Bed Bug Problems FAQs
Bed bugs are a problem that affects everyone, whether you live in an apartment or own your own home. With all the media attention on this topic, there is a lot of misinformation about bed bugs floating around out there.
If you are looking for answers to some of your most common questions about bed bug issues and what to do about them, you have come to the right place.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are small insects that feed on blood. They are nocturnal, so they hide during the day and emerge at night to feed. Bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped, and brown. The adult female can lay up to five eggs per day; each egg is about 1/2 inch long and translucent white with a dark spot at one end (the “belly button”). The life cycle of bed bugs lasts about six months from egg hatch until adulthood.
How do bed bugs get into my home?
Bed bugs can enter your home in a variety of ways. They are hitchhikers and can get into your house on:
- Used furniture (e.g., used couches and chairs)
- Used clothing (e.g., old dresser drawers)
- Used luggage (e.g., secondhand suitcases that have been out of the closet for months)
Why are they called bed bugs?
Bed bugs are called “bed bugs” because they like to live in beds. They are also called “cimex lectularius,” meaning they have a head like a cockroach but no wings.
Bed bugs are not the same as ticks or fleas; they’re small, flat insects with reddish-brown coloring and feed on your blood instead of eating skin flakes off of you (like fleas do).
Are there different types of bed bugs?
Bed bugs have three main types: the common bed bug, the tropical bed bug, and the bat bug. The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) exists worldwide.
Will I know if I have a bed bug problem?
Bed bugs are tiny and can be hard to see. They can hide in crevices and cracks, so you may only see them once they feed on your skin. If you do notice that you have bed bugs or their eggs, there are some indicators that this may be the case:
- You’ve seen bites on your skin
- You might have blood stains on sheets or mattress covers (the bites themselves often look like small red dots)
Where will I find bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed off blood. They live in cracks and crevices of furniture and mattresses, as well as the seams of box springs or any other fabric exposed to an infestation.
Warmth attracts bed bugs (such as from an active body) and human carbon dioxide. The best way to prevent bed bug bites is to avoid bringing them into your home at all costs!
Do bed bugs spread disease?
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. They do bite, but their bites do not cause illness in humans.
The most commonly reported symptom of bed bug bites is itching, followed by reddish marks that appear within 24 hours after the bite. These marks can last several days or weeks and may be itchy at first but fade over time as your skin heals itself from the bite.
Bed bug bites may also cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, and other symptoms similar to those caused by other insect stings or bites, such as wasps or bees. But these tend to go away within a few days without treatment.
Can I get rid of them myself?
You cannot get rid of bed bugs yourself. Bed bugs are hard to see and challenging to treat, especially if you’re not experienced. The best thing you can do is ensure your home is free from insects before bringing in any pest control company or professional exterminator. This includes:
- Using a mattress cover (not just an encasement) on all beds in your home.
- Vacuuming up any visible droppings.
- Cleaning all surfaces where blood spots might be found.
- Checking around other furniture like chairs and couches.
Does freezing clothes kill bed bugs?
Although freezing your clothes is one of the most effective ways to kill bed bugs, freezing a single piece of clothing is not enough. Clothes should be frozen for at least 48 hours before being stored or disposed of. If you worry about the cost and space requirements of keeping your frozen clothes around for that long, consider using plastic bags instead.
How do I kill bed bugs?
- Heat treatment. This process uses heat, often around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, to kill bed bugs on contact. This is the most effective method of killing bed bugs and can be done by the experts of bed bug heat treatment in Sacramento, CA.
- Bed bug spray. Bed bug sprays are designed to kill the adult stage of the insect that lives in your home but do not damage eggs or larvae (the immature form). Most products contain chemicals that make them poisonous to humans. However, if you have pets who may come into contact with these sprays, you must keep them away.
Do I need to throw out my furniture if I have an infestation?
No, but you should treat it. If you have a problem with bed bugs, throw out the mattress and box spring. However, suppose you are still determining what treatment will work best for your situation. In that case, contact an exterminator who can help determine your home’s best course of action.
What shouldn’t I do in the process of treating a bed bug problem?
Don’t use pesticides. Pesticides are ineffective and can harm children, pets, and the environment.
No one wants to be surrounded by bed bugs.
Bed bugs are tricky little buggers, but some basic knowledge of how to deal with them can help lead you in the right direction towards making your home bed bug free.
Remember that only some infestations will follow the same protocol you are used to seeing in your favorite crime drama. However, with some preparation and appropriate bed bug treatment, you can soon be free from these pests!