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What NOT to Do If You Find Bed Bugs in Your Home

December 12th, 2016

If you think you have bed bugs, it’s hard to know exactly what to do. You’ve probably done some Googling, but you might have gotten a fair amount of conflicting information from some sources that may or may not be reliable.

Trust the experts! Here at Scherzinger, we’ve been fighting bed bug infestations and other bug problems since our pest control company was founded in 1934. We’ll tell you what you should do—and, perhaps more importantly—what you shouldn’t do when you suspect that bed bugs have invaded your home.

bed bug close up
Source: Gilles San Martin, Flickr

Signs of an Infestation

First, how do you even tell if you have bed bugs? Bed bugs are small, skilled at hiding, and mostly active at night, which makes them difficult to spot. However, there are a few telltale signs.

If you have noticed one or more of the following signs in your home, you might have bed bugs:

  • Flat, red bite marks in a cluster on your body, especially on your arms, hands, face, neck, and ankles (skin which tends to be exposed when you are sleeping).
  • Dark, marker-like spots on bedding (a sign of their excrement).
  • Small, rust-colored stains on your sheets, often found in the corners and edges of the bed (caused by the bugs feeding).
  • Oval-shaped brown exoskeletons (shed by the bugs several times during their lifetime).
  • Eggs or eggshells that are extremely small and white in color.
  • An unpleasant, musty odor in your bedroom or other rooms of your house (caused by pheromones emitted by the bugs in large numbers).
  • Flat, reddish-brown bugs about the size and shape of an apple seed.

Things That Will Make an Infestation Worse

When you have bed bugs, there are a few things you should never, ever do in an attempt to combat the problem. They won’t help, and they may even make the problem worse. Avoid doing the following at all costs.

Don't turn a blind eye.
Don’t ignore the problem and assume it will go away on its own. Bed bugs are not like other pests that can be contained or that go away gradually without treatment. An infestation of bed bugs will only increase in size and severity until it is dealt with.

Don't panic.
Bed bugs are disgusting and a nuisance, but they are not dangerous to your health. Furthermore, infestations are not caused by poverty or poor hygiene. Anyone can find themselves dealing with a bed bug problem.

Don't use garden products.
Don’t try to kill bed bugs with garden or agricultural pesticides. Not only are many pesticides harmless to bed bugs, they can also be hazardous to your health and the health of your family and pets.

Don't DIY.
Don’t use bed bug products that are “homemade” or with labels in another language, particularly if bought off of the Internet. When you can’t read the label or aren’t sure how the product is made, there is no guarantee that the product is safe or effective.

Don't share.
Don’t move items from room to room or start sleeping on the sofa. When you move yourself or your belongings, you risk spreading the bed bugs throughout the house—making the problem more difficult to tackle. In addition, you should avoid going to public places (like the movie theater) wearing clothes from an infested residence as you may be carrying bed bugs to other locations.

Don’t start throwing out all your furniture and belongings.
While you shouldn’t assume that the bed bugs are only in your bed, neither should you assume that they are everywhere. A pest control professional will determine where the bed bugs are located.

When dealing with a bed bug problem, the best thing to do is get professional help. Our pest control experts have extensive experience locating, identifying, and eliminating bed bugs. With our signature Heatigation method, we kill bed bugs in all stages of life—egg to adult—without using intrusive chemical treatments. We’ll help you get rid of every last bed bug quickly, safely, and discreetly.

Concerned that a pest problem has gotten out of hand? Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We've been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

 

Authored By: Eric Scherzinger

Quality ProNational Pest Management AssociationOPMABetter Business BureauAngies List Super Service Award

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