Bed Bug Battles: Strategies for a Bug-Free Home

bed bug on mattress | Advantage Termite & Pest Control

Eliminating bed bugs requires a comprehensive and systematic approach to ensure effective eradication. These unpleasant bed invaders can be hard to catch before they multiply and are almost impossible to purge from your home without calling a professional. Let’s explore what you can do to protect your home from residential bed bugs, and enjoy a peaceful pest free sleep at night. 

 

How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are extremely small and like to hide within bedding, mattresses, and other furniture, making it tricky to catch them. If you find a bug crawling around on your bed, check to see if it is a tiny reddish-brown insect about the size of a lentil. These tiny, almost undetectable creatures can hide in and around items for extensive periods of time without showing themselves. By the time signs/symptoms start to appear, you already have a bed bug infestation, here are other signs of bed bugs to look out for:

 

  • Reddish-brown shells or molted bug skins (the size of a lentil or smaller)
  • An unpleasant, rusty smell on your mattress or couch
  • Dark spots on your furniture that look like mold (these are fecal marks. We know, gross.)
  • Small, smeared blood stains
  • Clusters of tiny, white bed bug eggs
  • Bed bug bites: itchy, red bumps on parts of the skin commonly exposed while sleeping (neck, arms, legs) forming clusters or a zigzag pattern

 

Five Tips for Bed Bug Prevention

Eliminating bed bugs is extremely difficult to do yourself, and in most cases you will need to call a professional pest control company. Bed bugs are commonly called hitchhiker bugs, you can pick them up at work, school, church, or even a friend’s house, literally anywhere! This is why the best method of residential bed bug control is targeting these pests with preventative measures. Here are five things you can do to decrease the odds of bed bugs claiming your bed as their own.


1. Wash Your Bedding

Hygiene is the better part of valor when it comes to keeping the bed bugs at bay, so make washing your linens a priority! In case there are some creepy crawlies hiding in the folds of your sheets, wash and dry them on the highest heat setting to eradicate any bed bugs. 


2. Declutter Living Spaces

Clutter makes plenty of hiding spots for all manner of household pests, including bed bugs! Keep your home tidy of piles that may be appealing to bed bugs, such as dirty laundry or old newspapers.


3. Vacuum Frequently

Vacuuming is a great way to scoop up unsuspecting bed bugs before an infestation can occur! It’s very easy for these teeny pests to hide in thick carpeting and rugs, so vacuum regularly throughout your home to cut them off at the pass! You can even vacuum your mattresses and furniture cushions regularly.

If you are at all worried about possible bed bugs or notice any while vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to keep them from crawling back into your home.


4. Be Mindful After Traveling

It can be easy to unknowingly bring home bed bugs after traveling, so taking measures to reduce your chances and eliminate any hitchhikers can save you a lot of trouble down the road! Here are some tips for keeping your travels and return home bed bug-free:

 

  • Keep your belongings in your suitcase throughout travels (don’t unpack into hotel furniture)
  • Store luggage up on a tabletop or luggage rack, not on the floor or bed, or any other upholstered furniture 
  • Launder clothing at the highest heat setting immediately upon returning home
  • Inspect luggage for bed bugs before bringing it inside your home
  • Vacuum and steam luggage to kill off unseen pests

5. Be Cautious Buying Secondhand

It’s not uncommon for secondhand items to be a breeding ground for bed bugs. Any thrifted clothing or fabric items should be washed immediately, and you should clean secondhand furniture the best you can. Another way to reduce the risk of bed bugs on secondhand furniture is to leave it in the heat of the sun for a day or two. If you’re concerned about bed bugs, however, then it’s best to not bring secondhand furniture into your home.

 

What to Do If You Suspect a Bed Bug Infestation

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your Kansas City home, you should contact Advantage Pest Control to schedule an inspection right away! You don’t need to remove any items that you think are infested, our residential bed bug removal service will take care of the issue, and help you to sleep better at night knowing there aren’t any pests crawling around under the covers.

If you need help with a pest problem in Kansas City or are interested in learning more about our preventative pest control services, contact us to schedule an appointment. Remember, if you suspect a pest issue in your home, call us at first sight — we do it right!

Serving Kansas City Metro and Lawrence

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