Have you heard that bed bugs infest dirty homes? Would you believe us if we told you that it doesn't matter how dirty, or clean, your home is? Let's go one step further. Would you believe us if we told you that there is nothing about your home that will make you a target of bed bugs? It's true. While many pests will get into your home and decide if they want to stay, bed bugs aren't one of them. They don't decide to infest your home. They're carried into your home. Once inside, they do what they did in their last home: They hide from sight, feed at night, and leave a bite. (Technically, they leave several bites, but that wouldn't rhyme.) But we digress. Let's take a look at how bed bugs hitch a ride into your home, and more importantly, how you may be able to stop them.

bed bug up close
bed bug sheddings

Passive Dispersal

A bed bug's gonna do what a bed bug's gonna do. These insects love tight spaces and dark voids. When they infest a home or business, they'll stay out of sight. They'll wait until it's dark to come out of hiding and get a blood meal. And you can expect them to feed on humans. They prefer human blood.

There are a few more things you can expect bed bugs to do:

  • They'll be drawn to carbon dioxide.

  • They'll be attracted to clothing items that have been worn.

  • They'll want to get into a sleeping bag if it has touched someone's skin.

  • They'll want to get into bags and luggage because there are lots of tight spaces to explore.

  • They'll want to hide in bed frames, couches, chairs, electronics, appliances, and any object that has a void inside.

  • They'll lay eggs in tight spaces and compacted areas, such as between a mattress and box spring.

Bed Bug Prevention

When bed bugs do what they do, they find their way into objects that can be carried from one place to another. They also lay their eggs in these items. There are three ways to prevent them from using items to get into your home.

Detection

  • Any time you spend the night somewhere, do a quick inspection for bed bugs or the warning signs of bed bugs.

  • When you go anywhere, even during the day, keep a lookout for bed bugs or warning signs.

  • Teach your kids to inspect for bed bugs and to identify these insects and the warning signs they leave around.

Protection

  • When you spend the night in a hotel, use the luggage rack provided. This elevates your luggage or bags while opened.

  • Refrain from putting clothing items on furniture, or on the bed.

  • Put laundry items in a sealed plastic bag. A cheap way to accomplish this is to use a trash bag and a bread tie.

  • Be on the lookout for bed bug bites. If you see three bites that are in a line or zig-zag, they could be bed bug bites. Also look for multiple bites that seem to follow a path across your skin. When several bed bugs bite at the same time, they'll do so in the same area. Multiple bites can sometimes look like a rash.

Elimination

  • When you return from a vacation or trip, make sure all your laundry items pass through a 30-minute dryer cycle. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development.

  • If you detect bed bugs or their eggs inside a duffel bag, backpack, or some other item that can be put in the dry for 30 minutes, run the item through a dryer cycle.

  • If an item can't be put in the dryer, it may be possible to treat cracks and crevices with isopropyl alcohol and kill the bed bugs by dehydrating them.

Bed Bug Control

When bed bugs are carried in, they can quickly go from infested items to hiding places within your home. Once they do this, it can be very difficult to get control of the insects. If you live in Aiken, remember that the licensed pest professionals here at Aiken Pest Control are always available to assist you with your pest control needs. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite!

 
 
 

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