Bed bugs are a rusty red color and are approximately one fifth of an inch in size. This makes them roughly the size of a lady bug, so they can be a little difficult to spot.
They will happily reside in the creases or folds of linen and mattresses but you can also find them in any holes or cracks within the floors or walls of any room. They are notorious for breeding quickly and they will travel quite a long distance to locate food, sometimes up to one hundred feet.
The first sign of an infestation of bed bugs is itchy, red and swollen patches of skin on the body. These can vary from mildly irritating to very painful. Some people can experience a severe reaction to a bed bug bite and need medical attention. Likewise, if the bites become infected then some medical treatment will be needed.
The first step of treatment is establishing that the problem is an infestation of bed bugs. This can be accomplished by
» Checking your bedding for spots of blood or any dead bed bugs which may have been crushed by your movements in bed.
» Check the folds and on any seams of the mattress or box spring for evidence of live bed bugs, eggs or fecal marks.
» Check any potential sites in the surrounding area such as cracks in the floor or walls. A bed bug infestation will present with fecal marks around the area and a large inhabitation will create a pungent and sweet odor.
There are many ways to treat an infestation, but there are a number of things that you can do to treat the problem yourself:
» Seal all bed linens and any soft furnishings in plastic bags. Don’t be tempted to carry them into another room to complete this task, as you may contaminate other rooms of the house. If possible these items should be laundered at as high a temperature as possible.
» High heats. Bed bugs can be killed by high heats, so if items are not suitable for laundering, either put them in a high heat program of a tumble dryer, or out in warm sunshine while still sealed in a plastic bag. This technique will even work in colder weather since the bugs will not survive in extreme levels of cold.
» Clear any clutter from the room. Newspapers and magazines make an ideal hiding place for bed bugs, so seal them in a plastic bag and dispose them. Check any nooks for infestation, including electrical sockets, clocks, picture frames or smoke alarms
» Check holes or cracks. Scrape any holes or cracks and once the area has been treated with insecticide, fill them in properly.
» Vacuum surfaces such as mattresses, furniture, box springs. This will remove any adult bed bugs but can also get rid of eggs or larvae. Once you have finished vacuuming, place the dust bag into a sealed plastic bag and immediately dispose of it.
» Chemical treatment. Once the infected room has been cleaned, you can use a chemical treatment or insecticide. There are a number of products available, but you should ensure that you thoroughly read the manufacturer instructions and carefully follow them.
If you suspect that you may have an infestation but are unsure about chemical treatment for bed bugs, then you should contact us. We have a wealth of experience dealing with infestations of bed bugs or any other pests and we can help with the problem immediately.
Chemical treatments can be extremely toxic and should be handled carefully. Special care should be taken when using chemicals around children or pets to avoid sickness or injury.
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