With holiday travel at its peak, you might hear bed bugs come up in conversation. Whether you are traveling or other guests are coming to your home, bed bugs can be a real concern, especially if you or your guests are staying in hotels. A bed bug infestation can create a lot of uneasy feelings, worry, and definitely a lot of questions. The holiday season should be a time of joy and love, not bug bites and needing to find a bed bug exterminator. If you’re concerned about a bed bug infestation, here are some common questions that people ask so you can relax and enjoy your company, or visit with friends or family.
How Does an Infestation Occur?
Bed bugs are top-notch experts at hiding. They have small, slim bodies that can easily fit into tight spaces and they can stay there for a long period of time, even without feeding. Bed bugs are typically transported with people as they travel. They can hide within the seams of luggage and folded clothes. Our bed bug exterminators also want you to know they can hide in bedding, furniture, and even in places like books, picture frames, and electronics. Infestations can occur when people don’t realize they are carrying around the bugs and infect places as they are moved around.
Where Are Bed Bugs Found?
Bed bug infestations don’t just happen within the U.S. They can be found in Canada, the U.K., and in parts of Europe. They can be found in various buildings, including five-star hotels. Unlike what some people may think, cleanliness is not a determining factor of bed bugs in the home. Bed bugs are often found in areas where people sleep: mattresses, headboards, dresser tables, or behind wallpaper.
What Are Signs of an Infestation?
The clearest sign of bed bugs is small bite marks on your face, neck, arms, hands, legs, and feet. Bite marks can sometimes take up to 14 days to develop, so it’s important to be aware of other signs as well.
- Exoskeletons after the bed bugs have shed their skin.
- Bugs in the folds or creases of mattresses and sheets.
- Rust or blood-colored spots that are left behind as they excrete blood-filled fecal matter.
- You may smell a sweet or musty smell.
What Are Bed Bug Bites Like?
As bed bugs bite, they inject both an anesthetic and an anticoagulant. This prevents you from feeling the bite. Bite marks can develop one or two days after they bite or up to 14 days. They can appear in a straight line or randomly on the body. The bite mark will look swell slightly and it might be irritating or itchy. Everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites. Other symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, or skin problems.
Are There Health Risks?
Overall, bed bugs are not dangerous, unless you have an allergic reaction to their bites. If there is an allergic reaction, it could lead to a skin infection caused from an increase in itching. They are not known to spread disease.
How Are Bed Bugs Treated?
After a bed bug exterminator has killed the bed bugs, any bite marks will typically go away on their own. To treat the itch, apply an antiseptic cream or lotion, or take an antihistamine for serious itching. Because bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to pesticides, bed bug exterminators are developing new methods. At K9 Northwest Bed Bug Detectives, our bed bug exterminators use heat treatments. You can learn more about our exterminating methods here.
How do You Prevent Bed Bugs?
Before an infestation enters your home, learn the ways in which you can prevent it in the first place.
- Closely inspect second-hand furniture before bringing pieces into the home.
- Use a mattress cover to keep bed bugs away from the mattress. Read some tips on choosing the right mattress cover here.
- Vacuum your home frequently.
- Be careful when using shared laundry facilities.
- Install door sweeps on the bottom of doors.
- Seal any cracks around baseboards and light sockets.
- Schedule a regular inspection with a qualified bed bug exterminator.
For more questions about K9 Northwest treatment methods, read our FAQ page. If you have seen signs of an infestation, call a bed bug exterminator in Seattle as soon as possible.