Nobody likes bed bugs. The question is what can you do to get rid of them? A combination of services from a licensed pest control company and taking some simple steps at home can send these public nuisances packing without a return visit.
What Exactly Are Bed Bugs?
They’re tiny insects that dine on the blood of birds and mammals. As adults, these copper-colored parasites are about one-fourth of an inch long and have no wings. It can be very difficult to see bed bug youngsters because they have almost no color and are only about one-sixteenth of an inch long.
These unwelcome creatures infest California homes by either crawling inside or being transported from one location to another, as on a piece of furniture. When this insect has a meal, its body turns a bright red and swells. Its favorite meal is human blood, which it normally finds during the night in places where people sleep.
While these parasites are highly annoying, the California Department of Public Health says they apparently don’t transmit any diseases to you. However, their bites can leave large skin welts that itch severely and that can cause a severe reaction in some individuals. Rarely does a person awaken when bitten, and the red welts bed bugs cause sometimes don’t appear until many days after the bites.
The primary signs that your home has these unwelcome creatures are itching welts on your skin. Sometimes small, dark stains mark spots where these bugs were crushed or left droppings. The most common locations include folds, tufts, and seams of a mattress or daybed cover and cluttered spots near a sleeping area. As an infestation progresses, bed bugs might travel to your bed frames, box springs, headboards, nightstands, moldings, books, and even picture frames.
These parasites can exist for weeks or months without food. Their life span is around 10 months.
How to Get Rid of Them
The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program indicates that reported infestations should be managed by professionals because of the difficulty involved in identifying, treating, and removing infested items and the amount of follow-on monitoring required. The agency that licenses pest control professionals is the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Structural Pest Control Board.
A pest control company has access to a variety of registered products that are effective in eliminating bed bugs. The most effect method of dealing with an infestation and preventing a second one is a combination of chemical and non-chemical techniques that includes consumer monitoring and cleaning adjustments.
Homeowners should actively follow a number of steps for any integrated pest management program to be effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most important you should complete include:
- Reducing clutter
- Maintaining an aggressive cleaning schedule
- Inspecting infested areas and surrounding living spaces thoroughly
- Checking luggage and clothes after traveling
- Inspecting second-hand clothing
- Installing easements on pillows, mattresses, and box springs
- Inserting interceptors under furniture legs and bed posts