You no doubt know someone who has had bed bugs in their home. There are many horror stories about bringing home these irksome insects from a hotel or Airbnbs. If you haven’t experienced them firsthand, you’re lucky. Bed bug inspections and exterminators are expensive but a DIY bed bug detector gets results fast.
Bed bugs prefer warm climates so June through October sees many infestations with peak activity in August. Summer is also a time for travel so many people bring Cimex lectularius L. (the scientific name for bed bugs) home with them after they stay in hotels and Airbnbs. These unexpected apartment dwellers may also greet us soon after we move into a new apartment.
It’s important to understand that bed bug infestations are not a result of an untidy or unclean home. Bed bugs infest million-dollar homes as well as rental apartments. Regardless of how bed bugs get into homes, once they’re there it’s difficult to get rid of them. Before we take remediation steps, however, we must identify the problem.
Identifying Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are insects and they feed on blood. That description is enough to give anyone the heebie-jeebies, but their bites also lead to skin rashes and produce allergic reactions in some people which is why bed bug detectors are so important.
Adult bed bugs grow to a length of 1/4 of an inch, about the size of an apple seed. They have flat, oval-shaped bodies and the coloring is brownish although they turn red and appear bloated after feeding. They don’t have wings but move fast. Bed bugs travel home with you in luggage and on clothes. After which they make a home for themselves in the mattresses and box springs. They hide in seams and crack during the day then come out at night to feed. They prefer this easy access to human hosts but they also spread to other rooms or apartments in the building in search of food.
Once a bed bug starts feeding it takes up to ten minutes to get its fill. Afterward, you may experience itching, welts, or a skin rash. Thankfully, these insects are not known to spread disease although they do carry pathogens.
Other places bed bugs hide include cracks in the headboard and bed frame, electrical appliances, under loose wallpaper, in the seams of couches and chairs, in the folds of curtains, and in any crack that is the width of a credit card. A bed bug detector attracts reveals the presence of these insects.
Buy a Bed Bug Detector
If you have bed bugs you’ll notice the itching or skin rash, of course, this may be caused by mosquitoes or another bitey insect so it’s important to look for other signs. These include small blood stains on pillowcases and sheets. You may also see dark spots that could be bed bug excrement.
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal, and like to hide so detection is tricky, however, a bed bug detector kit is a great way to get results. These test kits don’t cost much and are easy to use. The test kit includes a collection device that’s good for three locations. Use them in bedrooms and any room you spend a lot of time in. Place them near beds, sofas, and other upholstered furniture. It’s also a good idea to place one between couch cushions. If the test finds the presence of bed bugs, the next step is remediation.
Ridding the home of bed bugs is no simple task. After the bed bug detector shows signs of the insects, it’s time for action. Take the following steps to clean up a bed bug infestation:
Bed Bug Removal
- Wash bedding, linens, and clothing in hot water and use the highest setting to dry them.
- Scrub mattress seams with a stiff brush. This removes bed bugs and their eggs.
- Vacuum the bed, rugs, carpets, and upholstery with a HEPA vacuum. Once finished empty the vacuum cleaner bag and place it in a garbage can outside.
- Purchase a bed bug spray or fogger and use it as directed.
- Encase the mattress and box springs in a zippered cover. They will die eventually although it could take up to 400 days.
Professional bed bug extermination is expensive, but if your bed bug detector finds these insects it’s worth the price to be rid of them. Many people purchase new mattresses after an infestation. If you do this, just make sure you’ve eliminated the problem before bringing it into your home.
Order Your Test Kit Today
To learn more about how a bed bug detector identifies infestation, call us at 727-572-4550. We also have DIY test kits for bacteria, mold, dust mites, fungi, and more.