While bed bugs in Alberta may not be as commonplace as ants, spiders, or other insects, a bed bug infestation in your home is a serious issue, and not one that can be easily handled by do-it-yourself bed bug control. After learning a bit more about bed bugs, you’ll see why.
What Are Bed Bugs & How Do You Identify Them?
Bed Bugs have oval-shaped bodies and are very small, reddish-brown insects with adults measuring around 5mm in size. Bed bugs live off blood from mammals, mostly human, but can also feed on both dogs and cats. They can live on your mattress and/or box spring (hence the name). At night while you sleep in your bed, they emerge to feed on your blood.
Appearing almost as small red dots to the human eye, bed bugs can be difficult to find or identify, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify the signs of an infestation. Bed Bugs are often mistaken for other insects like ticks, baby Cockroaches, and fleas. Many homeowners never even realize they have a bed bug problem until they start waking up with several bed bug bites. At that point, it is definitely time to call a professional bed bug pest control company.
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Commonly Asked Questions
How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?
The first sign most people have of an infestation are usually bed bug bites. Thankfully, these bites are not usually dangerous, though they can become infected if not treated. Other signs include:
If you are wondering where bed bugs come from, the answer could be a variety of sources. If you recently visited a hotel, motel, or apartment complex, you could have carried them home on your clothing, luggage, or other objects. Their flat bodies (width of a credit card) make it easy for them to fit in small spaces.
Bed bugs do not have nests like bees or ants, but do tend to group together. Because of this, their initial hiding spots are typically box springs, mattresses, bed frames, headboards, and any small cracks and crevices which have easy access to a blood supply.
Remember, bed bugs have no relation to cleanliness. It doesn’t matter how tidy you are, a clean and spotless house can still end up with an active bed bug infestation. These are common insects, and having an infestation is not necessarily the result of anything you did wrong. The cause of bed bugs is infested bedding, luggage, boxes, clothing, furniture, anything that can provide a source of warmth and access to people or pets.
While there are some things you can try, you should be forewarned that killing bedbugs is very hard to do, so it is a job best left to the experts and professional pest control companies.
If you suspect a bed bug infestation common hiding areas include mattresses, box springs, headboards, pillows, bedding, bed skirts, cracks or seams of furniture, carpeting, curtains, clothes, baseboards, inside electrical outlets, under paintings, posters, wallpaper and flooring.
That being said, you can try insecticides, (Look for products that are EPA-registered, and specifically marked for bedbugs), vacuuming and cleaning thoroughly, as well as laundering all items that may contain bed bugs. However, if you don’t manage to get them all, the infestation will persist.
A professional pest control company like Assassin Pest Solution has the knowledge and experience to handle the problem effectively, ensure there isn’t a repeat occurrence and protect your home.
No matter the number of bed bugs found, it’s important to determine the source of how the bed bugs got there and how many there are to protect your home. If traces of bed bugs are found:
- Do not panic.
- Do not move any furniture in/out of the room.
- Do not rip up the carpet.
- Do not try home DIY remedies. DIY remedies tend to only kill a few bed bugs and make the problem worse by making the rest scatter.
- Sleep in the same room. If bed bugs are found if your bedroom it’s important to try and still sleep in the same bed. Moving to a different bed or couch can make the problem worse.
How To Prevent Bed Bugs Getting In Your Home
The number one cause of a bed bug infestation is from already infected furniture or hitchhiking on someone. There are a few precautions you can make to try and prevent bed bugs from getting in:
- Inspecting Your Furniture. When buying yourself new furniture (especially second-hand) it’s important to examine it closely. Make a habit of checking the seams for any signs of bed bug residue, or bed bugs themselves. Remember to check storage and drawers when inspecting. Even if the furniture looks clean. Make sure to give it a good vacuuming and wash with hot soapy water outside before bringing it into your home.
- Regularly inspect Bedding. You do not need to inspect it every day, but when you change your bedding. Take time to inspect your bedding, mattress, and box spring for any signs of bed bug residue.
- Regularly vacuum and wash furniture, carpets and curtains.
- Check When Traveling. When you’re travelling make sure you check your hotel, Air BnB, family, or friends’ homes before unpacking. Focus on the bedding and curtain folds. Try not to bring in your luggage until the room is cleared of bed bugs.
Tips To Identify Bed Bugs
- Small, flat oval-shaped bodies.
- Six Legs.
- Two antennas.
- Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown in color and approximately 4-6mm in length.
- Fed bed bugs are darker in color and can be upwards of 10mm in length.
- Baby bed bugs (nymphs) are 1-4mm in length and are white until fed (this life cycle makes them easy to hide in mattresses)
- They lay very tiny grain-sized eggs.
- Bed bugs are most likely to bite your upper body including arms, hands, face, and neck.
- Bed bugs don’t fly or jump like Fleas or Mosquitoes.
- Can find a bed bug hiding on your sheets, walls, ceiling, vents, and furniture.
- They don’t stay on humans or animals once they’re done feeding.
How To Check For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are not easily found and typically only come out during our sleeping time. Because of this, it is important to be thorough when inspecting for bed bugs.
Grab gloves and a flashlight.Focus on your sheets, mattress, and box springSlowly take everything apart piece by piece inspecting it.Make sure to inspect all seams and edges.Check for dark brown or red spots (usually, you can find them in bunches).Look for bed bug skin sheddings. As Bed Bugs grow, they molt, leaving empty shells.
How To Keep Bed Bugs From Spreading.
Bed bugs can move within walls, through floors and ceiling openings, and pipes. The most common way for bed bugs to spread to family, friends, and co-workers is when they get onto your clothes, furniture, and personal belongings.
Bed bugs are good at hitchhiking and do not directly travel from person to person, but they can travel in people’s clothes without getting noticed.
If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it.
Think You Might Have Bed Bugs?
If you think you have a bed bug infestation, give us a call. We can confidentially discuss your situation with us, and if needed one of our licensed and experienced exterminators will assess the situation and inform you of the findings and your options.