You wake up one morning, and before your very eyes, you see it: a tiny black bug scuttling around your bedsheets. Suddenly, all of the itchy bumps you keep waking up with make perfect sense. You don’t have allergies; you have bed bugs!
Bed bugs are one of the quietest home infestations you can have, but they pose a serious threat to your well being. Cities like Fort Worth and Dallas, TX are hotspots for bed bug infestations, as these critters prefer dark, cool places with plenty of human activity to satiate their hunger. Homes, hotels, public transportation, schools, hospitals, and other areas where they can find a place to rest prove ideal for these unwanted pests. Let’s talk about what bed bugs are, how they get inside, and what you can do to avoid them.
What’s Bed Bugging You?
Bed bugs, scientifically known as Cimex lectularis, are brown, apple seed-sized insects that rarely grow larger than 1/4 inch. Unlike other common household pests, they’re not interested in your food storage. That’s because the food is you – bed bugs are nocturnal creatures that feast on animal blood which is why they often take up residence in your bed and actively feed at night.
Bed bugs don’t fly, jump, or run, so you might be wondering how they got in your home in the first place. Most likely, they hitched a ride into your home with you or a guest. These buggers are total hitchhikers: they move slowly on their own, but you can find them in certain hub spots and carry them back home with you.
Where Bed Bugs Reside
Common places that bed bugs latch onto you include transportation hubs (subway, bus stop, train station, etc.), commercial housing units (hotels, apartments, etc.), schools, public lounge spaces, and other highly populated areas. There’s no saying how they got there, and from where (or whom) you got yours from, but these pests are everywhere. Where there are people, there are bed bugs.
Once they find a comfortable place to hide inside your home, it takes a lot of work to get rid of bed bugs. The good news is, bed bugs aren’t known to vector any kind of disease. They also don’t cause home damage. The bad news is, they're impossible to treat without professional help. No matter how often you clean your sheets, vacuum your carpets, and spray down your furniture, it’s possible for these bugs to keep showing up, giving you itchy spots, skin rashes, and even psychological stress.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
What can you do to prevent an infestation from occurring? For starters, you can try to avoid picking them up in the first place. If you’re going anywhere with a bag or luggage, including your purse or backpack, make sure these carry-ons are properly sealed. If you notice bed bugs in your bags when you return, place the bag in a plastic bag and put a no-pest strip inside, so that you lock the bed bugs in a controlled, fumigated environment.
Also, be sure to shower and launder your clothing in hot water as soon as you get home from a public space. Bed bugs hate the heat, and the sooner you get in contact with hot water, the better chance that they end up in your drain pipes instead of your bed.
Other things you can do include:
- Reduce clutter, both at home and in the office. Dark, cool spaces are what bed bugs like best.
- Vacuum regularly, and consider an eco-friendly, pet-safe pesticide spray if you think you’re dealing with bed bugs.
Buy a bed encasement. An encasement zippers over your mattress so that, in the event that you do get bed bugs, you can carefully take the encasement off and wash it – far easier than cleaning your mattress.
Professional Bed Bug Control
Since bed bugs are so small and pervasive, these prevention and treatment tips don’t always work. Furthermore, once an infestation is well underfoot, bed bugs could be practically anywhere in your home. They will hide in upholstered furniture, curtains, and even electrical outlets.
If you find yourself in the throws of a bed bug infestation, treat your bites with an antihistamine ointment, then contact Dallas’ infestation professionals at Bullseye K9 Detection. Our licensed and experienced professionals know the ins and outs of bed bug prevention and control. Don't stress - we’ll exterminate the bug that’s bugging you.