventually die.
- They are environmentally friendly and safe for human health.
- They can be used in conjunction with other methods to maximize treatment effectiveness.
- They are not effective enough to completely eliminate bed bugs and their eggs.
- They require regular monitoring to verify their effectiveness and replace them if necessary.
Finally, pest control companies can advise you on preventive measures to avoid a new bed bug infestation. These measures include:
- Regular maintenance of your bedding (washing sheets, comforters and pillows at high temperature, vacuuming the mattress and box spring).
- Regularly checking furniture, carpets and curtains for bed bugs.
- Isolating infested objects (placing in airtight plastic bags and heat treating or freezing).
- Preventive treatment of risk areas with specific insecticides.
Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs
Sniffing detection is an innovative and effective method to detect bed bugs presence in your home. Pest control companies work with dogs that are specially trained to detect the smell of bed bugs and their eggs. With their keen sense of smell, bed bug detection dogs can locate infested areas with great accuracy.
The use of sniffing dogs has several advantages:
- It is fast: a dog can inspect a room in just a few minutes.
- It is accurate: bed bug detection dogs have a success rate of over 90% in locating infestations.
- It is non-invasive: this method does not require the use of chemicals or bulky equipment.
However, canine detection can be costly, as it requires the intervention of a professional and his specially trained dog.
Natural and Eco-friendly Treatments
In addition to traditional bed bug treatment methods, some pest control companies offer natural and eco-friendly treatments to eliminate these pests. These methods include the use of organic products, such as essential oils, diatoms or natural bed bug predators (such as spiders or processionary caterpillars).
- They are respectful of the environment and human health.
- They can be used in addition to other methods to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
- They are generally less expensive than heat or chemical treatments.
- Natural and ecological treatments may be less effective than traditional methods.
- They may require several interventions to completely eradicate the bed bug infestation.
Whatever the level of infestation you are facing, the best solution to get rid of bed bugs is to call a pest control company near you.