What Does a Bed Bug Look Like?
Bed bugs are small round shaped insects that are brown to reddish in color and are 1 to 7 mm in size. Bed bugs have a flat body about the size of an Appleseed, but they swell up when they feed and will resemble a redder shade because of the blood that they just ingested. People often think that a bed bug is microscopic, and you cannot see them, but when there is an infestation you will be able to see the bugs, no microscope needed.
Why Do Bed Bugs Bite?Bed bugs need to feed off your blood for survival. If they do not get to feed, they will die. They are attracted to us because of the carbon dioxide we produce. Bed bugs use their mouthparts to puncture the skin and inject anticoagulants and a pain killer in their saliva. It is common to not actually feel a bed bug bite and this is due to the numbing agent they inject into your skin.
Bed bugs feed about every 5-7 days, and when they come out of hiding, they will feed and then go right back into hiding. This is a big reason that bed bug inspections do not always come out with a definitive finding. I know I have been out to customers homes that have been getting bit at night, and I search high and low and was not able to find signs of bed bugs. This does not mean that they are not there, it just means that the exterminator was not able to see any at the time of inspection.
My Home is Clean. How Do I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are not a hygienic issue. You could have the cleanest home around and still get a bed bug infestation. All it takes is staying a night at a hotel that has an infestation, and you will be bringing them back from vacation with you. I would say about 90% of the infestations we treat start this way. A close second would go to having visitors spend the night that bring them into your home with them. A bed bug will hop a ride in anything, so it could be luggage, purses, and even on your clothes.
If you find yourself with a bed bug infestation, there are a few remedies that you can try.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
We recommend trying to do a cleaning of the mattress, bed frame and even the furniture in the infested bedroom. This is going to pick up any live bed bugs and eggs that you find. You can also try some of the over the counter sprays to see if they help solve the problem. Unfortunately, most of the products available to consumers will only kill a small percentage of the bed bugs it comes in contact with.
If you have tried all the home remedies to no resolve, the only other option would be calling a professional exterminator to solve the problem. I know that most people do not want to spend the money paying someone to take care of the problem, but that is why we are here. We deal with this situation every day and have the knowledge to take care of the bed bug problem. At Spectrum Pest Control, every member of our staff is highly trained and licensed through the state of Pennsylvania. We take pride in what we do and make sure that any employee in the field has the latest tools and training to provide the best service possible.
If you are considering hiring a professional company, please make sure that they are licensed through your state, and that they are registered and insured. There have been reports of fly by night companies offering services without being licensed and insured. You do not want companies like that even coming near your home.
Spectrum’s philosophy on treating bed bugs is treating you home how we would treat our own homes. I know when I explain the process, some people think that we are doing overkill but this is something that you do not want to cut corners on. When we treat a home, we will treat the entire home. We will not do just a spot treatment on the room that the bed bugs were found. The reason we do this is that bed bugs will travel into wall voids and spread from room to room. If we do just a spot treatment in one bedroom, there is a chance that we miss a spot and a few weeks down the road the customer starts seeing them in the bedrooms that we didn’t treat.
Our reputation is everything, and we do not want to take a chance of not doing the best possible treatment that we could do. Believe it or not, bed bugs can cause psychological problems and it is a highly stressful time when going through an infestation. We are here to help reduce the stress and solve the problem as quickly as possible. I have heard stories of people selling their homes because they could not solve a bed bug issue. I have been there. We will do everything it takes to help you through this.
There are canine services out there that will bring in a trained canine to do an inspection. Dogs have way better smell than what humans do, and they can be trained to locate signs of bed bugs. The problem with these services is they are expensive. You could have anywhere between $300 – $500 dollars just to have a canine inspection performed.
Our Bed Bug Removal Process
Spectrum Pest Control uses a four-stage system to solve all our bed bug issues. Is that overkill? Maybe, but we don’t look at it that way.
We start out by doing a deep extraction throughout the whole house. We treat everything from top to bottom. We are trying to get all the live bed bugs that we can find. Every bed bug that we can clean up is one less than is already in your home. Depending on the infestation, this cleaning could collect hundreds of bed bugs.
The second stage of our system is a heat treatment from top to bottom of the whole home. This stage is going to kill any live bedbug that we encounter and even the eggs. Just like the deep extraction stage, we treat everything even your furniture. Ultimately, we are trying to hit as much of the home as possible.
The third and fourth stage is a chemical treatment of all areas of the home. In this stage, we use two types of chemicals to solve the problem in your home. Spectrum uses the most advanced and latest chemicals on the market. The first chemical is an adulticide which will give a fast knockdown of any live bed bugs. The second one is a growth regulator that will stunt the growth cycle of the bed bugs and will make it to where they cannot reproduce. Both chemicals are pet and child-friendly and are odorless, so you don’t have to worry about airing the home out after the treatment.
How Long Will the Process Take?
The typical bed bug treatment will take around 3 to 4 hours to complete, and you will need to be out of the home for around 8 hours in total. We will normally try to schedule our appointment early in the morning helping to ease the amount of time you need to be out of the home.
The biggest challenge of a bed bug treatment is we need the cooperation of the homeowner. When completing a treatment, we need to get all the furniture, bedding, around the entire home. This can sometimes be a daunting task, but we need access to all area of the home so we can do the best job possible. We can only treat areas that are made accessible to us. We give all our customers a bed bug prep sheet, so they can get prepared for the treatment. This list will include cleaning out dressers, end tables, closets, and bedding material. We also recommend removing switch and outlet covers to give us access into the wall voids.
With our bed bug treatments, we will provide two follow up visits spread two weeks apart. This ensures that if any new eggs have been laid, we get them. Most of the time after the initial visit the customer does not notice any more signs of the infestation, but these follow-ups are still vital to the success of our treatment.
Tips & Tricks
The biggest tip I can give you is to make sure if you ever go on vacation, inspect the hotel room before you bring anything in. Bed bug infestations are something you will be able to visibly see, so most of the time you will be able to spot it before you stay the night. When looking around the room you will want to inspect the mattress, bed frame, and the end tables. Pay special attention to the corners of the mattress under the tuffs of the seam. By taking this step it will prevent an infestation before it begins.
Hopefully, you will never have to deal with a bed bug outbreak, but if it is something that you do need to have taken care of, give Spectrum a call.