Bed Bug Infestation: Signs and Treatment
No one wants to end up with a significant infestation of bed bugs around their home. So, when there are signs of this infestation, it is a good idea to take the necessary precautions as soon as possible—knowing what can cause this kind of problem and some of the common signs of bed bugs will make all the difference.
What causes a bed bug infestation?
While there is a common idea that bed bugs will get into your home because it is dirty, this is not true. A dirty and filthy home may help these bugs to hide better, but it is not what brought them there in the first place. Instead, the bed bugs are brought into your home. You can pick them up from public transportation, on your pets, in hotels and hospitals, and more. When they make their way into your home, they will find a comfortable place to call home and start reproducing, which can cause the infestation.
What are the common signs of a bed bug infestation?
There are a few signs that you should look for in your home to determine if bed bugs are there. If you see small red to reddish brown sports on your mattress or furniture, this is a big sign. If you have red and itchy bite marks on your arms and legs during the night, or you see molt bed bug skins, this is a good sign as well. In areas with a very bad infestation, there can be a sign of sweet scents near where they are.
What are ways to get rid of an infestation caused by bed bugs?
Most homeowners will choose to call in a professional to help with bed bugs control in their home. This is one of the most effective ways to make the bugs disappear because the professionals can bring in all of their tools to take care of the problem. You may see them use heat treatment or other options quite a bit.
Is Eliminating Bed Bugs Completely From Your Mattress Possible?
Once bed bugs make their way into your home, you may wonder if it is even possible to make these pests go away. However, it is possible to do with the proper treatment from the start and by not committing these mistakes before doing a bed bug removal.
How long can bed bugs live in your mattress?
These pests can stay and enjoy time on your mattress for several months. While the bed bugs are usually going to feed every three to seven days, this pest can go without food for up to six months. They can lay dormant and use very little energy while waiting for an animal or a human to come back.
Should you vacuum your mattress if you have bed bugs?
While it may make you feel squeamish to find bed bugs on your mattress, finding these pests there does not mean you have to throw out the mattress completely. Instead, you can vacuum the area and use a steam cleaner to help get rid of the bed bugs. This can help reduce some of the number of bed bugs on the mattress and make it easier to see how many more there are. You will most likely need to consider other options, like hiring a professional, for the best results.
What do professionals use in eliminating bed bugs from the mattress?
While professionals can do a few methods, heat-treating the mattress and other parts of your home is the most effective method. They have their own tools that help capture and kill off the bed bugs, but you can get the process started with the help of a high heat steam cleaner to kill off all the bugs.
Natural Measures to Control Bed Bugs
Some products out there promise to help you get rid of bed bugs, but a quick look at their instructions shows that this is not the best option to have around your home if you have kids or pets. The good news is that there are some natural remedies that you can choose to use that can scare those bed bugs away and may even prevent them from getting into your home in the first place.
What is the natural enemy of bed bugs?
Some natural predators are going to go after bed bugs. These include Pharaoh ants, American cockroaches, and cone-nosed insects. Even some spiders have no problem going after the bed bugs and turning them into lunch. While you would not want to keep any of these pests around your home, if you have an environment that encourages some of them outside the house, it can make it much harder for the bed bugs to get in at all.
What smells do bed bugs stay away from?
There are several smells that bed bugs are not fond of. If you use these in some of your cleaners, you can make the environment less friendly to the bed bugs, and they are more likely to run the other way. Some of the scents that you can consider giving to the bed bug to scare them off includes:
- Hot pepper
- Fresh lemon
- Lavender oil
- Rubbing alcohol
Some of the options, like peppermint, lemon, and lavender oil, can smell nice to you in the home, but they are enough to drive the bed bugs wild. Spraying them around the house and using them as a cleaner can naturally provide you with some protection.
How can you get rid of bed bugs fast naturally?
Homeowners will be able to use a variety of remedies to help kill off the bed bugs. High temperatures are often the best. Using a steam cleaner at a high setting can help if the pest is on the mattress. Washing your clothes in warm water can do the trick as well.
You can also use some of the scents listed above to deter or kill off the bed bugs. Spraying some around the area where the bed bugs spend their time can make a big difference in how easy it is to scare those bugs away.
Can Bug Heat Treatment Kill Bed Bugs?
One of the most effective methods to killing off bed bugs is to use heat treatment. Bed bugs cannot survive some of the intense heat out there, so using that against them is often a good way to make the bed bugs go away.
How can bug heat treatment kill bed bugs?
Bed bugs do not like intense heat at all. Higher degrees of heat will cause them to run out and not want to be in the area, or they will die. With heat treatment, you will need to raise the temperature in the office, hotel, workspace, or home to be higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most professionals will keep the temperature between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for the duration of the treatment.
When you keep the space at this temperature for a long time, it can eradicate the adult bed bugs and any of the eggs that are left behind. These temperatures are lethal to the bugs, though they may feel a little hot to you. After the treatment is done, it is easy to clean up, and the bugs are all gone.
How long does it take for bug heat treatment to kill bed bugs?
The heat treatment will need to last for more than a few hours to see the best results. While the bed bug does not like intense heat, it can still stay for a little bit in it. Usually, you need to have three to five days to kill off the insects because the fungus that breaks them down will not happen right away.
Bed bug heat treatment can be effective because it does not use chemicals and will make sure that all bugs, whether out in the open or hiding in the cracks in the floor or walls, will die out. This is a more effective treatment compared to some of the other options.
How often should you do bug heat treatment to kill bed bugs?
The heat treatment is one that only needs to be done once. It takes three to five days to complete for most homes, but it effectively gets rid of all the bed bugs that get into the house. After it is done, you can clean up and then take precautions to ensure the bugs will not get back into your home again.
However, if you use a steam cleaner to get the bed bugs off your mattress, you may need to do the treatment more than once. Doing it one more time, about two weeks after the original one, will ensure that all of those bugs are removed. You can do this on the mattress or some of the other upholstered areas of your home.
6 Bed Bug Pesticide Names
The EPA has over 300 chemicals for use against these bugs. Consumers can use most of these. However, there are a few that a professional exterminator can use. The information comes from the EPA’s evaluation of their safety and effectiveness.
These 300 pest control products fall into six chemical classes. Another class known as Dichlorvos (DDP) is also registered for particular use in treating small enclosures. Each of these six chemical classes kills bed bugs in a different way. This is helpful because it lessens the likelihood that bed bugs will grow resistant to them.
Pyrethrins and Pyrethroids
This is the most common form of pest control that an exterminator will use. It isn’t only used for bed bug control, but also for controlling other indoor pests as well. Sometimes these products are available as a total release fogger.
Pyrethrins are a form of a botanical insecticide. They’re derived from chrysanthemum flowers. On the other hand, Pyrethroids are synthetic chemicals that work in the same way as pyrethrins. Both of these chemicals perform bed bug removal by flushing them out of where they’re hiding and killing them. Unfortunately, some bed bugs have grown resistant to these chemicals. When this happens, the chemicals will only temporarily flush the bugs out, causing them to move to a new place.
Your exterminator will use a combination product for pesticide-resistant bed bug strains, says westsidepestcontrol.com. This typically has several pyrethroid and pyrethrin active ingredients in it. Some combine various chemical classes within their single product. Both of these formulations allow for improved bed bug control. The same holds true for switching to an entirely different chemical class.
When exterminators use a desiccant, they destroy the bed bug’s outer, waxy, protective coating. This leads to bed bugs dying from dehydration, a valuable form of bed bug control because it’s a real mode. Bed bugs can’t grow resistant to this like they can grow resistant to other forms of pesticides that have varying modes of action. Additionally, this modality is long-lasting and doesn’t disturb the bed bug’s normal activities.
Two examples of this chemical class are Diatomaceous Earth and Boric acid according to bcbug.com. When an exterminator uses either of these it’s important they make sure that they use a product registered by the EPA for bed bug control. Using a desiccant that’s not labeled for bed bugs poses a greater inhalation risk for people. This includes desiccants that the EPA labels food-grade or for swimming pool use. It’s also important to understand the limited usage of this chemical class. You can only use it in cracks and crevices. They do this in hopes of reducing the risk of inhalation.
There is only one biochemical pesticide that your exterminator can use for bed bug removal: cold pressed neem oil. This is pressed directly from a Neem tree’s seeds. The Neem tree is a tropical evergreen tree found growing throughout Africa and Southeast Asia. In the oil, there are various compounds known for their insecticidal and medicinal properties. For this reason, the oil is also used in making shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics. When scientists performed trials on bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs.
Currently, the only pyrrole pest control an exterminator can use for bed bug removal is Chlorfenapyr. This is a pro-insecticide compound meaning its biological activity depends on another chemical activating with it. When this happens, it forms a new chemical that disrupts functioning in the bed bug’s cells. This ultimately causes its death.
These are synthetic forms of nicotine. As such, this form of pest control works on the bed bug’s nicotine receptors, which are found in its nervous system. When this happens, the bed bug’s nerves fire continually until they eventually fail. This is a different mode of pest control so even if bed bugs grow resistant to other forms of pest control, this bed bug removal mode may still work on them.
Insect Growth Regulators
This form of pest control mimics a green insect’s growth hormones. When an exterminator uses them the insect growth regulator works in one of two ways.
The first is that it alters chitin’s production. This is the compound that insects use when making their exoskeleton (their hard, external shell).
Secondly, insect growth regulators can also affect the insect’s development either by forcing rapid development or stopping its development altogether.
Are Pesticides Effective in Killing Bed Bugs?
If you want to go with something a little faster to kill the bed bugs, you could rely on a pesticide to help. These can be useful if you need to get the work done quickly and not wait on the heat treatment.
Are pesticides safe to use in killing bed bugs at home?
While you will want to read the label to check on the pesticide you would like to use, most pesticides are safe to use in your home, even around children. You will find that many of them will be able to destroy bed bugs in all of their stages, whether you find their eggs or deal with the adults.
For those with an extreme issue getting rid of the bed bugs, it is time to skip the pesticides and call in the professionals. They are often the most effective at getting the bed bugs to leave you and your home alone. But there are also a number of pesticides available on the market that you can try out too.
What are the best pesticides in killing bed bugs?
There are a few different options that you can use when it is time to kill off the bed bugs. The best options are the pyrethrins and the pyrethroids. These are botanical and come from flowers, making them an almost natural option to have around your home.
Desiccants are an excellent choice because they will help destroy the outer coating of the bugs, which will cause them to dry out and die. The biochemicals available, such as neem, can help control the adult bed bugs, the nymph, and the eggs all in one.
Before choosing the right pesticide for your home, make sure to read the label ahead of time to make sure that it is safe for your home and everyone who lives there.
How often should I spray for bed bugs?
If you find some bed bugs in your home, it is a good idea to spray for them to get them removed as quickly as possible. Take a pesticide of your choice and liberally spray it in all crevices and areas in the bed or other parts of your home. You will want to repeat this two times each day until the signs of the bed bugs are all gone.
If you do this and there isn’t much improvement with doing this after 4 or 5 days, it is time to increase the concentration a little bit. You can do this for a few more days to see whether there is an improvement. If there’s none, it is time to call in the professionals to get the work done.