Summer is a time for BBQs and outdoor fun. But, it’s also a time when we see a spike in bed bug calls. Bed bugs are one of the most common pests–in both residential settings and commercial settings. This is because of their skilled ability to hitchhike on clothing, luggage, furniture, and other possessions.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about signs of bed bugs, and how you can help prevent them from hitching a ride into your home.
Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?
No, bed bugs are not dangerous. They don’t transmit any diseases. Bed bugs are simply a nuisance. However, their bites can be irritating, especially if you’re allergic. To help alleviate the itchiness and irritation that results from a bed bug bite, you can apply an anti-itch cream to the affected areas, and take an oral antihistamine.
In some rare cases, people who are allergic to bed bug bites have developed a rash, hives, and experienced trouble breathing. If this occurs, you’ll want to see a doctor immediately.
How to Tell If You Have Bed Bugs
The easiest way to tell if you have bed bugs is by actually seeing them. However, these tiny blood-suckers are nocturnal and only come out when their hosts are sleeping, so we’ve come up with a list of other common bed bug indicators:
- Bed bug bites: they generally look like small red welts in a zigzag pattern
- Unpleasant odors: bed bugs release pheromones that smell musty
- Dark or rust-colored spots of excrement: they may look splotchy or smeared
- Bloody sheets: you may bleed after being bitten by a bed bug, staining your sheets
- Bed bug exoskeletons, shells, or casings: many pests, including bed bugs, have exoskeletons that they shed when growing into their next stage
It’s also important that we mention, bed bugs are not only limited to your bed. They can be found nearly anywhere. They’re known to conceal themselves in electrical outlets, picture frames, sofas, nightstands, and more.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
The scary thing about bed bugs is that no one is immune. But you can take some preventive measures to reduce your chances of getting a bed bug infestation.
- Vacuum regularly
- Eliminate clutter
- Seal cracks in your home
- Install door sweeps
- Be wary of secondhand items
- If you frequently travel:
- Consider hard-shelled luggage or wrap it in plastic when traveling
- Vacuum your luggage upon returning
- Clean your laundry, stuffed animals, towels, and blankets in hot water
- Examine your hotel room before getting comfortable
Professional Bed Bug Exterminators
Although bed bugs aren’t dangerous to your health, their presence can affect your emotional and mental state. If you have a bed bug problem in your home or business, you’ll want to contact your local bed bug exterminator immediately. Bed bugs are difficult to control, even for skilled pest control technicians! These tiny pests can survive in the most extreme temperatures and they’re great hiders.
Professional bed bug exterminators like ourselves at United Pest Solutions, have commercial steam machines that can kill bed bugs at every life stage, in addition to pesticides for more severe infestations. To learn more about bed bugs, take a look at our Bed Bug Extermination page. It has everything you need to know about bed bugs, from how to identify them to when you need a professional.