The Dos and Don’ts of Bed Bugs
Your first line of defense for bed bug treatment is being informed about what they are, how you can get an infestation, and how to fight it if you do.
If you have come into contact with bed bugs,
1. Be aware: What is a little bug bite here and there, right? Wrong. Be alert to any unusual marks or pains on your body and act immediately. Yes, we can usually tell the difference between a mosquito bite and a pimple, but you would be amazed at how often people mistake bed bug bites for other insect bites. Especially in the early stages of an infestation, when bed bug bites on the body are not as frequent and clustered as they will be once the bed bug infestation is full blown.
2. Get informed: Know what you are looking for when you are dealing with bed bugs. Bed bugs are nocturnal little vampires, which means they are hard to detect without knowing where to look for them, like behind headboards, between the mattress and the bedspring, or in cracks between baseboards and the wall.
3. Call a professional bed bug exterminator: At first signs of bed bugs, you should pick up the phone and contact a local pest control expert, particularly one that specializes in bed bug extermination. If you catch bed bugs early, before they have a chance to feed and multiply, which happens alarmingly fast, you have a good chance of avoiding a major infestation that will be both uncomfortable and costly.
1. Destroy the evidence: keep samples of the bed bugs you find – in a safe place, of course, in order to show them to your pest control professional for identification, or as proof of infestation to your landlord or hotel management.
2. Try to escape the infestation: If you discover bed bugs in your home, and try to move to a different bedroom, or decide to temporarily live with a friend or family member, chances are that you will inadvertently spread bed bugs. Usually, by the time you become aware of bed bugs in your home, they have already spread throughout the infested area. Simply packing a suitcase and running won’t help you escape them, especially if you brought the bed bugs home in that very suitcase in the first place.
3. Get rid of infested items: First of all, early detection and proper bed bug heat treatment could save pricy belongings, such as mattresses and couches, from needing to be thrown out. Additionally, if you dispose of your bed bug infested belongings incorrectly, say, by placing your couch on the curb in front of your house, you could be spreading bed bugs not only to nearby neighbors, but to the unsuspecting person who may smell a bargain when they see your free couch.
To avoid contact with bed bugs in the first place, do the following:
- Research what bed bugs look like so you can detect them if you come in contact with them.
- Know the warning signs so you can avoid situations where you may encounter bed bugs (i.e. don’t sit down on public transportation, thoroughly inspect any second-hand or antique furniture, etc.)
- Be aware of how to check for bed bugs in order to do an in-depth inspection of furniture, luggage, and bedding, because nocturnal bed bugs aren’t always visible to the naked eye during the day time.
- While traveling, as a pro-active measure, store luggage off the floor and keep away from furniture in order to minimize the potential of bed bugs getting inside and hitching a ride in your belongings.