bedbugs Archives

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.

You Think You Have Bed Bugs. What Do You Do Now?

You’re doing laundry and today is bedding day. When you remove all the bedding, you notice some markings on your mattress. Upon closer inspection, the markings look like reddish brown stains. You recall that these markings could be signs of bed bugs and remember that you have also had red bumps on your arm, but thought nothing of them. These two things together make for promising signs that you think you have bed bugs. What do you do now?

What to Do About Bed Bugs | Maine Bed Bugs & Pest Control

 

Keep Calm

Your first instinct will be to panic and start hauling things out of the bedroom straight to the trash. Don’t do that. If you move infested items throughout the house, this allows the bed bugs to travel as well, spreading to other areas of your home. You don’t want them spreading, so remain calm and move on to inspection.

Inspect

There are other insects that have similar signs to bed bugs. These pests include carpet beetles, spider beetles, roach nymphs, and bat bugs. You want to inspect closely to make sure it is in fact bed bugs you are seeing. Take a flashlight and inspect underneath your mattress, in the seams of your mattress, in cracks and crevices around the bed, and the baseboards near your bed. Adult bed bugs and even bed bug eggs are visible to the naked eye so you won’t have trouble finding signs of an infestation.

Bring in Professionals

There are DIY treatments you can try to exterminate the bed bugs with, but a sure fire way to be positively rid of your unwanted guests is to call a professional. And not just any professional, Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. We are a family-oriented company and want to help you eliminate your infestation so you can go on with your life. We are trained with the safest extermination techniques available so you and your family don’t have to worry. Call (207) 650-8654 today to set your appointment!

Bed Bug Travel Protection and Tips

Bed bugs are nasty little creatures that can be difficult to get rid of. Having them in your own home is bad enough, but coming across bed bugs while traveling can sometimes be worse. When you are traveling, the last thing you want to think about is having to deal with bed bugs.

Bed Bug Travel Protection and Tips | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control

Tips for Bed Bug Travel Protection

If you’re staying someplace other than home, here are some bed bug travel protection and tips to keep in mind:

  • Bathroom first. Before dumping your luggage and going out to see the view, head straight to the bathroom, dragging your luggage with you. Bed bugs are least likely to be found in the bathroom so your luggage will be safe from infestation while you scope out the rest of the place.
  • Bed inspection. Pull back the sheets and check all the way around and under the bed for signs of bed bugs. You should also check around the headboard. Signs can include reddish brown or black stains or the little critters themselves.
  • Check surrounding areas. Bed bugs are known to be found within 15 feet of the bed so broaden your search to items surrounding the bed. For example, behind picture frames, under the phone, in the drawer of the bedside table, and chairs or couches in the vicinity, etc.
  • Keep items off the ground. Even if your room doesn’t appear to have an infestation, a room close by might and bed bugs can move around. Don’t leave your suitcase on the ground and don’t leave clothes lying out either. Items left on the floor make for the perfect bed bug home.
  • Ask about prevention. Before checking in, ask the staff about what sort of prevention practices they have in place for bed bugs and what treatments they use in case of an infestation.

After Travel Bed Bug Protection

When you return home, have a protection plan already in place. Wash all of your clothing, even items you didn’t wear, in hot water right when you get home. Bed bugs can’t survive in extreme heat so this will prevent them from taking up residency in your closet and then spreading to the rest of your home. Inspect all your luggage before putting it away and vacuum it out for further protection. If you find that you’ve brought some unwanted guests home, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at (207) 650-8654.

Benefits of Heat Treatments for Bed Bugs

There is not much worse than a case of bed bugs. Once they make it into your home, they can be difficult to get rid of. Sometimes, you may have a bed bug infestation for months before you realize they are there. These little creatures have a way of staying hidden for a long time and they are very adept at avoiding extermination. One key factor that adds to the difficulty of exterminating bed bugs is that they have the ability to produce offspring that are resistant to insecticides. Heat treatments for bed bugs, however, counter the bed bugs natural defense mechanisms. The benefits of heat treatments for bed bugs are tremendous, and here are a few reasons why:

Benefits of Heat Treatments for Bed Bugs | Maine Bed Bugs Portland ME

Nowhere to Hide

Bed bugs cannot hide from the heat. When bed bugs sense a threat, mainly that of extermination, they will run and they will run fast. The main places bed bugs like to hide when confronted with a threat are deep inside walls or deep inside your furniture, making them difficult to eradicate. Heat, however, permeates to the deepest places in your walls and furniture, leaving no place for the bed bugs to hide.

Resistant Bed Bugs No More

Since bed bugs can produce offspring that are resistant to insecticides, it makes exterminating them very difficult. Normal extermination treatments won’t work. How can bed bugs become insecticide-resistant though? During their life, a bed bug will shed their skin about 5 times. If they are exposed to any type of insecticide during these cycles, they will grow a more resistant outer layer, called a cuticle. Then, when those more resistant bed bugs have offspring, those offspring are already pretty resistant. The benefits of heat treatments for bed bugs is that no bed bug is heat-resistant. Every bed bug will die if overheated.

Other Benefits of Heat Treatments for Bed Bugs

One thing that is great about heat treatments for bed bugs is that it is all natural. There are no chemicals involved, just heat, making it safer for your home and your family. Normal extermination treatments use chemicals and often times require follow-up visits after the initial treatment. These follow-up visits can last over the course of weeks. With the heat treatment for bed bugs, it is a one time only extermination. Heat treatments also kill bed bugs in every stage of life, including unhatched eggs. To get the best benefits of heat treatments for bed bugs, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control today at (207) 650-8654.

How to Know If You Have Bed Bugs in Portland ME

There is one fear common in every household: bed bugs. The last thing anyone wants in their home is pests, but bed bugs are on their own level. Other pests can be exterminated pretty quick and easy. Bed bugs, however, require more attention and the process is longer. If you find yourself asking whether or not you may have an infestation, there are a few tips how to know if you have bed bugs in Portland ME.

How to Know If You Have Bed Bugs in Portland ME | Maine Pest Control

6 Tell Tale Signs of Bed Bugs

1.       Bed bug bites. The most common sign that you have a bed bug infestation is the appearance of bite marks on your body. To tell the difference between a bed bug bite and a bite from a different insect, look for: flat, red welts that are usually itchy and are in a cluster together. Usually they are found on the chest, neck, hands, feet, and face. Since the bite marks of bed bugs are very similar to other insects, these alone cannot be sure evidence of bed bugs.

2.       Bed bug blood stains. Easy to find on lighter colored sheets, these blood stains occur when you move around in your sleep and crush some of the bed bugs. The stains are a reddish, rusty color.

3.       Bed bug fecal matter. Like every insect, bed bugs leave behind traces of feces. The signs of fecal matter are dark, black stains that can resemble the tip of a felt pen against your bedsheets.

4.       Bed bug eggs. The eggs are almost a translucent white color and shaped like a grain of rice. They will mostly be found on fabric or other rough surfaces that the eggs can stick to.

5.       Bed bug shells. Bed bugs shed their skin about 5 times in their life cycle. when they shed, they leave behind this hard shell which resembles popcorn kernels.

6.       Bed Bug smell. All bed bugs give off alarm pheromones that are very musty in smell. You won’t be able to smell them if there are only a few, but if you’ve reached the point where you can smell them, you have a serious infestation problem.

Professionals Know if You Have Bed Bugs in Portland ME

If you are seeing these signs of bed bugs, but are still uncertain if you have an infestation, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control. Our professional bed bug experts can tell if you have bed bugs in your Portland ME home. Give us a call today at (207) 650-8654.

Maine Bed Bug Legislation

Maine Bed Bug Legislation

Ever wonder what you are supposed to do if your tenants have bed bugs? Or your rights as a renter if you find bed bugs in your home? We’re outlining Maine bed bug legislation and the legal course of action for the treatment of a bed bug infestation.

For Landlords

Maine Bed Bug Legislation | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlOnce a tenant informs his or her landlord that there may be a bed bug infestation, the landlord has five days to hire a pest control company to conduct an inspection. If bed bugs are indeed found, the landlord must contact a pest control company within 10 days to reasonably eradicate the problem. What’s more, the landlord cannot rent a unit that is known to have a bed bug infestation and he must inform renters if an adjoining unit has an infestation or is being treated. And if a prospective tenant asks, the landlord must disclose the last date that the unit or any adjoining units were treated and found to be bed bug free.

For Tenants

Maine Bed Bug Legislation | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlA tenant must notify his or her landlord as soon as bed bugs are suspected. Once the landlord arranges for an inspection and any necessary treatment, the tenant will have at least 24 hours’ notice to provide access to the unit. Because bed bugs can hide in unusual, tiny places, the tenant may also have to provide access to personal belongs and other furniture in their home.

The tenant must comply with all reasonable treatment measures that the landlord and pest control company lay out. If not, the tenant could be held financially responsible for any treatments or delays. This includes legal fees if it comes to the landlord having to file any orders. Non-compliance could also lead to eviction.

It’s great to see that Maine is taking bed bugs seriously and outlining guidelines to protect both landlords and tenants. Bed bugs are sneaky, but with watchful eyes and skilled pest control specialists like Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control, bed bugs will be sent packing! If you are a landlord and need to have a unit or property inspected, call us today at (207) 650-8654.

How to Make a DIY Bug Bite Balm

How to Make a DIY Bug Bite Balm

DIY Bug Bite Balm | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlBugs are a nuisance, but bug bites are worse and they are a natural part of living, especially during the summer when they all come out of hiding. There are repellants that can be useful, but most of the time they end up failing, you have to swat the bugs away, and you find yourself with multiple itchy bug bites. If you are uncertain about commercial bug repellents and like making homemade balms, follow these simple steps on how to make a do-it-yourself bug bite balm. It is 100% natural and made with just a few ingredients to provide relief for your itchy bug bites. Plus it’s really easy to make!

Steps to Make a DIY Bug Bite Balm

To get you started, you need these supplies:

  • ¼ teaspoon calendula (to help fight inflammation)
  • 1 ounce beeswax (provides healing properties and moisture)
  • 2 tablespoons shea butter (provides a high amount of vitamin A)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (reduces any chance of the bug bite scarring)
  • 5 – 10 drops each lavender and tea tree essential oils (provides antibacterial properties and a lovely smell for your balm).

You’re going to begin by melting all the ingredients together in a pan. The mixture will be extremely hot as it needs to be hot enough to melt the wax so use caution when handling the mixture. Once the mixture has been properly melted down and mixed together, take the pan off the heat. Small jars are great for individual balms that can be kept in a purse or bag for on-the-go, but any container that won’t melt from the heat works. You can also pour the mix into an empty lip balm tube for a hands-free application. After you pour it into your container, wait for it to cool and solidify and you have yourself a natural bug bite balm. For a softer cream, use half the amount of beeswax. This recipe should last you a whole bug season, but if you run out, it’s not hard to make more!

For more bug information or any questions concerning a bug infestation of your home, call Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control at (207) 650-8654.

Bed Bugs Can Carry Germs and Diseases

Bed Bugs Can Carry Germs and Diseases

Bed Bugs Can Carry Germs and Diseases | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlIn the last several years we have seen a skyrocketing surge of bed bugs in both the United States and worldwide. Several decades ago bed bugs were nearly extinct due to DDT, a pesticide that has since been discovered to be quite toxic and no longer in use. It’s thought that increased worldwide travel has also increased the bed bug presence, since they are known to travel from environment to environment in luggage and can hide for weeks or even months without feeding.

The bugs are not discriminating, either. While some believe bed bugs are a sign of a dirty environment and that they are found frequently in lower income housing, the fact is bed bugs have been found everywhere from five star hotels to hospitals. More than just a nuisance and very difficult to get rid of, some new studies indicate that bed bugs can actually carry germs and diseases, making them a potential threat to humans.

The Center for Disease Control Investigates

There has been a lot of speculation as to the health hazards of bed bugs. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has investigated the potential for bed bug disease transmission by studying hospitalized patients of low income areas in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. Patients and residents of a low income area were admitted to a nearby hospital and found to be infested with bed bugs. When testing the bed bugs for diseases, several bugs carried bacteria consistent with VRE (vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium) and MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). These are drug-resistant, difficult to treat and potentially life threatening infections.

Bed Bug Hazards

Since bed bugs feed on human blood and must pierce the skin to feed, it’s logical to wonder if the bed bugs can pass diseases along through this intrusive feeding process. Specifically, there have been multiple investigations and continued research on the possibility of bed bugs transmitting blood-borne pathogens for diseases like HIV and hepatitis. No conclusive evidence has shown that the bugs transmit diseases this way.

While the bed bugs have not been proven to actually transmit diseases, they “have the potential to act as vectors for the transmission,” meaning the bugs could carry and passively spread the bacteria and germs that cause potentially lethal diseases like MRSA. It is not clear where the bugs physically carry the bacteria and research is ongoing, though there are theories and precautions to take.

Bed bugs could leave behind bacteria and germs on the skin after they bite and feed. Their bites can cause skin abrasions and microscopic cuts, or the person could scratch and open the bite, giving way to more opportunities for bacteria and germs to be introduced to the body. The concern for this is greatest in low income urban areas, such as where the studied patients live, and where diseases likecommunity-spread MRSA and bed bug infestations are more prevalent.

Defend Your Home and Your Health

Bed Bugs Can Carry Germs and Diseases | Maine Bed Bugs and Pest ControlTo prevent the annoyance and potential health hazard of the bed bug, it’s important to seek professional help immediately after you see a bed bug or signs of an infestation. Although bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of, the more the infestation has a chance to grow, the more difficult the little critters are to eradicate. A professional expert like Maine Bed Bugs and Pest Control can step in and take your home back. By using heat treatments, bed bugs and their eggs are eliminated with no necessary tenting and no residue left behind.

Call the pros today at (207) 650-8654.

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