At some point in your life, you will encounter them or at least know someone who has. These horribly stressful creatures aren't going away anytime soon. The best weapon you've got, against them in this epic battle of sound sleep versus bug paranoia, is knowledge.
Knowledge is Your Best Weapon!
Once you know what they're all about, you'll be able to catch problems much quicker and proactively take measures to avoid getting bed bugs. Because they spread from person to person, item to item, the war against bed bugs has to begin with YOU.
Bed Bug FAQ
There's so much information about bed bugs to share with you guys, I thought to put a bunch of frequently asked questions in one post to make learning about them a little easier.
What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs are brown, can get up to a quarter of an inch in diameter and look like a flat apple seed. Younger life stages can appear yellowish or translucent with a squiggly dark pattern on its abdomen. Eggs are almost clear and difficult to see with untrained eyes.
How did I get bed bugs?
Did you recently:
- Have anyone stay at your home?
- Stay in a hotel, rental home or cabin?
- Travel out of state or out of the country?
- Buy or rent second hand furniture?
- Bring home something from a garage sale?
- Host a party where guests put purses and coats on your bed?
- Dumpster dive and bring home items that were thrown out?
- Use public transportation, taxi cabs, buses, etc.?
- Move into an apartment? Did the landlord mention previous issues?
Those are all common ways to get bed bugs. They hitchhike on items like purses, luggage, briefcases, can hide in cracks and crevices of furniture, weaves of mattresses, etc. They go where they know they'll get a blood meal...YOU.
Can bed bugs make you sick?
Having bed bugs can be incredibly stressful. These bugs invade the most private place in your house...your BED. Having an infestation where you're getting bitten frequently can also pose a health risk. Bites can become infected by scratching. Besides that though, they're not poisonous, they aren't known for carrying diseases, and are mostly a nuisance.
Do bed bugs live in beds only?
Bed bugs are mostly noticed in beds, but they can and do live in various other items, such as nightstands, picture frames, curtains or tags on blankets, in electrical outlets, etc. They typically hide out within about 15-20 feet of their meal source. They venture onto the bed to feed, then spend the rest of their time mating in cracks and crevices of these items. Since they're flat, it's easy for them to slip in and out of the tiniest spaces.
The dark flecks that resemble pepper in this picture are bed bug fecal deposits. This was a heavy infestation. Read more about signs of bed bugs here.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
If you're wondering how to get rid of bed bugs yourself, I'm sorry to break it to you, but bed bugs are NOT a DIY pest. Sure, you'll see products in home improvement stores that claim to say they'll kill bed bugs. Sure, they might work if you spray a bug directly, but you're only really killing 1% of the total population of the pest problem you actually have.
Bed bugs breed rapidly. When they're not feeding on you, they're having babies. Where you see one, there are probably a dozen more within a close radius. And without the proper tools and education, you will not be successful treating on your own.
The sooner you get a professional to help, the better your chances of eliminating them will be. If you suspect you may have bed bugs, don't keep wondering. Get a free inspection today!
What's the best way to get rid of bed bugs?
There are many methods being practiced by pest control companies in Chicagoland. Some solely use professional bed bug control products, some have bed bug heat treatment equipment, there are some that use the cryogenically freezing option and some companies have trained bed bug sniffing dogs to point out activity. I'm sure there's a time and a place for each method. Our company provides several of these options because we don't believe there's a cookie cutter approach to any pest problem.
In order to determine what the best way to get rid of bed bugs is for your particular scenario, get at least 2 opinions so you can educate yourself on what your options are and decide from there. I'd recommend that to anyone for any household concern.
Why is it so expensive to get rid of bed bugs? Is it that difficult?
Bed bugs can live for several months without eating. They are very hardy creatures that withstand a huge range of temperatures and climates. They can survive from nearly freezing all the way to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. That's WAY tougher than the cockroach! That and the fact that they breed constantly makes it tricky to get control of them. The jobs require very scrutinizing attention to detail to identify all potential hiding/breeding zones. Depending on the treatment method used, the price for a bed bug treatment can range from $600 to over $1500. The level of infestation, how cluttered the infested rooms are, and how many rooms in a house or apartment building are infested all play a role in price determination.