Extermination of Bed Bugs

Extermination of bed bugs can be a lengthy and often expensive undertaking. The mating habits and dormancy of the blood-sucking pests make them extremely hard to eliminate. In fact, you can have a really hard time identifying bed buts as the source of those small red bites on your arms.

Bite Appearance

The bites from bed bugs actually only show up later in the day. That’s because, as the bugs bite you during the night, they excrete a numbing chemical into the bite. That way, you don’t feel it as they feed. Hours later the chemical wears off, and you start to feel an intense, burning itch.

When you inspect the site, you’ll usually see about 3 or 4 tiny red bumps, usually in a row. This indicates a bed bug bite, as they will feed several times in the same area before moving on to a fresh feed site. These little red bumps are usually no bigger than the head of a pin. There isn’t usually any ring around the site, or any blistering, unless you are allergic to the bugs. The bites last for a week or so, though, and can itch the whole time.

Bug Appearance

Bed bugs actually look a little bit like ticks, to an unfamiliar eye. Their bodies are shaped very much like ticks that are not engorged with blood. They do appear to be slightly segmented. If you see a dead bed bug, you may think it is a tick that has been removed. The adult is oval shaped, and flat. At the max, an adult will only be about ¼” long, so they’re hard to spot. They don’t fly, either. They are brown bugs, but will look red/brown just after they have fed.

Baby bed bugs look just like the adults, only smaller. However, the nymphs that have just hatched are colorless. The eggs are white, and no bigger than 1 mm. One problem with finding infestations is that a bedbug may lay a single egg, or lay a cluster of 50 eggs in one spot.

Extermination of Bed Bugs

Why Can’t I See Them?

You usually won’t see bed bugs during the day, because just as any other vampire, they prefer nighttime. What really brings them out is a signal that you set off every night. As you fall asleep, you start to exhale more CO2. That is the signal to the bugs to come out and start their dinner.

You can’t see them because they tuck into creases and seams in your bedding, and into joints in your bed frame. They only come out at night, when you’re asleep. So, until you start noticing their bites, you aren’t likely to start looking for them.

How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are just like any other animal – they eat, defecate, grow, reproduce, and die. Each of these activities produces physical proof of their presence. When bed bugs eat, you’ll find tiny spots of blood on your sheets. This may actually be the first indication that you have an infestation. These bugs also defecate, so you may see dark spots that are not blood.

If the infestation is really bad, you’ll start seeing their dead carcasses in your bed. You’ll also find the shells that they shed as they grow. So, there is a lot of “dirt” in these infestations.

Where To Check

You can certainly check your bed sheets to see if there are any bugs evident. But, since the retreat in the daylight, you’ve really got to take the sheets off of the bed. Inspect the seams and binding around the edge of your mattress, first. Look for the feces and shed skins, first. This may be tucked down into the creases, so you may have to look closely.

Then, inspect the bed frame itself. Bed bugs love to squeeze themselves into the joints of your bed frame, where they can go undetected for years. They will also make their home in your carpets and drapes. Check along your baseboards, even to the point of pulling your carpet back to inspect the edge where carpet and baseboards meet. They will also burrow into the hems of your drapes, if the touch the floor.

You may also find them hiding out in your suitcases. That’s how they spread so virulently. They will burrow into the corners of your suitcases and hibernate until the next time you use the suitcase, re-infesting your clothing.

Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

To get rid of bed bugs, you need specialized pest control for bedbugs. Most treatments for other household pests won’t work with bedbugs because they can hibernate indefinitely. Eggs, as well, can go dormant, waiting for the right time to hatch. Therefore, most pest control measures only eliminate the active adults, but do nothing to the hibernating adults or eggs.

CO2 traps are helpful in drawing in the active nymphs and adults. They will be lured to the trap because of the gas emitted, and will be caught in the trap. However, this does nothing to kill the eggs.

There are chemicals that can be sprayed on your bedding, carpets, baseboards, and drapes. This will kill the active bugs, and, if left long enough, will kill some of the bugs that hatch later on. But, the chemical does nothing to the eggs themselves, and if the bugs are dormant, they may sleep through the chemical treatment.

Unfortunately, some people have adverse reactions to the chemicals used in killing bed bugs. These chemicals are safe for humans and pets, but if someone has a sensitivity to them, they will need to find alternate sleeping arrangements for a few days.

Heat For Bed Bugs

There is a treatment for these pests, however, that doesn’t use chemicals at all. Heat for bed bugs has been proven to kill the adults, nymphs, and eggs, whether they are active or dormant. You have to have an expert ME exterminator who has the right equipment, though. Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control in Gray specializes in heat for bed bugs. On their website, you can find a checklist on how to prepare a room for this specialized heat treatment. The unit is set up in your room, and after the heat treatment, you will have no more trouble with that infestation. The bugs, nymphs, eggs, and dormant pests will be killed. For more information about how to control bed bugs:

Call 207-650-8654 today!

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