Bed Bugs can be difficult to spot and just the idea of being fed on while you’re asleep is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl. In today’s post we’re going to help you steer clear of these little blood suckers by helping you to identify bed bugs and take steps towards preventing an infestation.

Identification

Often about the size of an apple seed, bed bugs are ovular in shape and brown in color. As it is well known, they sustain themselves by feeding on the blood of other animals and can swell in size and turn a reddish color after eating. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects and therefore often hide in dark, warm places that are close to their food sources. This is why mattresses and box springs are popular locations where bed bugs are found. It’s not always clear than an infestation has occurred at first, since many people may attribute their itching bites to fleas or mosquitos. However, a bed bug bite does not have the same white center that these other two bites would create. The only way to identify an infestation is to physically locate the bugs and see them.

Prevention

While bed bugs are not thought to spread disease, nobody wants to be preyed upon in their sleep and the itching that their bites bring on can cause a lot of discomfort. Additionally, these pests may only inhabit a small area such as under the mattress to begin with, but left untreated over time can spread like wildfire throughout any house (clean or dirty). So how do you prevent a bed bug infestation?

  1. Travel Wisely – Due to their quickness and tiny size, bed bugs can easily hide in tiny spaces like the cramped quarters of your suitcase. Or they can even hitch a ride on your clothes if you’ve come into contact with them. Therefore, while traveling to places where many individuals are coming and going, always give even the highest rated hotel rooms a good visual inspection. Upon arriving home, empty all luggage and clothes directly into a hot wash cycle for extra precaution.
  2. Secondhand Shop Cautiously – Shopping for secondhand goods is a great way to save the environment and a few dollars. However, it’s also an easy way to welcome unwanted pests. To avoid this, simply give every nook and cranny a good look through before agreeing to bring home any furniture that you may have found a great second hand deal on.
  3. Declutter – Well placed décor can really make a house feel like home. However, too much clutter can only serve to provide more hiding places for pests like bed bugs. The less clutter in your home, the better.
  4. Clean Frequently – While it’s true that bed bugs are not limited to ‘dirty’ homes or hotels, cleaning frequently ensures that you’re coming into contact with spaces that may be harboring pests more often. Clean your sheets once a week, vacuum often and be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. It’s a good idea to remove your clothes straight from the dryer into a sealed plastic bag or bin and fold them at home.
  5. Prevent Spreads – If you live in a multi-unit building you can use door sweeps and properly sealed baseboards and door casings to prevent an infestation from another unit spreading to your own. When having company over, promptly change and wash all bedding and linens they may have used just in case your visitors brought any guests with them.

If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, contact us today. Attention Pest Solutions proudly offers expert pest control for Saratoga County, Albany County, Washington County, Fulton County, Warren County, Schenectady County and Montgomery County.