Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a danger that can destroy your home or business and make your day to day life seem unbearable. Bed bugs like to make themselves at home in mattresses, cushions, clothing, drapery, pillows, seats, electrical outlets, and behind picture frames. The good news is that you can dispose of bed bugs and keep them away by taking a couple of necessary steps. In Texas, the key is to be proactive—don’t wait until the problem becomes more difficult before making a call and looking for the help of licensed pest control specialists. To protect your home or business from bed bugs, first learn about these pests, their behaviors, steps for prevention, and contact Stellar Pest & Wildlife should an infestation occur.

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects, about 1mm to 5 mm in size. They feed nocturnally on the blood of humans and animals. Often, people have bed bugs in their homes or business and don’t realize it. Since these insects are so tiny, it’s common for people to blame their effects ( itching, sleeping issues, allergies ) on something else. However, if you know how to identify and prevent these bugs, you can reduce the chance of them entering your home or business.

How Long Do Bed Bugs Live?

Bed bugs live on average for 10 months; however, this can be extended to years if the environment and food source are optimal. If bedbugs are deprived of the blood that they need to feed on to survive, they can still live for up to five months to a year. During that time, however, a female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. After egg hatches, the bed bug is ready to start laying eggs in approximately five weeks. The eggs take between 7 to 12 days to hatch, and the juvenile bugs start biting almost immediately. Bed bugs are an extraordinarily stubborn infestation as they spread rapidly and can require multiple treatments to remove. If you see signs of bed bugs in or around your home or business, it’s best to take action right away.

How Do I Identify Bed Bugs?

Even though bed bugs are extremely small, the easiest way to identify them is to know what they look like. Bed bugs have the following characteristics:

* Small, about 1/4-inch in both directions

* Dark or light brown in color, they can alternatively turn red after biting someone

* Small heads with larger bodies

* Eggs that are pale white and are about 1mm long

* Ridged shells

* Bed bugs leave blood marks on bed sheets or cushions

* Bed bug bites are grouped in clusters, lines or in a zigzag pattern

* Bed bugs shed their skins

* Bed bugs leave fecal spots on bed sheets, frames, mattresses, or walls

How Did I Get Bed Bugs?

Chances are, you picked up bed bugs from somewhere or someone else. You can also get them from a pet that has been exposed. Bed bugs are common in high traffic areas such as hotels, theaters, airports, subways, and buses, or anywhere else a large number of people pass through daily. These are higher risk areas as each area exposed to various people is also exposed to their environment and the bugs that may be living there. Every home or business in Texas is a potential environment for these tiny insects.

From Someone Else’s House

You may have encountered and brought home bed bugs while visiting someone that you know, such as a friend or neighbor. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they have an infestation and can unwittingly pass it on to those who visit their homes. If any piece of your clothing comes into contact with clothing or furniture harboring an infestation of your friends, coworkers, or classmates, some bugs may be transported into your home or business.

From an Adjoining House or Apartment

Your neighbors may be the issue, inadvertently sharing their bed bug infestation with you. If you live in a multi-family dwelling or a high rise condominium, check all possible entrances to your home such as cracks and crevices that could allow the pests to enter from your neighbor’s home to yours.

How Do I Prevent Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are opportunistic travelers; they will take any chance they have to catch a ride into your home or business. The easiest way to protect your home or business is to prevent these bugs from attaching themselves to your clothing or hiding in your luggage. It isn’t just vacations that we have to worry about, there are other ways these bugs can try to move into your home or business. Here are some prevention tips that can help save you from dealing with an infestation.

Check any and all furniture you buy for bed bug signs, especially secondhand items. To properly check, look in the crevices between cushions,along any seams and throughout the joints.

Cover your mattress and box spring with protective sheets. Light-colored zippered covers shield your mattress and box spring all while making it easier to spot any bed bug activity.

Vacuum your home or business frequently to suck up stray bugs. It’s important to immediately seal and dispose of the vacuum bag, should you find any bugs to avoid an infestation.

Check your clothing after visiting clothing stores and high-traffic areas like public transportation, theaters, arenas, restaurants or any location where a bed bug may have attached itself to your clothing.

When you stay at a hotel or motel, check the high traffic areas that you or your luggage are coming into contact with such as the luggage rack, the bedding, the mattress and any furniture that may be in your room such as dressers, couches or chairs.

How to Prepare for Our Visit

To prepare for a Stellar Pest and Wildlife’s bed bug treatment of your home or business, you should gather the following information:

* A list of any places that you have seen bed bugs or bedbug signs in your home or business

* The date that you first started seeing the bed bugs or signs

* The number of bed bugs that you have seen

* Whether or not any member of your household has been bitten and in which rooms they sleep

* Any places that you or your family members or staff have traveled to within the last few months

In order to prepare your home or business, you should:

* Box up or cover any dishes or utensils in areas that are going to be treated

* Remove all pets and plants from your home

* Cover or remove all valuable possessions and antiques

* Wash all coverings, clothing, and fabrics and box them up away from the infestation

* Place all toys and dryer safe items in the dryer on a high heat and box them away

You can expect us to enter your home or business on the day of treatment and use a liquid spray treatment that eliminates bed bugs on contact, on your furniture, mattresses, box springs and any areas needing treatment,

To prepare for our visit, please move all furniture about 2ft from the walls, stand up any mattresses and boxsprings, close any windows, and turn off all A/C and heating units. If you have any items that may be affected by spray, such as electronics, place them in tightly sealed bags.

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