How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

Identifying a bed bug infestation in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

Identifying a bed bug infestation in Seattle WA - United Pest SolutionsBed bug infestations can be very challenging to get rid of, especially if they have the chance to spread throughout your home. Spotting an infestation early can help you get rid of these pests quickly. However, since bed bugs are so small and good at hiding, it’s important to know where to look for these insects in your home so you can spot an infestation early on.

Common Places Where Bed Bugs Hide

The best place to search for bed bugs is where a person spends the most time sleeping, like the bed, or sometimes the sofa or recliner. Look for sheltered or protected areas with lots of nooks and crannies that bed bugs could be using as hiding places. Here are some of the most common hiding places for bed bugs at or near the areas described above:

  • Windowsills, including drapery
  • Baseboards
  • Piping or seams of mattresses
  • The bottom of box springs
  • Headboards and bed frame
  • Electrical outlets
  • Pet beds or kennels
  • Furniture like nightstands or dressers

Signs of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are tiny insects, measuring from very tiny to about the size of an apple seed. Because of their small size, you’ll want to look for several signs of an infestation rather than just relying on finding live bed bugs. The biggest signs of an infestation to look out for include:

  • Shed skins. As bed bugs grow through the different stages of their lifecycle, they shed pale amber-colored skins. If you are experiencing an infestation, you will likely spot these skins in nooks and crannies that are near food sources.
  • Fecal matter. After bed bugs consume a meal, they may leave behind some fecal matter. Their feces are small and usually look like small, black dots about the size of a pen tip, and they are generally located near their host.
  • Bloodstains. To help feed on blood, bed bugs will insert an anticoagulant into the skin of their host. This can cause the host to bleed a little, which may cause smears or spots of blood on your bed, sofa, or other feeding areas.
  • Eggs or shells. Bed bug eggs are only about 1 mm in length, so they can be difficult to spot. However, these small and whitish eggs may be located near prime feeding areas, and they are a telltale sign of an infestation.
  • Strong odor. Heavy bed bug infestations often come with a distinctive odor, which has been described as smelling like coriander, moldy shoes, or musty clothes. If you notice a similar scent and can’t find the source, it could be bed bugs.
  • Live insects. Bed bugs usually don’t come out until after you’re asleep. However, if you do happen to see live insects, then you are definitely dealing with an infestation and should call a professional as soon as possible.

What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs

A bed bug infestation is a nightmare for a lot of homeowners, especially because of how difficult these pests are to eradicate. However, you don’t have to deal with it alone. If you notice the signs of bed bugs in your home, call a professional bed bug exterminator to help you eradicate these pests as quickly as possible.

At United Pest Solutions, we are proud to offer bed bug extermination services with personalized treatments that address the root cause of the infestation. We have served the greater Seattle WA metropolitan area for almost 60 years, and we are prepared to help you get rid of these pests once and for all. Call us today to get started!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs When Traveling

How to avoid bed bugs while traveling in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

How to avoid bed bugs while traveling in Seattle WA - United Pest SolutionsThis time of year, many of us are packing our bags and getting ready to travel for the holidays. The last thing you want to deal with is a surprise visit from a horde of bed bugs! These tricky pests can be more than just bothersome; in addition to leaving behind itchy bite marks, bed bugs can trigger serious allergic reactions and may cause anxiety or insomnia in victims.

Bed bug infestations can also be very challenging to get rid of, which is why it’s so important to avoid picking these pests up in the first place. Unfortunately, travel is the number one way that these insects spread from place to place. Knowing how to avoid bed bugs while traveling is a crucial step in keeping yourself safe from these pests. Here are our top tips for preventing bed bugs while on vacation:

Carefully Inspect Hotels and Guest Rooms

Though bed bugs can travel through clothing or luggage, you’re most likely to pick these pests up by unknowingly staying in an infested hotel or guest room. That’s why it’s so important to carefully inspect your room for signs of bed bugs before getting too cozy. Here are some of the main signs of bed bugs to look out for:

  • A strong and musty or pungent odor
  • Dark or rusty spots on bedding or walls or bloodstains on bedding
  • Fecal spots, which look like small black ink spots from a Sharpie pen
  • Pale white eggshells, which are difficult to see against light surfaces
  • Shed skins, which look like a bug but will shift or float away when disturbed

Use a Mattress Protector or Encasement

Mattress protectors and encasements are water-resistant sheets that can be placed on top of or zipped around a mattress. They are intended to shield you from all sorts of contaminants, including bed bugs. After inspecting your room for bed bugs, you can use a mattress protector or encasement for an extra layer of defense.

Seal Your Clothes in Plastic Bags

Bed bugs often travel by hiding in the folds of our clothing. So, if you leave your clothes out near an infested area, some insects could crawl into your luggage and spread to your home that way. Keeping your clothes sealed in plastic bags, even while inside your suitcase, is a great way to keep these pests from attaching to your belongings.

Vacuum Your Luggage Upon Returning

Vacuuming your luggage immediately upon returning from a trip can help you eliminate any stray insects that may have wandered into your bags. This step is particularly important if you carried your luggage through an airport, which jumbles your belongings with that of hundreds of other people.

Immediately Wash and Dry Clothes on High Heat

High temperatures can kill adult bed bugs and their eggs. Just 20 minutes of 118°F heat is enough to wipe out any existing insects. So, washing and drying your clothes on high heat is a quick and easy way to eliminate stray pests and stop an infestation before it has a chance to begin.

Store Your Suitcases in Plastic Bags

After you’ve vacuumed your suitcases, it may be valuable to wrap them in plastic bags before storing them. That way, if you missed any insects or eggs while vacuuming, they will suffocate and not be able to spread into the rest of your home.

Experienced Bed Bug Exterminators

While these steps are great ways to prevent bed bug infestations, these pests are incredibly tricky. Even a few bugs could lead to a full-blown invasion, which could be very challenging to get rid of. Thankfully, if you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, you’re not alone. The experts at United Pest Solutions are prepared to help you quickly and safely remove these pests so you can rest easily. Just give us a call to get started!

 

Prevent Bed Bugs from Getting into Your Apartment

United Pest Solutions provides expert advice on "Tips & Advice on Getting Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home " in Seattle WA.

As a property manager or owner of an apartment or multi-family complex, it is your responsibility to be educated on how to prevent bed bugs from entering and infesting your property. Your tenants expect that preparation and precautions are already in place to prevent bed bug infestations as a bed bug control problem can spell disaster for all those involved. Without preparing for the worst, bed bug pest control expenses can be significant and multiply quickly when property managers are not keen on how to deal with such issues. Prevent bed bugs from getting into your apartment with these tips:

Keep Bed Bugs Out of Your Apartment Complex

Due to stress, frustration, and lack of foresight property managers tend to pay substantially more to control bed bug problems because they are at their wits end and desperate for a solution. Some apartment complexes have went into debt and some have even closed their doors trying to pay the extensive pest control expenses associated with a poorly managed pest control program.

Choosing an accomplished pest control company with integrity is the best way to protect your apartment building or multi-family living complex from bed bug infestations. Property managers that are not knowledgeable on the best practices in pest control for apartment buildings or multi-family complexes will benefit greatly from the following tips on how to best manage bed bug and pest control concerns.

Tips for Property Managers in Bed Bug Control

  • Accept Pest Control Needs: It is important to keep perspective and accept that pest control is an integral part of property management. Simply, there is no way around it. Embrace the need to prevent bed bugs from entering your apartment complex.
  • Holistic Beg Bug Approach: Do not address bed bug pest control management needs unit by unit. Preventing a bed bug infestation requires viewing the complex as a whole. Pest control expenses should already be included in rent charges and should not be optional.
  • Educate Staff: Your entire property management team should know what bed bugs look like and be familiar with their behaviors. Knowing how to spot a problem is extremely important. Your trusted pest control specialist can train your employees on how to accurately identify signs of an infestation.
  • Community Action Plan: Create posters and other media letting those in the living community know what to do should signs of a bed bug infestation arise. Talk about this bed bug action plan regularly and promote the information. Give the message that bed bugs are nothing to be ashamed of and instead a common issue that needs resolution.
  • Pick a Reputable Pest Control Company: The most important aspect of bed bug pest control for property managers is choosing a reputable pest control company. Choose a company that is willing to go the distance in bed bug prevention, as that is the key to controlling bed bug infestations.

DIY Bed Bug Removal

Should I use heat and chemicals to get rid of bed bugs?

So you’ve got a bed bug problem, and now you are looking for the best solution.  Many people my try to address their bed bug issues themselves, but does DIY bed bug removal work? There is no one size fits all approach for addressing bed bug infestations, as there are many factors that influence the best bed bug treatment option for each individual situation. When it comes to bed bug infestation treatment, folks generally want to know if heat, chemicals, or both are the ideal solution. The answer is simple- it depends on the circumstances surrounding the infestation. Bed bug treatments, specifically heat treatment versus pesticide treatment will be briefly discussed.

Heat is a fantastic treatment method for dealing with a bed bug control problem. Bed bugs die quickly once they encounter heat of 120 degrees or hotter, and their eggs perish as well, even in those hard to reach places like bed frames, wallpaper, and floor crevices. If you have a small bed bug infestation, chances are that one or two thorough professional heat treatments can rid you of the problem. Do-it-yourself heat treatment methods will not see the same results. In order for heat treatment for bed bug infestations to be effective, professional equipment used by a trained pest control specialist is the only way. DIY bed bug removal is difficult on your own. Pest control specialists have the education and experience to properly use heat treatment to defeat bed bugs. Trying to use heat equipment on your own poses risk and could result in injury, and as such this is highly discouraged.

Chemicals and pesticides are also a successful bed bug infestation treatment too. Those with extensive bed bug infestations will likely need to use chemicals during the treatment process because large infestations are extremely challenging to combat and can take months to completely eradicate. Pesticides are great at preventing re-infestations once a bed bug problem has become manageable. Chemical treatments are also appealing in environments where heat treatment may damage furniture, electronics, and other sensitive items.

So which bed bug infestation treatment is the right fit for your situation? Call a reputable pest control professional to help you discern the answer. One thing is certain, your best bet of fighting and winning a bed bug infestation is with the help of a certified pest specialist using comprehensive Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Should you choose to enter into battle alone, be forewarned, the decline in signs of an infestation does not mean it has been the problem has been eradicated. Bed bug infestations can last indefinitely if you don’t get the proper help from trusted professionals.