How To Check Your Home for Bed Bugs

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How To Check for Bed Bugs in Your Florida Property

Having a bed bug infestation can significantly put a damper on your spirits this festive season. If you plan on hosting family this year, these tiny pests are certainly not the guests you want around. Early detection of bed bugs early can save you money and prevent lots of stress. Even so, detection is only possible if you know where to look. In this post, we’ll show you how to check for bed bugs and give valuable tips on bed bug prevention, control, and treatment.

2021 U.S., Bed Bug Statistics

Here’s a list of crucial bed bug facts.

  • One in every five homes reports a bed bug infestation problem annually
  • Bed bug infestations have been reported in every state
  • There’s a 60% higher chance of suffering bed bug bites on the upper body part
  • It takes an average of 1 3/4 months for people to discover a bed bug infestation
  • Bed bug infestations are more prevalent in flats and single-family homes
  • The ideal temperature for bed bug multiplication falls between 55° F and 75° F.
  • About half of reported bed bug cases occur in the summer season

Identifying Bed Bugs

Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus) have the following characteristics.

Adult bed bugs

  • Anywhere from 3/16 to ¼ inch long
  • Flat, oval-shaped, and brown (if it hasn’t had its meal)
  • Reddish-brown with a bulging abdomen (if it has taken its blood meal)
  • Have a musty odor

Nymphs

  • Translucent and smaller
  • Undergo five phases of molting before becoming adult bed bugs
  • Require about three weeks to reach maturity

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Female bed bugs lay about one to five eggs daily and roughly 540 bug eggs during their life. Bed bug eggs are typically tiny, about 1mm, and pearl-white. These insects lay their eggs on hard surfaces. As mentioned earlier, bed bugs undergo five life stages. Each molt phase requires a blood meal. Once in the adult stage, a bed bug can survive several months without feeding.

As for feeding, bed bugs prefer human blood but can feed on other hosts, such as your furry friends. These insects are nocturnal. However, they won’t shy away from a daytime blood meal if the area is heavily infested. Also, bed bugs need about ten minutes to feed on their host. They will then insert their feeding tubes- one for numbing the target area with their saliva. The other feeding tube does the blood-sucking. Once they’ve fed, they’ll retreat to their hiding spots for about ten days, where they’ll mate and begin laying their eggs.

How To Check for Bed Bugs

If you believe you may have an infestation, the only way to be sure is to check for bed bugs in their common hiding areas. You’ll need a flashlight, blow dryer, and a magnifying glass. It’s also best to collect a sample that you can take to your pest control provider to be entirely sure.

Inspect for bed bugs:

  • Check pillow tops and seams
  • Inspect box springs
  • Check the headboard and bed frame
  • Inspect floorboards, furniture cracks, and window sills
  • Target the blow dryer towards door frames and other crevices
  • Remove sofa cushions and check chair crevices
  • Check both sides of paintings and picture frames
  • Inspect the wallpaper for any peeling and signs of bug activity
  • Check all electrical outlets

Common Signs of Bed Bugs

Odor

An unusual musty odor in your room is a warning sign of bed bugs. These insects produce pheromones when they feel threatened. It is these pheromones that emit the sweet-smelling odor, which some compare to raspberries or almonds. Not everyone catches this odor—unless this isn’t your first infestation.

Bed bug bites

Tiny itchy red bumps are a common sign of bed bug bites. Often you’ll notice these bites on exposed areas like the neck and arms. They may appear in clusters or even as single bites. Fortunately, bed bugs do not transmit diseases.

Bloodstains

Have you spotted blood stains on pillowcases and bedsheets? Bed bugs typically feed at night. Since individuals tend to shift their body while asleep, they’re likely to crush a few of them, which causes blood to leak hence the bloodstains.

Fecal stains, eggs, and molted skin

Brownish-black fecal stains on beddings, curtains, and pajamas are a sign that your house may be infested. These marks result from droppings of digested blood. You might also find bed bugs eggs. Although, these can be difficult to detect since they are 1mm long. Remember when we mentioned that bed bugs go through five life stages. Well, these hitchhikers tend to leave shell casings after each molt. Look out for yellowish-brown exoskeletons.

Live bed bugs

This sign is the most clear-cut indicator that your house has a bed bug infestation. Again, you must know what to look for- most people mix them up with spider and carpet beetles.

How To Prevent Bed Bug Infestations

Bed Bugs can enter your home in several ways. For instance, they may hitchhike in luggage or second-hand furniture.

Here are a few ways to prevent bed bugs from overrunning your home.

  • Avoid bringing in second-hand clothing or furniture before cleaning them
  • Inspect your belongings after a holiday trip before taking them inside
  • Seal any existing gaps beneath door frames, wallpapers, baseboards, and windows
  • Declutter and vacuum, plus clean regularly

Bed Bug Control

Here are several bed bug control steps to take before getting bed bug treatment services.

  • Identify the infested rooms
  • Strip your bedding and put it in the washer under the highest temperature setting
  • Vacuum all furniture, carpets, mattresses, and other infested areas
  • Encase your mattress in a pest-proof encasement

Get Professional Bed Bug Treatment in Tampa, Florida

Once you’ve detected a bed bug infestation in your home, getting rid of them will require professional help. These bloodsuckers are tenacious, and unless you are an exterminator, you won’t know how to treat your home safely. Likewise, you might not know all the spots where bed bugs hide, thereby worsening the infestation. McDonald Pest control offers effective and affordable bed bug heat treatment. Don’t let the bed bugs ruin your holiday plans.

Contact us today to book a free home inspection.