What to do If You Think You Have Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are back with a vengeance. Reports of home infestations have risen dramatically in recent years. These bugs are prolific travelers capable of hitching rides in luggage, clothing and furniture.
How to Identify Bed bugs
Typically, homeowners become aware of an infestation because of welts resulting from bed bug bites. Close inspection of bedding and mattresses may reveal blood smears and dark spots of insect feces. Live bugs and exoskeleton shed in molting may be visible. Bed bugs favor the seams of mattresses and pillows, but they can hide in crevices, carpets and upholstery. A large group of bed bugs will give off a characteristic sweetish odor similar to cilantro.
What to do if you think you have bed bugs
- Due to their breeding habits, bed bugs spread quickly. A single female can produce up to 500 offspring in a year. The sight of a few bed bugs may indicate a serious infestation. Residents of the D.C. area who detect bed bugs in their homes should call Capitol Pest as soon as possible.
- If bed bugs are present in your living space, make sure you do not switch beds. Bed bugs can travel to new areas by hitching a ride on a host. Sleeping at a relative's home or in different rooms of the house will only spread the problem and make the bed bugs more difficult to get rid of.
- Keep the bed bugs you find handy. These specimens will help professionals to identify which species of bed bug is present.
- Bed bugs are a complex pest, and there are many steps in the removal process. Avoid treating the home yourself. An improper application of chemicals will only disperse the bed bugs throughout a larger area.
- Remember that the irritation from bed bug bites is the result of an allergic reaction. About a third of people do not react to the bites at all. Those living in an infested house or apartment are most likely being bitten even if they do not show visible signs.
- While many people respond to bed bugs by disposing of infested beds and furniture, this is typically unnecessary. Most furniture and bedding can be cleaned and treated by a technician. An infestation can be caused by a single bed bug finding a way into the home, and dirty furniture and beds are usually not the problem.