Pest Spotlight: How To Tackle A Bed Bug Infestation In Tucson

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Bed bug control is tough. There is just no getting around it. The insect we call the bed bug (known scientifically as Cimex lectularius), is a pernicious pest. It hides in places that are hard to treat, comes out at night to bite, and disappears during the day to elude detection. When Tucson residents attempt to get rid of bed bugs, they throw everything at them but the kitchen sink, only to continue to have these insects persistently bite. Pest management professionals throw everything but the kitchen sink at bed bugs too, but we get results. The reason is that a trained and experienced pest professional uses a multi-pronged strategy that is known to work. We'd like to tell you about this strategy today. Join us as we examine why it is hard to detect and control bed bugs on your own, as well as the methods your pest management professional will use. If you want to skip to the part where you have professionals assisting you every step of the way with stopping bed bug bites and systematically eliminating bed bugs in your home, jump to our contact page for a bed bug treatment. Conquistador Pest & Termite offers expert bed bug pest control in Tucson. We can help you get relief as quickly as possible. 

How To Tell If There Are Bed Bugs In Your Home

bed bug on sheets

It is easy to tell that you have bed bugs, right? Sadly, no. While bed bug bites are an obvious warning sign of an infestation, there are a few things you may not know about these bites. Bed bug bites worsen over time and are often slight at first. Let's start with talking about why detecting bites is often difficult.

Bites: A few bites from one adult bed bug can go undetected. You may not have a bad reaction at first and may only have slight bumps with little or no rash. The severity of the reaction is also dependent on your age and skin type. Some people get bed bug bites for months without realizing it. Here are a few telltale signs that bed bugs are biting you:

  • One bed bug bites three times as a general rule. Entomologists jokingly refer to these bites as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but there aren't hours between meals. A bed bug bites three times in less than an hour. For this reason, bites appear close together and in a line or zig-zag pattern.
  • When more than one bed bug bites you, the bites will appear as a path on your skin.
  • Bed bug bites may have no bump, a slight bump, or a welt.
  • Bed bug bites will never have an ulcer or pustule at the center.

These visual characteristics can help you tell the difference between bed bug bites and other rashes, skin conditions, and bug bites.

Black Stains: Bed bugs leave their black droppings as they explore. Many insects do this. Unfortunately, most of the time, bed bugs leave this material in tight spaces and dark voids where they aren't easily detected. You may need to do a detailed inspection with a flashlight and a butter knife to find black stains. Keep in mind that black stains are caused by many other things.

Blood Stains: Bed bugs excrete blood and stain materials. These stains may appear on sheets, pillowcases, bedding, upholstered furniture, clothing, and more. Unfortunately, they rarely look red, like blood. You'll more likely detect the stains when they are light tan, tan, or brown. Since other things can cause tan stains, you may pay no attention. Inspect bedding when you wash these items and keep bed bugs in mind.

Shed Skins And White Eggs: Bed bugs shed their skins and lay their eggs around your home. But they don't do this in places that are out in the open. They hide from the light and prefer to crawl in tight spaces. You'll need to inspect tight spaces to find these warning signs.  

Bed Bugs: When you see a bed bug, you know you have a bed bug infestation. Sounds simple, but it isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Bed bugs don't always look like bed bugs. A newly hatched bed bug looks like an adult, except it is 1 mm long and white. If a newly hatched bed bug has had a blood meal, it will appear red.

These tips and insights will help you when you go looking for bed bugs inside your home and will help you determine for sure that you have a bed bug infestation

What It's Like To Have A Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home

Bed bugs are hard to detect at first, but over time, they reveal themselves. When they do, you're going to do something about them. What typically happens is Tucson residents try idea after idea. Some things seem to work. Others definitely don't work. When things seem to go well, treatments are paused. A few days or weeks go by, and it is suddenly clear that bed bugs remain in the home! While you may know how to clean bed bugs up in infested areas, they can avoid elimination in surprising ways. Your control strategy needs to address bed bugs in more than one way. You need to prevent them from biting you and arrest their ability to feed. You need to control where they are allowed to hide. You need to target them and reduce their numbers. Lastly, you must consider how bed bugs got into your home so that they don't keep getting in as you work to control them. These steps require specialized knowledge of food preference, harborage selection, conducive conditions, routes, and control product application. Without the knowledge to control bed bugs, they'll likely continue to do what bed bugs do. They will bite, and they will reproduce. What they won't do is leave.  

Why It Is So Hard To Prevent Bed Bugs In Your Home

Bed bugs aren't like most bugs. They don't live in your yard or hang out in your landscaping before they get into your home. Bed bugs move from one location to another passively. One day they're living in a piano on the other side of the city. The next day they're living in a piano inside your home. Do you see how it works? So, you're not going to keep bed bugs out of your home by applying control products. You need to learn where bed bugs hide and what works to eliminate bed bugs in the places they hide.

Where do bed bugs hide? Any object in your home with a tight space or void inside will house bed bugs. They are more likely to get into hiding places near beds, couches, and chairs because they feed on human blood and need to get close to food sources. When you buy used items, always inspect for bed bugs, even when getting an alarm clock, computer, or piano.

How do you eliminate bed bugs? There are three great ways to get rid of bed bugs. These tips don't require any use of pest control products. 

  • Use your vacuum to suck them up. Connect a crack and crevice attachment to get bed bugs in tight spaces.
  • Put dryer-safe items through a 30-minute dryer cycle. High heat eliminates bed bugs effectively.
  • Put certain items in a plastic bag and store them in your freezer for four days. Extreme cold eliminates bed bugs, but it takes time. 

Some infestations are correctible with early detection and targeted control tips like these. There is one downside to attempting to use these tips or any bed bug control product: Bed bugs can spread. When they spread, they are often harder to control. Since this happens quite a bit, we've designed our bed bug treatments to address the problem of a widespread infestation.    

What You Should Do If You Find Bed Bugs In Your Home

Our recommendation is to contact a pest management professional as soon as you detect bed bugs. If you don't, and bed bugs have spread, contact a professional, like Conquistador Pest & Termites—one that comes in with a solution that assumes bed bugs are going to be hard to treat. Of course, if you live in Tucson, you're in our service area. Here are some of the ways we address bed bugs comprehensively and persistently.

  • We perform a detailed inspection to locate bed bug activity and establish the best control plan.
  • We provide essential steps to help you get ready for treatment.
  • We treat all furniture and any hollow voids where bed bugs hide.
  • We remove outlet covers and treat wall voids.
  • We apply covers to mattresses and box springs to contain bed bugs or prevent bed bugs from getting in.
  • We apply bed bug traps under the legs of furniture to further deter bed bugs from feeding on you while you sleep.
  • We return every two weeks for an additional month and apply targeted treatments if needed.
  • We continue to return monthly after your initial three service checks and give you a year of complete and comprehensive protection.

There is no better way to control bed bugs and get back to having a good night's sleep. Reach out to us today to schedule service for your Tucson home.

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