- Egg, 5 molting stages as nymphs, adult.
- Bed Bugs grow through each molting stage by getting a blood meal, shedding their exoskeleton, and growing larger.
- Most Bed Bugs live 4-6 months.
- During that short 4-6 month period, Bed Bugs can father over 5 generations, which each generation being over 100 bugs each.
Why, in the hell, do I have Bed Bugs?
- Bed Bugs are hitchhikers. You picked them up elsewhere. They are not indicative of a cleanliness, or money/social status issue. In a renting situation, it is also possible that they crawled in from another unit. You can pick them up at work, school, a friend’s house, a car/cab, a bus, etc.
What are some telltale signs of a Bed Bug problem?
- Live Bed Bugs
- Cast skins (Bed Bugs shed their skin like some snakes)
- Bites on skin
- Fecal matter (little blood spots)
How do I prepare the space that needs to be treated?
- Inspect the creases of mattresses, box springs, and the cracks of your bed frame. Inspect under lamps, behind picture frames, curtains, inside dresser and nightstand drawers, where carpet meets the wall, baseboards, and behind light shields. Inspect furniture underneath, and in crevices.
- In the infested rooms, bag up everything that you don’t need/love and throw it away. Tie the garbage bags extremely tight to make sure no bed bugs sneak out during transport.
- Gather all clothing and linens, dry them on high heat (over 120 degrees), and put them in plastic storage bins. Do not bring clothing and linens back into the infested room until after a successful treatment program.
Treat the infected areas:
- Where carpets meet walls
- Around window and door frames
- Bed and furniture legs, wheels, casters
- Under upholstered furniture/upholstered furniture creases
- Mattress/box spring creases, headboards, under stapled dust covers, bed frame screw holes, etc. All cracks and crevices.
- Behind light shields (if necessary)
Miscellaneous Bed Bug tips/information:
- Once a mattress and box spring are thoroughly treated it is recommended to put a cover on as soon as the insecticide dries.
- Treated furniture, beds, pillows, dressers, etc., are usually safe to begin using again as soon as most insecticides dry. BUT YOU MUST READ THE LABELS. Your pest control operator will give you the labels, sometimes by law.
- Bed Bug infestations may need multiple treatments every 7-10 days until there are no more live Bed Bugs seen. Bed Bugs are not a 1 shot deal.
- Excess clothing, linens, papers, books, etc. need to be cleaned out of infested rooms, and thrown away.
- Clean up clutter and reduce potential hiding places.
- All cracks and crevices within an infested room must be treated multiple times.
- Try not to panic! It’s a process, but Bed Bugs can be conquered!
- Use online pictures to help you identify your pest issue. It might not be Bed Bugs. It could be fleas, ticks, or another insect.
- Always follow labels on insecticide containers, learn about integrated pest management, and strongly consider hiring a professional.
- Regularly launder all clothes, curtains, and other cloth materials and dry on high heat (no more air drying).
- Be wary of used furniture, or mattresses. Bed Bugs are hitchhikers.
- Bed Bugs often hitchhike their way into your home, or apartment. Don’t waste anytime blaming yourself. They attach to clothing, backpacks, luggage, and they even crawl in through wall voids from other apartments. You can get them at work, school, the movie theater, the bus, or in a cab. Once you realize you have a problem, the only reasonable thing to do is to treat it.
- If at all possible, figure out where the Bed Bugs entered your home from, and then stop going there until it has been treated successfully. It isn’t always possible to know where they came from.
- Bed Bugs feed on the blood of sleeping humans.
- Bedbugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. Bed bugs are not associated with filth, or social status.
- Bed Bugs will not go away untreated. Untreated infestations will spread, and grow.
- Any place that humans sit, rest, or sleep could be a place to find a Bed Bug.
- Bed Bug bites can be itchy but the mental effect of having an infestation could potentially be worse than the physical. Stress, and anxiety can skyrocket while dealing with an infestation. It is always advised to call in the professionals.
- Inspect all foreign rooms you are staying in or storing belongings in on a trip (i.e. hotel rooms, friend’s spare rooms, bed and breakfast scenarios, an Airbnb, etc.).
- Inspect, inspect, inspect AFTER traveling.
- Educate yourself.
Bed Bugs are one of the top pests, if not the top pest, for inducing anxiety in the homeowner, or renter. People bug out (pun intended!). No, you do not need to sell your house or burn it down. But you do have to make moves quickly if you have a Bed Bug problem. If you let them go unchecked, they will spread. First, educate yourself. Second, get to de-cluttering (bag garbage properly as to not spread the problem). And third, call your pest control provider and start the eradication process with the quickness. Bed Bugs are not a death sentence, but they can be a challenge. Make sure you are doing things to help your cause, and not to harm it. Your pest control provider should be good at easing your stress, both with helpful information, and with a quick turn-around time on your first treatment. Good luck!