Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny insects that feed on warm-blooded animals, often humans, and also birds, rodents, cats, and dogs. They feed mostly at night and are often only detected after the victim starts seeing telltale bed bug bites, which look like a rash, reddened skin, or blisters.

How to Know if You Have Bed bugs

Apart from bite marks, you may see live bed bugs, red or rust-colored stains on your bedding, small white eggs or egg casings, or brown excrement. Bed bugs are about 3/16 of an inch long with a flattened, oval, reddish-brown body. They are sometimes mistaken for fleas; but unlike fleas, bedbugs don't jump.

Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control
Bedbug Bites on Person's Leg - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control
Bedbug Bites on Person's Face - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control
Bedbug Bites On Person's Back - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control

How Do You Get Them?

Bed bugs spread in very much the same way that fleas do, by a host (luggage, furniture, etc.) that travels from place to place. Hotels are considered the main channel through which bed bugs are spread. They can also be spread when an item of infested furniture or other material is brought inside your home, such as a mattress, couch, duffle bag, suitcase, or clothing.

Where Do They Hide?

Females lay their eggs in secluded places, with one female able to lay hundreds of eggs during her lifetime. The eggs are tiny and hard to see without a magnifying device. Eggs hatch in about a week and the nymphs are straw-colored, about the size of a pinhead.

Like fleas, bed bugs can survive months without feeding. They hide during the day, staying close to nighttime food sources (like you and your pets). They prefer the seams of mattresses and box springs, bed frames and headboards, tiny cracks in baseboard, and even inside nightstands.

However, they will feed by day when a food source is offered. You could get bit while you're watching television in an infested reclining chair or sofa; or while taking an afternoon nap in your bedroom. Usually, you won't feel bed bugs biting you.

Adult Bedbug Up Close - Austin TX - YardDoc
Bedbugs - Closeup Biting Human - Austin TX - YardDoc
Skin Casings

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Do it yourself pest control usually doesn't work, but here are some methods you can try.

  • Laundering
    The heat of laundering (120 degrees+ for 15 minutes+) will kill all life stages.
  • Encasement
    Wrap items that cannot be laundered in completely sealed heavy-duty plastic. Place it outdoors in the sun so it heats up to a point (120 degrees or higher) when it kills larvae, young, and adult life cycles.
  • Vacuuming
    Vacuuming won't kill them, but you can seal the contents of the vacuum bag, set it out in the sun to kill them, and dispose of it promptly. Target your vacuuming to suspected or observed infested areas like carpets and other flooring, along bed skirting, joins and screw/bolt holes on bed frames, folds and edges of headboards, mattress seams (top, bottom, and sides), cracks and crevices of arm chairs, sofas, and nearby furniture.
  • Heat Treatments
    Heating the infected areas to 120°F or higher is a quick way to get rid of bed bugs. Heat treatments require special expertise (YardDoc pest control technicians) and equipment, is more costly than DIY methods, and far more effective.
  • Insecticides
    The most common approach for getting rid of bed bugs is to use of insecticides. The main benefit is that it creates a residual barrier which reduces the likelihood of re-infestation. However, over the years, bed bugs have developed a resistance to pesticides. Learn more about pesticide application.

How to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation

Do not bring used mattresses, furniture, or clothing into your home without a meticulous inspection. Also, check your sleeping and resting areas every few months for signs so you can eradicate them before they grow to an infestation.

It takes several treatments, over several weeks, to inspect, treat, and exterminate bed bugs. Practice prevention techniques and monitor hiding places even after treatment exterminates them.

Check out customer reviews and get to know the YardDoc team. If you suspect a bed bug invasion, let a YardDoc pest technician evaluate the extent of the infestation and design a treatment program to get rid of them.

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