Bed bugs are nasty little invasive pests, and anyone who's struggled to get rid of them before can attest to their infuriating resilience to complete eradication. If you find the heart-stopping evidence that they've decided to seek shelter in your abode, you may be wondering how they managed to weasel their way in. You keep a clean house! It may not be spotless, but you certainly don't keep a filth-encrusted pigsty! Why would they choose your East Texas home to terrorize?
Well, it's a common misconception that only dirty homes attract bed bugs. In fact, your home could be the epitome of cleanliness, and they could still find a way to invade. Bed bugs can happen to anyone, and here's how:
- Tagalongs on luggage from a hotel stay
- Used furniture and clothing from a yard sale or the side of the road
- Brushing up against infested furnishings
Where to Find Them, How to Avoid Them
These creepy little critters are so difficult to get rid of, the best solution to stay free of bed bugs is to make sure they don't get past the threshold. Knowing where they're most likely to hide and what signs to look for is your best bet to maintaining a bedbug-free zone.
Bed bugs enjoy snug cracks and crevices to hide in during the day, so the biggest bed bug hotspots are found increases of furniture such as mattresses, couches, and recliners. They can also be located in the walls between wallpaper, in crevices within carpeting, closets, and cupboards, and even caught clinging to curtains and drapes. While they're usually more active at night, it's not terribly uncommon to catch one or two crawling around during the day if an infestation is getting worse.
Bed bugs feast on blood, just like mosquitoes, and while they'll consume any mammalian blood, their preference is human. Everyone has different reactions to bed bug bites but the most common is a small, flat, reddened mark on the skin. The biggest difference between mosquito bites and bed bug bites are the patterns; bed bugs make several bites in straight lines, where mosquitoes are more scattered and sporadic.
Signs of an Infestation Away From Home
Bed bugs are incredibly small, around the size of an apple seed, and nymphs are no bigger than the size of a pinhead. Adults are brown and flat, and while they do have wings, they're unable to use them to fly. They're easy to mistake for crumbs or random household debris, so you'll need to be prepared for what signs to look for:
- Brown spots and remnants in between the seams of furniture and walls
- Unusual crumb-like material on or around the mattress and other furniture
- Small bloodstains; bed bug bites usually bleed, and they can be crushed between the mattress and your body
- Multiple bites in a line, row, or zigzag pattern
Always check the seams of furniture when you're considering purchasing any used furnishings, and thoroughly inspect your temporary dwellings if you happen to be on vacation away from home. You don't want a hitchhiker crawling into your luggage while you aren't looking, and you don't want a thrifty purchase to turn into a nightmare.
One of the most important steps to take once you return home from a trip, or bring anything home from a yard sale, is to thoroughly wash the laundry and any fabric materials you brought with you. Bed bugs are not resistant to heat, and the hottest setting on your washer and dryer will make sure any sneaky critters you might've brought home meet a timely end.
Getting Rid of an Infestation
Bed bug infestations are no joke, and trying to get rid of them on your own can be a real hassle. If you find that your East Texas home has been invaded by these microscopic monsters, it's always best to call in the professionals. Innovative Pest Control has all of the top-of-the-line pest control products you'll need to clear out bed bugs and keep them from coming back. We offer a 3-step bed bug removal program designed to inspect, identify, and get rid of bed bugs for good, and our 4.9 star Google review can attest to our dedication for your satisfaction. After serving Tyler, Longview, and East Texas for over 25 years, we know what you need to keep your residential and commercial properties safe, secure, and pest free.