Ultimate Guide to Identifying and Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Bedroom

Bed bugs are small, flat insects with an oval shape and brownish color that feed on the blood of humans and warm-blooded animals. Their flat bodies allow them to fit into tiny spaces about the width of a credit card. They can hide in cracks and crevices located close to your resting areas such as mattresses, box springs, bedside tables, and other areas around sleeping areas. This gives these pests easy access to sleeping humans, hence the name “bed bugs.” In this blog, we explore some preventative measures for bed bugs as well as some ways to begin getting rid of them until a pest control specialist can arrive to help.

How to Check for Bed Bugs

By noticing bed bugs early, you can keep a small invasion from turning into a major infestation. The most common signs of bed bugs include:

  • Empty shells (molted skin) that bed bugs shed.
  • Bed bug bites on your skin.
  • Tiny spots (feces) in or around your bed.

If you are paying close attention, it’s possible to notice clusters of these pests in and around your bed. However, since they prefer to stay hidden, bed bugs are usually hard to spot.

Reduce Hiding Spots & Cut Down on Clutter

Consider getting rid of anything unneeded such as old magazines and newspapers. A cluttered home provides many places for bed bugs to hide, and the more items you can eliminate, the less places bed bugs can hide. If you’re wondering what bed bugs are attracted to – other than warmth, blood and carbon dioxide – dark crevices also get their attention, giving them a place to hide before emerging to feed.

  • Check baseboards for any cracks or crevices and caulk as needed.
  • Ensure wallpaper is not loose and repair any wall damage.
  • Check outlets and wall switches for bed bug evidence.
  • Bed bugs can hide in cardboard, so if you need the storage, plastic bins are less likely to foster infestations.
  • Keep clothing and accessories off the floor. If possible, throw away or donate items you no longer need, taking care first to ensure it’s all free of bed bugs.

Be Mindful of Your Bed

Seeing tell-tale signs of bed bugs on your mattress and bedding may leave you feeling squeamish and wondering, “should I throw out my mattress after a bed bug infestation?” Fortunately, a bed bug infestation does not mean you have to throw away your entire mattress. Here’s how to clean your mattress for bed bugs:

  • Remove your pillowcases, sheets, mattress cover, etc., and wash everything in hot water (please follow the manufacturer’s instructions, though).
  • Dry the items on high heat if the manufacturer’s instructions allow it.
  • Do not carry these items to the washing machine by hand, use a plastic bag. Then throw the plastic bag away as it may have live bed bugs in it and you do not want to re-infest clean items.
  • We recommend moving your bed at least six inches away from the wall to make it harder for bed bugs to settle behind the wallpaper or on any window treatments that may touch your bed.
  • Clutter beneath your bed can serve as a hiding spot for bed bugs. Be sure to check under your bed and discard anything unneeded. Items you want to keep should be stored in the same room to prevent the infestation from spreading.

Keep in mind that the most effective way to clean your mattress for bed bugs requires professional treatment.

What Kills Bed Bugs?

Pest control professionals. Give them your full cooperation and make sure they have access to closets, walls, and areas around furniture. In turn, they should be able to effectively treat your bed bug infestation. Don’t wait for the problem to get out of hand. To help get rid of bed bugs fast, you need a trained professional to identify the pests and find signs of the infestation quickly.

Contact Rottler Pest Solutions

Contact us for powerful, customized treatments that can help eliminate bed bugs where they live and breed. Check out our year-round protection programs, or schedule your free inspection today! Protect your home from pests this season by calling 877-768-8537.