Frequently Asked Questions
WHY ARE BED BUGS SO HARD TO ELIMINATE?
WHAT ARE BED BUGS?
Bed bugs are wingless parasitic insects that feed solely on warm-blooded animals. They cannot fly or jump, but are able to enter into extremely small locations in the home because of their flattened bodies. Bed bugs can live for several weeks to several months without feeding, depending on the temperature.
Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days; older bed bugs can go without feeding longer than younger ones – adult bed bugs have been known to survive for as long as 550 days (over a year and a half!) without feeding.
Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood, but will also bite mammals and birds.
Bed bugs typically bite at night, but if hungry enough have been known to bite during daylight.
After feeding, bed bugs turn dark red and become bloated.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY BED BUGS?
Bed bugs are small, flat insects who prey on warm-blooded mammals. Bed bugs are particularly dangerous to humans as some individuals can be allergic to their bites. Beginning life as minuscule eggs, and growing through five stages of development, bed bugs continue to feast on human blood throughout their lives in order to grow and develop. Maturing through the developmental process will be complete in roughly a month.
Eggs – Bed bugs eggs are extremely small and are hidden by the adult bed bugs. The eggs may be “sticky” and resemble small grains of rice.
Nymph – the immature body is nearly transparent, making them that much more difficult to spot. The nymphs are shaped like the adults, but are yellow-white in color.
Maturing Adults – Bed bugs have an oval body and a short, broad, head. The body as a whole is broad and flat. Unfed adults are around ¼ inch (6 mm) long, brown, and wingless. After feeding, they swell slightly in size and darken to a blood-red color.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A BED BUG BITE?
Individual responses to bed bug bites will vary, but here are some things to look out for:
Four types of skin rashes have been described:
- The most common rash is made up of localized red and itchy flat lesions.
- Small raised red swelling lesions are also common.
- In rare cases, people may develop large raised, often itchy, red welts.
- In people with high sensitivity to bed bug saliva, people may develop a lump filled with blood or fluid.
Bed bugs are attracted to humans’ high body temperature and carbon dioxide production. When bed bugs bite people, they inject their saliva into the biting area, causing the skin to become irritated and inflamed. Feeding takes from three to ten minutes although the person rarely knows they are being bitten. The skin lesion from bed bug bites may go unnoticed or be mistaken for flea or mosquito bites or other skin conditions. Bed bug bites most commonly occur on exposed areas of the body, including face, neck, hands, arms, lower legs or all over the body.
Bed bugs have been known to cause significant psychological distress, disruption of sleep, nervousnous, and agitation.
WHAT IS THE BED BUG LIFECYCLE?
The bed bug eggs are white and about 1 mm long, and almost impossible to see on most surfaces. The female bed bug lays about 200 eggs in her lifetime, at a rate of about 3 or 4 per day. The eggs have a sticky coating and are deposited in cracks and crevices, behind woodwork and similar hidden locations. Clusters of 10-50 bed bug eggs can be found in cracks and crevices. Bed bug eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days.
A newly hatched bed bug nymph will feed as soon as food is available. A bed bug goes through five molts before it reaches full maturity. Each molt takes place after a blood feed.
Adults usually live for around 10 months, but can live for a year or more. In a home, where the environment is conducive to their reproduction (their ideal breeding temperature is between 70° to 82°F), bed bugs can breed year round.
WILL BED BUG BITES MAKE ME SICK?
While bed bugs are not known to transmit any pathogens or diseases, their bites usually result in swollen red, itchy welts. Bed bugs can severely reduce the quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and embarrassment.
People can be allergic to bed bug bites, which can cause swelling, itchy welts, and in some cases infections. These infections can be serious, especially if they are from a resistant form of a bacterial pathogen such as Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Consult your doctor if you’re concerned about any bites or welts!
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE BED BUGS?
Itchy welts on skin, blood spots on sheets and/or black or brown spots on mattresses, bed frames or walls often indicate that there is a bed bug infestation.
Blood spots are often small reddish or brownish spots or smears on one’s linens. Bed Bug droppings after resembling ink dots and can be found in the seams and cracks of furniture and bedding.
Bed Bugs often hide in mattresses but they can also survive in furniture, behind wall coverings and pictures/paintings. They will crawl and nest inside tiny crevices anywhere indoors, as long as there is a source of food (blood).
HOW DO BED BUGS INFEST MY HOME?
When bed bug infestations are small, the bed bugs tend to reside near the bed. As infestations grow larger, they tend to move beyond beds into other locations such as sofas and upholstered chairs. Bed bug females may lay their eggs away from a heavy infestation to provide greater chance for survival. If the infestation is heavy, a sweet smell may be noticed in the room.
I THINK I’VE GOT BED BUGS. NOW WHAT?
We understand that you may want to avoid bringing in professionals, or may wish to take steps to mitigate the infestation on your own. Here are some tips:
If you think you have a bed bug problem, check for live bed bugs or shells in the following areas:
- Seams, creases, tufts, and folds of mattresses and box springs
- Cracks in the bed frame and headboard
- Under chairs, couches, beds, dust covers
- Between the cushions of couches and chairs
- Under area rugs and the edges of carpets
- Between the folds of curtains
- In drawers
- Behind baseboards, and around window and door casings
- Behind electrical plates and under loose wallpaper, paintings, and posters
- In cracks in plaster
- In telephones, radios, and clocks
Bed bugs prefer dark, secluded locations and often only come out in total darkness. Finding them takes keen eyes and exceptional patience, especially if you’ve never done it before.
Once you’re sure you have bed bugs, rent a DIY bed bug heat equipment rental and get rid of the bugs! Get started here!
HOW DO I TREAT BED BUG INFESTATIONS?
Killing bed bugs is as easy as renting a bed bug heat system and applying heat, raising the room temperature to 135 degrees. By following the prep, heating procedures and clean-up guides provided to you with your rental, you could be bed bug-free in just 24 hours. Occasionally for larger or more complicated infestations, you may need more treatment time, but never fear, you can rent your system for a second day at a discounted rate. Click here to get started!
WHAT KINDS OF METHODS CAN I USE TO PREVENT BED BUG INFESTATIONS?
Be careful when buying used furniture or clothes. Make sure to inspect the used item, and feel free to ask the retailer if the items were checked for bed bugs.
Use caution when bringing home used furniture or clothes from the curb side or garage sale. These items may be infested with bed bugs.
When travelling take the following precautions to prevent bed bugs:
- Inspect the room and furniture: inspect all cracks and crevices of the mattress and box spring, and look for blood spots or live insects. Request a different room if you find evidence of beg bugs.
- Protect your luggage: keep all belongings in your luggage and wrap your luggage in plastic to help prevent bed bugs from entering your luggage. Keep luggage on the shelf or away from the floor.
- Protect the bed: move the bed away from the wall, tuck in all bed sheets and keep blankets from touching the floor.
- Upon returning home: keep your luggage in an isolated area of your home, such as the garage. Inspect the luggage. Wash all your clothes in the hottest water possible and put them in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.
What else can heat do?
When applied correctly, Bedbugs Gone By U heat treatments can eliminate bed bugs, cockroaches, termites, lice, and fleas. You don’t have to rely on toxic chemicals to create a bug-free home! The rental equipment can also be used to dry water-damaged areas and eliminate odors and alergens.