The term “bed bug” elicits a shudder from even the most stoic of us. Given their reputation for being difficult to get rid of, it’s no wonder that bed bugs are one of the most feared pests. But don’t despair! There are steps you can take to prevent bed bugs, and if you do end up with them, there are ways to get rid of them. In this blog post, we’ll outline some legitimate steps you can take to keep these pests at bay.
Bed bugs are a serious problem for American homeowners. They can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety, not to mention the physical discomfort of being bitten. Here are ways to get rid of bed bug problems at your disposal:
1. Determine A Bed Bug Infestation
First, you should determine if you have an infestation of bed bugs. Although unpleasant to do, inspect your mattress. Look in all the crevices and corners. In case you find a bed bug or more, capture one using a piece of card. This way, you will be able to consult with a qualified exterminator and find out what steps to take next.
Here are signs you might have a bed bug at home:
a. Brown fecal stains and bed bug casings
One major thing to know that you have an unfortunate bed bug infestation or a possible appointment with the homeowners association is the fecal stains, bed bug droppings, and even their casings on your bed sheets, furniture, lampshades, or secluded areas at home. The messier it gets, the higher the possibility of them staying for a longer period of time.
b. Bed bug bites
Bed bug bites can be found on human skin or even on your furry pets’ skin as well. Bed bugs prey on humans, dogs, or even cats as long as they got blood to sustain them conveniently. If they couldn’t feed on anything, bed bugs are likely to survive 20-400 days—their stress tolerance is pretty high.
c. Live bed bugs
Of course, nothing beats seeing them in the flesh! Although bed bugs are known to be nocturnal. Seeing live bed bugs in an infestation is very likely to happen. Bed bugs can add a physical, mental, and economical toll on their victims. Having to deal with live bed bugs at home is not a joke and needs immediate attention.
d. Musty bed bug odor
Just like cockroaches, bed bugs have a musty odor that can be detectable by the human nose. In fact, as the Scientific American Journal: “Like many species of bugs, bed bugs release odors called alarm pheromones. When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may get a whiff of that odor, which is similar to the odor stink bugs give off. “
As a matter of fact, pest control professionals or bed bug exterminators have bed bug dog detection services. This is the training of a dog to help in detecting and spotting bed bugs. The dog gets a specific bed bug detection training program. Afterward, in order for professional bed bug exterminators to hire them as an official employee or helper, the dogs must have finished the training program and be proven as effective service dogs in eliminating bed bugs without a trace. Kudos to these furry buddies.
2. DIY Bed Bug Elimination
It may have been known that professional bed bug treatment is not cheap. In most cases, a bed bug infestation won’t even be covered by the home insurance you are paying off. In cases like this, some resort to DIY bed bug treatment. Depending on the gravity of the infestation, some DIY efforts actually may have been proven to work:
a. Nonchemical Treatment
As per the University of California Statewide IPM Program, bed bugs’ survivability can only last up to, “at least 140°F for two hours or 130°F for three hours (the minimum lethal temperature is 113°F), which will kill most bed bugs and eggs.” Some resort to vacuuming specific bed bug-infested spots, steam cleaning, or commercial heat and steam devices that allows focused bed bug elimination for DIY revolutionaries.
b. Chemical Treatment
Most of what you may be able to read across the web for your search to solve a bed bug problem, a unanimous decision has been made that over-the-counter anti-bed bug aerosols are being “canceled” and have been proven to be ineffective in eliminating bed bugs. Again, this is still debatable with the gravity of one’s bed bug problem and at which stage of the bed bug problem the person is dealing with.
On the other hand, the most legitimate pesticide chemicals exist but are mostly restricted from the public. These formulations can only be bought in bulk by licensed pest control professionals or Pest Management Professionals. Here is a list of liquid bed bug insecticide formulations, most of them are only allowed to be purchased by PMPs:
- Products containing the botanical insecticide pyrethrin, which gives quick knockdown but little long-term control
- Various synthetic pyrethroid products (e.g., cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin)
- Mixtures of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids (e.g., Temprid and Transport)
- Various botanical oils
- Newer types of products including the pyrrole insecticide chlorfenapyr (Phantom) and the insect growth regulator (IGR) hydroprene (Gentrol)
3. Consult a bed bug lawyer
Some things are just too much that you have to take them to Housing Court.
Although, many parties can be held liable for bed bug problems especially if the property is being lent by a lessor including Air BnB, hotels, condos, apartments, or offices. If they are proven to have known any glimpse of a bed bug problem and failure to remedy the bed bug situation or a failure to inform the tenant can be grounds for a penalty and/or compensation. In most cases, the complainant or the tenant may have experienced severe economic loss, and getting bed bug legal cases to court can be a considerable option.
4. Call the best bed bug expert near you
Despite the unfortunate odds of getting bed bugs at home, calling a pest control professional to handle your bed bug situation can be the best option for some. Especially for those that may have already suffered from a severe infestation, a pest control expert can perform a “before and after” care, complete assessment, and warranted after-treatment inspections.
Moreover, pest control professionals have the equipment as well as license to acquire and perform procedures on certain pesticides or bed bug pesticide formulations in this case. Did you know that commercial bed bug heating treatments require 140°F in two hours of exposure or three hours of 130°F heat exposure? As per the University of California Statewide IPM Program, “the minimum lethal temperature is 113°F.”
The bed bug heat treatment has been proven to kill and eradicate any traces of bed bugs, nymphs, bed bug eggs, and somebody’s bed bug and house court nightmares.
Road to zen: Get rid of bed bugs!
It seems like we are hearing more and more stories about bed bugs. More than ever people are waking up from their dreams with red itchy bumps all over their bodies. Bed bugs are the fastest-growing pest in the United States. This is largely due to the fact that they are thriving in the great conditions that we provide––warm shelter and a buffet of food sources.
How to get rid of the bed bug problem? Act on the matter assertively because, at the end of the day, homeowners are the ones playing an important and active role in eliminating bed bug problems to rise in the household.