Whether they're in your office, your home, or any other space you like to spend time in, bed bugs are never a welcome sight. Not only does their small size make them easy to miss, but they're parasites. Bed bugs bite, so how can you get rid of these pests in Lake Worth?
Here's what Lake Worth homeowners should know about how to identify bed bugs, whether vacuuming helps keep bed bugs away, whether high heat kills bed bugs, and how pest control in Lake Worth can offer total bed bug control.
How To Identify A Bed Bug
You're not going to see most bed bugs. These insects hide in tight spaces, dark voids, and hidden places. If you see a bed bug, you're likely to see an immature nymph (a baby bed bug). What do baby bed bugs look like? They are as small as 1/24 of an inch in length, pale-colored, and have six legs. A nymph might look like a white and red insect if it has just had a blood meal. In the early stages of development, the blood collected inside the abdomen is quite visible. A nymph might look like a white and black insect if it has digested a meal. The black coloration is fecal matter visible inside the abdomen. Identification is difficult because of the various ways bed bugs appear.
Bed bugs become tan and eventually a rusty-brown color as they develop. At full size, a bed bug is about 1/6 of an inch. That is still tiny. When you go looking for bed bugs in your bed, they may elude you. If you're fortunate, you may turn a pillow over and see a bed bug. Look for these characteristics to identify it:
Bed bugs are seed-shaped.
A bed bug has six legs and two antennae.
The abdomen of a bed bug is transparent and constitutes most of its size.
In dim lighting, adult bed bugs may look like black insects if they haven't had a recent blood meal.
If you examine a bed bug with magnification, you may see horizontal crease lines on the surface of its abdomen.
We can't stress enough that you may not see bed bugs, even if you diligently search for them. So along with bed bug identification, you must know how to detect other early signs of bed bugs.
Bed bugs leave black streaks, dots, and spots on linen, bedspreads, pillowcases, and surfaces.
Bed bugs leave rusty stains caused by the excretion of blood.
Bed bugs shed their skins several times. You may find these shed skins in tight spaces and compressed areas.
Bed bugs stink like a dirty locker room towel. The scent is faint when you only have a few bed bugs, but it will eventually become hard to ignore.
Bed bug bites are the reason you don't want these bugs in your home, but they're also a helpful warning sign. When an individual bed bug bites you, it typically bites three times in a line or zig-zag pattern. As bed bugs reproduce and grow their numbers, you'll get a lot of bites. You'll find these bites in the same area of your skin as bed bugs tend to feed as a group.
Now that you can identify bed bugs and recognize a bed bug infestation early, you need to know how to get rid of them.
Does Vacuuming Help Keep Bed Bugs Away?
Some homeowners may think that vacuuming serves as natural pest control for bed bugs, but is this true? While vacuums can't completely eliminate bed bug infestations, they can be helpful.
Most of the time, vacuuming will work to reduce the number of bed bugs. If there are large groups or clusters of bed bugs in your home, a nice sweep will get rid of them. However, you can't completely rely on vacuums. Vacuuming only works if you're able to sweep the areas where bed bugs are hiding.
This may be somewhat effective if you've got bed bugs in your carpet, but you won't be able to vacuum a mattress or certain types of furniture. This isn't to say that bed bugs don't hide in carpets, but you're more likely to find them in furniture, sleeping areas, or other places where they know there's human activity. Bed bugs may use carpets or flooring to crawl across your home, especially if it's a new infestation.
Still, vacuuming regularly and keeping your home tidy will certainly discourage the growth of bed bugs. Bed bugs might not care if your home is dirty, but regularly cleaning and washing furniture and sheets will reduce their numbers.
When you vacuum for bed bugs, it's never a bad idea to look for signs of bed bugs. Check for rust or dark-colored stains on your furniture, live bed bugs, as well as eggs and nymphs. While they are small, bed bugs are still visible to the naked eye. Adults will grow to be the size of an apple seed, while eggs are no bigger than a pin-head.
Will High Heat Kill Bed Bugs In Lake Worth?
When it comes to what kills bed bugs, is high heat an effective strategy? You've probably heard of homeowners using extreme temperatures to kill bed bugs. But does it work?
High heat, as well as freezing temperatures, can both be effective for killing bed bugs. This is also why washing sheets, clothes, and other items after traveling can eliminate any bed bugs that may have come back with you (and prevent an infestation).
Remember, you'll still want to wash clothing even if it's not dirty. If you've got clothing or sheets that are still clean, but you're worried about bugs, just use the dryer. The washer itself won't eliminate bed bugs, but throwing these items in the dryer for a long cycle will do the trick.
Speaking of using high heat to kill bed bugs, you'll need to make sure you're using a high enough temperature. You'll need temperatures higher than 100? and expose them for at least 90 minutes to completely eliminate bed bugs. The higher the temperature, the less time you'll need to kill bed bugs in the dryer.
Besides high heat, are there other bed bug control techniques for your home? Essential oils are another common home remedy that residents will use to repel bed bugs, but do they work?
According to research from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), not a lot of essential oils have proven effective against bed bugs, but there are four exceptions to this:
- Blood orange oil: Whether you apply the oil directly to a bed frame or use it in a diffuser, blood orange oil has proven to be an effective bed bug repellent. You'll want to use it in areas of high bed bug traffic, and be careful about letting pets and children near areas where you've sprayed it.
- Paraffin oil: Because it's tasteless, odorless, and colorless, paraffin oil is a popular option since it won't stain your sheets or mattress.
- Silicon oil: Similar to paraffin oil, silicon oil is also odorless, but usually needs to be diluted with water.
- Spearmint oil: The strong menthol scent of spearmint has proven to repel bed bugs.
Ultimately, essential oils, high heat, and other home remedies can help you repel bed bugs, but you shouldn't rely on them as a primary method to combat infestations. If you suspect an infestation in your home, the only foolproof way to get rid of bed bugs is by working with the pros.
Total Bed Bug Control For Lake Worth Residents
Because they live almost anywhere with regular human activity – including public transportation, airports, and hotels – you can never completely prevent bed bugs on your own. The only completely foolproof way to prevent (and eliminate) bed bugs from your home is through professional help from Above and Beyond Pest Control.
As Lake Worth's trusted pest management service, we've got reliable treatments and experienced professionals to completely and permanently get rid of bed bugs. If you're worried that you may have picked up bed bugs through traveling, or you're finding them in your home, there's only one thing you can do – contact us at Above and Beyond Pest Control today for more information about our bed bug control services near you.
Above and Beyond are really great. It’s always easy to get someone on the phone for questions and if you have any questions at all someone will come to your home within a day. They’re always professional, honest and responsive. I’ve been with them for 5 years and totally plan to continue on!