Creepy, hard-to-kill, blood-sucking bed bugs

How to identify, prevent and eliminate them

Bed Bugs are staging a comeback in parts of Tulsa, Jenks, and Owasso because people are bringing used clothing, luggage, furniture and bedding home. Once they take residence, getting rid of them can be a nightmare. Usually it takes hiring a professional pest control service like Sure Shot Tulsa to eliminate the insidious bug. But, with some knowledge and quick action, you can identify and treat the infestation before it spreads inside your home and office.

What are bed bugs

Bed bugs are tiny nocturnal pests that live in beds and bedding and feast on human blood, just like mosquitoes. The bed bugs can walk up to 100 feet at night to feed, but they’ll often stick within eight feet of their food source. Although bed bugs range from semi-transparent beige to brown in color, the more they feed, the redder they become. The adult bed bugs can grow as large as an apple seed, but most of them don’t grow more than half a centimeter.

Luckily, Bed bugs don’t spread diseases, but they can cause anemia, allergic reactions, itchiness, stress, difficulty in sleeping, and scarring from scratching. They’re not considered dangerous unless the bites cause a serious allergic reaction which needs medical attention.

While the bite marks themselves look like the bites of other insects, there is a way to identify it. They bite in a zig-zag pattern, usually in a row of 3 to 6 bites close together. You many find bites on the face, feet, neck and arms.

Identifying bed bugs

Adult bed bugs can be seen with the human eye, but since they are so tiny and often confused with carpet beetles and fleas, you may need a magnifying glass to identify them. Their eggs are about the size of a fleck of dust, and females can lay up to 200 at a time. It only takes one month for them to grow to full size, which is why just a couple of bed bugs can quickly lead to infestation.

To check if you have bed bugs, examine mattress seams, sheets, pillows, bedding, headboards, nightstands, cracks and crevices in furniture, curtains, and baseboards for dead or living bed bugs, shed skins, eggs and faeces. They’ll also leave behind a sweet, musty odour. If you suspect you have bed bugs, it’s wise to hire a bedbug inspection company that can inspect your house thoroughly and suggest a treatment plan.

How to prevent bed bugs

The best thing to do is avoid bringing them home with you. Don’t bring used furniture, clothing or bedding into your home unless you’ve inspected the items closely. Here are some additional tips to prevent bed bug infestations:

1. Check your MattressesEvery time you change your bed linens, look for signs of bed bugs. Check the linens for blood spots. Inspect the mattress and pay close attention to tufts, folds, and seams. Also look for cast skins and faeces.

A mattress cover will eliminate hiding spots for bed bugs and will make them easier to spot. You can even place bed bug traps under each leg of the bed to catch them before they climb onto the furniture.

2. Cover the Power OutletsBed bugs often will hide in power outlets to evade extermination. They climb up the outlet holes until they can come out again safely. Bed bugs can even travel through walls via electric outlets spreading the infestation to other areas of your office or home. So, keep power outlets covered.

clear the clutter3. Clean Up ClutterA cluttered home provides great places for bed bugs to hide. Keep your home neat and tidy to discourage these unwanted pests.

4. Regularly wash and heat-dry items that touch the floorRegularly wash your bedsheets, bedspreads and blankets that touch the floor to help prevent the spread of bed bugs. Heat kills bed bugs, so dry items in a hot dryer. Since bed bugs and their eggs can end up in your laundry baskets and hampers, also clean them every time you do laundry.

5. Kill bed bugs by freezing themFreezing also can kill the bed bugs, but in order for it to be effective, the temperature must be very low and remain so for a long period. How cold? A new study by the Journal of Economic Entomology says it takes 80 hours in temperatures of 3.2°F. Unfortunately, home freezers are not cold enough to kill them. But, if you do have access to another freezing method, make sure it’s cold enough.

6. Eliminate bugs with heatYou can always use space heaters, sunshine or a thermostat to kill bed bugs with heat. Studies show the bugs die when their body temperature reaches 113°F or above. Try putting small items and luggage in black plastic bags and set them into the sun to kill the bugs, or raise the temperature on your thermostat.

If all else fails, hire a professional bed bug control service

Bed bugs are infamous for spreading quickly and being hard to kill. To ensure you’ve eliminated the pests completely, hire a bedbug control service. They use special techniques and equipment to identify and treat them. For professional, expert bed bug treatment, we recommend Sure Shot Tulsa pest control services in Tulsa, Owasso and Jenks.