What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are six-legged nocturnal insects that feed only on blood, usually that of humans or warm-blooded animals. The most common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, is the species most adapted to living with humans. Adult bed bugs appear mahogany to red in shade and are flat and oval-shaped. They can grow to be no more than ¼ inch. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) resemble the adults, but are smaller and somewhat lighter in color and can appear translucent. Because of their morphology, bed bugs can live inside mattresses, baseboards, box springs, headboards, and many other cracks and crevices around the house. Bed bugs can lay 200 to 500 eggs during their lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, bed bugs will typically live up to a total of 316 days.
What do I look for?
Because of their size, bed bugs can actually be seen by the naked eye – mature, they appear the size of an apple seed. When changing your bedding, look for over signs of bed bugs like:
- The actual bed bugs, themselves
- Tiny red splotches or stains
- Shell casings or fecal matter (suspicious looking non dust-like particles)
Another obvious warning sign would be waking up with suspicious bites. Though people experience different physiological reactions to bed bug bites, these bites generally appear in clusters of three and are most often found on the appendages. The reason for these patterns is because of bed bugs’ susceptibility to becoming disrupted while “feeding” on your person, which may cause them to make a few different attempts.
How can M&M help?
At M&M, our unique treatment approach offers proven and guaranteed results. We understand that treating bed bugs requires a comprehensive approach and begins by learning in depth the specifics of each individual problem.
Our program combines a thorough understanding of bed bug biology and behavior, the use of premium EPA approved pesticides and expertise in cutting edge technology to attack bed bug populations. We are continuously reviewing the effectiveness of new developments in the field to bring our clients the best, most current technology and services available.
M&M has a team of dedicated technicians trained to combat bed bugs, each with over 1,000 hours of experience in this trade. We work closely with each individual client to determine the best options for their treatment, offering help and advice every step along the way: from pre-treatment to post- clean-up. We follow through with each bed bug case until the infestation is completely resolved.
What can I do now?
There are a number of different things to keep in mind when preparing your home for a bed bug treatment. At M&M, since we offer a variety of different treatment services — like freezing, heating and the use of eco-friendly pesticides — each method will require a different type of tailored preparation.
Remember, when dealing with a bed bug infestation, there are two parts that go into the treatment process: treating the structure and treating your personal contents. In cases where heating is not used, it is going to be up to you to treat your personal contents, which we can provide detailed instructions on how to accomplish.
Typically, bed bug treatments will require you to arrange for your pets to be removed from your home at least 24 hours prior to treatment. You will also have to remove all of your personal items from the floors and shelves — these must then be washed and dried if fabric, and placed in sealed plastic bags. Non-fabric items must be wiped down with and placed in sealed plastic bags or containers. For your kitchen, all opened edible items must be sealed and placed in the refrigerator. For the bathroom, you’ll need to clear out the shelving, inspect all your personal items, and place them in sealed plastic bags.
The most important thing in this process is educating yourself on all of your many different treatment options and deciding on what is ultimately going to work best for the problem that you are currently dealing with.
How can I stay bed bug free?
Being aware of your surroundings and educating yourself on how to prevent running into bed bugs will be the first step towards keeping you bed bug free. Click here to read more a more detailed explanation of advice on this in our “How To Prevent Bed Bugs” brochure.
There are many smart practices to incorporate into your daily activities that will help prevent you from crossing their path. Here are a few ideas:
- Consider placing your mattresses and boxsprings in reliable mattress encasements that have been made with patented zipper technology, to protect the investments that you’ve made in your bed.
- When traveling, check websites like the bedbugRegistry.com to cross reference whether or not there have been reports.
- Always diligently check hotel rooms before settling into vacation mode.
- If dealing with an infestation, schedule regular bed bug treatments and follow-up inspections with your pest control company.
- Make sure to follow all of the pre- and post- treatment instructions from your pest control company to ensure that you are taking all of the right steps.
- Perform regular inspections of your bed, bedding and personal items for overt signs of bed bugs.
- Avoid sitting in public areas where there are wooden benches or fabric surfaces — these materials tend to be spots of harboring for bed bugs.
No one ever wants to deal with having to get rid of a bed bug infestation in their homes. By following the advice of these practices, you’ll be certain to stand a better chance of remaining bed bug free in the long run.