How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Cooper Pest Control is the recognized national leader on the subject of bed bugs and for the treatment of bed bugs. Cooper regularly holds weekly bed bug classes and boot camps for other pest management companies, while also developing cutting-edge products for the treatment and prevention of bed bugs. If you suspect a bed bug problem in your home, please do not hesitate to call Cooper or fill out our form. Please note that we charge $125 for a bed bug inspection.
Browse our library of information about bed bugs below to learn more about their biology, behavior, and elimination treatments.
Bed Bug Library Shortcuts
Bed bug infestations spread when an individual comes into contact with bed bugs and unknowingly brings them somewhere else. They are transported as stowaways, hiding in luggage, couches, beds, pillows, or backpacks to name a few. Bed bugs cling to moving items like briefcases and can easily fall off, allowing them to relocate and spread. It’s also a common occurrence that bed bugs lay eggs on these items. As the host moves, they can fall off and hatch far away from where they originally came from.
Bed bugs are not a pest that you should try to control on your own. Attempting to resolves the issue yourself as improper treatment could spread the problem throughout and increase costs to eliminate the problem. If you live in an apartment complex and suspect you have bed bugs you should immediately contact your landlord so they can notify the pest control company in charge of the complex.
You should AVOID discarding bedding and mattresses. This is not a solution and can spread the infestation throughout the house, and any new furniture can quickly become infested.
Use a vacuum but that has a crack and crevice attachment to remove bugs from the mattress, box spring and bed frame. As soon as you are done, the vacuum bag should be sealed in a plastic garbage bag and disposed of in an outdoor trash receptacle.
Residents can also purchase bed bug proof encasements that can be used to encase both the mattress and box spring in order to salvage beds that are infested. Once encased, any bed bugs that were not removed by the vacuum will become trapped inside where they will starve and eventually die.
New research is constantly being conducted to find out more about these parasites that are infesting cities across the country. A study performed by the researchers at University of Florida and Union College in Lincoln, Neb., wanted to explore if bed bugs had a color preference for their hiding places.
According to the study, the researchers created small tent-like harborages made from different colored card stock and placed them in Petri dishes. A bed bug was then placed within the dishes and had approximately 10 minutes to choose one of the colored harborages. Results of the study showed that bed bugs strongly preferred red or black colors versus colors like yellow or green.
Cooper Pest Solutions’ staff Entomologist and bed bug expert, Dr. Richard Cooper, believes that the findings of this study may implicate that bed bugs are attracted to darker colors because of the contrast it provides against the environment.
“The color preference has to do with their orienting to vertical and darker objects,” he said. “That may be an adaptation to identify beds and upholstered furniture because these are vertical objects that stand out and have contrast against the surrounding environment. What we believe is that they are detecting contrasting objects in an environment and orienting towards them.”
Bed bugs and bat bugs look almost identical in body shape and color, but the key difference is the bat bug’s hair length is longer on the upper covering of their thorax. It is very difficult to see this without the use of a microscope, so it is highly recommended that a trained professional makes the determination between bugs.
Another key difference of bat bugs and bed bugs is their location.
Most bed bugs can be found within a few feet of their feeding host, which includes mattresses, headboards, baseboards, and other furniture close by. Bat bugs may be seen in a few of these places as well, but are mainly found in areas that harbor bats, such as attics. They may be seen up on ceilings and on the walls, but usually stay within the vicinity of their food source.
In a survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 75% of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of bed bugs in hotels and motels. The NPMA recommends the following tips for bed bug prevention when traveling:
At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms/ establishments immediately
If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If the infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure
Remember: bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After your trip, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
Wash all of your clothes - even those that have not been worn - in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
Unfortunately bed bugs can often be difficult to detect and once you do recognize they are there, they can be even more difficult to get rid of. This is one of the few pests that you definitely want to hire a professional to address because trying to treat on your own is rarely successful and may result in spreading the bugs throughout of you home. Pricing depends upon the level of infestation in your home as well as the technician's time spent treating and the materials used.
If you suspect a bed bug problem in your home, please do not hesitate to call Cooper or fill out our form. Please note that we charge $125 for a bed bug inspection.
Bed Bugs are incredibly difficult to get rid of, and it is almost impossible to accomplish without the help of a professional. Since Bed Bugs are capable of going months at a time without eating, it can be hard to tell if you have truly eliminated the problem without confirmation from an expert. Leaving your home or sleeping somewhere other than your bed will not get rid of bed bugs and often will cause them to spread to new areas.
Cooper Pest Solutions is equipped to carry out every step of the bed bug elimination process from proactive measures, to treating with pesticides and steam. Cooper′s highly skilled representatives and technicians will inspect your home for signs of a bed bug infestation and determine the severity of the infestation. Treatment will be carried out according to the needs of your particular situation. Unlike other companies, Cooper′s treatments do not require prep on your part.
The most reliable way to confirm you have bed bugs is to contact Cooper Pest Solutions to identify a sample collected from your home. However, there are key warning signs that you may have an infestation:
- Going to bed and waking with bites, welts or rashes. Bite marks may appear in a rows and clusters.
- Dark spotting or blood droplets on mattresses or bedding. These are waste products bed bugs excrete while digesting a blood-meal.
- Visible observation of eggs, molted insect skin, or the insect. The failure to locate an insect does not indicate they are not present. Adult bed bugs are difficult to locate, and immature bed bugs can be difficult to see due to their size.
Upon discovering an infestation, immediately contact Cooper Pest Solutions to evaluate your problem. You should AVOID discarding bedding and mattresses as this can spread the infestation throughout the house and new furniture can quickly become infested. Also, AVOID attempting to resolve the issue yourself as improper treatment could spread the problem throughout and increase costs to eliminate the problem.