Bed Bug Characteristics
Bed bugs are tiny, wingless insects that feast on the blood of humans, pets and other warm-blooded animals. Due to their nocturnal nature and penchant for feeding in the dark, they’re commonly found in and around beds in homes, hotel rooms or other locations where people gather for the night.
Bed bugs are drawn to the exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat of humans, and usually feed for two to five minutes then scurry off into a hiding place. Although they cannot jump or fly, bed bugs can move extremely quickly over walls, floors and ceilings. Most bed bug bites are found on the head and neck, but they’re also known to bite bare legs, arms and hands.
Although bed bugs won’t destroy your home or office like termites, they can destroy your business reputation and peace of mind. Bed bugs are not necessarily drawn to dirty places, although they are often associated with filth. You’ll want to get rid of bed bugs as quickly as possible, which is an involved and expensive process that requires help from a bed bug exterminator.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, with a flattened, oval body. Adults are normally brown in color, although their bodies swell up and change to a reddish color after feeding.
Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs, with each egg about the size of a dust speck. Hatchlings are about the size of a poppy seed. Young bed bugs starts off as a lighter, tan color, then grow darker as they age.
Their flat bodies make it easy for them to slip into small spaces through openings no thicker than a credit card. They are often carried into homes and businesses on clothing, books, in luggage and other materials moved from one place to another. If you spot one bed bug in your home, there’s a high probably there are many more you can’t see already living there.
Warning Signs You Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs may be small and hard to spot, yet a number of signs can point to an infestation. These include:
Bed bug bites: Waking up with itchy skin welts, particularly around your head and neck, can be an indication of a bed bug infestation.
Little brown dots: A series of little brown or near-brown dots around the mattress seam, on bedding or in the box spring can be a giveaway; the dots are actually little blood spots.
Bed bug deposits: Bed bugs deposit white eggs, dark fecal matter and sheds of their skin.
Bed bugs themselves: Although bed bugs move quickly and run from the light, you may spot some hiding in the bed frame, bed rails and other furniture around the bed. They may also travel throughout the house, showing up in other rooms or areas.
Treatment of Bed Bugs
Bed bug exterminators can charge anywhere from $300 to $1,200 or more, depending on the scope of the infestation. The strategy to get rid of bed bugs is a two-part process. The first part involves preparing your house before bed bug exterminators can come in and do their thing. The second part involves the bed bug exterminator’s course of treatment.
Cypress Creek Approach
Cypress Creek Pest Control uses a specialized thermo-chemical treatment. Our bed bug exterminator will first identify high-activity areas within the structure, and then chemically treat for bed bugs living in the furniture and walls.
The next step is to systematically introduce heat into the structure, using a 500,000 BTU direct fire heater. The heater stays outside, using ducts to siphon heat into and distribute evenly throughout the home or building.
A temperature of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit is maintained for several hours, allowing the heat to penetrate all items and walls within the structure. Our treatment method is designed for a one-time eradication of bed bugs in all stages of development, with heat treatments proven highly effective and less invasive than other bed bug remediation strategies.
Preparing Your Home
Before our bed bug exterminators can get to work, you need to properly prepare your Houston home or business for bed bug eradication. This involves a series of tasks that include:
- Removing and discarding infested mattresses
- Washing and drying linens, clothes and draperies using the hottest water and drying temperatures possible
- Heat-drying other items as needed
- Packaging all cleaned items in clean plastic bags
- Storing cleaned items in a location removed from the infested rooms
Finding the originating source of the bed bugs in a multi-unit dwelling can be difficult. If all infested units are not addressed, bed bugs can simply move from one neighboring unit to another to re-infest it.
Precautions You Can Take to Ensure You Don’t Bring Bed Bugs into Your Home
Bringing bed bugs into your home doesn’t have to be a given, even if you’ve had contact with an infested hotel room or other location. Precautions include:
- Leaving luggage in the hot trunk of your car after a trip to allow high temperatures to kill unwanted travelers.
- Unpacking your suitcase outside your home.
- Hot washing and/or heat-drying all clothing.
- Disinfecting your suitcase with no-pest strips; place the strips in a garbage bag with your empty suitcase, seal the bag shut, and store for at least two weeks.
Even if the precautionary measures may seem like a hassle, they are a well worth it if you can avoid a full-blown bed bug infestation. And bed bug infestations are not the end of the world with strategic measures to get rid of bed bugs and an experienced bed bug exterminator at your side.
BED BUG REMINDER: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Knowing ant nesting and food characteristics can help trace where in your home or business ants are spending most of their time. Each ant is unique and so is their treatment of them.
- Bed Bugs also deposit white eggs and dark fecal matter along with sheds of their skin.
- There may even be live bed bugs spotted, but they move quickly and are sensitive to light. They will hide in the bed frame, box springs, bed rails, and other furniture around the bed. They may travel through out the house as well, so keep your eyes open.