The word “bed bug” alone is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl, so it’s completely understandable that Lakeland area homeowners start to panic when they wake up with red, itchy bites.
Since bed bugs are tiny, hardy and able to reproduce rapidly, it’s important to take a proactive approach when figuring out how to kill bed bugs. A small bed bug problem can rapidly turn into an infestation. But with this simple process, you can stop the problem in its tracks and quickly get back to having the good night’s sleep you deserve.
First, find the bed bugs
It might be tempting to turn a blind eye to bed bugs for fear of unearthing a major infestation, but diagnosing the problem early is essential. If you or someone in your family wakes up with red, itchy welts, it’s time to check for bedbugs — period!
Bed bugs are tiny but usually visible to the naked eye. They tend to concentrate in small, dark spaces such as mattress or couch seams, inside baseboards and along wallpaper seams. Grab your flashlight and a magnifying glass, if you have one handy, and start searching — or call Foundation Pest Control to schedule a thorough inspection.
Here’s what you should look for:
- Live, Adult Bed bugs: Adults are about ¼-inch long and reddish in color. You may see them running up and down along the seams of your mattress or couch or on floorboards.
- Droppings: These are dark marks about the size of a period.
- Stains: You’ll find these on your mattress or other household fabrics.
- Other Common Indicators: You may find yellow-tinted skins, eggs and eggshells.
If you see any of these signs or have unexplained itchy welts that follow a straight or zigzag pattern, you may have bed bugs. Capture a live bed bug, if possible, and save it to show a professional.
Stop the Bed Bug Infestation From Spreading
Once you’ve confirmed that you have bed bugs, take immediate action to stop the spread of these pests. This doesn’t have to be complicated -- grab a vacuum and suck up any bugs you spot. The tank will keep them contained. You’ll need to thoroughly vacuum your house, especially all contaminated areas, and immediately throw the bag away outdoors and clean your vacuum.
Next, wash your clothes and linens or place them in plastic bags. You will need to wash and dry them at a high temperature as soon as possible. If you have items that can’t be washed, we recommend placing them in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes or placing them in the freezer. If you haven’t already at this stage, get in touch so our expert team can schedule an emergency inspection and treatment.
Treat Your Home for Bed bugs
You’ve already vacuumed your home and bagged up or washed any fabric items that may be infested with live bed bugs or eggs. If the item can’t be washed, frozen or bagged for several months, throw it away — this includes books and other objects lying on the floor of your room or around your bed.
Be careful not to carry potentially infested items to other parts of your house -- this will spread the infestation even more.
Keep an Eye on Infected Areas
Anyone who has experienced bed bugs will tell you that killing them is rarely a one-and-done experience. Again, they’re hardy and very small, which makes at-home treatment options difficult. We recommend inspecting affected areas once per week for the foreseeable future.
Call Your Hometown Pest Control Pros
If you’ve tried DIY methods and still have a problem -- or know you want help to ensure you’re doing things right the first time -- it’s time to seek professional help. At Foundation Pest Control, we have access to chemical and non-chemical treatment options that aren’t available to the public -- and are very effective for killing bedbugs that have become resistant to other solutions. Our pro team team can also kill bed bugs on contact, giving you immediate peace of mind.
If you’re interested in chemical-free treatments, our team can also leverage heat to combat bedbug infestations. A service professional will heat some or all the rooms in your home to a suitable temperature for killing bed bugs. We recommend removing photos and other mementos before heat treatments.
When you schedule an appointment with a pest control company, make sure they give you instructions for preparing your home for treatment. Following these directions closely will not only increase your chance of success but also protect your belongings.
Avoid Future Bedbug Infestations
All it takes is one experience with bedbugs to know you NEVER want them again. It’s not unusual for homeowners to become highly aware, if not fanatical, when it comes to prevention — and we completely understand...
Here are some helpful tips for preventing bed bugs:
- Cover: Use a bed bug cover on your mattress and box spring.
- Clean: Frequently vacuum and clean carpets, furniture, clothes and curtains.
- Clutter: Avoid leaving papers, books, clothes and other belongings on the ground
- Close: Seal any cracks in your home’s interior and exterior
- Check: Inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs before settling in.
If you’re in the Greater Lakeland area and are dealing with a bed bug problem, call Foundation Pest Control today at 901-302-5206 to schedule an assessment and treatment now.
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