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Bed Bug Removal
The saying “Good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite,” may be an old one, but bed bugs aren’t merely a nuisance of the past. Bed bugs infestations still happen, and they definitely disrupt your sleep.
Why You Want to Avoid Bed Bugs
Bed bug bites don’t hurt immediately because the bugs secrete anesthesia into the puncture. A day or two after you’ve been bitten you’ll notice red, blotchy bites that are extremely itchy. If you scratch these bites, you may cause an infection. Bed bugs don’t feed every night so it might take awhile before you suspect you have bed bugs.
Clues That You Have Bed Bugs
Because bed bugs are so small and are nocturnal, hiding in crevices during the day, you may not see them. Bed bugs leave several clues that indicate their presence, however. First, they have a distinctive, rotten-sweet smell. The more bed bugs you have, the stronger this smell will be. Second, they leave behind dark spots on your bedding. But bed bugs don’t limit themselves to your bed! As long as they are near a host (you or another human or pet), they will nest anywhere, including handbags and furniture.
How Bed Bugs Enter
As with other pests, prevention is the best way to keep bed bugs at bay. Bed bugs usually hitchhike in on your clothing or belongings after you’ve been exposed to them. Avoid buying used mattresses, upholstered furniture, and clothing if you aren’t sure they came from a bed bug-free environment. When traveling, check crevices and bedding for clues that bed bugs may be sharing the space with you. If you can prevent bed bugs from entering your home in the first place, you’ll be able to avoid nasty infestations.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of because they are so small and so adept at hiding without coming out for weeks at a time to feed. If left untreated, bed bugs will multiply and create an even more serious problem.
To get rid of bed bugs, you’ll need to kill them immediately or ensure they can’t feed for several months. Clothing can be put into dryers on a high heat setting. Items that can’t be put in a high-heat dryer can be sealed in a plastic bag for a few months. (According to the EPA, to be sure bed bugs are dead, you should actually leave items sealed for one year). Placing items in a freezer for four days is also effective.
The best way to eliminate a bed bug infestation is to bring in a professional who knows where to look for bed bugs and who has access to safe pesticides that can kill them. Bed bug treatments can range from spot liquid treatment to whole house heat treatment. Each case is different and is evaluated by a service technician for a proper recommendation.