Unwanted Hitchhikers? How to Keep from Bringing Home Bedbugs when Traveling

You’ve been warned about bed bugs when traveling, everyone has. The first thing you automatically do when you get into your hotel room is head straight to the bed, lift the sheets, and check for bed bugs. A bed bug infestation can happen at any time and since they are hitchhikers, traveling is the perfect opportunity for them to hitch a ride back into your home.

Unwanted Hitchhikers? How to Keep from Bringing Home Bedbugs when Traveling

No matter where you stay, a five-star resort, or a low-rate motel, you can encounter bed bugs. Do you want to avoid unwanted hitchhikers? How to keep from bringing home bed bugs when traveling is easier than you think.

Inspect Your Room

How Can I Tell if I Have Bed Bugs?Your first instinct when you get to your hotel room might be to drop on that comfortable bed and rest after your long travels. Resist the urge! The first thing you need to do when getting into your hotel room is to check all the places bed bugs like to hide. First, check the bed. Look at the folds and seams of the mattress for any dark stains. Dark stains are blood or feces caused by a bed bug infestation.

In some cases, you might be able to see the bed bugs themselves. You should also check the headboard. Although bed bugs typically cling to fabric, they can also dig their claws into the headboard. Next, you need to check any chairs or sofas that are in your room. Again, look at the seams and under the cushions for dark stains. If you see pearly white, rice-shaped eggs, that is a sign of the bed bug infestation increasing.

Keep Your Items Bed Bug-Free

The best way to keep your items bed bug-free is to keep your suitcase and other bags off of the floor. It takes a lot of bed bugs or a pregnant female bed bug to get into your things in order to bring home an infestation, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most hotel rooms come with suitcase racks and you probably don’t use them, choosing to leave your suitcase on the floor. Use the suitcase rack to keep your items elevated and bed bug-free.

If you do think you’ve brought home a few bed bugs, unpack your things and immediately put your clothes in the dryer on high for about 30 minutes. Heat kills bed bugs and the faster they are exposed to it, the faster they die and don’t infest the rest of your home. To take extra precautions, you can call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654 and let us check your home for unwanted hitchhikers.

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs in My Clothing?

Despite precautions you take, you may still find your home infested with bed bugs from time to time. Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, they often times enter your home by sneaking into your clothes while you’ve been traveling. When traveling and staying in hotels, the first thing you should always do is check your room for bed bugs so you don’t bring them home with you. If you, however, find yourself bringing hitchhikers home with you in your clothes, don’t worry. Getting rid of bed bugs in your clothing can be a process, but follow these steps to avoid contaminating the rest of your home:

How Do I Get Rid of Bed Bugs in My Clothing?

Effectively Kill Bed Bugs by Laundering Your Clothes

These steps can be followed if you are home from your travels or if you are still traveling and need to use a laundromat. No matter where you are, the first thing you need to do is inspect all your clothes and separate them into an infested group and a non infested group. Once you’ve done that, bag, seal tightly, and separate the two groups to prevent infecting the clean clothes. Wherever you are, leave your luggage outside entirely so you don’t bring the bed bugs inside your home or the laundromat. Bring the sealed bag of infected clothes into the laundry room and then spray your empty luggage with insecticides or bed bug sprays. Store your luggage away from sleeping areas while the treatment goes on. Now it’s time to wash your clothes:

●        Wash the infected clothes in water as hot as possible. Be sure to only do as hot as the fabric of your clothes can withstand. With really delicate clothing items, you can use a steamer to remove the bed bugs.

●        You can use normal detergent, bleach, or fabric softener as you would do with a normal load of clothes.

●        When the clothes are in the washer, tie off the bag they were in and immediately remove it from your home. You don’t want it sticking around giving the bed bugs time to infest the rest of your home.

●        Dry the washed clothes on a medium to high setting.

●        Once out of the dryer, fold and put them in a fresh plastic bag.

●        Now take precautions for bed bugs in your home before unwrapping the newly washed clothes.

Call the Professionals

Whenever you have a bed bug infestation, even if it’s just in your clothes, it’s best to call the professionals. You can follow every step very meticulously, but bed bugs can still persist. If even one bed bug clings to your washed clothes, you will have an even bigger problem once you get into your home. To be extra cautious and to make sure there is not a single bed bug left in your clothes or home, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

What is the Difference Between Bedbugs and Fleas?

What is the difference between bedbugs and fleas?

Bedbugs and fleas can look very similar and it can sometimes be difficult to tell which critter has infected your home. No matter which one has invaded your home, you want them gone as soon as possible. Before you go drive yourself crazy with itchy thoughts of these little bugs crawling over you, it’s important to figure out which one you’re dealing with. While treatments are necessary to remove both bedbugs and fleas from your home, depending on which ones you have, the treatment will change. Here’s how you can spot the difference between bedbugs and fleas:

The Difference Between Bedbugs and Fleas

Both critters require a warm-blooded host to provide them with their food: blood. However, fleas prefer to feed off of furry animals such as dogs.

learn the difference between a bedbug (pictured) and a flea.

Bedbug (Cimex Lectularius)

Bed bugs prefer to feed off of you and your family. Fleas are generally brought into your home by your family pets or by visiting animals while bed bugs will be brought into your home by your family or guests.

Bedbugs cannot jump or fly so they have to crawl across your bed in order to get to their food supply: you. Fleas can jump up to 200 times their body length which is approximately 13 inches. This makes it easier for them to transfer hosts and hitch a ride straight into your home.

Bedbugs haven’t been discovered to pass diseases, but fleas have the ability to spread diseases such as cat-scratch fever, typhus, and even the plague.

Bedbugs vs Fleas

If you see little critters running rampant in your home, here’s a quick guide to tell the difference between bedbugs and fleas:

fleas

Fleas (Siphonaptera)

●        Bedbugs are flat and shaped like a grain of rice. They are a reddish-brown color and are approximately 1.5-5 mm in length

●        Fleas are also reddish-brown in color, but they are more oval shaped and appear skinnier and longer rather than flat. Fleas are smaller in size and range about 1.5-3 mm.

●        Bedbugs are nocturnal and will feed on you while you sleep. If you see them during the day, it will most likely be in the seams of your mattress, the corners of your box spring, or in the baseboards close to your bed.

●        Fleas are also nocturnal, but since they feed on animals, you will most likely see them on your animals or in your animal’s sleeping areas. You can also find them in your carpet waiting for a ride.

Whether you have bedbugs or fleas, there is one sure solution: exterminate them as soon as possible with help from Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. We can help remove these invaders from your home and let you return to a bite-free and bloodsucking-free home. If you find signs of an infestation, call us today at (207) 650-8654.

How Can I Tell if I Have Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs aren’t dangerous, but they are a nasty and inconvenient problem. You can get shivers up your spine just thinking about having those teeny tiny crawlers nesting in your home, but how can you tell if you have bed bugs in your home? The signs can be hard to detect if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but if you do know the signs, you will have no trouble finding out if your home has been invaded.

How Can I Tell if I Have Bed Bugs?

Signs That You Have Bed Bugs

Knowing the signs of a bed bug infestation can help you get rid of them before they multiply and become an even bigger problem. Here are some to look for:

●        Red, itchy bites. Bed bug bites appear as red, flat welts in a cluster. While bed bugs don’t transmit disease to humans, the bites can still be irritating. Just going off bed bug bites is not enough to determine if you have an infestation because the bites can look like other bug bites.

●        Blood stains. If you have darker sheets, this sign will be harder to see, but if you have lighter sheets, look for signs of blood stains. When you move during the night, you inadvertently crush bed bugs, causing their blood to smear on your sheets and pillowcases.

●        Fecal matter. Just like every other living creature, bed bugs poop. If you have an infestation, you will see signs of bed bug fecal matter. Most often, it will appear on your sheets as if a black, felt-tipped marker has been rubbed against them. You should also look for signs of fecal matter on the seams of your mattress and in the corners of your box spring.

●        Eggshells. Bed bugs reproduce and that will leave a sign. The eggshells are pearly white when first laid and they have a sticky residue to help them cling to surfaces for safekeeping until they are ready to be born. Eggshells are the shape of a grain of rice and very small, yet still visible to the naked eye. As bed bugs lay a lot of eggs, you will find them clumped together and on the softer surfaces of your mattress and box spring.

●        Bed bugs themselves. Looking at your mattress and box spring, if you see a little critter scurrying around, you definitely have a bed bug infestation. Adult bed bugs are easily seen with the naked eye so you won’t miss them.

●        Scent. Bed bugs give off a very distinctive musty odor. If the infestation is small, you probably won’t notice the smell. Once you notice the smell, the infestation has gotten bad and it’s time to call the exterminator.

Expert Exterminator

When you have bed bugs in your home, you’re in no danger, but you still want them out as soon as possible. If you’re finding any of the signs of bed bugs, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. We are expert bed bug exterminators and we will restore peace to your home quick. Call us today at (207) 650-8654.

Bed Bug Control DOs and DON’Ts

Bed bug infestation are three words no one wants to hear. You can try and deny it all you want, but if the signs are there, you have a bed bug problem. If you don’t want to call a professional exterminator, there are ways you can get rid of these pesky bugs yourself. However, there are bed bug control DOs and DON’Ts that you need to be aware of before you jump in head-first.

Bed Bug Control DOs and DON'Ts | Maine Bed Bugs & Pest Control

Bed Bug Control DOs

Once you’ve nailed down that you indeed have a bed bug problem, here are some DOs to consider before attacking:

●        Declutter your home. Clutter provides places for bed bugs to hide. Don’t hide things under your bed and try to keep your floor as tidy as possible.

●        Make an educated attack plan. Getting rid of bed bugs can be an intensive process that you’re going to want to stick around for.  Make sure you choose a plan that you can complete.

●        Mattress protection. Encasing your mattress and box spring can keep the bed bugs from biting you and make it easier to spot the bed bugs.

●        Vacuum often. Vacuuming is one of the most effective ways of removing bed bugs. Be sure to vacuum around nooks and crannies where bed bugs often like to hide.

●        Call a bed bug professional. To be absolutely sure that your bed bug problem goes away, call a professional bed bug exterminator.

Bed Bug Control DON’Ts

When dealing with bed bugs, keep in mind these DON’Ts:

●        Don’t sleep in a different room to avoid getting a bite. The bed bugs will just follow you and spread the infestation to the rest of your home.

●        Don’t stay with someone else. All you will do is drag the bed bugs to your friends house, extending the infestation.

●        Don’t throw your bed out. Often to popular belief, throwing your bed out will not remove your bed bugs, but can instead actually make things worse. You can spread the infestation to the rest of your home instead of keeping it contained in one room.

●        Don’t try heat treatments yourself. Heat treatments are very effective at removing bed bugs, but it can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. It is best to call a professional exterminator.

If you find yourself with a bed bug infestation and you have tried every do-it-yourself, at-home technique and your bed bugs are still around, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

Do You Have Bed Bugs: 4 Sure Signs

One of the most common questions regarding your home is “Do I have bed bugs?” The answer? You might, you might not, but panicking about it is not going to help anyone. Yes, bed bugs are a nuisance to have in your home, but that is why professionals like Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control are around. If you find yourself asking the question over and over again, focus and look for signs because if you do have a bed bug infestation, the sooner you find out, the sooner and easier it will be to exterminate them. Here are 4 sure signs to look for to answer the question if you have bed bugs:

Do You Have Bed Bugs: 4 Sure Signs | Maine Bed Bugs & Pest Control

Bites

One of the most common signs of bed bugs are their bites on your skin. The bites will appear as raised, red welts, usually itchy, and in groups. They primarily appear on the chest, neck, hands, and feet. They can also sometimes show up on your face and appear as though you’ve become a teenager again with pimples. Since reactions to bed bugs can vary and because bed bugs bites can resemble other bug bites, simply going off of bite marks is not enough to identify whether or not you have bed bugs.

Blood Stains

Do You Have Bed Bugs: 4 Sure SignsIf you’re sleeping on light-colored sheets and find blood smears or stains, it could be a sign of bed bug activity. The stains are due to you moving around at night and unknowingly crushing the bed bugs. This sign can easily be dismissed because the stains can appear similar to scratching mosquito bites in your sleep.

Blood stains combined with bite marks is a pretty good indication of bed bugs, but not a definitive one. With this next sign, however, is a pretty strong sign that your have bed bugs.

Fecal Matter

Bed bug fecal matter will appear as dark stains like the tip of a felt pen bleed into your sheets. Hate to break it to you, but it is not pen on your bed, it is fecal matter. Usually, bed bugs will leave fecal matter while they are eating again which is why it will appear on your sheets. If you don’t see any on your sheets, look around your mattress seams and the corners of your box spring. To confirm that it is fecal matter, take a wet towel and wipe it. If it smears, you definitely have bed bugs.

Eggs and Eggshells

The last tell-tale sign that you have a bed bug infestation is the appearance of bed bug eggs and empty eggshells. The eggs are translucent to almost pearly white in color and have a sticky outer coating to stick to surfaces. All eggshells are the shape and size of a grain of rice which makes them visible to the eye.

There are more signs of bed bugs like their musty odor, but these 4 sure signs will help you decide if you should call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today to eliminate your unwanted guests. Call us today at (207) 650-8654.

How We Use Heat to Kill Bed Bugs

When you hear a friend of yours has a bed bug infestation, you immediately get an itchy feeling all over your body and want to go home to check for your own infestation. Bed bugs, while not harmful or dangerous, are pesky little creatures that just cause a lot of unrest while at home, the one place you should be able to relax the most in. If you do find that your home has been invaded by these unwanted guests, don’t panic. Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control is here to help you get your home back.

How We Use Heat to Kill Bed Bugs | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control

The Alternative to Chemicals

The words “bed bugs” automatically insinuate that you are going to have to ditch your home for a couple days so it can be fumigated with harsh chemicals. That was true many years ago, but now there is a popular and effective alternative to the harsh chemicals. Even though the harsh chemicals are all gone before you are allowed to reenter your home, if you have children or pets, you may not want to chance it. That’s where the heat treatment comes in. Maine Bed Bug’s heat treatment is the perfect alternative to chemicals and does the job just as well. But you may be asking yourself how we use heat to kill bed bugs because it doesn’t sound like it would be all the effective. Here’s how:

Killing Bed Bugs with Heat

Just like us, bed bugs are sensitive to extreme heat. Imagine being in a sauna with the heat cranked up all the way. It’s nice at first, but then imagine being stuck in there for a long time. Your body wouldn’t be able to handle it. All the water from your body would dry up and you would become severely dehydrated. This is how we kill bed bugs with heat, it’s the same idea. We close off your home and use large fans and pumps to filter hot air above 120 degrees into your home. We let the hot air circulate for a couple hours to make sure we reach all corners of your home and the bed bugs become extremely dehydrated, eventually dying off. Once the treatment is over, we go in and clean up so you return to a bed bug-free home. No muss, no fuss. Just extreme heat. To book your heat treatment today, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at 207-650-8654.

Maine Bed Bug’s Heat Treatment – The Essentials

Having a bed bug infestation is not fun. While bed bugs are not considered dangerous, their bites can irritate your skin and, in rare cases, cause allergic reactions. Most importantly, bed bugs are just a big nuisance that no one wants to worry about. Calling an exterminator can make getting rid of them easy for you, but what if you have children in your home and don’t want them exposed to those nasty bed bug-killing chemicals? Lucky for you there is something called the heat treatment. When you call for Maine Bed Bug’s heat treatment, the essentials you need to know are:

Maine Bed Bug's Heat Treatment - The Essentials | Maine Bed Bugs

Heat Kills

You may be thinking that chemicals are the only way to get rid of bed bugs because that’s what you’ve been told your whole life. Well that is definitely not the case. Just like us, bed bugs are sensitive to overheating. They are resistant, but there is no resisting temperatures of over 120 degrees. The heat treatment kills bed bugs at every stage of life from the recently laid eggs all the way to adult bed bugs. The extreme heat causes dehydration and eventually leads to their extermination. So how is this done?

Maine Bed Bug’s Professional Whole House Heat Treatment

Here at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control, we know that bed bugs can spread easily within your home. When you go through a heat treatment, it is essential to treat the whole house. You may think you only need it in the room where you found them, but bed bugs have a way of expertly hiding in other parts of your home. With Maine Bed Bug’s heat treatment, we will bring in large furnaces and generators to your home. Your whole house is closed down so no one accidently goes inside during the treatment. Then we pump hot air over 120 degrees inside your home. We will place large fans within your home to make sure the hot air we pump in circulates throughout the entirety of your home. This process lasts a few hours to make sure the hot air reaches every part of your home and kills all your bed bugs. While this treatment can be expensive, it does the job right and well the first time, not requiring additional treatments like chemicals treatments sometimes do.

For more heat treatment essentials, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at 207-650-8654.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Your Home

Bed bugs are not something you want in your home. They burrow into your mattress, your clothes, other furniture, and leave you covered with bite marks. Most bite marks just cause irritation and an itching sensation, but some bites can cause allergic reactions that require medical attention. Although bed bugs are not considered dangerous, they are a nuisance. You need to know how to find bed bugs in your home in case you need an extermination expert.

How to Find Bed Bugs in Your Home | Maine Bed Bugs & Pest Control

Signs of Bed Bugs

To identify a possible bed bug infestation, you need to look for physical signs that they are there. Whenever you change your bedding or are staying somewhere other than your home, it is always a good idea to look for these signs:

  • Reddish brown stains on the sheets or the mattress itself. This is caused by bed bugs being crushed while you sleep.
  • Blackish dark spots in the shape of a circle or smeared across the mattress. This is bed bug excrement.
  • Pale yellow eggs that are about 1mm in size.
  • Live bed bugs. Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye so you will be able to see one scuttle across your sheets or mattress.

How to Find Where Bed Bugs Hide In Your Home

When bed bugs aren’t busy feeding on your blood, they can hide in a variety of places. Mostly you’ll find bed bugs around the mattress, in the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks in the headboard. Other places you might find bed bugs include:

  • Seams of chairs and couches.
  • Under furniture cushions.
  • In the folds of curtains.
  • Drawer joints.
  • Under loose wallpaper or wall hangings.
  • Around electrical sockets.
  • Even in the corner where the wall and ceiling meet.

For more information on how to find bed bugs in your home and how to get rid of them, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

FDA-approved Treatments for Head Lice

When you see your kid vigorously scratching their head, your immediate thought is head lice. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Not only do these little critters make your kids miserable, they can spread like wildfire. Contrary to popular belief, head lice is not a result of poor hygiene. Head lice is spread through head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice and you can only get it from a human, no pets. Since children play in such close quarters, head lice is easy to pass around.

FDA-approved Treatments for Head Lice | Maine Bed Bugs & Pest Control

What is Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny, blood-sucking insects. They are about the size of a sesame seed and are grayish-white. When they get into your kid’s hair, they attach themselves to the skin of the scalp and then proceed to lay eggs, keeping the cycle going. You can easily spot lice and the eggs by parting the hair and using a magnifying glass or a bright light. Although the eggs can appear similar to dandruff, you can tell the difference by dragging your fingernail over them. Dandruff will remove easily, whereas the eggs will remain firmly attached to the head.

Steps for FDA-approved Treatments for Head Lice

While there are home remedy treatments you can use, FDA-approved treatments for head lice include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. For example, Nix and Rid in the form of shampoos, creams, and lotions. Your healthcare professional may prescribe FDA-approved treatments such as Ulesfia, Natroba, or Sklice. When treating head lice, follow the directions on the medication. Start by applying the treatment to the hair and scalp, no other part of the body. Let the treatment sit as long as directed. After rinsing out the treatment, use a fine-toothed comb to remove the dead head lice and eggs. Wash all the bedding in your home to prevent the spread of head lice to other members of your family. For more information on how to treat head lice, contact Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

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