It’s hard to sleep tight when the bed bugs bite. Even thinking about these tiny, almost undetectable creatures creeping around in your mattress probably makes you itchy and restless.
Bed bugs can lead to severe rashes and even allergic reactions if left untreated. If they claim your bed as their own, it’s important to get rid of them as quickly and effectively as possible from the moment you suspect they’ve settled in your home, so you can get back to peaceful sleep.
How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that nest in mattresses, making it tricky to find them with the naked eye. If you want to avoid an itchy and painful night — and make sure you’re sleeping well without a bed bug in sight! — you need to know what to look for. Here are a few signs that you may have bed bugs in your home:
- Itchy bumps on your skin. This may be your first clue that you have bed bugs. A bumpy bed bug rash usually appears in a cluster or zigzag pattern. If the itching is worse at night or first thing in the morning and multiple people in your home are affected, it could be the result of bed bugs.
- Shells or molted skins. Although you may not find an actual bed bug crawling around on your mattress, you might be able to spot shell casings in the seams of your bed or furniture.
- Sweet, musty odors. Bed bugs secrete “alarm” pheromones when they feel threatened. This odor is initially too small to be noticed by humans, but as the infestation grows and the scent is mixed with that of dead bugs and excrement, it can become an extremely unpleasant scent. If it has grown to this point, you likely have a serious infestation!
- Dark spots on your mattress. When sudden spots that look like mold appear on your mattress, it may be a sign of bed bugs. The spots may represent fecal marks and indicate an area where bed bugs inhabit.
If you see any of these warning signs in your home, it’s best to call professional pest control immediately. Many of these signs appear after an infestation has already grown beyond DIY control, and experts can exterminate them safely and effectively to prevent future infestations.
Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs on My Own?
While getting rid of bed bugs on your own is difficult, you can try a few tricks to kill off the pests and prevent them from growing to unmanageable numbers. Here are a few steps to take if you suspect bed bugs in your home:
- Contain the infestation by vacuuming all potential hiding places in the infested area and dispose of the contents in the vacuum.
- Seal up all affected fabrics (clothing, bedsheets, blankets, etc.) in plastic bags until you’re ready to wash them, along with anything else affected that cannot be washed.
- Wash all launderable items on the highest possible temperature to kill off the bed bugs, then dry on high heatto ensuree they’re all eliminated.
- Throw out anything that cannot be washed or leave it to sit in extreme cold or hot temperatures for a few months to kill off the bed bugs. If you’re leaving items on the curb to be picked up, label them “bed bugs” to avoid anyone thinking it’s free furniture and taking it home.
- Make the affected area inhospitable to bed bugs by sealing up your mattress and box spring in protective covers, trapping the infesting bugs in and preventing more from getting into your bed.
These techniques may deal with the visible bed bugs, but often they will not fully exterminate a colony that has multiplied and laid eggs in your home. When preventive pest control and cleaning doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to call in the professionals.
When Should I Get Professional Help?
You should never ignore a bed bug infestation, as it can quickly spread and become even more impossible to exterminate. Instead of hoping the pests will go away on their own or loosely attempting to get rid of them by washing your stuff, ask for professional help!
Advantage Pest Control has done extensive research and training to offer Kansas City homes the highest quality treatment. Our methods will put an end to the bed bug population in your home quickly and effectively using the latest treatment technology.
If you are concerned about the possibility of bed bugs now or in the future, contact Advantage Pest Control for a comprehensive pest inspection of your home and property. We also offer a free bid and a detailed explanation of our treatment plan to protect your home and family from infestations of all kinds.