Undoubtedly, when it comes to uninvited house guests, bed bugs top the list of the least desirable. Now that travel is back on the table again for many Alabama families, your chances of encountering these persistent pests in hotels, AirBNB’s, and the homes of friends and family have increased dramatically. Silent invaders, bed bugs can stow away unnoticed in the dark corners of luggage and the folds of clothing, meaning you could inadvertently roll out the red carpet and bring them right into your bedroom without warning.
Moreover, the danger of exposure to bed bugs multiplies should you choose to accept secondhand furniture or mattresses into your home. A thrifty find is great, and we’re all looking to save money these days, but that item you picked up for a bargain could, in fact, be a Trojan horse putting you at risk for an infestation. Read on to learn more about the telltale signs and symptoms of a bed bug invasion and why you should trust pros like our pest control experts to stamp out the threat before they make a meal of you.
Firstly, the initial sign of an infestation you’re likely to notice isn’t in your home but on your person. Bed bugs are attracted to human living spaces because, similarly to mosquitoes, they feed on the blood of their host. Painless at first and often occurring during the night while the host is asleep, bed bug bites later develop into itchy, red welts. These welts can appear anywhere on the body and may be confused for other bug bites. If you develop mysterious, itchy welts of unknown origin, it’s key that you further inspect your bed and bedroom for the harder-to-spot signs of an infestation.
Look closely at all of your bedding, keeping an eye out for small bloodstains indicative of bed bug activity. Further, look for the refuse left behind by the insects’ life cycle, for example, fecal matter, eggs, and shed skin. Eggs can be as small as dust particles, though a female bed bug can lay many hundreds in her lifetime, so they’re likely to be plentiful if you’re experiencing a full-blown infestation. You may also notice an unpleasant odor emitted by the bugs’ glands.
Finally, you can be sure of a bed bug presence by making visual contact with the insects themselves. Bed bugs are tiny, ovular in shape, and appear brown in color. Their bodies are naturally flat, though they do become engorged after feeding. They move quickly and tend to congregate in hiding places like box springs, the seams of mattresses, and even in the nooks and crannies of furniture like headboards. If you spot the creatures, then you’ll know it’s time to call in the professionals for thorough extermination.
Once you’re certain bed bugs are the source of your problems, the next question is how to get rid of them. Although it’s tempting to try to nip an infestation in the bud yourself, bed bugs are exceptionally difficult for consumers to exterminate on their own with over-the-counter solutions. The creatures are masters at hiding away in inaccessible spaces; their size, speed, and propensity to hide make them all the more difficult to eradicate fully. In addition, they reproduce quickly and efficiently—just one female can ensure hundreds of new individuals take the place of any you manage to eliminate on your own.
For that reason, it’s best to enlist the help of experienced, professional exterminators like those on our team at APS. Our pest control experts can tailor a treatment to your home to safely and effectively rid your space of these infamously tenacious insects. A mattress cover and a cleaning regimen are great places for homeowners to start, but the peace of mind of total extermination is best left to pros with the right tools and know-how.
Reach out today and reclaim your home from the threat of bed bugs with help from APS!