Household pests are so named for a good reason. These creatures are difficult to get rid of, and they cause a host of problems. These pests can also come in many varieties. Some will leave you alone and may only be an annoyance or steal your food. Others, however, like bed bugs, pose a threat to your health. Bites from bed bugs can be painful and lead to infections. If you leave these pests alone, they will thrive and continue to feed. It is vital to eliminate these creatures from your home and keep your place free and clear of their presence. You can try some do-it-yourself methods or get a professional on the case.
A Description of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are tiny insects—about the size of an apple seed—that bite exposed skin and feed on blood. They will bite both humans and animals. These insects are reddish-brown in color and are most active at night when you are asleep. The bugs are so small and adept at hiding and fleeing at the threat of danger, that they are difficult to spot. They conceal themselves in cracks in the mattress, box spring, and headboard. They can also live in tiny openings in the wall. Females lay hundreds of eggs, often on the mattress.
Signs That You May Have Bed Bugs
Although you probably won’t feel a bed bug biting you, there are clues after the fact that you have an infestation. The bite will eventually begin to itch, so if you wake up in the morning with these sensations, there is a chance the insects have become your bed partners. You may also discover red welts on your body. Commonly, the bites will be on your hands, face, neck, and arms. In addition to welts, some people may have hives or blisters from bed bug bites.
Clean the Mattress
Once you suspect that you have bed bugs, quick action is necessary. Begin by cleaning your mattress thoroughly. Take a stiff brush and scrub the mattress vigorously. This can kill any bugs and eggs hiding on the mattress. It also brings the bugs and their eggs up to the surface so you can see them and get rid of them.
Vacuum the Mattress
Once you have brushed and scrubbed the mattress, grab a vacuum and go to work. Vacuum the mattress thoroughly to take care of any remaining bed bugs. Once you have done this, do not let the vacuum sit for days. Instead, dump out the contents or remove the bag, place it in another bag, and throw it away immediately.
Wash and Dry Bedding and Linens
Bed bugs can easily hide in your sheets and blankets, so cleaning the mattress isn’t enough to do away with these pests. Strip the bed and wash anything that you had on your bed. Do so on a cycle with hot water. Once you have done this, throw the contents in the dryer, on a high setting, and dry them for at least 30 minutes. This should kill any remaining bugs and their eggs.
Tidy up Your Room
Bed bugs love to bite you at night. During the day when you’re awake, though, they’re afraid of you and will hide. Along with hiding in your bed, the insects may take refuge in nearby clutter around the bed. Keeping your room clean can discourage their presence. Keep laundry away from the bed, fold it, and secure it in drawers. Declutter your room, especially within a few feet of the bed.
Watch the Walls
Once you have tended to your mattress and bedding, the bugs may still be around. Some may have escaped to the walls of your bedroom to hide until you’re asleep again. If you have cracks and other small openings in the walls, repair them right away. Seal these cracks, so you can eliminate the last hiding places these unwanted guests can find.
When It’s Time to Call the Pros
If you try these steps and still have clues that bed bugs are in your bed, you should call a qualified professional pest control team in Los Angeles. Exterminators have the skills, experience, and tools to keep these creatures away. The technicians will first look for evidence that you have an infestation. After confirming that bed bugs are indeed a problem, the team will develop an elimination plan. Many exterminators take a multi-step approach that includes killing the bugs at every stage of life. The team will also follow up with you after the process to ensure that the issue has not turned up again.
Having bed bugs can be a painful, concerning problem. The good news is that help is available, both from steps you can take on your own as well as from professionals, but it’s critical that you do not wait to address a bed bug infestation.