Bed bug prevention is only the first step towards ensuring you won't be plagued by these nasty intruders. In fact, once you've got a bed bug infestation to deal with, bed bug prevention is only one of a number of steps that will need to be taken. In most cases you'll need to contact bed bug exterminators in order get rid of your problem.
Bed BugsA Primer
There are actually several different types of bed bugs out there. The most troublesome prefer to feed on humans (bed bugs are blood suckers) and are most often found in mattresses, bed posts, headboards, box springs, and behind loose wallpaper and plaster. There are also bed bugs that prefer birds, bats, and other wildlife; however if they come into contact with humans they won't hesitate to broaden their horizons either. A female bed bug in house lays 300 eggs at a time that take an average of 10 days to hatch.
You do the math.
This is one pest that you need to attack as soon as an infestation is apparent.
Bed Bug Identification
The first sign of bed bugs in house usually shows up on your person in the form in of red, irritated, itching bites. Once those come to light, look for actual bugs, eggs, and nymphs in your bedding, mattresses and bed frame. You will probably find rust colored spots on the mattress (places where blood engorged bugs have been crushed) and areas of fecal deposits that look like brown stains and deposits. If all these signs are present, it's time to move on to the next step in bed bug prevention and extermination.
Call in the Pros
Unfortunately bed bugs are nearly impossible to get rid of on your own. That being the case, you'll want to search out bed bug exterminators to address your problem. Bed bugs in house require an integrated pest management strategy. First of all, you'll need to wash all bedding in at least 120 degree water to kill existing eggs, nymphs, and bugs. Second, vacuum the area thoroughly and seal and dispose of the vacuum bag when you're finished.
You Don't Want that Mattress, Do You?
You'll probably need to dispose of infested mattresses and box springs as well, as there isn't any sure fire way to rid them of the problem. After taking all these steps, the next is for your bed bug exterminators to treat the area with a number of specific pesticides. This is tricky business, since close contact to any pesticide is a bad thing, and beds make avoiding that almost impossible. For this reason, more than any other, it's important to hire a professional.
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Bed Bug Prevention
Once you've rid yourself of bed bugs (and this could take several rounds of treatment, lasting months), it's important that you take steps to prevent the return of the problem. As mentioned, one of the best prevention strategies is simply getting rid of all infested materials at the get go. After that, try to identify where your problem originated. People who travel, especially internationally, often bring bugs home from unsanitary hotels and other sleeping quarters, so be sure to thoroughly check out any lodgings before you stay to avoid possible contact. And, of course, keep your bedroom as clean as possible. Vacuum your carpet, mattress and bedding regularly, and think about hiring a professional carpet cleaning service as well to come in and work their magic. When it comes to bed bug prevention, you really can't be careful enough.