January 21, 2015 by Doug Moore
If you’re worried that you may have bed bugs in your home, there are three basic steps you can take.
1. Do an exhaustive bed bug search of your home
Bed bugs are reddish-brown, oval, flat, and about 3/16th of an inch long. The nymphs look like adults except they’re smaller and not as dark.
But bed bugs are very difficult to locate, so you may be infested but still not spot one. Therefore, in your bed bug search, you’ll need to look for other signs of their presence, such as:
- Dark spots on the sheets or mattress (the excretion of bed bugs).
- Reddish smears on your sheets (blood-engorged bed bugs you’ve crushed without knowing it by shifting in your sleep).
- Hatched and un-hatched eggs, which are usually sticky.
- Tan-colored shed skins (from nymphs as they molt).
Start with beds in the home because—as their name suggests—bed bugs like to hide in groups near beds so they don’t have far to travel when they come out at night to feed on you while you’re sleeping.
You’ll need to take the bed apart, paying special attention to mattress seams and tags, as well as to any holes in the mattress. You also should check in any cracks or crevices in the bed frame or box springs.
But the bed bug search doesn’t end there—you’ll also have to inspect all your furniture, as well as holes and crevices in the walls, particularly where the walls meet the floors.
2. Install ClimbUp Interceptor Bed Bug Monitors
This product allows you to trap bed bugs as they move about, so if you have an infestation, the ClimbUp Interceptor should let you know it. The Interceptors are specially designed plastic cups that you place under the legs of your beds and other furniture.
Each cup is pesticide-free but is coated on the inside with slick talc. As the bed bugs move from their hiding places to their feeding destinations, they’ll crawl into the cups, which will be too slippery for them to crawl out of, leaving them trapped there for you to see.
3. Contact a Pest Control Specialist
If your bed bug search turns up nothing, but you still think you might have bed bugs because someone in the home has unexplained itchy bites or for some other reason, you may not be wrong. Because bed bugs are so difficult to locate, even exterminators often rely on dogs to sniff them out.
And whether you find bed bugs or the pros do, you’ll need a professional to get rid of them. For that reason, many people go ahead and get a professional heat treatment, because that’s the surest way to identify and correct any bed bug infestation.
For more information about bed bugs, heat treatment, and canine bed bug scent detection, click here.
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