Just the thought of having bed bugs is enough to send shivers down the spines of most people. If you suspect you have an infestation, you’re probably trying to figure out what to do and whether you need to call a professional bed bug extermination company.

If there is any good news associated with bed bugs, it’s that they don’t carry or spread disease. The bad news is that they bite, causing small, itchy marks – although some fortunate people have no reaction at all.

Unfortunately, bed bug bites don’t look much different than any other bug bite, so it’s hard to tell from bite marks alone if you have bed bugs. One in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has, and if you’re wondering if you’re now among the 20% and what to do about it, then read on, as we’re a professional bed bug extermination company and know a thing or two about this topic.

What are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small, flat, wingless insects that are reddish-brown in color and approximately one-quarter inch long – about the size and shape of a small apple seed. They have six legs and two antennae.

Bed bugs hide during the day on beds (mattress seams, box springs, bed frames, headboards) and in cracks and crevices of walls, floors, and furniture. They come out at night to feed on our blood while we sleep, which is why they love to infest our beds. As they feed, their bodies swell and get darker in color.

Bed bug eggs are pearl white and about the size of a pinprick. Young bed bugs are whiteish in color.

Because bed bugs can easily be mistaken for other common pests, knowing how to identify them and their bites is the first step toward determining whether you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation and if you need the services of a professional bed bug extermination company.

Their Mode of Attack

Before a bed bug feeds on you, it will excrete a tiny amount of anesthetic, so you won’t feel their bites. It can take one day to two weeks for symptoms of bed bug bites to develop, although approximately 30% to 60% of people never develop a reaction to a bed bug bite. When symptoms do develop, the bites tend to be:

  • red and swollen, with a dark spot at the center of each bite (they may also look like a hive or welt)
  • arranged in lines or clusters, with multiple bites grouped together
  • itchy
  • burning
  • fluid-filled blisters
  • you may also find blood stains on the sheets from scratching

However, because bed bug bites look very similar to mosquito bites, it’s best to look for signs of an infestation before calling a professional bed bug extermination company.

The Resiliency of Bed Bugs

Beg bugs are resilient and can live in extreme cold and extreme heat – from 0 degrees Fahrenheit to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. In a study reported by NBC News, a minimum exposure of 80 hours at 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit was needed to kill 100 percent of bed bugs, although some bed bugs survived short-term exposures to temperatures as low as minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit.

These little critters are also hitchhikers, grabbing rides on luggage, pillows, and stuffed animals. That week-long hotel vacation you just took, during which you used a small pillow to get comfortable on the airplane and allowed your three-year-old son to bring Teddy along? These are all ideal modes of transportation for bed bugs, which just might cause you to need the services of a professional bed bug extermination company.

What to Look for

If you think you have a bed bug infestation, start by thoroughly examining your mattress, bedding, bed frame, and box spring. Then check nearby hiding spots, including crevices in your headboard, bedside cabinets, dresser, floorboards, wall trim, picture frames, and drapery folds.

Also check inside books, telephones or radios, the edge of the carpet, and even in electrical outlets. Check your closet, because bed bugs can attach to clothing. If you are uncertain about signs of bed bugs, call a professional bed bug extermination company, who will know what to look for.

Here are signs you might have bed bugs:

  • Blood stains on your sheets or pillowcases.
  • Dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on sheets, mattresses, bed clothes, and walls.
  • Bed bug fecal spots, eggshells, or shed skins in areas where bedbugs hide.
  • An offensive, musty odor from the bugs’ scent glands.

If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding, and check it carefully for signs of bed bugs or their excrement. Remove the dust cover over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing. Peel back the fabric where it is stapled to the wood frame.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to kill. They can survive temperatures between 0 and 125 degrees and go for a year without a meal. Over-the-counter bug sprays don’t work, and home remedies almost always fall short – primarily because there are always more bugs hiding and reproducing elsewhere in the house.

So, what’s the answer? Eliminating a bed bug infestation requires a multi-pronged approach that includes the following:

  • Cleaning your home of clutter (reducing the places bed bugs have to hide)
  • Washing and drying clothes, blankets, bedspreads, and pillowcases in hot water and drying them on high heat for 30 minutes.
  • Vacuum carpets and seal and throw away the bags in an outside trash can.

When to Call a Professional Bed Bug Extermination company

However, if you have an infestation, the three steps above will likely not do the trick. If you decide to go the do-it-yourself route to get rid of your bed bug infestation, we urge you to proceed cautiously. We do not recommend foggers, as they do not reach all crevices where bed bugs are hiding and can cause fire and explosions when used improperly. In addition, we urge you not to use rubbing alcohol or untested remedies purchased online.

Because bed bugs are so difficult to get rid of, we recommend getting help from a professional bed bug extermination company, such as Eco Pest Control. We can help you identify and locate the bed bugs in your home and can give you a treatment plan to get rid of the bugs permanently.

Why Eco Pest Control is the Leading Bed Bug Extermination Company in Eastern Virginia

Don’t let a bed bug problem cause you to lose sleep. Simply call Eco Pest Control, the leading bed bug extermination company in eastern Virginia. Need a few reasons to trust us with your bed bug problem? Here are four.

  1. Our company provides our bed bug control technicians with extensive training in the treatment and control of bed bugs that enables them to solve your problems.
  2. We invest in ongoing bed bug control education to ensure we stay abreast of industry advances.
  3. Our bed bug control technicians provide free inspections, which come with a complimentary bed bug treatment and control plan.
  4. We offer a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are not fully satisfied, we will come back for free. What else would you expect from the leading bed bug extermination company in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas?