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How to Detect, Prevent, and Treat for Bed Bugs

A bed bug graphic shows an artistic close up of a bed bug in hues of yellow and orange.

It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week! While bed bugs are most certainly not a fun topic to discuss, it’s important to be aware of how to look for bed bugs, how to prevent them, and what to do if you find them. Here at 855Bugs, we strive to be your go-to source for information on all aspects of pest control whether it be detection, prevention, or treatment.

How do you get bed bugs?

An extreme close up of blue jeans showing a tiny tan bed bug.Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers! The most common way that people introduce bed bugs into their home is through travel. Staying at a hotel or motel makes you susceptible to unknowingly bringing bed bugs home. Because of their size (roughly ¼ inch at adulthood), they can be easy to miss when they hitch a ride in your luggage, your clothing, or other personal belongings. When you arrive at home carrying these unwanted houseguests, they will often make their home nearest to where humans (their food source) spends the most time: the bed.

So, how do you protect yourself from bed bugs while traveling? There is no bulletproof way, but the following are a few tips that can help:

  • When you arrive in your room, thoroughly inspect any areas bed bugs may be hiding. This includes the seams and crevices around a mattress, the luggage rack, around baseboards, behind pictures, upholstery, and even things like curled or pealing wallpaper. You are looking for the bugs themselves, bed bug eggs, the shells left behind when they molt (shed their skin), and small dark stains. If any signs of bed bugs are found, change rooms immediately.
  • Keep luggage in large trash bags to keep bed bugs from accessing it and hitching a ride home.A hand is seen lifting a white sheet to reveal a small bed bug.
  • Keep dirty clothing securely in bags.
  • When you arrive at home, thoroughly inspect all luggage before bringing it inside. Immediately place all clothing into the dryer and run it for 20 minutes at the highest temperature.

How do I inspect my home for bed bugs?

While travel is down greatly during this pandemic, we anticipate a much quieter bed bug season. However, travel is not the only way to introduce bed bugs to your home! Bed bugs can be found in office buildings (we’ve seen and treated for that!), public transportation (airplanes, trains, ride share vehicles, etc.), and can be introduced to your home through packages (this is rare but can happen). So, even if you haven’t been doing any traveling, it’s important to periodically inspect your home or business. Places to check for signs of bed bugs include:

  • Crevices & seams around mattresses and box springs (wash bedding often)
  • Headboards, nightstands, and bedside lamps
  • In the cracks of baseboards and around electrical outlets and light switches
  • Behind blinds, drapes, or curtains
  • In the upholstery of often used furniture like couches, armchairs, recliners, etc.
  • In the perimeters of the room where the carpet meets the wall (vacuum frequently)

What do I do if I find bed bugs or signs of bed bugs?

A full bed bug is shown on a gray tile.Treating for bed bugs can be tedious and difficult and is best left to the professionals! If you suspect that you have bed bugs in your home or office, give 855Bugs a call as soon as possible to schedule a FREE inspection. Our experienced Sales Inspectors and Technicians know where to look and what they are looking for! We use industry proven methods to eradicate bed bugs in a multi-step process. Our process includes first determining the level of infestation, step two is the initial treatment, followed by one to two follow up treatments depending on the severity of infestation.

For more information on what bed bugs look like, their habits, and behaviors, click here.

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