“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” goes the old saying. If you thought that was just a nonsensical nursery rhyme dreamed up by poor peasants in the long-ago times, you wouldn’t be alone. Unfortunately, you’d also be wrong. Bedbugs are a growing problem in major metropolitan areas, including Dallas, and homeowners just like you are starting to get fed up. To help, we’ve put together some useful tips on identifying, controlling and preventing bedbug infestations.
Identifying Bedbug Infestations
Adult bedbugs have a distinctive appearance. Their bodies are oval-shaped, relatively flat and roughly the size of an apple seed. Hatchlings are harder to pick out: They can be nearly transparent and often aren’t any bigger than a poppy seed.
Most people realize that they’re dealing with a bedbug infestation after noticing tiny blood spots on their bedding materials or discovering multiple bites over the course of days or weeks. Like mosquitoes, bedbugs are bloodsuckers. The initial bite is painless, but the affected area quickly becomes inflamed and extremely itchy. While most welts fade after a week or so, it’s possible for “over-scratched” bites to become infected.
Once you realize that you’re under siege by bedbugs, you need to take action quickly. Each female produces 200 or more offspring within days of gorging on human blood.
Controlling and Eliminating Minor Infestations
There are a few steps that you can take to control bedbugs on your own. First, strip your bedding and use your vacuum’s hose attachment to remove any loose bugs from your mattress. Next, vacuum around your box spring and in the crevices of your bed’s frame. Bedbugs tend to hide out in dark corners, so it’s important to check these areas thoroughly.
Once you’ve gone over your sleeping space with a fine-toothed comb, securely encase your mattress in a mattress bag to prevent hatchlings from escaping. Since pets can be carriers, check your dog or cat for signs of these elusive critters as well.
While DIY methods may keep bedbug numbers under control, even one remaining bedbug can produce hundreds more. Only a professional pest control service can assure that the infestation is completely eliminated.
Reducing the Chances of Recurrence
Preventing future bedbug infestations is a comprehensive task. Start by inspecting and caulking any cracks or holes in your bedroom’s flooring and baseboards. Thoroughly de-clutter your room and any adjacent storage spaces. If it’s summer, you can even take the time-consuming step of placing affected furnishings, clothing items and accessories in direct sunlight.
If you think you’re dealing with bedbugs in your home, ask us about our heat remediation services. Our Dallas pest control specialists at ABC are committed to keeping bedbugs out of your home and allowing you to get some much-needed beauty rest.