Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs
Bed Bug

The number of bed bug cases has been rising rapidly over the past few years. This is due to an increase in travel and lack of public awareness. Bed bugs are small (about the size of an apple seed), oval in shape with flat bodies, brown in color, and look similar to a tick. They live on the blood of animals and/or humans. After feeding, their bodies swell and turn a shade of red.

Bed bugs can crawl quickly across floors, walls, ceilings and other areas. In her lifetime, a female bed bug will lay hundreds of eggs. Each of those eggs are the size of a speck of dust or a grain of salt. Under ideal conditions, a bed bug can mature in 3 - 4 weeks and can produce as many as three generations per year.

Bed bugs enter homes and business in many ways. The most common ways are through luggage, purses, bags, clothing, beds and couches. They do not have nests but live in groups in hidden places. The most common hiding places are mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards and nightstands or bedside tables. They prefer to hide where they have easy access to a host. Over a period of time, they may move throughout the bedroom or other areas in the home. If you live in an apartment, they can even spread to nearby rooms and other apartments.

Having bed bugs is not a sign of dirtiness. They do not discriminate against any type of home. They are found in immaculate homes and five-star hotels as well as filthy rooms and locations.

Bed bugs feed by biting a human or animal host and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. They will feed anywhere from three to ten minutes. When they become engorged, they will release the host and crawl back into hiding. Their bites are painless at first but can turn into itchy spots that remind you of a mosquito or flea bit, but do not have a red spot in the center. The bites are on areas of the skin that are exposed while sleeping.

If you wake up with bites and whelps that weren't present before going to bed, this is a good sign of bed bugs. There are several things you can look for to confirm a bed bug infestation. Evidence would be seeing live or dead bed bugs, blood stains on sheets or pillowcases, dark spots of excrement on sheets, mattresses or walls, bed bug egg shells, shed skins, or fecal spots on bedding areas.

How to check for bed bugs:

Remove the dust cover from the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams of the wood frame. If there is an overlap of fabric, pull it away from the wood frame. Examine the areas around your bed such as nightstands or bedside tables, cracks and crevices of your headboard or footboard, and any furniture closely surrounding the bed.

If you determine that you have bed bugs, we suggest you call us immediately to treat the infestation.

Things you will need to do prior to treatment are:
  • Move Couch and chairs 18 -20 inches away from walls
  • Any cloth or material fabrics that can be washed in HOT water and dried on HIGH heat, please do so. EXAMPLE: clothes, blankets, bedspreads, sheets, pillowcases, drapery, stuffed animals, shoes. Once washed and dried, put in an air-tight bag and placed in a tub or shower in your bathroom. If the bags won’t fit in the shower, they must be removed from the premises.
  • No Clutter on floors or under beds. Everything should be removed from under all beds. Pick up all clothes on the floor and in closets. Wash and dry same as above. (Anything that can be washed and dried, and put in an air-tight bag should be and placed in a tub or shower in your bathroom.) If the bags don’t fit in the shower, they must be removed from the premises.
  • Vacuum everything you can on all floors, mattresses, box springs and bed frames at least twice. (Make sure you dispose of the vacuum bag. Pictures on walls need to be vacuumed too.
  • We suggest that you purchase a zippered cover and encase your mattress and box springs to keep bedbugs from entering or escaping. Bedbugs may live up to a year without feeding, so keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead.
  • Remove everything from drawers, clean all dressers and night stands. Drawers need to be empty so our technician can treat the inside and the underneath of each drawer.
  • Unplug all electrical cords. Our technician will inspect and treat anything that needs to be treated. Our technicians need to be able to get to all plugs in the house.
  • Kids’ toys need to be removed from the house at time of service. Wash all stuffed animals and put in an air-tight bag. You may place the bag in a tub or shower If the bags won’t fit in the shower, they must be removed from the premises.
  • Pets should be removed from the premises during treatment and for four hours after treatment. Fish tanks need to be shut off and covered.
  • If your mattress has holes or rips in it, it will need to be thrown away. Be sure to rid the rest of your home of bed bugs or they will infest your new mattress.
  • If bed bugs are in your couch and the couch has rips or holes in it, it will need to be thrown away.
  • Repair cracks in plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to get rid of hiding places.
  • The felt from the bottom of your box springs and couches will be removed for treatment.
  • Residents and pets must be away from premises for at least four hours after treatment.
  • All windows and doors are to remain closed for four hours as well.

Bedbug Extermination

While cleaning up infested areas will be helpful in controlling bedbugs, getting rid of them usually requires chemical and/or heat treatments. Because treating your bed and bedroom with insecticides can be harmful, it is important the products used are safely marketed for treatments in bedrooms. Kirkland's Pest Control has many years experience with bed bugs and can eliminate your infestation.