There is something not quite right about an insect that hides in your home and feeds on your blood while you sleep. While experts don't consider bed bugs to be a medical threat, many Beaumont residents do fear them. We don't know where you stand, but it is likely that you don't want them in your home whether you fear them or not. Right? We're with you. Join us as we discuss how to identify a bed bug infestation, explain bed bug behavior, and teach how pest control in Beaumont works to stop bed bugs.
How To Identify A Bed Bug Infestation
One of the most common questions we get is: "How do I know if I have bed bugs?" The reason for this question is that many bugs bite people. How can you know that bed bugs are biting you? You can begin by analyzing the bites. There are a few characteristics associated with bed bug bites.
- A bed bug typically bites three times.
- Bed bug bites are close to each other.
- A bed bug will draw blood for under ten minutes, move forward a short distance, and bite again.
- One bed bug will leave three bites in a line or zig-zag pattern.
- Bed bugs feed as a group. You're likely to find the bites in one area rather than all over your body.
- Bite wounds will look like a pathway because bed bugs feed as a group and crawl across the skin.
- Bed bug bites are often associated with a prominent rash.
When determining what insect is biting you, it helps to know a few characteristics of other insect bites. Here are a few examples:
- Mosquito bites look random on the skin because each mosquito bites once. The wounds will also be mostly on exposed skin.
- Fleabites tend to be near the ankles and feet because these insects often bite people while they're standing. The wounds will be intensely inflamed but not have a widespread rash.
- Tick bites can cause a rash, but the bites will not be numerous.
- Spider bites can have an ulcer at the center, and fire ant stings can have a blister. Bed bug bites never have ulcers or blisters.
Another way to identify a bed bug infestation is to identify bed bugs. What do bed bugs look like? The appearance of a bed bug varies according to its age and whether or not it has had a blood meal.
- All bed bugs have six legs and three body parts.
- Bed bugs range in size from 1 to 4.5 millimeters in length.
- Newly hatched nymphs are milky colored.
- Nymphs become tan and eventually a rusty brown color.
- Bed bugs have an apple seed shape and adults are just about the same size as an apple seed.
- In all stages of development, you'll be able to see through the abdomen of a bed bug, but the skin of a bed bug becomes less transparent as it grows.
- A newly hatched nymph will look like a white insect with a bright red abdomen if it has had a recent blood meal.
- All bed bugs look red after a blood meal and black after digesting the blood.
- Adult bed bugs can look like black insects in the right lighting conditions.
The third and final way to detect a bed bug infestation is to search for warning signs. You're looking for black feces, white eggs, shed skins, and bed bugs. You might find them all in one place. If so, make sure you have a vacuum at hand. Here are a few locations to search.
- Mattress and box spring seams
- Under mattress and box spring labels
- Box spring voids
- Cracks and recesses of bed frames, nightstands, and other furniture
- Baseboards, carpet edges, and wall outlet covers.
- Under couch and chair cushions and in compressed spaces of upholstered furniture
- Book bags, pocketbooks, duffel bags, luggage, sleeping bags, etc.
Now that you know a little bit about how to identify bed bugs and the warning signs they leave behind, let's discuss why bed bugs like to bite you while you're sleeping.
Why Bed Bugs Like To Bite Sleeping People
There are a few reasons bed bugs prefer to bite you while you're sleeping. We share these quick facts to help you understand why bed bugs want to be inside your home and why you'll have no success in driving them out.
- When you sleep, you breathe deeply and exhale lots of carbon dioxide. Elevated carbon dioxide levels trigger bed bug feeding behavior.
- A bed bug wants to attach to your skin for several minutes, and it wants to do this more than once. It has an easier time doing this when you're not moving around.
- Bed bugs are typically nocturnal, though they can become diurnal if feeding conditions require it.
- Bed bugs have an aversion to light. But, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be nighttime for it to be dark enough for bed bugs to come out and feed.
Bed bugs like to bite sleeping people, but really, they like biting people even if they're awake. What they don't prefer to bite are animals. Bed bugs can't move through hair or fur the way ticks and fleas do. Why is this important? Because some Beaumont residents attempt to use spray deterrents, thinking they will drive bed bugs out of their homes. Are there smells that bed bugs hate? Sure. But you won't succeed with repellents or deterrents because bed bugs don't want to live outside where the animals are. They want to live near beds, couches, and chairs and get blood from people.
How Bed Bugs Find Their Way Into Our Homes
Okay. Here's a quick question: "Do bed bugs come from outside?" No. There is no suitable feeding site in your yard. So how do you get bed bugs? People carry them from one location to another. If you hope to keep bed bugs out of your home, you need to know where you pick up bed bugs.
- Hotels and motels
- Five-star resorts
- The home of a friend or relative—even if they're clean
- Assisted living centers and nursing homes
- Your child's friend's house
- Used furniture
- Taxi cabs, trains, buses, planes, and other public transportation
- Movie theaters
- And more
Can you pick bed bugs up in dirty hotels and motels? Yup. But, as you can see, you can pick them up in many locations, many of which are clean and well maintained. Keep a watchful eye when you are away from home. It is best to see bed bugs before they hitch a ride home with you.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Home For Good
When they get into your home, are bed bugs hard to get rid of? They might not be if you catch them early. For example, you might open a duffel bag after returning from a trip and see a bed bug nymph crawl out of sight within your clothing. Follow these steps to address the problem quickly.
- Bring the bag outside.
- Take your clothing out and put it through a hot wash and a dryer cycle.
- Inspect the duffel bag with a flashlight and a probing tool.
- Use a vacuum to suck up any bugs or eggs you find.
- Put the duffel bag through a 30-minute dryer cycle as an added measure.
Voila! Like magic, your bed bug problem may disappear. If more is needed, here are some suggestions.
- You can eliminate bed bugs with cold. Use a sealed plastic bag and a freezer to rid certain items of bed bugs.
- You can use soap or rubbing alcohol to eliminate bed bugs if it is possible to douse them.
- Wash bedding and vacuum in sleeping areas for the duration of your infestation.
- Inspect sleeping areas, couches, chairs, and other places where bed bugs hide.
Bed bugs are often hard to control. A licensed pest management professional uses field-tested strategies to exterminate these pests. If you're in Beaumont, Texas, reach out to Pestco Professional Pest for a professional bed bug treatment. Our friendly, highly trained pest control technicians get results. They have experience in handling bed bug infestations of all sizes and can guide you toward the best solution.
If you don't want to wait till you're dealing with an infestation, at Pestco Professional Pest, we provide bed bug inspections to catch bed bugs early and we can address infestations before these pests start keeping you up at night and leaving numerous wounds on your skin. It is easy to get started. Jump to our contact page and drop us a line.
We look forward to helping you find the right solution for bed bugs and all your other pest concerns. Life is so much better without pests. Start living the pest-free life, starting today!