Sleep tight this Holiday and don’t let the bed bugs bite

Christmas is a time when people and presents are on the move – and so are the bed bugs that hitch a ride on them.  If you need bed bugs extermination, don’t put it off this holiday season, but we hope you follow our instructions from a blog last summer to help not having a problem. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays and need to avoid getting bed bugs on vacation, your family or friends are visiting, or your six-legged guests have stowed away on carriers other than humans, it’s important to know how to identify and deal with these little bloodsuckers.

Bed bugs extermination and control starts with an effective bed bug inspection.

Bed bugs are stealthy hit-and-run feeders that tend to hide during the day, feed on you at night, then retreat back to their hiding places before you wake up. Because of this, you’re more likely to see the signs of an infestation than you are to see the bugs themselves.

Signs you need a bed bugs extermination include:

  1. An unpleasant, musty odor.
  1. Eggshells and shed insect casings where the bed bugs hide.
  1. Black stains, especially in seams and stitching on mattresses and upholstered furniture, and black streaks on fabrics and wood.
  1. Blood stains, especially on surfaces like pillows or sheets where you lay after being bitten.
  1. Dark or rust-colored spots of excrement on bedding, seats and nearby walls.

What do bed bugs look like?

While seeing the bugs themselves is less likely, it’s good to know what you’re looking at if you do manage to find one.

Adult bed bugs are around the size of an apple seed, while their nymphs are about the size of a sesame seed. Unfed bed bugs are flat and brown, and when viewed from above, their bodies are round at the front and sides but taper toward the rear end.

They have six three-segmented limbs that start out nearly perpendicular to the body. The back two pairs angle toward the bug’s backside before bending outward again, while their front pair angles forward then out.

When engorged with blood, their abdomens become long and rounded like a bee’s, and the abdomen’s distinct segments become visible as stripes curling laterally around the body.

Remember to look for bed bugs in Christmas decorations.

Despite their name, bed bugs aren’t restricted to beds. You should also keep an eye out for them on taxi seats, furniture, and yes, Christmas decorations.

When you take your decorations out of storage, it’s best to do so on a hard surface where you’ll be able to see any little brown bugs that fall out and to inspect your decorations for the abovementioned signs of an infestation.

  • If you see them on fabrics, machine wash those fabrics in hot water and dry them on the hottest dryer setting.
  • If they’re on items you can’t wash like that, freezing them for four days at temperatures colder than zero degrees Fahrenheit should kill them. Because it takes so long for frozen bed bugs to die, it’s best to check your decorations a week or so before you want to set them up.
  • If bed bugs fall out of the decorations and onto your table or floor, squish them right away or vacuum them up, put the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, and put that bag inside an outdoor garbage can immediately afterward.

Watch for bed bug bites on kids.

Bed bug bites sometimes cause their host to itch, due to an allergic reaction to their saliva. Some people don’t react at all, while others have delayed reactions for up to fourteen days.

Bites tend to manifest as itchy red bumps or swollen welts on the victim’s skin.

Bed bugs can’t bite through clothing, so they’ll usually attack exposed areas like the face, neck, shoulders, and limbs.

Because their shyness makes many of them reluctant to actually climb up their hosts, bed bugs will often stay on the mattress, sheet or pillow, and bite the skin that rests within reach of their perch.

This is one explanation for the fact that bed bug bites sometimes appear in a line; it’s because a group of bed bugs snugged up together and started feeding on you like a row of livestock at a trough.

What are the little brown bugs in my bed?

While bed bugs are one candidate, there are several species that look similar enough that they can be mistaken for each other, including:

  1. Fleas, which are differentiated by their bristly legs, ability to make large jumps, and short antennae. Their abdomens are more rounded than those of a bed bug that hasn’t eaten recently, and their legs all come out of their thorax, whereas a bed bug’s hind legs protrude from beneath their abdomen.
  1. Ticks, whose eight legs have many segments, to the point where they can bend almost like tentacles. Bed bugs only have six legs, with three segments each.
  1. Mites, which have eight legs.
  1. Cockroach nymphs, which have similar legs and coloration, but are longer and more tubular than a bed bug.
  1. Bat bugs, which feed on bats’ blood and look so similar to bed bugs that the best way to differentiate them is by the greater length of the fringe hairs located just below the bat bug’s head.

Are there beetles that look like bed bugs?

Yes, a couple types.

  1. Spider beetles

These crawlers are almost as big as bed bugs and appear bloated and reddish-brown.

This can lead people to mistake them for gorged bed bugs, but full bed bug abdomens are longer and tapered, while spider beetles’ are rounded at the back, and they lack the bed bugs’ lateral stripes.

  1. Carpet beetles

Unlike bed bugs, they have distinct wings, and their antennae suddenly grow wider near the tip.

What are the bed bugs extermination options available from Boo’s Bug Stoppers?

Bed bugs are becoming resistant to certain pesticides, which can make it very difficult to kill them that way. That’s why we use a three-treatment system where we rotate the type of pesticide used and treat the area once every two weeks to make sure the problem is completely eliminated.

Once the treatment begins, it’s very important to go through all three rounds. If we don’t, any pesticide-resistant survivors can repopulate, resulting in a new and tougher generation of bed bugs that will be even harder and more costly to get rid of.

That’s why we continue treatment until:

  1. You properly complete the prep list provided, and we complete our three-treatment approach.
  1. The original source of the bed bug infestation in your house is known and stopped.

How to hire us for bed bugs extermination:

If you’ve got a bed bug infestation in your house, and it’s too big or you’re too busy to get rid of it yourself, we’re here to help.

Call us today at (724) 601-3223, or contact us here to arrange a time for us to give you a free inspection and quote.  And from all of us at Boo’s Bug Stoppers, we wish you a happy holiday prosperous a prosperous New year – and one without bed bugs

Image Credit Adobe Stock

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