Bed Bug Basics

Bed Bug Basics

Bed bugs are reappearing in hotels and multi-unit lodging properties across the country. Bed bugs feed on blood and come out at night to search for food. They are small, flattened insects that easily fit into small cracks and crevices. They can be found in mattresses, mattress frames, behind headboards, behind baseboards and behind pictures. Bed Bugs can crawl up to 100 feet in search of food.

What Does A Bed Bug Bite Look Like?

Bed bugs are attracted to sleeping people by their body temperature and odors. Bed bug bites are generally painless but occasionally a person will wake up to find bed bugs feeding. The bite site may turn red within hours or a reaction may be delayed by a few days.

Signs Of Bed Bugs

Because of their habits, bed bugs are often not detected even when they feed on room occupants. Dark fecal spots, cast skins and crushed bed bugs are all signs of possible infestation. Bites may come from a variety of other insects, but when combined with the other signs of bed bugs, they can be a good indicator that live bed bugs are still present.

Why Are Bed Bugs Different Then Other Pests?

Most insect pests, such as cockroaches or ants, can be eliminated with improvements in sanitation and minimal disruption of normal operations. Bed bugs are different. They are not an indicator of poor sanitation or structural conditions. In most – if not all – situations, Bed bugs are transported into a building in the luggage, clothing and belongings of people.

Early identification of bed bugs is critical! Your best defense is to prepare yourself and your team to EXPECT bed bugs, solidify a bed bug response plan in case they are discovered and partner with an experienced, professional pest services company. ABC Home & Commercial Services is uniquely qualified to be your pest management and prevention partner.

Solving bed bug problems requires full cooperation from the home owner, tenant and/or building management and hard, persistent work on the part of your professional ABC Home & Commercial Services. The presence of bed bugs in a building must be seen as a very serious matter.

Preventing Bed Bugs

The only way to slow the spread of bed bugs is to prevent people from being exposed to them. Taking these steps mitigates the risk of spreading bed bugs.

1)   Nothing should be removed from an infested room(s) unless it is tightly sealed in a plastic bag.

2)   Placing pillows, bedspreads and linens in a dryer on high heat for 20 minutes is effective at killing bed bugs and eggs. Small loads are recommended for better heat distribution.

3)   Any discarded items (e.g., mattress, plastic bags, etc.) should be destroyed and immediately taken off-site so no person can salvage it.

4)   Replacement mattresses and box springs should be protected in mattress cover encasements and placed into treated rooms only after follow-up inspections have not found evidence of live bed bugs. Infested mattresses and box springs should be encased immediately to lock in bed bugs and prevent them from spreading.

Bed Bugs on Wooden Floor Dead Bed Bugs Bed Bug Mattress Encasement

Passive Monitoring

There are several new monitoring tools being developed. Perhaps the most effective is a simple device called the ClimbUp®. The ClimbUp® is a cup that is lined with a slippery talcum powder. The legs of furniture are placed in this device and any bed bugs leaving the furniture or attempting to climb onto the furniture are captured. This device can detect bed bugs at the initial stages of infestation but are rather noticeable and may not be appropriate for all situations.

Preventive Application

Preventive applications of pesticides have been a traditional means of preventing infestation. Contrary to what you may have heard, there are many effective pesticides for the control of bed bugs. One issue with preventive applications is that bed bug activity is often centered on the bed and mattresses and should not be treated routinely. Because bed bugs can hide in any small crack or crevice, the entire room would have to be thoroughly treated, and even then they could still live on the bed successfully. Preventive applications of inorganic dusts, such as diatomaceous earth and silica gel, into wall voids and behind headboards can help suppress the spread of bed bugs without causing exposure to your guests.

Mattress Encasement

While they do not prevent bed bugs, bed bug-proof encasements on the mattress and box springs will prevent bed bugs from entering these areas. This simplifies detection and removal of the bed bugs. Encasements also save expensive mattress sets.

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