Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, insects belonging to the Cimicidae family. They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. They are oval shaped and as an adult reach the size of 4 to 5 mm long. Their color is a rust/red brown. Bed bugs are also known as “mahogany flats,” “red coats” and “chinches.” The adult bed bug does not have wings and has a flattened body when not full of blood.
Bed bugs are both flattened and thin. They can hide in obscure places and are often found behind baseboards, floor cracks, under carpets or behind loose wallpaper, mattress seams, box spring corners, and bed frame parts and cracks, which can make them difficult to detect. Bed bugs also typically stay grouped together and have a distinctive sweet, yet unpleasant odor. Fecal smears and blood spots on mattresses and nearby furnishings are signs of a bed bug infestation. Their bites can leave itchy welts on the skin and can cause allergic reactions, people can have different reactions than others. Bed bugs are found throughout the world. There are multiple species of bed bugs, but the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is the most adaptable to human environments. Some species prefer birds and bats but will feed on humans if necessary. Bed bugs can live in and survive in birds’ nests, and are often found in houses and buildings that have several bird nests, particularly on rooftops. Bed bugs are transferred all over the world through human travelers who transport them in luggage, clothing, bedding and furniture.
How To Get Rid of Bed Bugs
It is possible to pick up bed bugs almost anywhere such as offices, stores, hotels, gyms and many other places. They can hide in luggage, personal belongings, or even on you, and can be transported to your home. Once indoors, they can be extremely difficult to control without the help of an experienced bed bug specialist. Bed bug infestations have nothing to do with cleanliness — they can be found even in the finest hotels, and they can be transported into the cleanest homes at any time. However, you can reduce the probability of a costly bed bug infestation by detecting them early.
When traveling, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. which stands for the following steps and will help you avoid bringing bed bugs home.
- Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
- Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a few feet of the bed.
- Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
- Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
- Place all your clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
In Your Home
When at home, follow these handy tips to help keep bed bugs away.
- Remove all clutter from your home, reduces their hiding places and makes it easier to detect them.
- Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
- Closely inspect all second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your home.
- Inspect your home often especially after guests stay overnight.
Think You Might Have a Bed Bug Infestation?
Contact X Out immediately, so we can begin to create a customized treatment for your bed bugs. Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to help prevent an infestation.
X Out Bed Bug Control
Your X Out Pest Control Specialist will start with an inspection.
Bed bugs are hard to find, but your X Out professional is trained to pinpoint evidence if they are in your home. We will examine your entire home including the bed, furniture, rugs, linen, etc. We will perform an inspection of target areas, and use tools to check cracks and crevices.
We will typically start with the bedroom and work our way through your home, concentrating on the furniture and the areas immediately surrounding the furniture. We will look for signs of bed bugs including:
- Live or dead bed bugs
- Skins cast off from molting process
- Small red/black spots of fecal matter
- Tiny clear-colored eggs in dark crevices