Summer is vacation season, and with record numbers of us expected to pile into the family roadster or jump on a plane, there’s a high chance of encountering bed bugs.
June 5-12 is National Bed Bug Awareness Week. Clark, your friendly termite, mosquito, grounds care, pest control, and bed bug expert, would like to answer your bed bug questions:
Q: What do bed bugs look like?
A: Adult bed bugs are brown, about a quarter-inch in diameter. They resemble a flat apple seed or lentil.
Q: Why are bed bugs such a problem today?
A: While there isn’t one clear answer for their resurgence, many pest management professionals point to increased travel, lack of public awareness, and changing pest control products and methods.
Q: Where are bed bugs found?
A: Single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums are the most frequently treated locations for bed bug treatments, but these annoying pests are not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Clark has identified infestations everywhere, including hotels and motels, hospitals, schools and college campuses, office buildings, retail stores, movie theaters, libraries, and even public transportation.
Q: Are bed bugs only found in beds?
A: No. While bed bugs are most often found in bed parts, such as mattresses, box springs, and folded areas, they can also survive in other habitats. They prefer cool, dark places, and conceal themselves behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, picture frames, and electrical switch plates, and in furniture crevices.
Q: What are some common signs of a bed bug infestation?
A: Signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery, or walls
- Molted bed bug skins, sticky white eggs, or empty eggshells
- Very heavily infested areas may have a characteristically sweet odor
- Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms, and other body parts that may be exposed while sleeping
Q: Are bed bugs a health threat?
A: Fortunately, bed bugs – unlike mosquitoes – have not been determined to be vectors, or carriers of disease. But bed bug bites can be painful and can cause an annoying rash.
Q: Why are bed bugs difficult to eradicate?
A: Bed bugs are elusive, hardy pests that are easily transported from one place to another on articles of clothing, backpacks, furniture, or bedding. They are adept at hiding once they enter a home, they can live for several months without eating, and they can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to almost 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: How do you get rid of bed bugs?
A: Any effective bed bug control strategy starts with a careful, thorough inspection, performed by a licensed pest professional, of all known and suspected spots where bed bugs may be hiding. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. If bed bugs are discovered, the experts at Clark Pest Control will develop a customized treatment and control strategy, depending on the extent of the infestation.
Bed bug travel tips
To help keep your home or apartment free of bed bugs, Clark offers the following tips to protect you and your family:
- At a hotel, thoroughly inspect your entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
- If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Make sure your new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the infested room.
- Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
- Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into your residence.
- Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting.
Have questions about bed bugs? Call Clark
If you have questions about bed bugs in your home, call or text (800) WE-NEED-YOU (936-3339) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, the pest management professionals at Clark Pest Control thank you for helping to keep unwanted pests out of your home and yard.