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Bed Bug Control DIY Pest Control

Bug Lady posted this on Oct 18, 2016

Bed Bug Overview

 

“Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” This old saying has become a common phrase across our nation, but the truth is, we can’t let bed bugs not bite us--they’re going to do it anyway! Bed bugs are among the most frustrating insects to come in contact with and are even more frustrating to get rid of. Encountering bed bugs in your home may lead you to having bad sleeps in your home because they will feed on your flesh nightly and you will wake up to marks and bite marks that are irritatingly itchy.

 

The bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has long been a common household pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and being an extreme nuisance to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest but unlike most pests, bed bugs are not known to carry diseases.

 

Bed bugs used to not be a big issue in the U.S. but there has been an increase in bed bug outbreaks in recent years mainly due to international travel. They are known to hitchhike into luggage and even onto people themselves by hiding in clothing. Removing bed bugs can be extremely expensive if you hire professionals to take care of it and even then, pros may not be able to eliminate all of the bugs in a home. However it is possible to get rid of bed bugs yourself and eliminate the infestation with the right products such as what we carry in Solutions stores and with the helpful step-by-step guides we provide.

 

Bed Bug Characteristics

 

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, wingless insects that belong to the family of Cimicidae. They feed on human blood and other warm-blooded hosts. They are flat bodied and oval in shape and grow up to 4 to 5 mm long when fully grown. Their skin color is rust brown to a deeper red brown.

 

Because of their tiny size and flat bodies, bed bugs have an advantage of hiding very well and being undetected. They have been known to hide in crevices in bedding, baseboards, floor cracks and under carpets.

 

They are particularly frustrating and increasingly difficult to find at night, especially when they are feasting on sleeping humans. When bed bugs bite, they penetrate human flesh with an anesthetic injection which prevents a person from realizing that they are being bitten. Clever little monsters huh?

 

Bed Bug Life Cycle

Bed bugs are a parasite and must have blood to reproduce.  All bed bugs go through a gradual metamorphosis (egg – nymph – adult) to develop.  Bed bugs are nocturnal insects, preferring to feed at night or in subdued light during the day.

 

After feeding, one male can fertilize several females in a 24 hour period.  Once fertilized, a female bed bug will typically lay 1-5 eggs a day (200-500 in a lifetime).  The eggs take 6-10 days to hatch.  Nymphs must complete 5 instars (feeding, then shedding its skin) before reaching adulthood.  At least one blood meal is required between each instar, but developing nymphs can feed as often as once a day.

 

Upon locating a host it can take 3-12 minutes for a bed bug to eat its fill.  Under ideal conditions, the life cycle can be completed in 4-5 weeks.  Adult bed bugs can survive 6-9 months without feeding while a nymph can survive 3 months.




Bed Bug Removal How To Guide:

Identification

 

Knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying and controlling bed bugs. Homeowners sometimes mistake other bugs as bed bugs because of similar color and characteristics, so it is best to know how a bed bug looks in order to distinguish it from other insects.Bed bugs grow in stages after they exit the egg capsule. Immature bed bugs are known as nymphs and vary in size ranging between 2 mm and 5 mm. Adult bed bugs are around a fourth of an inch or larger. The Bed Bug life cycle can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months, depending on the surrounding temperature and available food sources.

 

  • Adult bed bugs have a rusty red color and swell to a bright red directly after feeding off blood.

  • Immature bed bugs, are a bit lighter than the adults. They are typically a yellow, tannish color.

  • The eggs of bed bugs are usually a very light cream-like color.




Inspection

 

 

Bed bugs require an extremely thorough inspection as they tend to hide in small cracks and crevices.  When performing your inspections check for bed bug fecal deposits or “rust spots” as well as for the insects themselves. Start by checking common areas like bedroom where you have been bitten the most. A flashlight and a flat piece of hard plastic like a credit card could be helpful for looking in narrow crevices and tight spaces.

 

  1. Check all seams around the mattress and all joints, cracks, and crevices on the box springs. (This will probably require you to remove the fabric from the underside of the box springs.)

  2. Take drawers out of furniture (dressers, nightstands, etc.) and check runners and joints.

  3. Flip all wooden furniture over and check all joints, cracks and crevices.

  4. Pull carpet back slightly and check under all the baseboards.

  5. Check behind pictures/artwork on walls and in folds of curtains.

  6. Be sure to check behind all outlet covers and light switch covers as well.

 

CHECK EVERY ROOM IN THE HOUSE THOROUGHLY!!!

 

Control

 

Prep Your Home for Bed Bug Control

  1. Before breaking out the chemicals, it’s best to Prep your home for the use of bed bug control products by removing clutter from your home. Get rid of anything you do not need any more whether it be furniture, clothes, covers etc.

  2. Wash and Dry all of your home clothing that you keep (infested or not-you can never be too sure), bag them and stash them away. The heat from the dryer should kill any remaining bed bugs.

  3. Steam clean your carpets and your bed and box spring with a steam cleaner. The heat from the steamer can kill bugs easily with direct contact.

  4. Get good, durable, zippered mattress covers for mattresses and box springs.  Cover everything and leave it covered for 6-9 months.Be careful not to tear covers.  Leave everything disassembled from earlier so that you can treat all known/suspected areas of infestation.  Mattress covers are available at all Solutions Stores.

 

Choosing the Right Products

 

What is important to remember in the DIY pest control industry, is that the product does not matter as much as the application.  Certain products are created specifically to be applied in certain ways and on certain types of objects.  Solutions carries concentrates, Insect Growth Regulators, Dust, Aerosol and Sprays that are specific for bedding and luggage.  These are all different, and in most cases it is important to have some or all of these different types of bed bug control products in your arsenal.

 

A liquid concentrate mixed with the Insect Growth Regulator are great to spray on items that you can apply a little more liberally, such as the mattress frame, baseboards, and any other service that can handle the liquid.  Dust are typically used to apply to out of the way places, behind the baseboards, electrical outlets and wall voids.  An aerosol can be used with a straw applicator to apply into the tight seams of the mattress, box springs, furniture etc, and any other tight cracks and crevices.  There are special bed bug sprays that have no application regulations, so it can be sprayed often and on mattress, furniture and areas that you have direct contact with the surface.

Bed bug powders / dust are used to effectively treat the walls voids, electrical outlets and any other our out of the way places, this bed bug dust is meant to stay put, undisturbed for long periods of time.  This is why we always recommend for bed bug control usings a bed bug powder / dust.

 

Since bed bugs can hide in unexpected areas, it is important to spray the bed, the bed frame, any carpeting that is near the bed or areas where the insects may hide throughout the room. In some cases, the pests will hide in the couch or in a chair, so it is important to identify the infested area before the insects can spread. Cover the mattress and box spring with an appropriate cover before replacing the clean bedding.  Bed Bug Spray will be necessary to apply to the head boards and nightstands in the bedroom that has the bed bug infestation.

 

There are bed bug traps available to monitor is there is a problem or a reinfestation.  There are also bed bug traps can also prevent them from being able to crawl up the legs of furniture and beds.

 

Treatment

 

  1. Using a good quick aerosol that you can use directed on the areas where you are seeing them and know that it will kill on contact.  These products usually contain Pyrethrin’s.  Treating in the correct places is important for you to be successful.

  2. Pictures and other items that are hanging on the walls we would recommend removing and treating with a crack and crevice treatment. Other items attached to the walls should be removed and these areas be treated also, the voids treated with a dust.

  3. Remove the electrical faceplates that on on the walls and treat the wall voids behind them.

  4. Chester Cabinets, you should remove the the drawers and treat all the cracks and crevices and do not forget the tracks that support  the drawers.  We recommend flipping the cabinets and treating the underneaths of the cabinets.

  5. Remove the headboards, and treat the cracks and crevices and all the voids located on or behind them.

  6. Treating your mattress should be done following the instructions that are specific with the products you purchased.  

  7. When treating the box spring you will need to flip it over and remove any of the liner so that you can treat all the cracks and crevices underneath the box spring.  After you finish treating the mattress and boxsprings we would recommend encasing these in a bed bug certified mattress cover.  These bed bug mattress protectors work to lock in any bed bugs, and also prevent any new bed bugs from invading the cracks and crevices.  Making it easy to retreat the mattress and boxspring, because all the cracks and crevices are sealed up.

  8. For Furniture you will want to inspect and treat in a way very similar to the mattress and boxspring.  Always pay special attention to the cracks and crevices, seams and folds.  Check the legs and remove any dust cover that maybe in tact.

  9. Treat the wheels, posts, caster of the furniture.

  10. Pull the carpet away from the walls and you will have a small void between the pad and the moulding at the wall.

  11. Treat the baseboards when they are on the sides where the headboards and mattress sit, dark protected side are a prime location for bed bugs to harbor.

  12. Curtains can be removed and heat treated or fumigated along with other non washable items.

  13. REPEAT these steps frequently for the next few weeks until there are no more bug biting incidents or traces of any bed bugs in your home.

 

Prevention

When it comes to preventing a reinfestation there’s little that can be done since bed bugs usually venture upon homes via traveling or by having company stay over at your home who may have unsuspectingly brought bed bugs along. However if you take the proper precautions you can prevent or limit bed bugs from entering your home ever again.

 

  1. Inspect your home regularly--starting with your mattress. Familiarize yourself with the droppings and blood stains bed bugs leave and under the foldings and crevices of your mattress and box springs.

  2. If you leave the country, or travel and stay in hotels/motels, thoroughly inspect luggage as you unpack. Check the sleeping quarters whenever you are traveling or staying over at friends and families house. This may be seen as impolite but again, you can never be too sure.

  3. Furniture and clothing bought used should be inspected thoroughly for bed bugs and treated or dried at high heat before use. In most cases you should probably avoid buying used furniture entirely. That tempting couch by the dumpster may be a welcome addition to your home, but there’s a reason it’s being cast out so proceed with caution.

  4. If you have visitors over or company who spends the night, always check for bed bugs after the visitors have left. Friends and family members may be unaware that bed bugs had joined them on their travels be hiding in their luggage or clothing. they have left behind these unwanted guests. Inspect any areas where your guests have spent time resting, sleeping and areas where they stored their belongings.

 

There is no perfect way to prevent bed bugs in your home, but paying attention to your surroundings and checking your items when you are in areas that have a high tendency to have bed bug problems, you will be likely to reduce your risk.  International traveling or international guest can be a easy way to introduce them into your home or apartment.

 

But we can teach you to take care of bed bugs easily and efficiently with our professional pest control products and our easy to understand guides and knowledgeable support staff.





Categories: Bed Bugs
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