Do you think you might have a bed bug infestation? Do you think you've seen early signs of bed bugs inside your Orlando home? You may take comfort that sometimes residents think they have bed bugs when they actually don't. If you don't know for sure, and you want to know for sure, you've come to the right place. We're going to dig into how to identify bed bugs, where bed bugs hide, and warning signs you can see—even when you don't see bed bugs. If you already know you have bed bugs, you can skip to the section titled, "What to do if you find a bed bug in your home." We'll share some tips that may stop your infestation immediately. If you want us to come out and look at your infestation, navigate to our contact page for professional bed bug pest control in Orlando. The Green Flag Services team is happy to assist you.
How To Properly Check For Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are sneaky pests. They don't like the light, they're mostly nocturnal if circumstances allow, and they hide in tight spaces. All of these add up and make bed bugs a pain to find. Knowing what to look for and where to look is a big help. Whether you're at home or away from your home, you can use these tips to help you find and identify these insects.
- Beds are a good place to search first. When bed bugs are carried into a new location, they tend to hang out near or inside beds—hence their name.
- Inspect sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads for black fecal spotting or brown stains created by blood excreted from bed bugs.
- Inspect mattress seams with a credit card to bring bed bugs, shed skins, and eggs to the surface.
- Probe and inspect under labels, around vent grommets, and in other hiding places on your mattresses.
- Use a flashlight to inspect recesses and sockets in your bed frame. If you see something wiggling in a dark hiding place, you probably have bed bugs.
- Inspect around your bed. Look for black streaks on baseboards, outlet covers, and other surfaces.
- Bed bugs love to hide under the feet of furniture. Pest control technicians often find bed bugs under bed and nightstand feet. They squeeze right in there.
- If you're performing an inspection at home, make sure to check luggage, bags, pocketbooks, and other items you bring with you on trips.
The rule of thumb with bed bug detection is to look in every tight space and every dark void you're able to inspect. If you can't see into the places where bed bugs hide, inspect the surface of items. You're looking for black feces, dried blood stains, tiny white eggs, shed skins, and the bed bugs themselves. Detecting bed bugs is often a challenge because they don't always look like the bugs you may have seen on the news or internet. Before heading to the next section, let's take a moment to discuss what bed bugs look like in each stage of development.
Eggs: Bed bug eggs are white and about 1mm long. That is the width of a credit card. You may find eggs alone or in small batches.
Newly Hatched Nymphs: Bed bug nymphs are white, seed-shaped, and have six legs. They are about the same size as well. If a nymph has had a blood meal, it will look like a little red insect. The reason they are red is that you can see blood in the abdomen. Since the abdomen is the largest body part by a long shot, recently fed nymphs look bright red instead of white.
Growing Nymphs: As bed bugs grow, they become more of a tan color. While still seed-shaped, a fed nymph can look bloated and more of a pill-shape.
Adult Bed Bugs: At only about 4.5 mm long, adult bed bugs are still quite small, but they are easier to see because of the darker reddish coloration and less skin transparency.
You're not likely to see a bed bug for long, so learn these identifying traits. You may not get a second glimpse.
Signs Of Bed Bugs On Furniture
Bed bugs don't just get in beds. They can get in couches, living room chairs, office chairs, and other furniture in your home. They've been found in all kinds of furniture, including items you wouldn't imagine a bed bug would hide in, such as a piano. It is essential to know how to inspect furniture for bed bugs because hitchhiking inside furniture is one of the ways bed bugs can get into your home. If you have bed bugs in a piece of furniture, you'll see the signs listed above. Here are a few more tid-bits to consider as you inspect furniture.
- Bed bugs will hide in pockets.
- Black feces is often seen in stitching.
- Bed bugs get into rips and tears.
- If your furniture item has a tag or label, bed bugs can hide under or inside it.
- Bed bugs have an odor. If you smell something that resembles a dirty locker room towel, it might be bed bug pheromones.
If you detect bed bugs, the first (and most difficult) step is done. These pests are a pain to find. Catching them early has two solid benefits. You may have the opportunity to arrest your bed bug infestation on your own, and if you contact a professional early, it will be less expensive.
What To Do If You Find A Bed Bug In Your Home
Bed bugs often hang out in or near beds if they can. They'll stay in this area in the early months of an infestation. Some people attempt to get rid of their bed bug infestation by throwing their bed out. We can understand how desperation can drive people to take drastic measures like this. Unfortunately, it is not a guaranteed way to stop bed bugs. As we pointed out, they often hang out in strange and unexpected places, such as underneath the feet of night stands. It is best to perform a detailed inspection of your mattress, box spring, bed frame, and the surrounding area, and do the following:
- As you search for bed bugs in and around your bed, keep a vacuum close at hand. If you see bed bugs, suck them up quickly.
- Wash your sheets, pillowcases, and bed spread in hot, soapy water. Once done, run all your bedding through a dryer cycle. Together, these are sure to destroy any bed bugs in your bedding.
- If you detect bed bugs hiding in a carryable item that is dryer-safe, put it in the dryer for thirty minutes. The heat of your dryer will exterminate bed bugs in all stages of development.
- If you detect bed bugs in an item that is not dryer-safe, such as your alarm clock, put it in a sealed plastic bag and place it in your freezer for four days. That will exterminate the bed bugs inside and not harm your electronic device.
- Vacuum your rugs routinely until you know the bed bugs are gone.
When detected early, natural pest control for bed bugs is often enough. If you're at a point where control products are needed, it is best to contact a professional. We could write volumes on all of the ways bed bugs can elude over-the-counter products and continue to plague you for months. DIY bed bug control just isn't worth it. On top of dealing with bed bugs for longer, you can set yourself up for extra misery after getting a professional treatment. If a friend or family member picks up bed bugs, they can bring those bugs back into your home at a later time.
Professional Bed Bug Control In Orlando
Are bed bug bites dangerous? No. But they're miserable. Why put up with them for any longer than you have to? If you're in Orlando, reach out to Green Flag Services for a bed bug treatment. We use a biopesticide called Apprehend. It is a professional-grade product and is only available to licensed pest control providers. The experts on-staff at Green Flag Services believe this product is a preferable alternative to costly heat treatments. It provides long-lasting results and no follow-up visits are needed, which cuts down on costs even further.
The best part about Apprehend is how it works. It is picked up by bed bugs and shared from insect to insect. After the product is passed along, the bed bug that spread it is exterminated. Eventually, there are no bed bugs left to spread it. Problem solved.
Would you like to learn more about Apprehend or to schedule service for your Orlando home? We'd love to speak with you. Connect with us today by heading over to our contact page. It only takes a few seconds to fill out and you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that help is on the way. Your Green Flag Services tech will walk you through the whole process from start to finish and give you advice to help you prevent future infestations.