Stop Bed Bugs From Biting!

Bed bug adults, nymphs, eggs
Cluster of bedbugs – close up of adults, nymphs and eggs on a mattress seam

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite. . .” Once a comforting classic saying as children were put to bed, these days it may bring on an uncomfortable emotional response as bed bugs in Cincinnati have made a big comeback. It’s gotten so bad that Time magazine has even called Cincinnati ‘Ground Zero’ for bed bug problems in the United States. For reasons still unknown, the six-legged blood suckers really like the Cincinnati area.

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs can seem to come from nowhere, but are being seen more and more in apartments, hotels, homes, shelters, dormitories and nursing homes. They are active travelers, usually transported in luggage, boxes, clothing, furniture and even hair. Infestations are not tied to unsanitary living conditions; even world-class hotels have reported bed bug problems.

Where to Look

Bedbug photo courtesy University of Geaorgia
Bedbug photo courtesy University of Geaorgia

Check for bed bugs on the seams, tufts, or folds of mattresses, bed frames and head boards. Bed bugs may also be behind baseboards, pictures, frames, windows, door casings, loosened wall paper, curtains, cracks in plaster and behind electrical wall plates. Bed bugs are wingless, approximately 1/4-inch in length with a flattened oval shape and rusty brown in color. Newly-hatched nymphs are much smaller and somewhat lighter in color. Since bed bugs are mainly active at night, daytime sightings may indicate a heavy infestation. Bed bugs are wingless, approximately 1/4-inch in length with a flattened oval shape and rusty brown in color. Newly-hatched nymphs are much smaller and somewhat lighter in color. Female bed bugs lay up to five eggs a day and 500 during a lifetime. A bed bug can survive several months to a year without a blood meal. The lifespan of a bed bug is normally 12-18 months. Since bed bugs are mainly active at night, daytime sightings may indicate a heavy infestation.

How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?

Usually the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small rusty spots on your mattresses and bed linens. These are bed bug droppings and blood spots. Bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping. Red itchy welts are an indication of an infestation. Bed bug bites occur when the bed bug is actually drawing blood. It may take as long as 14 days for a welt to appear from a bed bug bite.

How Can I Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Complete elimination of a bed bug infestation may be difficult without using a licensed, knowledgeable pest management company. It may take several treatments and methods over several weeks to gain control of an infestation. Do-it-yourself measures sometimes cause problems like the scattering of the bugs, or even worse can actually be dangerous because of misuse of pesticides. If you try to do it yourself, make sure product is for bed bugs and read the label completely. A licensed, knowledgeable pest management professional is your best bet. Hooper Termite & Pest Control is your best option to take care of your bed bug problems.

DIY Bed Bug Control?

Do not attempt ‘do-it-yourself’ pest control using a surface spray on bed-linens or mattresses. Such a use could be a danger to the health and safety of the occupants. A professional pest control operator should be used to ensure safe effective control of a bed bug infestation. Hooper Pest Control will use specialized equipment and only pesticides labeled for bed bugs. In some circumstances we recommend the safer synthetic insecticide dust or spray be used. In cases of severe infestations, a high temperature steam may be used on mattresses and other infested furniture and along baseboards. The high temperature will kill all stages of a bed bug including the eggs.

How do Bed Bugs Get Into The Bed?

bed-bugs-box-spring Bed Bugs do bite, and not just at night; in severe infestations they can be active throughout the day, even feeding on you while you’re sitting on your couch watching your favorite show. You may see small spots of blood on your bed linens where the Cincinnati bed bugs have excreted after a feeding. The blood has a sickly sweet odor. You can also look for blood stains, shed skins and live bed bugs in and around cracks in the flooring, bedside furniture and in the cracks and crevices of your mattress and box spring. Bed bugs are transported with luggage, clothing and other articles, often ‘hitching’ a ride on people and belongings from one location to another.

Bed Bug Life Cycle

bed-bug-life-cycle1-1024x791 From the egg to adult the Cincinnati bed bug has five nymph stages before becoming an adult. The adults and nymphs leave their harboring area to feed every 2 to 3 days. Bed bugs feed on you for 3 to 7 minutes generally at night, before returning to their harboring area which is usually within twenty feet from their ‘feeding area’, but in serious infestations can be throughout your home. Adult bed bugs can survive for up to eighteen months without a blood meal, the nymphs and early stages of the bed bug cannot survive as long without a feeding.

Bed Bug Bites

Adverse skin reactions: Some people have an adverse skin reaction to the bite of bed bugs. The bed bug injects an anti-coagulant chemical into the bloodstream of it’s host which prevents the blood from clotting. This allows the bed bug to suck out the blood until it is fully engorged. One Cincinnati bed bug can leave multiple marks from one feeding. The resulting reaction of the anti-coagulant chemical around the bite site can be severe, particularly to people with sensitive skin. Scratching is difficult to resist but this can cause an infection of the bite area. If this is a likely problem, you should consult your doctor to obtain appropriate medication. A professional pest control operator should be used to ensure safe effective control of a bed bug infestation. First, a thorough inspection of the area with the possible infestation is carried out before proceeding with control procedures. All potential daytime harboring areas must be located and treated with an insecticide labeled for this purpose. Do not attempt ‘do-it-yourself’ pest control using a surface spray on bed-linens or mattresses. Such a use could be a danger to the health and safety of the occupants.

Controlling Bed Bugs

Our pest management professional will use specialized equipment and only pesticides labeled for bed bugs. In some circumstances we recommend the safer synthetic insecticide dust or spray be used. In cases of severe infestations, a high temperature steam may be used on mattresses and other infested furniture and along baseboards. The high temperature will kill all stages of a bed bug including the eggs. All clothing, bed linen, curtains, fabrics, hangings and the like must laundered prior to the bed bug treatment. Removing any unnecessary belongings from around sleeping area can also help by eliminating hiding spaces for the bed bugs. In apartment/hotel type of set ups, the entire premises should be inspected regularly for signs of bedbug infestation. Prevention of a severe bed bug infestation throughout an entire building is more likely if regular attention is provided. Use a licensed pest control operator for periodic inspections and treatments in any commercial lodging situation where bed bug infestations are likely to be a problem.

Bed Bug Mattress Covers – Protect Your Bed With Mattress Encasements

bed-bug-covers3 Replacing your mattress and box spring due to a bed bug infestation is costly. A better, more economical alternative is to protect your bed with Bed Bug Mattress Encasements made specifically to prevent bed bugs from being able to infest your mattress and box springs. Mattress Encasements also make it easier to spot a potential problem and prevent it from becoming a severe infestation. Encasements also cut down on the many hiding spots on your mattress and box spring. bed-bug-services1

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