Bed bugs have become a larger problem throughout the US in recent years, probably from the rise of global travel and the increase in chemical resistance in bed bugs. But how do you know if you’ve been bit by a bed bug? Honestly, it’s a difficult question. About half of people are not allergic to a bed bug bite, so even if they are bit, they will not show any marks. Of the people that do show marks, it is very much an individual response. A bed bug bite may look like a mosquito’s bite, or it may look like a spider bite or a large bruise. It all depends on your DNA, and the DNA of the bug that bites you.
Although many people don’t show any signs of a bite, and reactions to the bite vary, there is one indication that can help. (Gross fact alert!) Bed bugs don’t actually bite people; they insert a little tube into you and suck your blood, like a mosquito. Then they inject an anticoagulant so that your blood keeps flowing. Once it stops coming out, they move further along and bite you again. Often bed bugs bite you three times in a row, which is the distinctive mark of bed bugs. We call it, “Breakfast, lunch, and dinner”. If you see three bites in a row, about ¼ to ½ inches away from each other, most likely it is bed bugs.
You think you might have been bitten by a bed bug, now what? 90% of the time bed bugs live within 6 feet of where you sleep, so most likely the infestation will start in your bedroom. Box springs are a normal location for them, as the bugs like to be close to you when you sleep. They love to be along the fabric on the underside of box springs, as well at the staples. Bed bugs like to be hidden, often in a crack or a crease. They love the rolled edge of a mattress or the crease in a pillow top mattress. Look for small, dark colored bugs, and for small black specks, which are their excrement. They also have a distinctive musty smell, so pay attention to that too. If you find bed bugs or see signs of them, now what?
If you think you have bed bugs, the first thing to do is to call an expert. Bed bugs are very tricky to get rid of, so I don’t recommend treating them yourself. DO NOT THROW YOUR FURNITURE AWAY! If the space is treated, all of the furniture can be saved. DON’T USE FOGGERS! Bed bug bombs and foggers will spread them throughout your house, and don’t work. Too often people try to treat the problem themselves, and end up suffering longer before finally calling me. Don’t use sprays from Home Depot or Amazon either, they are not very effective.
There are two mains ways to kill bed bugs. One is to use a professional chemical product, and the other way is to use heat remediation. I recommend using heat, because although chemicals can be effective, they require multiple applications of at least two chemicals over several weeks. A heat treatment, if done correctly, will eliminate the bugs in one day, so you can get back to sleeping in peace. Make sure any pest control company you contact knows the pros and cons of each method, and can decide what will work best for your particular situation. At Rock Pest Control, we will work hard to make sure you don’t have to deal with these pests any longer. Call us at 913-735-5451, and we can get your life back to normal in just one day.