Bed bugs are a challenging pest to get rid of and can infest and multiply indoors quickly. Pennsylvania homeowners and business owners can fall victim to bed bug activity without warning. The good news is the bed bugs cannot find their way into your home or business without help. These pests don’t breed outdoors in nests, hives, or colonies like ants, wasps, and most other common insects. In order for an infestation to occur in your home or business, the bed bugs need to find an active host. The (very) bad news is that most people who carry bed bugs are unaware that they are doing so. Bed bugs small and cannot fly, which allows them to latch onto you without being immediately detected.
Bed bugs can become a significant nuisance in Pennsylvania and everywhere else in the country (and the world). They hide inside box springs in bed frames, furniture, behind light socket covers, behind hanging photo frames, and textile products.
How do bed bugs get into a home or business?
Unfortunately, bed bugs are a year-round pest. When bed bugs find a host and small crevices to hide in, they’ll stay and feed off of your blood until professionally exterminated. You’re probably most conscious of bed bug hitchhikers as they spread the quickly during historically busy travel times, including the summer vacation and the winter holiday season. They get on your clothes and into luggage while you are staying in hotels, flying, or visiting somewhere as a guest. Then, you unintentionally carry them into a home. Bed bug infestations can be especially difficult for those living in connected structures such as row homes or apartment complexes, as infested units that are left untreated can lead to new infestations in adjoining dwellings. Though it is less common, you can also come into contact with bed bugs on public transportation, airplanes, movie theaters, and other places where you sit for an extended period.
How can you avoid bed bugs?
In some instances, this is easy to do if you know how to do it ahead of time. For example, after you travel, wash all your clothing and dry it on the high heat cycle in the dryer. You need to expose bed bugs to temperatures of 120 degrees for 20 minutes or more to kill them. While staying in a hotel, it’s also important to keep your luggage and belongings elevated instead of sitting on furniture or the bed. Place luggage onto folding metal luggage racks or into the bath tub to avoid bed bugs. Luggage is one of the top carriers of bed bugs from a hotel back to your home. To learn more about bed bug prevention and tips you can try on your own, click here.
What are the signs of a bed bug infestation?
The first sign for most people, unfortunately, is that they wake up with tightly-packed clusters of raised, red bites on their skin. Although this is the most obvious sign of bed bug activity, everyone reacts differently. Some individuals who are bitten by bed bugs do not develop any itchy bumps.
Adult bed bugs are between 5 to 7 mm and about the size of an apple seed. Their bodies are long, flat, and oval-shaped if they haven’t fed recently or reddish-brown and rounder if recently fed. They have wings, but cannot fly, four-part antennas, and a three-segmented beak. If you have a good sense of smell, you may notice an odor that is musty and sweet.
Young bed bugs, or nymphs, are smaller and not as dark in color as adults. Although they have similar characteristics of adult bed bugs, they will almost be invisible when not recently fed. As you might expect, eggs are nearly impossible to see and are about the size of a pinhead and white.
Adult bed bugs are often mistaken for other types of pests like bat bugs or beetles. You can also find evidence of bed bug infestations by the spotting they leave behind which looks like small dots created with a black pen or marker.
Should I call an exterminator for bed bugs?
You need to act as soon as you think that you have a bed bug infestation. The longer you wait, the more quickly bed bugs will multiply and spread. Although there are infinite claims of “easy” and “quick” DIY solutions, only pest control professionals are equipped with professional tools and intensive training that is needed to combat bed bug infestations. This large undertaking is not one that you can deal with yourself. You can wash your linens and blankets and run them through the hot cycle in a dryer, but the bugs are likely already in your mattress, walls, and corners, so you can’t eliminate them all on your own.
The professionals at Seitz Brothers have decades of experience at exterminating bed bugs for homeowners and commercial businesses such as hotels, motels, and rental properties. We can provide preventive measures to keep bed bugs out, offer solutions if you already have a bed bug infestation, and perform preventive inspections so that you can get to the problem early to avoid a severe infestation. Are you a resident or business owner in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, Union, or Wayne County, PA? Call us or fill out the form on this page to set up a free bed bug inspection.