Bed bugs are rather illusive, hiding in tight spaces out of sight. Pests such as ants are easily spotted as they crawl around your home in plain sights. Bed bugs are not as easy to find. They prefer to stay secluded, only leaving their hiding spaces to feed on a host at night.
What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?
Bed Bug Lifecycle
You can understand more about bed bugs and how to tell if they are in your home by learning more about their lifecycle.
Photo Credit: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Bed bugs start as an egg, moving through growth stages called “instars” as the nymphs shed skin and grow. The eggs are pearly white in color and only 1 mm in length, thus they can be very difficult to detect with the naked eye. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) are tiny and appear translucent or pale in color. After the 5th instar, bed bugs are considered to be adults. Adults can live almost one year, while females lay about 5 eggs every day.
Bed bugs start laying eggs once they enter your home and find shelter in tight, hidden spaces such as bed frames, baseboards, in dresser drawers, behind hung artwork, around curtains, behind electrical switch plates, and more. They gain access to your home when infested items are brought indoors. This can include secondhand items, wicker furniture, backpacks, movie theaters, buses, or other conduits. Bed bugs do not live outdoors. They need a living host that is staying still for hours on end (sleeping or watching a movie for example) to feed and thrive.
Pictured Above: Bed bug spotting on a curtain due to a heavy infestation
You can tell that bed bugs are in your home if you find the following:
- Spotting that looks like small dots made with a pen. These are bed bug feces.
- Live bed bugs. They are the size of an apple seed and rust-colored.
- Going to bed and waking with bites, welts or rashes. Bite marks may appear in a rows and clusters.
How do exterminators get rid of bed bugs?
There are two main approaches when it comes to professional bed bug control: chemical and mechanical. Both have their benefits and downfalls. Strategies vary from company to company, some using a hybrid and some using other unique tactics.
Chemical Bed Bug Control
Pesticides can be used as a way to control and eliminate bed bugs in residential settings. Depending on the company and your needs, pesticides could be in the form of powder, liquid, and more. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution with pesticide usage. The amount of time that it will take to see full results vary by the method used.
Mechanical Bed Bug Control
Heat- Heat treatments are one of the strategies that pest control companies can use to get rid of bed bugs. Heat services involve the use of a unit that physically heats a room or entire house to at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit which is optimal for eliminating bed bugs. A heat trailer is stationed outside to provide power for the heating units, and fans are placed in the treated areas to circulate throughout the space to evenly heat all of the items in the room. According to the University of Minnesota, “Bed bugs and eggs die within 90 minutes at 118°F (48°C) or immediately at 122°F (50°C). During a heat treatment, the air temperature in the room is typically between 135°F (57.2°C) and 145°F (62.7 °C).”
Freezing- Bed bugs that are exposed to freezing temperatures can die. The colder the room, the quicker the treatment will work. Bed bugs begin to die once the temperature of a room passes below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s not as simple as opening your windows in the middle of January. According to the Entomological Society of America, “in order to achieve 100% mortality, a minimum exposure time of 80 hours at minus 16 degrees Celsius is required for all life stages. Temperatures below minus 15 degrees Celsius are sufficient to control all life stages of bed bugs after 3.5 days, while temperatures below minus 20 degrees Celsius require only 48 hours.” In short, the time frame for elimination is directly correlated to the temperature used. The lower the temperature, the quicker the service works.
No-Prep- Cooper Pest Solutions uses the No-Prep Method to control and remove bed bugs from residential homes. No-Prep uses a combination of chemical and non-chemical tools to get rid of the bed bugs in your home. Our technicians will use environmentally conscious pesticide dust to eliminate pests behind beds, switch plates, carpet tack strips, etc. Liquid pesticides are also applied to baseboards to exterminate any bed bugs that may be hiding there. In addition, we will steam two feet around the affected area to ensure that they are eliminated. With this method, clients do not have to move mattresses or heavy furniture. The No-Prep Method involves an average of 2-3 separate visits to the home to get rid of bed bugs completely. The number of treatments can vary per the severity of the infestation.
What should I do if I find bed bugs in my bedroom?
If you find bed bugs in your bedroom, leave them alone. Call Cooper Pest Solutions immediately. Moving bed sheets can fling bed bugs off and cause them to spread throughout your home. The same logic goes for throwing out mattresses or infested furniture. By disturbing the bed bugs, you’ll only be scattering them into other rooms, making it more challenging for pest control professionals to handle. Schedule an inspection with a pest control professional to put together the best plan of action for full elimination.
How can Cooper get rid of the bed bugs in my house?
The Cooper technicians will utilize the following treatment methods to eliminate bed bug infestations in your home.
- Encasement of all mattresses and box springs.
- Following a visual inspection to determine where fecal matter from bed bugs is found, we will steam two feet around the affected area to ensure that they are eliminated.
- Application of environmentally conscious pesticides. Our technicians will use pesticide dust to eliminate pests behind beds, switch plates, carpet tack strips, etc. Liquid pesticides are also applied to baseboards to exterminate any bed bugs that may be hiding there.
Since every infestation is different, we tailor our bed bug solutions to quickly eliminate your problem.
Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a bed bug inspection!