Understanding Bed Bugs and Getting Rid of Them

Helping you understand where to look for bed bugs, what to look out for and how to get rid of them.

It is widely understood that traveling increases your risk of encountering bed bugs. With people all around the country traveling now more than ever before, even during the pandemic, bed bugs continue to wreak havoc on the lives of the people in the DFW metroplex. 

While bed bug bites can be very annoying and even painful, you can rest at ease knowing that they do not transmit diseases from one human to another. They simply feed on our blood in order to survive. Knowledge is the main defense against bed bugs and that is what we hope to give you with this article. 

So what should you do during your next trip to prevent yourself from catching bed bugs? First you need to understand what bed bugs look like. They are pretty small, usually about half an inch at the largest. They are usually a dark red almost brown like color, and have a slight oval shape to their bodies. When bed bugs have not had a recent blood meal, they will be almost paper thin. However, once they have had a blood meal, they will swell up a little in size, similar as we humans do when we have bloated from eating a large meal ourselves. Immature bed bugs can be very hard to see, they are only about a sixteenth of an inch. 

Next you need to understand how and where bed bugs live. Bed bugs do not have wings, and they hide in cracks and crevices throughout the day. In the pest control industry we refer to these areas as “harborage areas”. Night time is the most active time of the day for bed bugs, as that is when they search the most for their next blood meal. Female bed bugs will lay eggs that are about one sixteenth of an inch long, and are primarily white in color. After their blood meal, a bed bug will molt (shed its skin) a total of five times before becoming a fully developed adult. While bed bugs require blood meals in order to survive, immature bed bugs can last several months without a single blood meal. Adult bed bugs can survive a whole year without a blood meal. This is why it is important that if you ever notice you have brought bed bugs home, you should contact a pest control company as soon as possible otherwise your problem could get completely out of control. 

So what are the signs of a bed bug infestation? Eggs, casted skin casings, fecal spots that tend to be a really dark almost black color dot(s), and of course live bed bugs. Live bed bugs, if visible are most likely to be seen in and around beds, bed sheets, box springs, couches, and other cracks and crevices as well including baseboards and inside of outlet plugs even. 

As mentioned earlier it is crucial that if you notice a bed bug in your home, then you should contact a pest control company as soon as possible to have them come out and either heat treat your home or chemically treat your home to eliminate the bed bugs and their eggs. We do not suggest trying this on your own simply because the products available at the stores do not work. We compare chemicals to humans getting viruses. Example: When we get a cold we do not die from the cold, it actually helps build our immune system and makes it harder for other viruses to harm us. Same idea with bed bugs and chemicals. While Raid or whatever chemical you choose to attempt to use to try and handle the bed bug problem yourself may contact kill a single bed bug you see, overall all that those sprays will do is build the immune system of the bed bug, thus making it even harder for your pest control professional to handle your bed bug issue.

If you live in the Plano, TX and Rowlett, TX areas, contact Preferred Pest Management if you are afraid you have a case of bed bugs. We use a chemical treatment program to eliminate bed bug issues. This saves our customers on average $300-500 per bed bug job, and achieves the same results as heat treatments. 

Preferred Pest Management owner Griffin Thomas

Author: Griffin Thomas, Owner, Preferred Pest Management

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