When it comes to pests, bed bugs are quite unique. What is the reason for their uniqueness? Bed bugs are creatures that live almost exclusively with humans. You're not going to pick them up while walking through the woods or in a grassy field. You're not going to get them from your dog or have them squeeze into your home by way of gaps and cracks in your exterior walls. These creatures rely on humans to carry them to new and exotic locations. So, all of the pest control methods that work to keep other bugs out of your home have little or no effect on bed bugs. And, if this were the whole story, it would be bad enough--but bed bugs are also wired to avoid our attempts to eradicate them. That is why, even trusted methods that are used by professionals to get rid of these blood-eating pests, fall short when applied by those who are not familiar with how these bugs behave. Let's take a look at the problem.

bed bug on white sheet
bed bug crawling on mattress

Mattress Encasements 

This is a great control method, for sure. Bed bugs love mattresses. When they infest a mattress, they can quickly grow their population, due to how easily they can get a blood meal. Applying a mattress encasement will seal the infesting bugs in and keep new bugs from infesting. Sounds like the perfect fix, right? Sadly, it is not. Mattress encasements are only one part of an effective bed bug protocol. When applied by itself, it is about as helpful as throwing a mattress away. That is to say, it is not helpful at all. Bed bugs don't live only in mattresses. They have been found living in bed frames, box springs, headboards, nightstands, alarm clocks, baseboards, outlets, wall voids, crown molding, computers, upholstered furniture, and the list goes on. Hopefully, you get the point. If you use mattress encasements, you may be able to reduce bites, but you're not likely to stop your infestation.

Bed Bug Traps 

There are many ways to trap bed bugs. Some traps use complicated methods to lure bed bugs in with pheromones or carbon dioxide. Some use sticky substances to hold bed bugs in place. There are lots of ways to trap a bed bug. And, while this method can be helpful, especially when used in conjunction with a mattress encasement, it often falls short. It is important to understand that bed bugs don't have to wait for you to fall asleep in order to feed on you. They can do it while you're watching a television show, working at your computer, playing a video game, or just talking with company. When bed bugs feed, they administer an anticoagulant that thins the blood and makes it possible to for them to draw blood without causing discomfort. This is also one of the reasons they can feed on sensitive parts of the human body, like the face and neck, while a person is sleeping, without waking them up. 

Conventional Bed Bug Treatments

There are lots of ways to kill bed bugs. Some are toxic and can be harmful. Some are flammable and capable of starting a house fire. But, there are some that can kill bed bugs with no harmful effects to your home or family, especially when applied in adherence to safety protocols. The problem with these products is that they can cause bed bugs to retreat deep into walls. A bed bug can go months without a blood meal. This will only create a temporary lull in bites. That bed bug infestation is just waiting to come back to bite you. A professional pest control technician knows how to corral these bugs and prevent them from escaping into the walls of your home.

Heat Treatments

By now we all know about heat treatments. Heat can definitely fix a bed bug problem. But, what many people don't know is that it is extremely difficult to raise the temperature of a home to an even 120°F. When done improperly, it can lead to a loss of property and a loss of human life. 

If you are seeing bed bugs in your home, don't resort to do-it-yourself bed bug control. Trust a professional who is educated and certified in the application of industry-leading bed bug protocols, and make sure all the bugs are gone. For more information or to schedule an inspection, contact Aiken Pest today!


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