No other pest strikes fear into the heart of a homeowner more than a bed bug. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and no home remedy you find on the internet or over-the-counter product will rid you of the problem — you must consult a pest management professional. Here is everything you need to know about these pests.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small brown insects. Adult bed bugs are similar in shape and size to an apple seed. Bed bugs are usually flat unless they have recently fed. After eating, bed bugs become engorged with blood. Nymphs, or baby bed bugs, are smaller and colorless. Bed bugs cannot fly, but they can move fast. Bed bugs can go months without eating.

Where Are Bed Bugs Found?

People find bed bugs throughout the world, in all kinds of living conditions. Bed bugs are not a result of poor hygiene or dirty homes, and they are no respecter of status or wealth.

Bed bugs hang out wherever their human hosts gather. As they feed primarily at night, they are usually found in bedrooms. They may live in the box spring or hide in the crevices of your baseboards or behind outlets.

Why Are Bed Bug Infestations on the Rise?

Bed bugs were virtually eradicated until late in the 20th century. Experts aren’t entirely certain why bed bugs have returned but surmise increased global travel and increasing resistance to the chemicals formerly used to treat them are the primary causes.

A single adult female can lay many eggs during the course of her lifetime. The more often she is able to feed, the more eggs she can produce. This can create a bed bug infestation that quickly spirals out of control.

How Do Bed Bugs Affect Humans?

When you lay dormant in your bed, bed bugs detect your presence by the carbon dioxide you exhale and your body heat. When they find you, they will bite you with their piercing, needle-like mouth, injecting you with chemicals that numb the area, so you don’t feel the pain and make your blood flow freely rather than clot.

It is not uncommon for a bed bug to repeatedly bite you rather than feed in just one spot. These bites normally follow an imaginary line. They will feed for several minutes before going back to their hiding place.

While bed bugs are not believed to transmit disease as mosquitoes or ticks do, the chemicals they inject when they bite can stimulate your immune system, which leaves you with itchy, raised welts.

How Do You Know You Have Bed Bugs?

In addition to the telltale bite trails, you may see tiny blood spots on your bed. You may also see a reddish-colored dust from their feces in the seams of your mattress. You may also see the bed bugs themselves. Eggs and nymphs are very difficult to see. In homes with high infestations, you may detect a musty smell when you walk into your bedroom.

How Are Bed Bugs Treated?

Exterminators will thoroughly inspect your home to determine the extent of the infestation. Once a pest control expert has a clear understanding of the extent of the problem, they will come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. This may include the use of pesticides as well as heat treatments to completely eradicate their presence in your home.

How Can You Prevent Bed Bugs?

While no one is immune from bed bugs, you can take steps to reduce their transmission. Do not buy used furniture, especially mattresses and upholstered furniture. When staying in hotels, consider keeping your luggage tightly sealed in a plastic bag. Upon returning home, vacuum your luggage and keep it in the garage.

Pest management professionals understand the grief bed bugs can cause homeowners. If you fear you have bed bugs, contact us today so we can begin immediate treatment and eradication.