About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are widespread and have been found in houses, apartments, hotels, schools, hospitals, dormitories, airplanes, and movie theaters. They use their straw-like mouth parts to suck blood from warm-blooded animals such as humans, bats, and birds. Adults are oval-shaped, flattened front to back, and wingless. Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress. At maturity, they are 4-5 mm long and 1.5-3 mm wide. They are light brown when hungry but after a feeding on blood, their abdomen looks bright red, red-brown, or blackish. Bed bugs may be mistaken for small cockroaches but unlike cockroaches, which scavenge human food, bed bugs feed only on blood. They remain hidden during the day and actively feed at night. Their bites are painless but the bite wounds can be extremely itchy for days later.
Don’t encase or replace
Too often the simple approach to take when you find a mattresses with bed bugs is to encase the mattress in a plastic bag. Mattress encasement will not prevent bed bugs... bed bugs live all around our rooms! Putting a mattress in a bag is a great idea to prevent bodily fluids from penetrating a new mattress, but the mattress bags are less valuable in the prevention of the harborage or spread of bed bugs. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet. Too many people feel helpless in combatting bed bugs and throw away their carpeting, furniture, and clothing. Don’t make this costly mistake... because in spite of this extreme action, eggs can (and often do!) remain and will hatch a couple of weeks later just to repeat the cycle. Learn why a heat treatment by TRS Extermination is the safe answer for a toxic-free solution to bed bugs in one, single treatment.
The Bed Bug Life cycle
Bed bugs have three stages in their life cycle: egg, nymph, adult. Adult females lay eggs on rough dry surfaces near their hiding places, either singly or in small clusters. One to four weeks later, the nymphs hatch from the eggs and seek a host animal from which to feed. As nymphs eat and mature, they outgrow their skin, grow a new skin layer (exoskeleton) beneath it, and shed the old one, a process called molting. Following each molt, the nymph is a little larger. After the fifth growth-molt cycle, usually 4-6 weeks later, the bed bug reaches full size and is an adult. The process of changing body forms while maturing is called metamorphosis.
Bed bugs are experts at hiding, extremely successful hitchhikers that can survive up to a year without feeding. Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere, from homes to hotels, hospitals to care facilities, theaters to offices, rental furniture businesses, schools, public transportation and more. With the recent resurgence of the bed bug population, it’s important now more than ever to be able to distinguish fact from fiction on where they live, thrive and nest:
- Can be found in any area where people rest, sit, stand, or walk
- Are capable of moving quickly from an infested area to bedding, baggage, boxes, and clothing
- Are extremely-capable hitch hikers
Bed bugs can be found within:
- Bedding (including sheets, comforters, dust ruffles and pillow cases)
- Box spring and mattress piping, seams and tags
- Headboards, bed frames and fixtures nearby, such as picture frames or mounted lights
- Carpet edges, floorboards, wall cracks, and electrical outlets
- Folds of curtains and blinds
- Seams and cushions of chairs and couches
- Drawer joints, electrical receptacles, and appliances
- Loose wallpaper and wall hangings
Detection and Finding Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are active at night and are adept at hiding in dark places during the day. They most often hide in crevices and in spaces between mattresses and box springs, on bed frames and headboards, and between couch and chair cushions. They are less commonly found in dressers and nightstands, in and on luggage, in electrical outlets, and among clutter. Once they infest a room, they often travel to adjacent rooms.
Bed bugs are expert hitch-hikers and are adept at finding new places to infest.
Bed Bug Prevention and Control
Proper sanitation practices and diligence can help prevent bed bug infestation.
- Inspect for bed bugs wherever you sit or stay. Eggs are tiny white ovals. Bed bugs are brownish. Shed skins are yellowish. Fecal spots are black.
- If you may have been exposed to bedbugs, wash and dry your clothes on high heat, then run them through the dryer again for at least 20 minutes. Dry clean items that cannot be machine-dried. Place shoes and other non-washable items into sealable plastic bags and place them in the freezer overnight to kill bed bugs that might be on or in them.
- Never bring used or discarded furniture or clothing into your home unless it has been carefully inspected for bed bugs. Wash and/or freeze clothing and other items as described above.
- If you find bed bugs at home, heat is the most thorough, efficient, chemical-free method to use. Call TRS Extermination at 513-604-6332 about a heat treatment to kill bed bugs in one day. Chemicals require repeated visits to the site. It is not necessary to use chemicals where you live. Heat is clean and efficient, and can kill 100% of bed bugs and their eggs in one visit when properly applied.
- Other heat treatment benefits include removal of odors from cooking, smoking, animals, urine, and bacteria.
- There are not many safe chemicals that will kill bed bugs instantly. Do not attempt to treat for bed bugs with bleach or rubbing alcohol. While bleach and rubbing alcohol can be deadly to many living organisms, the potential for collateral damage is too great. An attempt to kill bed bugs with bleach will often ruin furniture. Attempting to kill bed bugs with rubbing alcohol is a fire danger.
Heat is the only treatment that is 100% effective to eliminate bed bugs in all life stages in a single treatment. Because of this, heat is the best bed bug extermination method. Heat kills bed bugs naturally.