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BED BUG IDENTIFICATION & PREVENTION

(Cimicidae)

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What are bed bugs?

bed bug on human skin

Bed bugs are among the most common pests affecting homes. But did you know they also infest places outside of the home? Seats and counters in public bars and restaurants are often home to bed bugs, along with hotel chairs and beds. You may even find bed bugs in contaminated library items.

You can identify a bed bug by its small size (about 1-7mm long), brown-ish body, and oval shape. They’re about the size of an apple seed, but their bodies swell after feeding. These bugs feed on the blood of humans and animals. This fuels their growth through the following developmental stages:

  • Egg: Females need blood to develop eggs, which take 6-10 days to hatch.
  • Larva: Bed bugs have five larval stages, each requiring a blood meal to progress.
  • Adults: These bugs live for 10 months on average, reproducing constantly. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs throughout her lifetime.

Bed bugs are good at getting their meals, too, since they can hide so well in the crevices of furniture. You don’t have to worry about them flying or jumping, but they do move fast, especially at night when they are most active.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

On the bright side, bed bug infestations are not associated with the spread of disease. Still, this doesn’t mean they’re free of adverse health impacts. Bed bugs bite by inserting a long beak into the skin, drinking blood through it like a straw for 3-10 minutes. Though this initial bite isn’t painful, it leaves behind unsightly and irritating welts.

Not only can bed bug bites be annoying, causing itching and inflammation, but they also lead to allergic reactions. Scratching at bed bug bites can cause open wounds that are more prone to infection. Bed bug bites are often confused with mosquito bites, especially since they both tend to bite exposed areas of the body. This includes the face, neck, shoulders, back, arms, and legs.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Anybody can get bed bugs, no matter how clean their home is. You can accidentally pick them up from an infested location, such as a hotel or public transit. All they have to do is sneak onto your luggage or clothing and settle into your home once your travels are over. They can even get into your house from the neighbor’s through any open cracks or crevices. In cases like this, it usually means the infestation is pretty severe. So, it’s best to contact professional exterminators for help.

Where will I find bed bugs?

Bed bugs can fit through openings as narrow as a credit card. The most common places you’ll find them hiding include:

  • On or around the bed, especially on mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards
  • Underneath wallpaper, especially sections that are peeling and building moisture
  • Underneath carpeting
  • In or near electrical outlets

Bed bugs don’t create nests, but you can find them living in large groups, with hundreds concentrated in one small area of the furniture or flooring.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

Bed bug infestations are notoriously difficult to get rid of. This is why it’s best to contact experienced pest control experts as soon as you notice the first signs of bed bugs. Phenom Pest Protection has the tools to perform a thorough inspection of your home and develop a customized treatment plan to get rid of any pest, including bed bugs. We are a local, family-owned business with years of experience with pests in the Greater Baltimore area. Contact us today to learn more about our guaranteed treatments!

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

In addition to our home pest control and commercial pest control services, protect your property from pests with the following prevention tips:

Exterior tips

  • Be careful where you place things like luggage and coats while you’re in public spaces or hotels. 
  • Check the condition of public seating and hotel bedding before sitting. 
  • Assess used furniture before bringing it into your home. 
  • Replace the upholstery on outdoor furniture with bed bug resistant materials, such as vinyl or faux leather.

Interior tips

  • Get rid of adult bed bugs and eggs by scrubbing mattress seams and other furniture crevices with hot water.
  • Wash linens and fabrics and dry them on the hottest dryer machine setting, per material.
  • Vacuum around your bed, seating, and trash cans regularly and keep these areas clutter-free.
  • Remove clutter around the bed
  • Get a heat treatment or other specialized protection services.

Got my first service done today and was happy to see that not only did I get a great deal, but they did everything they told me they were going to do, and they were right on time!! Heather did my service and she did a great job! Highly recommend this company if you like working with organized and reliable people who have a vision for growing a company through customer service! “PHENOMenal!!”

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Phenom Pest Protection received an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 354 reviews.

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