Did you know that while you are sleeping, you could be sharing the bed with 100’s of uninvited guests that have been hiding in the cracks and crevices of your mattress or headboard? Like a scene from a horror movie, these nocturnal blood suckers come out of the shadows to find a blood meal. Unfortunately, this often means you or your children are on the menu.Most people think bed bugs will only be found in their beds; however, they can often be found in the most unlikely areas, including clothes drawers, electrical switch plates, behind upholstery and furniture crevices. To make matters worse, 76% of Pest Professionals consider bed bugs the most difficult pest to control.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a free meal for these blood suckers anymore.
Until recently, bed bug infestations in the United States were seemingly non-existent. Bed bugs have gained a lot of traction in recent years as population numbers continue to explode. Even if you haven’t been affected by bed bugs in your own home or business, it’s likely that you know someone who has.
Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere these days. However, the top three places you are likely to see these blood-sucking pests are apartments, single-family homes and hotels. In various studies, these three environments have provided consistent growth due to their close living quarters and access to a warm meal.
During the summer, travel and vacation habits make bed bug problems more severe. Although they are not affected by seasonal changes, bed bugs are more likely to hitch a ride during these months and invade new homes. Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent bed bug infestations from potentially affecting your home or business.
Bed Bug Identification
Because bed bugs are nocturnal and very small, identification of this pest can be hard for the untrained eye. These pests are generally characterized by their small, flat and oval-shaped bodies with six legs and two antennae. The color of this pest can vary depending on life cycle stage and feeding times.
Adult bed bugs generally take on a reddish-brown hue that darkens after feeding. In most cases, the typical adult bed bug will range from 6mm in size to 10mm depending on how recently they have fed. Some will also take on a striped appearance due to golden hairs attached to their body.
Bed bug nymphs will usually measure between 1mm and 4mm in length. While at this stage they will retain a whitish color until feeding, helping them blend into the mattress or carpeting. A blood meal is required for a nymph to successfully molt.
Bed Bug Prevention
No location is safe from a potential infestation of bed bugs anymore and even the most expensive hotel chain could be housing these secretive pests. For this reason, it is important to practice bed bug prevention at all times. When traveling, performing the following steps will help limit the chance of a bed bug infestation in your home:
- 1. Check for bed bugs before unpackingBefore unpacking your belongings, it is important to check for any bed bugs that may be lurking in the room. The luggage rack may seem like a safe place to leave your luggage during the process, but these pests could be hiding on the fabric. For the safest experience, keep your luggage in the car or bathtub until a thorough check has been completed.
- 2. Check bed headboardsThe range of a bed bug will often never exceed 20 feet from their potential host. Most of the time, these parasitic insects can be found around the headboard of the bed. Examine around the headboard to determine if live bed bugs are present with the assistance of a flash light or cell phone.
- 3. Examine mattress pipingThe piping around a mattress is another place that bed bugs can often be found hiding. It is important to remove the sheets before examining the mattress piping for the best view. If any live bed bugs, blood stains, excrement or skin casings are found, ask for a new room.
- 4. Check furnitureBecause they are nocturnal insects, bed bugs will likely be hiding in areas that provide cover from light. This includes any furniture that may be present in the room. Any furniture within 20 feet of the bed is a potential hiding spot.
If you find bed bugs, or evidence of them, in any of these locations, notify the front desk immediately and ask for a new room. It is important to ensure the room you are moved to is not next to, above or below the room determined to be infested. When arriving at your new room, inspect the room once again for potential signs of infestation.
Pied Piper Services for Bed Bug Control and Elimination
Each bed bug infestation is different and requires the knowledge and skills of a pest control professional. Various treatment options exist to ensure your bed bug problems are accurately addressed.
For many individuals dealing with bed bug infestation, their first reaction is to throw away their bed, including the mattress and box spring. To avoid this potentially expensive scenario, Pied Piper provides mattress and box spring encasements on all bed bug treatments we provide. This solution preserves your existing bed to help limit replacement costs.
Mattresses contain very complex interiors and the hollow cavities of a box spring provide an ideal hiding place for bed bugs to reproduce and thrive. With the use of a protective encasement bed bugs will be effectively cut off the ability of these blood sucking pests to reach you, your family or your guests. Before you toss your mattress and allow them to infest your new mattress, trust the experts at Pied Piper Services for a better solution!
The only effective way to remove bed bugs from your home or business is with the help of a professional pest control service. Pied Piper Services utilizes the most effective treatment options in the industry to ensure your bed bug problems are resolved quickly and efficiently. If you are experiencing a bed bug infestation, call us at (888) 737-8943 or contact us today.