How Do You Know If You Have A Bed Bug Infestation?

About 20% of the homes in the U.S. have bed bugs at any given time. That's one household in five that is dealing with these nuisance pests. They're also found in offices, retail stores, hospitals, schools, daycare centers, hotels, churches, and public transportation such as buses and taxis. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, you're certainly not alone.

It's important to know how to find bed bugs to determine if that's the pest you're dealing with. Indications of bed bugs in your home include the following:

  • Red spots on your bedding occur when bed bugs bite you, and you keep bleeding. 
  • Dark brown or black spots on your mattress, box spring, headboard, or wall behind your bed indicate bed bug fecal matter.
  • Small pearly white eggs about 1/16 of an inch long are usually found tucked into the creases or seams in your mattress.
  • Nymphs, or young bed bugs, start out the size of a period at the end of a sentence and grow to full size. The time between egg and full-grown adult is about seven weeks.
  • Shed skins are left as nymphs grow to full size. Bed bugs molt five times, leaving behind yellowish-to-tan shed exoskeletons.
  • Bed bug bites appear when you wake and are in a straight line or tight grouping. If you're one of the 70% of people allergic to their saliva, you'll develop welts that look like mosquito bites. These bites are common on your arms or legs. It can take two to three days after being bitten before the welts appear, making it harder to diagnose the problem as bed bugs.
  • Sweet, musty odors come from around your bed or furniture. Some people say it smells like cinnamon that's gone bad.
  • Full-grown bed bugs are ¼ inch long, brown, oval, and very flat. After feeding, they get a little longer, darker in color, and fatter. They have six legs and two antennae. They also have wing pads but no wings.

How Dangerous Are Bed Bugs In My Home?

Although they drink your blood, bed bugs are not dangerous past the welts you develop after they've bitten you. If you have a severe enough allergic reaction to the bed bug bites, you may have trouble breathing or go into anaphylactic shock and need immediate medical treatment.

Bed bugs are incapable of spreading blood-borne diseases. They've been tested with HIV-infected blood and other blood-borne ailments, and there's been no spreading of those pathogens. 

The biggest medical impact of having bed bugs is the anxiety you may feel going to sleep, knowing that they'll be crawling on you to feed while you're asleep. It won't do any good going to sleep on the couch or in your favorite recliner. Bed bugs sense the carbon dioxide you exhale and follow it to its source. They don't just invade your bed; they can infest your furniture, clothing, curtains and drapes, carpet, piles of paper, and books.

How Do I Prevent Bed Bugs?

It's crucial to know how to prevent bed bugs from spreading. One study showed that about 33% of homeowners who had bed bugs didn't tell anyone, including visitors who may have sat down on bed bug-infested furniture. It's an embarrassing problem to have, and a lot of people think they got bed bugs because they don't keep their homes clean enough. Let us be perfectly clear; having bed bugs has no relation to the cleanliness of your home. Bed bugs infiltrate the cleanest office buildings and high-end hotels just as much as in slums and homeless encampments.

To prevent bed bugs, you need to understand how they get into your home. Bed bugs don't run or fly – they hitchhike. Purchasing secondhand furniture is a common way bed bugs get into homes. You must inspect furniture carefully before you bring it into your house. Use a powerful flashlight to check seams, screw holes, and other nooks or crannies where bed bugs can hide. Their small size and flatness make it easy to hide and prevent detection.

You should also be careful when you travel. About 68% of hotels have had bed bug treatments. Before you bring your luggage in, you need to check the mattresses for the signs we listed above. You should also check the luggage rack many hotels provide, so you don't have to put your luggage on the bed. When you get home, wash and dry your clothes on the highest possible heat – bed bugs can't survive in temperatures above 122° Fahrenheit. Carefully check your suitcase before bringing it inside your house. 

If all your prevention methods fail, and you wind up in the 20%, you need professional pest control to kill bed bugs. That's where Peeler Environmental comes in.

What's The Best Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs?

The best bed bug control in Salisbury, NC, is with Peeler Environmental's bed bug control services. We have more than 54 years of experience dealing with pests, and our pest management professionals are highly trained to deal with bed bugs. We have a variety of treatment methods at our disposal, depending on the severity of your infestation. 

We start with an inspection, looking for signs of activity, droppings, bite marks on the customer, or bloodstains on the mattress. We will then schedule your service. The customer must do some prep work, and we will provide a list prior to our service.

Next, we apply a treatment. Depending on the situation, treatments can consist of aerosols, liquids, or dusts.

We also offer mattress encasements for extra protection. These encasements prevent bed bugs from getting to your mattress.

We complete our bed bug service with a follow-up in two weeks and educate our customers on ways to avoid a bed bug infestation in the future.

Let one of NC's most trusted pest control companies handle your bed bug problem. Call us today for a free estimate.