bedbugs Archives

How to Know if You Have Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a common pest problem across the US. Contrary to their name, bed bugs aren’t just found in residential and hotel room beds. They are also found in furniture and crevices in nursing homes, schools and daycares, offices, dorm rooms, hospitals, and even public transportation.

These pests are notoriously tricky to identify and eliminate. Once you’ve noticed a bed bug infestation, it’s best to call professionals to quickly and thoroughly exterminate the insects.

bed bugs infestation on mattress

What Are Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small reddish-brown insects about one-quarter inch long. They are similar in size and shape to an apple seed. Bed bugs cannot fly or jump, but they do crawl quickly. During the day, they hide on beds and other furniture as well as in-wall crevices. They are more active at night and typically bite people while they are sleeping.

These insects can come from used furniture, or they can crawl onto luggage, backpacks, or clothing placed on infested beds and furniture. They can also spread from room to room in hotels and apartment buildings.

Bed bugs do not transmit disease, but they are annoying and can cause discomfort.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites are often the most obvious sign of an infestation. Bites are small, red, and itchy and most common on the neck, arms, legs, and hands (skin areas exposed while sleeping). The bites typically appear in rough lines, but can also be in random clusters.

Some people can have allergic reactions to bed bug bites resulting in enlarged bite marks, painful swelling, and severe itching. Those experiencing significant reactions to bites should see a doctor for treatment.

Signs of Infestation

Even if you see bug bites on the skin, you can only confirm they are bed bugs by finding signs of infestation or seeing the actual bugs. Some common signs are:

● Sweet, musty odor

● Small blood stains on sheets and pillowcases (caused by inadvertently crushing bugs in your sleep)

● Dark brown or black spots of bug feces on sheets/blankets, mattresses, furniture, and walls

● Bed bug eggs are small, pearly-white ovals about 1 millimeter long and look like tiny grains of rice

● Bed bugs shed their shells leaving behind yellowish-brown, translucent exoskeletons (a reliable sign of infestation)

● Live bed bugs are most likely to be found in the seams of mattresses and box springs, in bed frames and other furniture near beds, and baseboards (a clear sign of infestation)

Getting Rid of Pests with Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control

Bed bugs can be difficult to detect. They can lie dormant for long periods of time, and their eggs can take months to hatch, which makes some do-it-yourself treatments (vacuuming, cleaning, bug bombs, etc.) ineffective. To be sure you’ve rid your home of these pests, call in professional exterminators like those at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control.

The experts at Maine Bed Bugs use a safe and lasting heat extermination treatment that quickly kills bed bugs and their eggs without chemicals, fumes, or residue.

Call (207) 650-8654 for a free quote and sleep comfortably knowing that Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control will eliminate your bed bug or any pest problem.

Bed Bug Symptoms

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests encountered in the United States. In fact, around 1 in every 5 American households reports a bed bug infestation every year!

This fact may sound scary, but you don’t need to worry. If you experience any signs of bed bugs in your home, an experienced pest control company will be able to identify an infestation and get your home back to normal as soon as possible. In this post, we’ll talk about what bed bugs are and the most common bed bug signs and symptoms to look out for.

Bed Bug Symptoms

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny oval-shaped creatures that feed on the blood of humans and animals. They can’t fly, but they can move very quickly over floors, walls, and even ceilings.
Female bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs (each the size of a dust particle) in their lifetime. Immature bed bugs (called nymphs) shed their skin five times before maturing and require a blood meal each time they shed. Bed bug infestations are very common and can develop quickly.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

The most common symptom of bed bugs is bite marks. Bed bugs are active at night and usually bite people while they’re sleeping, which can make them hard to identify. These tiny bugs feed for three to ten minutes at a time and then crawl away unnoticed.

Bed bug bites are painless at first but develop into red, itchy welts over time. It can be hard to distinguish them from other insect bites, but there are a few key differences.

Flat, red welts that appear in zig zag patterns or small clusters are a common symptom of bed bug bites in humans. Bed bugs may also leave their bites in straight rows. Although the bites are itchy and uncomfortable, they are not known to carry dangerous diseases.

Signs of an Infestation

There are a few major signs of a bed bug infestation to look out for. The first is small blood stains on your pillowcases or sheets, which indicates that bed bugs have been biting you during the night. The second is small reddish-brown or rust-colored stains from bug excrement, also called “fecal spots.”

Another common sign that your home has bed bugs is finding tiny eggshells or molted skins in areas where the insects like to hide. One last (and pretty strange) way to discover a bed bug infestation is by smell! The tiny creatures give off musty-smelling pheromones and the smell can be quite strong in large numbers.

Take Back Your Home with Maine Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a major nuisance, but if you notice any of the signs and symptoms listed in this article, there’s no need to panic! Professional exterminators have the tools and experience to treat an infestation quickly and safely.

Maine Bed Bugs is a full-service pest control company that specializes in bed bug removal. We’ve been proudly helping homeowners in the Lewiston and Portland areas keep their homes pest-free for many years.

If you’re having trouble with a bed bug infestation, give us a call at (207) 650-8654 to see how we can help.

Pest-Proofing your Home to Common Household Bugs

Plants are a double-edged sword when it comes to pest-proofing your home to common household bugs. On the one hand, some plantings can ward pests off with the scent such as basil, lavender and rosemary. Planting these around your home may assist in your fight against pests.

Pest-Proofing your Home to Common Household Bugs

However, having plants too close to your home can be dangerous. If you have plantings that touch your siding, this can be a direct way for pests to gain access to your home. Especially, if these plants trap moisture that may rot siding and create easy access for bugs to enter through the damp area (or perpetuate it, like termites might), it will be necessary to cut these plants back.

Sealed Trash

Keeping your trash outside near your home can be a problem when it comes to all sorts of pests from ants to mice to raccoons. It is essential, at the very least, to keep these sealed. Keeping them away from the building is ideal. Reducing proximity of anything that might attract bugs–like a tasty trash snack–increases your odds of keeping them out of the house.

Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can cause all sorts of issues for homeowners, but one of the most inconvenient is granting access to insects. In fact, seeing bugs in your basement might be a sign that you have foundation cracks you don’t know about. Staying aware of any cracks in your foundation and using basic caulk techniques to seal these up can save you the trouble of an infestation on top of foundation damage.

Updated Screens

Bugs love to come inside. Whether attracted by food or light, they will attempt to find a way in. Updating screens can help keep common household bugs out.

Screen frames get bent over the years. Small tears may occur in the screening itself. Replacing frame or heavy duty screening can reduce the amount of bugs entering the home via windows and screen doors. If it is too big of a project to completely replace, duct-taping around frame edge gaps and using small screen repair patch kits can save you some time and money in getting your screen functional again.

Regular Cleaning

The best defense is a good offense. The second you notice a nest or insect activity, it is essential to act. It’s much easier to knock down a hornet’s nest that can fit a single hornet than to knock down a basket-ball sized nest attached to your front entrance. Don’t let pests get comfy in your home–they’re the sort of houseguests who never want to leave.

Got some bugs moving in? Consult with us at Maine Bed Bugs for tips and tricks to keep them away. Call (207) 650-8654 to speak with us today.

Bed Bug Travel Tips

There is always the fear when traveling that you’ll bring home an unwanted friend. No, not the weirdo from the plane next to you in 4C—bed bugs! Bed bugs are an insidious and downright threatening pest that you don’t want to accidentally tote home in your suitcase.

Bed Bug Travel Tips

While traveling, follow these commonsense guidelines to avoiding bringing bed bugs home to Maine with you:

Be choosy about where you stay: It’s rare you’ll be able to tell if a hotel is likely to have bed bugs just when arriving at check-in. The most expensive hotel could have them, and the cheapest motel could be totally clean. However, if you notice a lack of cleanliness throughout the hotel or a clear lack of vacuuming or laundering, hightail it out of there. Both skimping on vacuuming and doing laundry can let a bed bug infestation persist.

Keep your clothes bagged: Don’t lay your things around the hotel room. Avoid putting them away in drawers, especially if your stay will be brief. Bed bugs are easily carried in fabrics, so avoiding contact with too many surfaces is important.

Check for bed bugs: It may be a simple step, but how many people really every look? Bed bugs are often detected by small stains on the sheets (from their droppings and the blood of victims who were bitten in the night. Inspecting the mattress, especially the edging, is also important as droppings may be obvious there. They will be dark, round pellets, often stuffed along the seams of the mattress. If you see these, get out immediately.

If you bring home an unwanted visitor: Even the most conscientious traveler may bring home some bed bugs. Due to their persistent nature, it is important to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Besides infesting all of your fabric decors, biting you in your sleep, leaving you open to infection, and possibly even driving you to psychosis due to extended sleep deprivation, bed bugs are just pests that have no business being in your home.

To get started removing an infestation, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Our preferred method of pest control for bed bugs is heat treatment, which kills the bed bugs by exposing them to 118-degree heat. There are no chemicals involved, so there are no risks or inconveniences associated with tenting your home.

Bring home an unpleasant souvenir? Give Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control a call at (207) 650-8543 to say goodbye to bed bugs.

Can Bed Bugs Really Travel Through the Walls?

It is a common misconception that bed bugs are only found in beds, especially since it’s in their name. However, the reality of the situation is that you can find bed bugs pretty much anywhere: in the carpet, furniture, and even in your walls. You might be asking yourself, if bed bugs can really live in and travel through walls?  The answer is probably not what you want to hear.  Yes. Yes, they can.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Portland ME exterminatorAdult bed bugs, though small, are still visible to the naked eye, but they have this incredible ability to wedge their flat, oval bodies into the smallest cracks and crevices. A good tip from our Portland, ME exterminator is to check these small spaces by sliding a credit card through them and see if any bed bugs scatter.

Bed bugs are about the same width as a credit card so if your card can fit into a space, so can a bed bug. Along with looking at your bed for signs of bed bugs, you should also look at the wall behind your bed, along the baseboards, the edges of the drawers of your nightstand, and the corners where the walls and floor meets. If the infestation gets bad enough, you will find bed bugs within your actual walls.

Bed Bugs Travel Through Walls

Bed bugs have been known to use your pipes and electrical wiring as a way to get around your house. Though this type of infestation in the walls is more common in hotels, apartment complexes and dorm rooms, it can also happen in a larger family home and be how the infestation moves from one room to the next. If you’re seeing any signs of bed bugs, you should immediately call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at (207) 650-8654. You don’t want the infestation getting bad enough that the critters start living in your walls and start using your piping as a highway. One call to our experienced Portland, ME exterminator will take care of everything.

How Long is a Portland, ME Bed Bug’s life cycle?

If you’ve ever had to deal with the creepy crawler hitchhikers known as bed bugs, you’ve probably asked yourself a bunch of times how long is a bed bug’s life cycle?  You want to know how long these little critters are going to be around if you can’t get to an exterminator right away.

As far as insect life spans go, a Portland ME bed bug is up at the top of the chart, crawling around for much longer than we would prefer. They usually cap out around the 10-month mark, but there are a few who can live up to a year.

Life Cycle of a Bed Bug

Portland ME bed bug

There are multiple stages to a bed bug’s life. A female bed bug will lay groups of eggs with approximately 50 eggs to each group. The eggs take about 6 to 17 days to hatch.

When the female bed bug dies, she will have lain hundreds of eggs, hundreds of hitchhikers wanting to get in your home. The eggs are about 1 millimeter in size, about the size of a mustard seed. If the temperatures are ideal, a bed bug can go from the baby stage to a full-sized adult stage in about 37 days.

Warmer weather promotes faster bed bug development and reproduction. Baby bed bugs are called nymphs and they go through 5 stages of growth, shedding their skins, before becoming an adult.

Even as babies, bed bugs are ready to eat on your blood. If the climate and conditions are ideal, a bed bug can last up to a year without feeding. Even though bed bugs’ life cycle is relatively short, under a year, they live an active life which includes aggressive mating so you don’t want to try to let your Portland ME bed bug problem die out on it’s own. It won’t.

Portland ME Bed Bug Control

If you are seeing signs of a Portland ME bed bug infestation, don’t think the problem will go away on its own without intervention. You need to contact Main Bed Bugs and Pest Control immediately to get rid of your bed bugs. We are a family owned and operated company so we understand the need to be free of small critters. Give us a call today at (207) 650-8654 to get your home free and clear of bed bugs.

Should I be Worried About Having Bedbugs in My Car in Portland ME?

Bed bugs are travelers. They will go anywhere. Although bed bugs can attach themselves to clothes, furniture, luggage, and even your pets, all things that go in your car, it is rare to find bed bugs in your car. If you get bed bugs in your car, that gives them access to travel anywhere, including your home.

If you’re asking yourself should I be worried about having bed bugs in my car in Portland, ME, give yourself some peace of mind and follow these tips to help you avoid a full-blown infestation.

Should I be worried about having bedbugs in my car in Portland ME?

Bed Bug Car Inspection

Just like you would check your bedroom for bed bugs, you should check your car the same way:

  • Remove all trash and clutter that bed bugs can hide underneath
  • Look along the seams of your car seats, under the car seats, in the glove compartment, and in the console for signs of bed bugs
  • Signs of bed bugs include dark spots and blood stains, and shed exoskeletons can also be visible
  • Using double-sided tape to check around your seats, floor mats, and rugs, press the tape into the crevices and pull back to see if any signs of bed bugs are visible

If you don’t find evidence of bed bugs but still suspect that you may have an issue, don’t despair. There are thorough ways to deal with this problem.

Clean Your Car of Bed Bugs

To help prevent your car from being infested by bed bugs, follow these cleaning tips:

  • Remove all floor mats, seat covers, and rugs from your car. Shampoo them thoroughly and let them sit in the sun to dry
  • Vacuum the entire car, paying close attention to crevices and dark places where bed bugs love to hide. To be extra thorough, use a powerful High-Efficiency Particulate (HEPA) vacuum
  • Once all that is done, steam clean the interior of your car or have it professionally done

Bed bug infestations in your car are rare, but they can happen. If you find yourself in an infestation situation that you can’t clear up yourself, or you just want to make extra sure that the critters are removed, call the bed bug experts at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at (207) 650-8654.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like in Portland, ME? Are They Hard to See?

When you are traveling, one thing you are constantly thinking about is bed bugs. You have heard the horror stories of people being in really nice hotels, completely unaware of their little guests, and then they get home, bringing with them those unwanted pests and infesting everything.

here's what bed bugs look likeThe best way to keep on top of bed bugs is to know what you’re looking for. What do bed bugs look like in Portland, ME? Are they hard to see? These questions are always at the top of the list when it comes to bed bugs. Know about your enemy so you can properly deal with them.

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs are small, flat, and oval shaped. They are also wingless so you don’t have to worry about them flying out at you unexpectedly. Although adult bed bugs have wing pads, they never fully develop into functioning wings.

Adult bed bugs are brown in color, but, since they feed on your blood, they do redden in color after a hearty meal. Fully-grown bed bugs move rather slow and are about 4 to 5 millimeters in size. There is a large misconception that bed bugs are hard to see with the naked eye.

Adult bed bugs can easily be seen moving across your bed; you just have to know what to look for. Bed bug eggs and baby bed bugs can be more difficult to see, but you know they are there if you’ve seen an adult. Newly hatched bed bugs are the size of the head of a pin and are white or a light tan until they feed. They are the size and shape of an apple seed.

Where to Check for Bed Bugs

checking for bed bugsBed bugs are usually found where you spend a lot of your time, like sleeping in your bed. Since bed bugs have flat bodies, it makes it easy for them to hide in small cracks and crevices of your mattress and headboard.

Other places they like to hide out include box springs, footboards, bed frames, the wall near your bed, and other furniture near your bed such as an armchair or bedside table. Another place they like to hide that many people don’t think about is the floor where carpet edges meet the walls.

Bed bugs are easily transported to new places so always check your hotel rooms whenever you travel. And if you accidentally bring an infestation home, be sure to call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at (207) 650-8654 straight away.

How Did Bed Bugs Get Into My House in Portland, ME

Unfortunately, “how did bed bugs get into my house in Portland, ME” is a very common question among homeowners since bed bugs are persistent in their pursuit of their quest for home domination. Although that may seem like a bit of an exaggeration, don’t mistake the problem bed bugs pose, especially in recent years, in Portland, ME.

In the past, bed bugs have mainly been associated with hotels, but now they are really starting to infest other places such as commercial establishments, apartment complexes, and residential dwellings. This leads back to the question, how did bed bugs get into my house?

Common Ways Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

How Did Bed Bugs Get Into My House in Portland, METhere are several ways these critters can make it into your home, but here are the most common ways:

●        Hitchhiker. As you travel, it is possible for you to unknowingly be exposed to bed bugs either in your hotel, on your plane, or other modes of public transportation. Bed bugs can hitch a ride in your suitcase, in your purse, or even in the clothes you’re wearing.

●        Yard Sale Bargain. Everyone loves a good bargain hunt, but the next time you’re digging through that yard sale to find your next piece of treasure, beware of bed bugs. One of the easiest ways your home becomes infested with bed bugs is by bringing in items already infested. These items can include pre-owned clothes, furniture, and mattresses.

●        Uninvited House Guest. Just like how you can pick up hitchhikers when you travel, family members or friends who come to visit you can bring in uninvited house guests to your home. Because college dorm rooms are a haven to bed bugs, if you have a returning college kid for holidays or the summer, they may bring home the little pests in their belongings.

There are many more ways bed bugs can crawl their way into your home, but however they get in, they are a problem and need to be dealt with.

Don’t Be Embarrassed

No matter how the bed bugs get into your home, it is important to remember that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Bed bugs are not a result of uncleanliness or lack of sanitation; they are hitchhiking menaces on the lookout for their next meal. Don’t be embarrassed by a bed bug infestation. Call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control as soon as you find out you have an infestation. The sooner you call us, the sooner and easier we can get rid of your little pests, returning your home to it’s former, pest-free glory. Give us a call today at (207) 650-8654.

How do Heat Treatments Work to Kill Portland Bed Bugs?

No one wants to deal with bed bugs. They are parasitic pests, meaning they feed off the blood of their hosts, mainly you, and they can be difficult to get rid of. No matter how much you don’t want to think about them, you will most likely, at some point, find yourself with a bed bug infestation. When this happens, it is important for you to know the best ways of getting rid of them. A great bed bug killing option: the heat treatment. How do heat treatments work to kill Portland bed bugs? Find out below!

Different Heat Treatments

How do Heat Treatments Work to Kill Portland Bed Bugs?

Bed bug heat treatments take many different forms, depending on what is being treated. Here are a few heat methods that can help you get rid of your pests:

●        Hot box. Using a hot box, place your infested items, such as shoes, clothes, blankets, etc., inside the hot box. You can then use sustained heat of high temperatures to kill the bed bugs. Lethal temperatures for bed bugs range from 117 degrees F to 122. The walls of hot boxes can reach higher temperatures than those in order to permeate your belongings that are inside to kill the bed bugs at all stages of life.

●        Steam. Heat treatments using steam is not used to penetrate items deep enough to kill hidden bed bugs. Steam treatments are better used for items such as your box spring, bed frame, blankets, sheets, curtains, and pillowcases.

●        Dryers. Your standard home dryer can also help you kill bed bugs. Your washer alone, set on hot water, can be enough to kill the bed bugs, but some items can’t be washed. Items that can’t go in the washer can be run through the dryer to kill the bed bugs and not cause any damage to the item. The standard dryer heat treatment is at least 20 minutes on high. It’s important to remember to keep uninfected items away from your washroom as you kill the bed bugs in order to keep them safe from infestation.

●        Home Heat. This heat treatment entails raising the temperature of your home to the lethal level for bed bugs of 117 degrees. However, professionals with the proper equipment should be called to do this treatment properly and safely. This is an effective treatment, but it can be rather costly. It is also common to still have bed bug activity after whole room heat treatments which is why professionals combine the home heat treatment with safe applications of pesticides.

Trust a Professional

Using heat to kill bed bugs is a very effective treatment, if you can get the heat to the proper lethal degree. Since you’re using lethal degrees of heat, safety is a big concern. If you’re unsure of the proper and safe ways to conduct Portland bed bug heat treatments, call the professionals at Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Our licensed technicians are trained to rid your home of bed bugs using the safest methods available for heat treatments. Contact us today at (207) 650-8654 and get your home back!

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