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What do bed bugs look like?
The bed bug is oval in shape, wingless, and rusty red or mahogany in color with a flattened body. It is about 1/5 inch long, or, the size of an apple seed.
Can a bed bug be seen with the naked eye?
Yes, if there is a bed bug on you or crawling around on your sheets, you will likely see it. The problem is that bed bugs do not often just crawl around in the open. They stay well hidden in tight spaces during the day, and come out only at night for feeding time.
Do bed bugs really drink human blood?
Yes. A bed bug can take six times its weight in human blood during a nighttime feeding, and feeding can take 3 to 10 minutes.
How long can bed bugs survive without a blood meal?
It's not as easy as you would think to starve these little guys out by, say, just leaving your home for a couple of weeks. Bed bugs can survive without food (human blood) for 80 to 140 days; older stages can survive up to a year or longer without feeding than younger ones.
How will I know if I have bed bugs?
You may suspect bed bugs if you wake up with bites or welts on your body (small, red rashes) that grown itchy and painful, and especially if this happens repeatedly. Other signs of infestation can be detected with a magnifying glass and flashlight. What to look for: 1) tiny black spots (excrement) on linens or other objects
2) small red stains from crushed bed bugs
3) translucent light brown skin casings
4) live bed bugs that rusty-red in color, about the size of an apple seed.
I know I have bed bugs, but I can't seem to actually FIND any. Where do these suckers hide out when they aren't eating me?
You have to look very carefully to locate where the bed bugs are hiding. It will be someplace close to their food source, but where they are not disturbed during the day. Some common bed bug harborages include:
- Inside mattress folds, creases, zippers, and tags
- Anything attached to the wall or ceiling: mirrors, picture frames, electrical conduits, smoke detectors, etc.
- Areas where hardware for window finishings mount to the wall
- Within the folds of drapes and curtains.
- Furniture such as sofas and chairs: Check the undersides, wooden framework, and within upholstered seams.
- Inside the cracks and crevices of drawers and nightstands. On recessed nail and screw heads.
What is the difference between a bed bug and flea bite?
A bed bug bite starts out painless and later becomes an itchy, red welt. These welts may occasionally bleed. The main difference between bed bug and flea bites is that a flea bite has a red dot in the center of it, while the bed bug bite does not have any red dot.
Will I get sick from bed bugs?
While bed bug bites are uncomfortable, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease and are not considered harmful.
I have tried to control the bed bugs myself, but don't seem to be getting anywhere. When should I call a professional?
If you feel at all uncomfortable performing your own bed bug inspection and treatment, or the infestation seems to be out of your control, it is best to call in a pest control professional.
I keep my home very clean. Where did these bed bugs come from?
Unfortunately, a clean home is just as susceptible to bed bugs as a filthy one. All that is needed for an infestation to occur is for an infested item to be introduced into an un-infested environment. Bed bugs are most likely to be introduced upon returning from travel or when overnight guests are entertained. They can also hitch a ride into your home on items purchased second-hand, or furniture and bedding that is delivered to your home. Immediately after any of these events have taken place would be the ideal time to inspect for live bed bugs and other signs of infestation.
How can I get rid of bed bugs without exposing my family to so many chemicals? There is much you can do in the way of non-chemical control to prevent and control bed bugs. Some methods include the use of specially designed mattress encasements, vacuums, steamers, hot washer and dryer settings, the disposal of infested items, and the use of a non-chemical disinfectant like Sterifab.
What is all this about special bed bug mattress covers? Can't I just buy a regular mattress cover? For bed bug prevention and control, an ordinary mattress cover will not suffice. The reason for this is that bed bugs are able to escape or feed through the fibers of an ordinary cover. Bed Bugs are also able to find their way through the loose teeth of the side zipper unless it is specially designed. Using an ineffective encasement that was not designed for bed bug control will actually prove more detrimental than not using an encasement at all. We carry the full line of Protecta Bed Bug Mattress and Box Spring Covers that are bug entry, escape and bite proof.
Once I start a control program, how long will it take to achieve complete control?
You will see a significant improvement after the initial bed bug treatment. However, complete bed bug elimination takes patience, persistence, and time. Following an initial treatment and program implementation, you should continue to actively inspect the infested area for signs of bed bug infestation on a regular schedule (every 2 or 3 weeks) to monitor populations. Treatment will then need to be repeated on a bi-monthly to monthly bases until all signs of infestation disappear completely.
For more information & products, including Bed Bug Kits, see our Bed Bug Control Products page.
Signs of Bed Bug Infestation
How To Prevent Bed Bugs
How To Get Ridof Bed Bugs (in 5 steps)
Bed Bug Mattress Covers
How To Avoid Hotel Bed Bugs
Pesticide-Free Bed Bug Control