How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?
This is the first and most important question you’ll probably be asking yourself the moment you notice bed bug looking critters crawling around places they shouldn’t. If you’ve never dealt with bed bugs before, it may be difficult for you to identify them. You’ll probably also have a ton of questions about what to do once you’ve discovered that you have them and what to expect during a bed bug heat treatment. Call us to set up an appointment with our bed bug exterminators.
That’s What We’re Here For!
We want to make the entire process of identifying and eradicating your bed bug problem easy. To do that, we’ve put together a wealth of information derived from our experienced technicians who have been dealing with bed bugs for years.
Bed Bug Facts At A Glance
How To Identify A Bed Bug
The first step to dealing with a bed bug problem is to first figure out if you have one at all. Over half of the calls that pest control companies receive about fleas are actually bed bugs and over 80% of the calls pest technicians receive about other pests are actually in relation to bed bugs. Unless you’ve spent years studying and identifying different types of pests, it’s easy to get confused.
What Do They Look Like?
Other than being extremely ugly little creatures… They’re a reddish-brown color with small heads and around oval-shaped body. The largest ones can get to be as big as a quarter, while the smallest ones can be smaller than a sunflower seed. Bed bugs can often be confused for fleas so it’s important to look at pictures of both to compare.
Bed bugs love vacations and have perfected their craft in hitchhiking. They will hide in suitcases, boxes, and shoes to be near yummy snacks. They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They’re great at playing hide and seek behind baseboards, in cracks, crevices and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs.
Sneaky bed bugs can also hide in electrical switch-plates, picture frames, wallpaper and nearly anywhere inside a home, car, bus or other shelters. Bed bugs tend to venture out of their hiding spots at night for a blood meal. However, they are opportunistic insects and can take a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily infested areas.
Glutinous Bed bugs usually require five to ten minutes to engorge with blood, vampire style. After feeding, they move to their next bed bug life cycle in a secluded place and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.
Although Bed bugs may dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans…How rude! Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red itchy welts.
If You Have Bed Bugs, Here’s What To Do
- DO NOT panic. Statistics show that 1 in 5 Americans have or know someone who has bed bugs. They’re extremely common and easy to get rid of if done right.
- DO NOT try to get rid of them on your own by creating a homemade chemical concoction. We know how much people love a good DIY, but we promise this is not the time for being crafty. It can be very dangerous to your family and pets to spray the wrong types of chemicals in your home.
- DO NOT throw away your furniture. We know how freaky it can be to realize that there are little critters crawling around your furniture, waiting for the perfect opportunity to feast on you… Try to ignore the urge to throw everything out, we promise we’ll be able to rid your furniture and other home goods of all bed bugs.
- DO NOT move infested items from room to room. This is a surefire way to spread bed bugs to the rest of your house. Keep everything in the infested area and make sure as many of your items are out in the open (within that room) as possible.
- DO NOT shower yourself in bug repellent (we know someone out there has done it). If you notice visible bites, dousing yourself in chemicals won’t do any good but possibly put your health at risk. Bed bugs are resistant to most bug repellents, which is one of the reasons why we use heat treatments, so just use a little anti-itch cream on the bites and you’ll be just fine.
- DO NOT panic. Again, infestations are very common and can be taken care of immediately. Make sure to give us a call and we’ll be there right away to eradicate all bed bugs and put everyone’s minds at ease.
How Does Gunter Pest & Lawn Treat For Bed Bugs?
Rather than using harsh chemicals, sprays, or “bug bombs” to treat bed bugs, Gunter’s bed bug exterminators use the proven effectiveness of heat treatments to exterminate bed bugs. Not only is this the most effective method, but it’s also the most environmentally friendly!
Our Heat Treatment Process
Gunter’s technicians increase the temperature of the infested room or area to levels that are lethal to Bed Bugs; all stages die instantly at 122 degrees (eggs, larvae, and adults). In other words, the heat kills bed bugs. In order to assure that every crack and crevice reaches lethal temperature, our heaters generate 135 degrees Fahrenheit and we hold the temperature for a minimum of half an hour.
Our pest control company administers the heat using high-velocity fans which are focused on crucial spots where bed bugs live. This eliminates bed bug infestations in all areas of the structure and its contents.
A distinct advantage of heat is that, unlike chemical treatments, heat can penetrate cracks and crevices and inaccessible areas where bed bugs reside. Wireless transmitters feed a remote monitoring station to assure every area involved in the treatment reaches lethal temperatures.
For effective use of high temperatures to control bed bug populations it is essential to know the survival characteristics and behavior of bed bugs at various temperatures and exposure times.
Also important is the rate of penetration of lethal temperatures on different types of materials within the structure being treated. Bed bugs are stimulated by a rise in air temperature and tend to forage or feed as air temperatures rise near 100F to 115F. This draws bed bugs out of harborage areas and towards heated zones positioning them closer to areas where they will encounter lethal heat and farther from possible escape routes.
The gradual rise in temperature never triggers an escape response; rather the bed bugs seek the closest thermal refuge and die in that arena. Ultimate elimination takes place when air temperatures reach 135F and our technicians manipulate the contents of the room exposing the last few refuge areas, proving fatal for any bed bugs within those locations.
Heat vs. Pesticides
We recommend that you stop using pesticides as they are a big waste of your time and don’t actually do anything to kill bedbugs. Gunter Pest & Lawn uses an extreme heat treatment that is proven to eradicate any bedbug infestation in just one visit.
Expert insight from our Bed Bug Exterminators
Our skilled bed bug technicians have been treating bed bugs for years, therefore they have expert insight into the best and safest way to treat a bed bug problem. These are the benefits of a thermal bed bug heat extermination according to our technicians:
- Non-toxic means no danger to your children or pets.
- Kills bedbug infestations at every stage of life. This includes eggs up to adults.
- Thermal or Heat treatment will reach the tiniest crevices that bedbugs like to hide and lay eggs.
- After the heat treatment, there is no need to wash and dry items exposed to the infestation.
- Our thermal bedbug heat treatment does not use pesticides or chemicals. It’s just heat which is safe for all.
Our thermal bedbug treatment is good for infestations in your residential home, hospitals, commercial establishments, hotels, nursing homes and any other enclosed area that might serve as a host to a bedbug infestation. We simply want the bed bug bites to end.
When trying to eliminate bedbugs without a professional you will probably make the infestation worse. Using our safe thermal technique is the only way to be sure you eliminate itching, biting, smelly bedbugs. Protecting your home and family is our number one priority.
Call Gunter Pest & Lawn to help with the extermination of your bed bugs. We also offer all of these locations at our St. Joseph, MO Pest Control location.
In case your mattress is severely infested with bed bugs, it may be best to replace it. You can read some honest mattress reviews here.