Information about: Bedbugs

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Proper Identification of Bed Bugs

get rid of bed bugs

Bed bugs are reddish brown and only 1/4 inch in length.

get rid of bed bugs

Evidence of a bedbug infestation.

  • Bed bugs are oval, flat, and reddish brown.
  • Adults are about 1/4 inch in length.
  • Nymphs and adults have piercing-sucking mouthparts.
  • Bed bugs are incapable of flight. However, small stubby wing remnants can be observed on the prothorax of adults.
  • Bed bugs tend to live in clusters and feed exclusively at night.
  • A bed bug bite may develop small, white to red, hard welts at the bite site.

Life Cycle of Bed Bugs

  • Female bed bugs can lay several hundred eggs within their lifetime.
  • Eggs are laid either singly or in clusters in cracks or crevices where adults hide.
  • In order for nymphs to molt from one stage to another, they must obtain a blood meal.
  • After reaching adulthood, bed bugs feed about once a week.
  • The life span of a bed bug is usually between four to six months.

Health Risk from Bedbugs

  • Bed bug bites can produce, due to an allergic reaction, an itching or stinging welt at the site of the bite.
  • The act of the bite may be painless and go unnoticed; however, the resulting inflammation may last for several days to more than a week.
  • In some rare cases, individual humans may experience a severe allergic reaction to the proteins found in the saliva of the bed bug.
  • In chronic infestations, children may be susceptible to iron deficiency anemia.
  • It is generally accpeted that bed bugs are not vectors of human disease.

Inspection for Bed Bugs

  • The first step to control is to know where bed bug harborages are located.
  • Tufts, seams, and buttons on mattresses
  • Cracks in hardwood flooring
  • Under carpet along walls
  • Wall voids behind switch plates and outlets
  • Window and door molding
  • Behind wall paper and pictures
  • Box springs
  • Bed frames and covers
  • Couches and chairs
  • Luggage

Bed Bug Control Methods (non-chemical)

  1. Exclusion: If an infestation is found or if you wish to take steps to keep an infestation from occurring, there are some techniques one can follow in order to kill bed bugs. Inspect secondhand beds, bedding, furniture, baggage, and clothing for live bed bugs before bringing them into the home. If feasible, inspect the baggage and clothing of travelers for bed bugs. In addition, caulk cracks and crevices in walls, ceilings, and floors. Paint walls and ceilings where paint is beginning to peel or chip. Repair openings in the attic or basement that allow entrance for bats and wild birds. It may be necessary to have a pest management professional help with the removal of an established bat or bird population.
  2. Sanitation: Bed bugs are less likely to be found in well-cleaned areas. Thoroughly vacuum all floors, furniture, mattresses, pillows, upholstery, and curtains. It is very important to focus on creases, buttons, cording, and folds. After vacuuming, dispose of the vacuum bag in a plastic bag, seal the bag tightly, and immediately remove it from the home’s premises. Launder all bedding, curtains, and clothing and dry in a warm-air dryer.
  3. Monitoring: Inspect the premises for evidence of a bed bug infestation. Search for live bugs in furniture, in bedding, behind headboards, in cracks and crevices, around windows and doors, and near chimneys. Search for caste skins, eggs, egg casings, and blood stains or dark spots that are a result of bed bug excreta. Some bed bug infestations are reported to emit a sweet, musty odor that smells like raspberries (bed bug odor). Look for signs of alternative hosts in attics and chimneys such as birds, bats, and other warm-blooded animals. Bed bugs may be found in the nesting or bedding material of these alternative hosts.

 

  • Treatment Preparation Sheet
  • Remove all children’s toys and other items that children can put in their mouth, especially from the floor. Wrap the toys and items in plastic garbage bags.
  • Remove all sheets, pillowcases, and blankets from the beds and wash in hot washing machine water.
  • Remove all items stored on the floor of closets and under the beds in the rooms to be treated.
  • Vacuum floors and use crevice tool around moldings of the room or rooms to be treated. Mop all floors to be treated if not carpeted.
  • Remove all items from drawers in the dressers and nightstands. We may have to turn this upside down for treatment.
  • Unplug electrical equipment such as computers, TV’s, alarm clocks, etc. in rooms to be treated. We need access to the area behind the wall, around the electrical outlets.
  • Windows should remain open during treatment.

 

After Treatment

  1. People and pets must evacuate for a minimum of 4 hours after completion of each treatment.
  2. Some treatments may include a powder placed on the floor behind beds and furniture. It is important that children and pets do not have access to that area.
  3. Wipe off furniture tops in rooms and wash all cribs and headboards.
  4. Do not make beds until treatment is finished and beds are dry.
  5. Do not sleep in the room for a minimum of 4 hours or until beds are dry. It is recommended to cover mattresses with plastic cases.

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