Bed bugs are tiny and nearly invisible pests that can wreak havoc in your home. Not only are they irritating, but they can quickly spread and repopulate.
Before you can get rid of bed bugs, you have to find them. Unfortunately, bed bugs can be challenging to spot due to their minuscule size. Below are some tips and tricks to find bed bugs and get rid of them effectively.
How To Find Bed Bugs
Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have brown, oval bodies that are no bigger than an apple seed. When searching for them around your home, it helps to use a magnifying glass and flashlight.
An essential factor to consider when looking for bed bugs is their life stage. Bed bugs have three main life stages that can look different around your home:
- Eggs: Bed bug eggs have a yellowish tint to them. Although they are incredibly tiny, they tend to stick together in groups, making them easier to spot than adults.
- Nymphs: Nymphs are young bed bugs that have yet to reach maturity. They are between 1.5mm and 4.5mm long with translucent or tan bodies.
- Adults: Since adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, you can usually spot them more quickly than you can younger pests. Their bodies are darker brown and significantly wider after they’ve eaten.
You can also spot bed bugs by the feces they leave behind. Bed bug feces look like small, brown spots that can smear on fabric.
Locating The Infestation
Locating a bed bug infestation as early as possible is essential to prevent spreading. Despite their name, bed bugs tend to hide in areas around your home other than the bed:
- Electrical outlets
Since bed bugs are incredibly tiny, they can fit into narrow spaces like cracks in the wall, under loose wallpaper, beneath paintings or posters, and in between cushions. Some exterminators will use trained dogs to sniff out and locate the infestation.
How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
After locating the pests, you can start getting rid of them. Bed bugs are more active at night, which is why homeowners often wake up with bite marks or red spots. It is vital to start the extermination process as soon as possible to prevent further irritation.
First, Contain The Infestation
Bed bugs reproduce and spread incredibly fast, making them difficult to get rid of. The first step of the extermination process is to contain the infestation and prevent them from spreading. One way you can do this is by vacuuming them up.
After vacuuming the bed bugs, place the contents in a plastic bag, seal it, and throw it away. If you find and catch a single bed bug, place it in a jar with one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and seal it. You can bring the pest to a local exterminator if you are unsure about the type of pest you caught.
Another way to contain the infestation is to place your linens and clothes into plastic bags. Then, wash and dry these items at high temperatures to kill the bugs.
If you can’t wash the affected items, keep them sealed in a plastic bag for a few months to kill the pests. Furniture is tough to clean, which is why most homeowners tend to throw it out and buy new, clean furniture.
After preparing your home and containing the infestation, it’s time to kill the bed bugs. Bed bugs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so you can kill them by freezing them or exposing them to heat.
For example, placing bags with infected clothes or linens in a freezer for four days can kill the remaining bugs. The freezer must be between zero and negative 17 degrees Fahrenheit. If the weather is above 95 degrees, you can place the items outside to kill the bugs.
You can also clean your furniture and mattress without chemicals by using a steam cleaner.
Certain EPA-registered insecticides can effectively get rid of irritating bed bugs:
- Bug bombs
When using chemical treatments, keeping the area clear of pets and children is vital. After applying treatment, it is essential to continue monitoring the area and keeping an eye out for signs of pests.
The best way to successfully locate bed bugs and get rid of them for good is to leave it to the pros at Ortex Termite & Pest Control. Call the team today at (931) 347-1929 to get started.