Secret Facts About Bed Bugs, and How to Beat Them to The Itch.
Bed Bugs. There, we said it -- Did you just get itchy?
There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, convinced you’ve just been bitten by something. Bed Bugs have been the focus of more and more news stories as infestations overtake homes, apartments, movie theaters, and hotels. Whether you need to know if you have an infestation, or you’re looking to get rid of an infestation permanently, it’s important to arm yourself with the facts. Find out about the telltale signs, preventative tactics, and permanent removal strategies in this DIY guide.
Where You’ll Find Bed Bugs:
Most people think of bed bugs lurking in hotel rooms, public transit, or movie theaters. In reality, bed bugs can be found lurking in apartments, homes, work facilities, schools, stores, and just about anywhere humans gather together. According to the "Bugs without Borders" study, 89 percent of pest control workers report treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes, while 88 percent report treating bed bug infestations in apartments. They also report treating other common areas, like movie theaters, laundry facilities, transportation units, college dormitories, and a whopping 67 percent in hotels/motels.
If you’re worried about bed bugs in your own home, though, you have to be thorough in your search.
As per their survival instinct, bed bugs can hide just about anywhere. The best time to search for them is at night, though, since they tend to sleep during the day time. They’ll sneak into your mattress or box springs, and they can also be found in baseboards, behind electrical switch plates, in picture frames, behind wallpaper, or even in books.
The reason bed bugs are, well, bed bugs, is that they like to feed on our blood. They’ve evolved to seek out the carbon dioxide we exhale, especially when we stay in one place for extended periods, like our beds.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
If you’ve captured a bug, and you want to find out what it is, then you’ll need to rule out look-alikes. Short of calling an entomologist, make sure to rule out the most common identification mistakes before you call pest removers in a panic.
Chiggers are often mistaken for bed bugs, because of their similar shape. However, chiggers are much smaller than bed bugs, and it’s difficult to see their shape without a microscope. Don’t let the images online fool you -- if you see a bed bug, you should be able to clearly see its legs and body.
Adolescent cockroaches can also sometimes fool a worried homeowner or moviegoer. However, cockroaches are much more cylindrical than bed bugs, so if you find a cockroach nymph, but have no bites, you can stop panicking for now -- although you will need to remove the cockroaches.
Bat bugs are by far the most like bed bugs -- in fact, they’re so similar, you’d need an entomologist and a microscope to tell them apart. Generally, bat bugs only attack bats. But if bats were in your home and then left or were removed, you may start receiving bites from bat bugs, too.
Before you start tackling your pest problem on your own, make sure to double check with a professional. Heat treatment is best for bed bugs -- so if you do have an infestation, you’ll want to go in with all the facts!
How to Recognize a Bed Bug Bite:
The most insidious thing about bed bugs is their bite -- it doesn’t hurt until it’s too late to find the pest. In fact, it’s almost impossible to feel a bed bug while it’s biting you.
As the bed bug chows down, their saliva acts as an anticoagulant and increases blood flow to the bite location. They get fed faster, and you feel nothing. The process is quick and painless -- for the bug, at least. They might hit the same area multiple time, resulting in multiple bites in a concentrated area.
After they feed, bed bugs move to secluded places to hide for 5-10 days. During this period, they digest their meal and lay eggs.
But as the bed bugs hide, the humans they bit may begin to feel the effects. A sensitive human will start to feel a burning sensation and might start itching, and develop a reddish rash on the skin, as well.
However, plenty of humans are not sensitive to bed bug bites at all and will develop no itching or rash. If one person in a household is complaining of bites, but no one else is, that does not mean that only one room is affected!
If you detect the signs of bed bug bites on you or someone else in the household, you’ll need to check for bed bugs. If you find an infestation, make sure to get it heat treated. Find a professional or use our guide to figure out how to do it for cheaper!
The Tools to Get Rid of Bed Bugs -- For Good:
The most important thing to remember when you’ve got a bed bug infestation is that these little pests are fighters. They can live in cold or warm climates and can go almost indefinitely without feeding on a human. If it were easy to get rid of them, there wouldn’t be such a persistent problem.
There are plenty of “home remedies” and money-saving hacks out there that claim to help get rid of bed bugs. But while these might help you catch and kill some bed bugs, very few of them will permanently get rid of your infestation.
To get rid of bed bugs for good, you have to bring out the heat -- literally.
Bed bugs are said to be able to survive up 122 degrees Fahrenheit. So, in order to get rid of bed bugs in their every hiding place, you’ll need to be able to raise the heat of a room to well above that.
The good news is, professional-grade heaters with high temperature fans are now available for individuals to buy for a fraction of the price of professional heat treatments. Once you find the best bed bug heat system for you, make sure to follow our guide to getting rid of bed bugs, and use it correctly!
And Stay Out! Preventative Measures Against Bed Bugs
Once you’ve gotten rid of your bed bugs, you’ll want to take preventative measures. Even though heat treatments are foolproof against infestations, you got bed bugs from somewhere. After all, bed bugs are found in a number of places you might visit every day -- and they can easily cling to a purse, coat, or pant leg.
After you’ve gotten rid of your infestation, make sure to get a bed bug cover for your mattress. There are some that say that preventative sprays work -- others say that essential oils work just as well. Most bugs are sensitive to mint, although the amount needed to repel any kind of pest will make your home smell extremely fresh.
And you might be wondering whether or not bed bugs can lay in wait on your dog while you treat your home. Never fear! Bed bugs will not live on your pet, but they will bite them (well, unless they’re fish). Your dog, cat, or any other animal that produces carbon dioxide, will gain the attention of lurking bed bugs. Any preventative measure you take must be taken with your pet’s bedding, as well.
If you get a bed bug heat system, you’ll never have to worry about infestations from another place, though -- you can get rid of them yourself in no time, even if you pick them up from a train or movie theater.
Why You Should Care of Bed Bugs Yourself
You might be on the fence about getting rid of bed bugs yourself -- so first, let’s get one thing clear. Getting rid of bed bugs on your own will benefit you, especially if you have the right tools and use the right methods.
First of all, taking care of bed bugs on your own is cheaper. Calling up the same pest control companies, time after time, racks up a huge bill. If the company isn’t using heat treatments, they’re doing it wrong, and you’ll have to pay for expedient measures again and again.
But even if they’re doing it right, you might still get another infestation. Why? Because you’re living in the same place.
In apartment buildings and row homes, bed bugs can be transmitted through the walls. So even if you get rid of bed bugs in your own building, you might be subject to bed bugs traveling from place to place.
Even if you don’t live in an infested building, you originally got bed bugs from somewhere. Whether it was a movie theater or the bus, you’re likely to go to that place, or another one, with an infestation. Despite your best efforts, you could bring unwanted visitors back home with you.
That’s why it’s best to invest in a fail-safe tool that gets rid of the bugs before it’s a problem. And if you come home with bugs another time, it’s no big deal -- you can just get rid of them again.
The best tool is a heater. Convectex makes the best heaters and fans to get rid of bed bugs the first time. And if there happens to be a second time, you won’t have to call up expensive pest removal, or get another ineffective treatment. Instead, you can use the same tried and true tools to get rid of your infestation.