Bed bugs – these two words create fear in most people. The fact is that bed bugs were almost eradicated in the developed world in the 1950s, but these tiny parasites have made a serious comeback in the past decade. Bed bugs can be regularly found in single-family homes, condos, apartments, hotels, and motels. Today, they’re even found in places like retail stores, on public transportation and in restaurants and theaters. If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, be prepared for a fight! They are difficult to eradicate, but it can be done.
Let’s look at how to prevent bed bugs – and what you can do to fight back if you’ve been infested.
Attracting Bed Bugs
Bed bugs feed off of any warm-blooded vertebrate, but they are most attracted to humans. Bed bugs use multiple biological cues to find a human host, including body heat, carbon dioxide and human odors.
In order for bed bugs to progress through their life cycle, they must continuously feed on blood. When hosts are available, infestations can rapidly progress and often become unmanageable. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs and act quickly.
How to Avoid Becoming Infested
Bed bugs need to “jump” onto a host in order to travel to a new home. When traveling, be diligent in hotel rooms. Don’t leave your suitcase on the bed or floor; keep it elevated on the luggage rack, coffee table or in the tub and store dirty clothes in a hanging plastic bag.
At home, wash sheets and clothes in hot water and make sure to dry them on a higher heat setting to kill any bugs and eggs that may be present. If you are infested, it’s best to contact a professional.
How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs
The first sign is usually the presence of itchy inflammation or red spots on the skin. Another tell-tale sign is the presence of dark fecal spots, eggs or scale skins around the bed.
What to Do if Your Home is Infested
Start by washing all bedding in hot water and throwing away anything that is infested. Then contact a professional. If you are infested and you live in the greater Seattle, Washington, area, contact Whitworth Pest Solutions. We offer residential pest programs specifically designed to rid your home of bed bugs.