Just thinking about them gives you the creeps, but if you’ve got a bedbug problem, that’s pretty much all you can think about. These nasty little insects hide in your bed during the day and feed off you at night while you’re fast asleep and defenseless. You may think those itchy red bumps are spider or mosquito bites, but they just might be bedbugs.
Where Bedbugs Hide
These sneaky little pests can hitch a ride into your home in luggage, clothing, used furniture, and more. About the size of an apple seed, their flat bodies allow them to stow away in small places. They live and hide in groups, favoring places with easy access to their human food sources, such as your mattress, box springs, even your bed frame, and headboards.
Over a period of time, they may move to other areas of the bedroom and could literally be anywhere. They are small enough to travel through electrical outlets, so they can travel to adjoining rooms easily. If you live in an apartment building, you have even more opportunities to have your home invaded by these critters.
What to Look for
If you’re not convinced your itchy red bumps are from bedbugs, a few other things to look for include:
- Small bloodstains on your bed linen
- Dark rusty spots (fecal matter) on bed linen, mattresses, and walls
- Fecal spots, shed skin and/or egg shells in their likely hiding places
- A musty smell that comes from the bugs’ scent glands
Start by removing all bed linens and look for signs of infestation. Peel back the dust cover beneath the box springs and check the wood seams. Look around the bed area too, including your nightstand and items on it such as alarm clocks, books, and phones.
How to Get Rid of Them
Getting rid of the little creeps is not an easy task. You can buy a new mattress, but you’ll have the same problem soon enough if you don’t find and kill all the bugs first. Use a scrub brush to scour mattress seams and vacuum top, bottom and sides well.
Seal your mattress and box springs inside plastic mattress bags to trap bugs inside, where they will eventually die. They can live several months without feeding, so don’t take the bags off too soon. Use hot water to wash all of your bedding, curtains, and clothing, then dry everything using the highest heat setting. Thoroughly clean furniture and vacuum seams, along with baseboards and the cracks in wood flooring.
Contact an Exterminator
You can save yourself some headaches and a lot of elbow grease by engaging a professional exterminator at the start. Along with bedbugs, an exterminator can help keep pest away from your home such as mice, earwigs, scorpions and more.
Even a thorough cleaning can’t guarantee your bedbug problem is under control. Females lay hundreds of eggs in their lifetimes, usually only 12-18 months. The only way to ensure bedbugs are gone is to combine spraying solutions and preventive measures. Today’s extermination services give you a green option too, with nature-based and organic products, along with mechanical and pesticide-free solutions.