Bed bugs can cause a significant headache. Not only do these tiny bugs bite and cause itchy welts on your skin, but they can spread quickly around your home and be virtually impossible to eradicate without professional help. Are you wondering how you can prevent bed bugs from infesting your Kansas home? The professionals at Schendel Pest Services have decades of bed bug control experience, which can help guide you in preventing bed bug infestations.
How do bed bugs get into your home?
Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They cannot enter your home without help. In most cases, you pick up bed bugs while traveling or resting on infested furniture. In addition to clinging to your clothing, bed bugs can hop into suitcases or hitch a ride on a favorite pillow or blanket that you bring to a hotel with you.
Also, bed bugs can get onto your clothing while you are sitting on an infested bus or airplane, at the movie theater, or on clothes you have just purchased at a store.
Unlike most other pests, bed bugs live almost exclusively with humans. They don’t live in forested areas. They don’t live in yards. They don’t live on the backs of mice and rats. Bed bugs live inside man-made structures, where they have easy access to human blood. And it just so happens that most of us keep our homes at the right temperature for bed bugs all year long.
How to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation
One of the most realistic and practical steps that you can take is to wash your clothes after traveling. In addition to washing, you need to place your clothes in the dryer and run a hot cycle. Heat kills bed bugs, so putting your clothes in the dryer as soon as you bring them back to your house is paramount for bed bug prevention.
Because bed bugs have made such a large comeback and are found in such a large variety of places, preventing them can be a very difficult task. However, there are some precautions that you can take to help lower your chances of them invading your home. Bed bug prevention tips include:
- When traveling, inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs- small spots of blood or brown droppings on mattresses or linens, piles of exoskeletons that nymphs shed as they grow, or finding adults in the cracks and crevices of floors, walls, mattresses and box springs.
- Keep suitcases, purses, bags, and coats up off of the floor of hotels and other public places.
- If possible, try not to purchase used furniture or clothing. If it is necessary to buy used items, make sure to thoroughly wash and clean the items before use.
- When returning home from a trip, immediately wash all clothing in hot water and place it in the dryer. Vacuum and clean all suitcases before putting them away.
Even if you put all of these tips into action, it’s still possible that you’ll take bed bugs back to your house. They don’t fly or dart around, so most people carry bed bugs into their home unknowingly.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs are hardy creatures, and they may still get into your home despite your best efforts. How will you know if you have bed bugs? You could find raised welts on your body, potentially indicating bed bug bites. However, everyone reacts to bed bug bites in different ways. Some may not experience physical signs of bites even after a bite occurs. This can be especially challenging to diagnose due to other bug bites such as flea bites, looking very similar. However, there are some studies that suggest that bed bugs can live 5 months without feeding on blood! It’s impossible to rely solely on visual bed bug bites to identify an active infestation.
In your own home, you can use a flashlight to look for bed bugs, which appear like small rust-colored specs. Bed bugs hide in tight spaces such as around your box spring, behind light sockets, within the crevices of furniture such as fabric couches, in drawers, and behind hanging picture frames to name a few. They like to hide, so it’s not likely that you’ll find them crawling around the middle of the floor or in plain sight. You could also spot their black droppings. Bed bugs feed on blood meal, leaving behind droppings that are easier to spot on light colored fabric like white bed sheets or light colored curtains. To learn more about bed bug identification during steps of their lifecycle, read our guide by clicking here.
Bed bugs will start in one place in your home. However, they multiply rapidly, and people in your home can carry them to other beds, carpeting, or furniture on their clothes. If not taken care of quickly, the infestation can spread around your house, infesting additional rooms.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home
You can kill bed bugs with heat. As previously mentioned, a hot dryer can deliver this kind of temperature (of 110°F or more). The main issue with DIY tactics is that most strategies aim to kill visible bed bugs. However, bed bugs hide around box springs, in corners, and even in behind peeling paint or wallpaper, without being detected. This doesn’t get to the source of bed bug activity, rendering the DIY efforts largely useless. To deal with the problem once and for all, you need professional help.
The most effective, non-toxic bed bug eradication method involves using heat services throughout your home. Schendel Pest Services uses high-temperature treatments to kill bed bugs in your house, including those that are hiding in hard-to-reach places.
Not only is this method more powerful, but it is also non-toxic. You won’t have to worry about pesticide residue in your home. A heat treatment doesn’t treat the symptom. It gets to the root of the problem. Heat radiates through carpets, in behind wall boards, and even into wall voids. It doesn’t try to lure these elusive bugs out. It kills them where they are. Our heat treatments don’t require these bugs to come out from their hiding places. Heat will kill bed bugs where they are hiding. It radiates deep into mattresses, cushions, bed boards, and electronics.
Although you can take steps to significantly reduce the chances of getting bed bugs in your Kansas home, it’s close to impossible to prevent and eliminate infestations without professional tools and training. The specialists at Schendel Pest Services are equipped to handle even the most severe bed bug infestations.
Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a bed bug inspection at your home.