Bed Bug Identification & Prevention

Keeping an eye out for bed bugs is a year-round job, and it can be a lot harder than you think, especially if you are a globetrotter or a thrift store shopper.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bed Bugs

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs look a lot like ticks and mites because of their flat, oval-shaped bodies and tiny heads. However, these external parasites might eat blood just like ticks, but they're actually insects. Whereas ticks are arachnids and have two body parts and eight legs, bed bugs have three body parts and six legs, though this can be difficult to see just by looking at them with the naked eye.

a bed bug on string materials

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Bed bugs can be dangerous and not dangerous at the same time, depending on what you mean by the question. Bed bugs are not dangerous in the sense of spreading communicable diseases. Bed bugs are not known to carry any contagious illnesses as ticks and fleas do, so you're not likely to get any kind of primary infection from a bed bug bite.

However, you can get secondary infections from bed bug bites because they're so itchy. The scratching can irritate the skin and even break it, which can lead to a skin infection. Bed bugs can also cause anxiety surrounding sleep and insomnia. If this continues over a long period of time, it can cause all kinds of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So in this sense, bed bugs are absolutely dangerous.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Most of the time, you can end up with a bed bug infestation through two primary methods of transfer — traveling and secondhand shopping. Bed bugs are sneaky little hitchhikers; they can crawl into your luggage and hitch a ride home with you anytime you travel. And don't think you're safe just because you stay at a nice hotel. Because guests come in and out so frequently, no hotel is truly safe from bed bugs.

Bed bugs are also frequent visitors to secondhand shops like thrift stores. It's very easy for homeowners to sell things to thrift stores without realizing they have a bed bug problem in their house. They can easily sell infested items to stores without anyone realizing it. Some thrift stores implement stringent commercial pest control measures, but many don't. And that's to say nothing about buying directly from homeowners, like at a garage sale. If you buy a bed bug-infested item, you've just infested your own house.

Where will I find bed bugs?

Part of what makes controlling bed bugs so difficult is that they can hide anywhere. Of course, they feed on you at night while you're sleeping, so your bed is the most convenient place for them. However, bed bug infestations can grow and spread at an alarming rate. Once this happens, your bed might run out of room for all the bugs, and they'll start hiding in other places. Bed bugs have been found in some pretty insane hiding spots, including behind light switch covers, in between carpet fibers, and even under laptop keyboard keys.

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

It can be virtually impossible for homeowners to get rid of bed bugs once they already have an infestation. Store-bought products like bed bug fumigation sprays, dusts, and foggers rarely work because most of these products must make direct contact with bed bugs, and bed bugs hide all over your house.

You're much better off contacting professional home pest control services. Here at Southern Home & Outdoor Services, our pest control services in Melbourne, FL, go a lot farther than any over-the-counter product can. That means only we can help truly rid your home of every bed bug it contains.

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

The good news is it's much, much easier for homeowners to prevent bed bug infestations than it is for them to treat them after the fact. All you have to do is take precautions when you travel and secondhand shop:

  • Inspect hotel mattresses for signs of bugs before using them.
  • Never lay luggage or clothing on hotel beds or sofas.
  • Always wash and dry clothes on the highest heat setting as soon as you return from travel.
  • Avoid all secondhand shopping if you can.
  • If you can't avoid secondhand shopping, inspect your purchases for signs of bugs before bringing them into your house.

Following these bed bug prevention tips can help you avoid ever having to worry about getting rid of a bed bug infestation. But if you wind up with one anyway, contact the best local pest control for bed bugs around; Southern Home & Outdoor Services! We can help you kick these bedroom bloodsuckers out of your home for good.

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