BBE – Your Go-To For Reliable Bed Bug Extermination

Bed bugs can be a nightmare! Find out everything you need about bed bugs, including why heat treatment is the ideal solution to eradicate the issue permanently.

Whether you own a home or a commercial property with beds, such as a hotel, you have undoubtedly heard of bed bugs. Frustrating and annoying, bed bugs can represent one of the most common issues we can face as property owners. Needless to say, getting rid of all bed bugs on your property should be a priority.

Where, though, do you begin if you want to do that? Use this guide to your advantage. You can learn all about bed bugs and the problems they cause, as well as find the perfect solution to a bed bug infestation of any size.

Bed Bugs: At A Glance

Before you know how to overcome an infestation of bed bugs, you must understand what you are dealing with. Here are some of the most prominent questions about bed bugs; this should give you a good idea of how to spot bed bugs and understand their presence in your property.

Facts About Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be a nightmare! Find out everything you need about bed bugs, including why heat treatment is the ideal solution to eradicate the issue permanently.

As you can see, many intriguing factors come into mind when evaluating bed bug infestations. These creatures can survive in tough circumstances, tend to complete their bloodsucking job in silence – you might not even feel the bite until the bed bug has retreated – and are very durable. They are also great at building fast infestations, meaning that what was once a small bed bug problem can quickly become a literal infestation.

So, let’s take a closer look at what bed bugs are. This will give you an idea of what you are up against – and why ignoring the problem is not the way forward!

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are tiny parasites known as Cimex lectularius and are known to exist by living on the blood of other creatures. Yes, including humans. Most forms of bed bugs that we will discover in the USA come from the above group; other forms of bed bugs, though, do exist. Most other relatives of the bed bug, though, are not found in the USA, and they tend to feed on the blood of mammals and avians as opposed to humans.

Generally, the bed bug is an invasive species that will work its way into your home through various means. They are usually brought into homes via our clothing and upholstery; from there, they can spread like wildfire.

As micro predators, according to the CDC, the bed bug is known to be a creature that feeds on blood during the evening. After all, it is easiest to get to our bodies and blood when sleeping. If you were awake, you would feel the bed bug biting you!

Are Bed Bugs Common?

Yes, bed bugs are extremely common in the USA, in particular. For example, figures from PestWorld suggest that bed bugs are one of the most commonly treated pests by pest control professionals. It was estimated that around 97% of US pest control professionals must deal with bed bugs at one point in the year.

Bed bugs are believed to infest as many as 1 in 5 US homes. They are commonly found everywhere that you can imagine: homes, hotels, workplaces, hospitals, schools, offices, dormitories, and even on public transport. So, if you worry that you might be infested through bad luck, fear not. Bed bugs are a pest and a problem to be dealt with, but they are not rare.

It is often assumed that, like lice, having bed bugs means you are unclean. If only that were the case – even the most thorough cleaning and preparation can not be enough to stop these pests from becoming prominent in your day-to-day life. For that reason, you should not think you are ‘dirty’ or ‘unclean’ because you have bed bugs – you are just suffering from a problem that so many Americans do!

Do Bed Bugs Have Relative Species?

As mentioned, the bed bug is part of the Cimicidae family of bugs. This includes other common pests worldwide, including creatures as varied as the bat and poultry bugs. Around 100 different species are part of this ‘family’ of bugs. Unfortunately, more or less every member of this species, if encountered, can make your life miserable!

The bed bug is part of a group of bugs generally fed exclusively by feeding on the blood of other warm-blooded species. The most common relative to the bed bug, then, is the bat bug. Bat bugs were once the dominant species of this particular group before the rise of the traditional bed bug saw their numbers dwindle in comparison.

Bat Bug

Bat bugs, as the name suggests, used to appear within large groups of bats. These were often found in houses due to bats infesting the walls of buildings or in our attics. Bat bugs would survive after the bats migrated and then turn their ire on the humans living within the property. Over time, though, the bat bug would die out as without bats, they cannot thrive to the same level.

Swallow Bug

Another common relative to the bed bug is the swallow bug. Swallow bugs are parasites that have commonly annoyed cliff and barn swallows. When these swallows would build a nest on human property, the swallow bug would stick around and feed on humans. This is/was most common in the winter and the spring, after swallows have fled their nests.

Poultry Bug

The poultry bug is also a member of the same family. As the name suggests, poultry bugs are often found in chicken and other forms of poultry. They hide during the day and then come out at night, feeding on the poultry. It is extremely common for poultry bugs to get in and annoy humans, though it has been known to happen occasionally. You will never encounter a poultry bug unless you sleep beside a poultry roost.

Pirate Bug

However, the pirate bug is one of the closest relatives to the bed bug. The pirate eats mites and other small creatures and insects. They are usually slightly larger than your typical bed bug and are more commonly found in fields and crops than in our house. They tend to feed on plants and pollen as opposed to people. Some people buy pirate bugs as they can be used to help deal with infestations of other creatures, including ants. A small pirate bug, though, can easily be mistaken for a bed bug.

Where Are Bed Bugs Found?

Sadly, the bed bug is an extremely common species. They can be found almost everywhere in the world in one place or another. A bed bug will be found in varying locations most of the time. For example, they are hardy enough to survive temperatures ranging from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter than this, or colder than this, will likely lead to their demise. More on that later!

Most bed bugs are found indoors and around human possessions, such as clothing, beds, and upholstery. These areas provide the weather and temperature insulation they need to survive and also offer them a perpetual place to feed on humans.

Like any infestation you have to deal with, you want to find the infestation as soon as possible. The sooner you can spot bed bug infestations, the easier they are to deal with. You should often look at locations around your home that make sense for a bed bug. Unfortunately, bed bugs stay close to ‘home’ – your bed and are usually found near piping sections and tags on your mattress. Any cracks within your bedding, too, could be a clear way for your bed bug infestation to get in and out of the bed without being seen.

However, in heavier infestations of bed bugs, you might find them in other parts of your home. For example, it is common to find bed bugs littering places like the seams of our chairs and upholstery. You might even find bed bugs lingering within the folds of a curtain; they are rarely fussy about where to live!

A messy room that provides access to the bed is always a common place for heavy bed bug presence. They can regularly reside in areas as diverse as inside electrical appliances and the junctions where your wall and ceiling combine. They are also good at hiding in wall hangings and loose wallpaper sections; as such, you should not rule anywhere out in your home as a potential home for the bed bug. They do get everywhere!

Can Bed Bugs Damage Your Home?

To many, the bed bug is as big a problem as a termite or a rodent like a rat or squirrel. However, while many of these creatures can cause structural damage to your home, you should have no such worries about dealing with bed bugs!

The bug bed is not out looking to eat structural objects like wood, so they will not damage your property over time. A termite might eat away at wood, causing structural damage, while other rodents might chew through electrical wiring. The bed bug, though, will not be chewing through your property. So, you do not have to worry about them eating your furniture and wood like a termite, nor do you have to worry about them eating your bedsheets and clothing like moths!

Sadly, though, the bed bug has one target and one target only: you and your blood. The only thing that a bed bug is interested in is ensuring it gets enough blood from you to survive. On average, the bed bug will feast on your blood every three to seven days. While you do not have to worry about them eating through the foundations of your house, they still cause problems at home by feeding on you.

Where Are Bed Bugs Found?

So, most people assume that bed bugs are going to be caused due to a lack of hygiene. Just like lice, we often associate their presence with the idea that the person – or property, in this case – needs to be cleaned out. However, bed bugs can appear even in places where we are extremely clean and careful. Bed bugs are infamous for getting around and building lives anywhere they are brought.

Part of the problem with bed bugs is that they are so durable that they can survive in just about any indoor environment. As such, we assume it is down to uncleanliness when they appear in big numbers. This, though, is not the case. Bed bugs can formulate anywhere that they are brought to – naturally, that means that it is quite possible that you can have bed bugs without having any cleanliness issues.

One of the most prominent causes of bed bugs is your adjacent property. If you live in an apartment block, then bed bug can easily make their way from the apartment below or beside you. The same goes for tenement housing and properties attached. Bed bugs are masters of manipulation and can easily fit through even the smallest cracks and crevices. As such, they should have no problem getting into your home if they choose. With that in mind, it is important to appreciate and respect that the causes of bed bugs are their presence in the local area.

As noted by the Environmental Service, Another common case of bed bug appearances can come from buying new furniture and upholstery. Though primarily thriving on beds and mattresses, the bed bug can easily attach itself to couches, settees, and other home furniture you bring into the building. They could even attach to your luggage and personal carrier items like school bags, handbags, etc.

So, the causes of bed bug infestations are often simply down to bad luck. Unlike other infestation species, there is no correlation between having bed bugs and your home having to be cleaned.

How To Identify Bed Bugs

It would be best to keep an eye out to identify bed bugs because they are very small. On average, the bed bug is around 1/5 of an inch in size – they will not be super-visible to you. Unlike a house spider, you will not easily see bed bugs roaming around. Most of the time, you can spot bed bugs by their distinctive appearance and shape. However, given they are around the size of an apple seed when grown, you will likely need excellent perception – or magnification – to spot the bed bugs at best.

Thankfully, the bed bug is a wingless creature, as wings would only help further their spread. They are oval-shaped in the body and tend to have a copper-like tone. The bed bug can range in color from an orangey-red shade to a reddy-brown shade. Some, though, are more likely to be in the colour of a more golden creature; don’t worry, these aren’t special bed bugs; they are just nymphs!

The bed bug is also quite noticeable in the bug world because they have very flat bodies. That makes them stand out a lot more than other insect types. They also tend to have what is known as “true bug” characteristics, such as a three-segment beak, antennas, and short hairs on their body.

Understanding if your problem is the presence of bed bugs or another insect is important for hiring the right pest control solution. What works to kill off a bed bug will not work to kill off termites, and so on. As such, you must use the above description to make identifying bed bugs easier.

Signs Bed Bugs Are Present

While looking out for bed bugs, it is important to understand the signs of bed bug infestations. Sometimes, it is easier to spot the signs that bed bugs have been present instead of looking for actual physical signs of the bed bug itself. As noted above, they are very small – you are quite unlikely to spot bed bugs moving around the bed/mattress. Instead, look for common signs of their presence, such as:

  • Stains appearing in your bedding that look like a rust stain. This rust stain is caused by the bed bugs being killed and crushed as you move around during the evening.
  • Dark spots that look like someone has had a pen burst on the bedding. As gross as this is, these small dark spots you spot are excrement from the bed bugs.
  • Signs of eggshells. These will be tiny and almost invisible in singular groups but should be much easier to see as the bed bugs mature and grow.

Focusing on the above signs will be much easier than seeing the bed bug colony moving around. In extreme circumstances where bed bugs have been alive for a long time and in large numbers, you might see them moving around. Suffice it to say that if you have a visible bed bug infestation, it is time to call in professional support!

Fleas VS Bed Bugs: What’s The Difference?

When reviewing related species to the bed bug, you might have noticed that we did not mention fleas. Despite regularly being mistaken for one another, there is a major difference between fleas and bed bugs. They can be easily mistaken for one another on their physical appearance, but there are some important ways to differentiate. This is important, too, when it comes to putting in place a treatment plan to start dealing with the issue at hand.

Yes, both require a warm-blooded host to drain blood from. However, while a bed bug will feed on humans for the most part, fleas tend to get their sustenance from draining the blood of furry animals. Therefore, that is why your bed gets infested with bed bugs while your pet's bed gets infested with fleas!

Bed bugs are brought into the home by people; fleas are brought into the house by pets. Do not assume that bed bugs arrived in your home due to a pet; that is extremely rare to be the case. One thing to note is that fleas are more prevalent in numbers. A singular flea can lay as many as 300 eggs in a single week; the bed bug, meanwhile, can lay around 200 eggs during its lifespan of around 10-12 months.

Fleas, though, can jump massive distances compared to their size – around 13” to be precise – while the bed bug cannot. Fleas are also more dangerous because they can pass on illnesses that a bed bug cannot. No evidence of a bed bug passing on pathogens exists, but fleas can do so.

The easiest way to separate a potential bed bug infestation from fleas is to:

  • Look for an actual jumping creature. You can see a flea jump as it can jump such a large distance; keep an eye out for jumping parasites on your upholstery and your pets
  • Keep an eye out for the shape. Fleas are even more oval-shaped than the bed bug, and they appear to be longer and thinner as opposed to flatter and fatter
  • Bed bugs tend to stick around places near ‘home’ – the bed – so they do not have to travel too far. Look for bed bugs around cracks and the baseboards of your home

Signs You Have A Bed Bug Problem

One of the main issues you might face when determining the presence of bed bugs is looking out for the signs of a bed bug infestation. To help you understand what to look out for, we recommend that you take the time to look for the following symptoms of a bed bug infestation:

  • The aforementioned ‘rust stains’ that can appear on your bedding and around your bed. Again, these are signs that you have been squashing bed bugs in your sleep without meaning it
  • Small brown spots appear on your bedding and your furniture. As gross as it is, this is the feces of the bed bugs, as mentioned earlier. This is one of the most common signs you will spot.
  • The presence of small bites on your body. This is most commonly found on exposed skin parts, i.e., if you wear a t-shirt to bed, you will likely have bites on your arms.
  • However, bites from a bed bug can arrive on any part of your body. As horrifying as the image is, bed bugs can sometimes get under our clothing and bite even where we are protected.
  • The most common areas to sustain bites from bed bugs will be your arms, neck, and face. Keep a close eye on these areas of your body for signs of being bitten.
  • The presence of small, yellow egg shells appearing on the floor and around your bedding. These might be hard to spot individually, but they can become apparent in groups.
  • Shedded skin. This is a common sign of a major infection, as your bed bugs are now comfortable enough to be shedding skin. This will look like a dead bed bug, so watch for that.
  • A strong smell and odor in the air you have not noticed. This will often be quite a sweet and strong smell; when seen with the other signs above, this can be a sign of infestation.

Bed Bug Bites

Of course, one of the most common problems with having bed bugs loitering around the place is the fact they bite. Bed bug bites can be tough to deal with as they are painful and can become very irritating. This can lead to issues such as the bites looking inflamed and swollen, forcing you to cover up your skin and body to avoid the bites being seen.

Bed bug bites are irritating, and it is important to understand what has bitten you. Have you been bitten by a bed bug bite or something else? Let’s look at the most important information regarding bed bug bites.

Bed Bug Bites: What Do They Look Like?

Typically, when it comes to bed bug bites, you are looking for signs that you have been impacted. These will most commonly look like a raised bump on your arm. Over time, these bumps will become very itchy. To some, it might look like the beginning of a spot or something similar. However, the main problem with bed bug bites is that they do not always appear immediately.

Yes, you might wake up and feel like you are being bitten. However, you might also not find that the bed bug bite begins to swell and irritate for weeks after the edge. Indeed, according to Medical News Today, it can take ‘several weeks’ for some bed bug bites to appear in earnest.

Remember that bed bug bites can also appear anywhere on your skin. It does not always have to be somewhere. It is logical for you to be bitten; these little irritants can get just about anywhere they wish. As such, keeping a close eye on any potential skin damage you spot is wise. As noted earlier, most of these bites are likely on the skin the bed bugs can most reasonably reach. It is common to find them on areas like your shoulders, legs, and especially your hands.

Symptoms Of Bed Bug Bites

The thing to note about bed bug bites is that they tend to be quite irritating. Though they are not threatening your life, as mentioned above, bed bug bites can be very uncomfortable. You might at first assume it is something like a spot or an ingrown hair. If they appear regularly, though, it is likely a sign that you are dealing with the irritation and annoyance of a bed bug bite!

Luckily, the majority of bed bug bites are not going to turn into anything too discomforting. You might notice some small, slightly raised red bumps on your skin. It might feel slightly itchy or irritated, but for the most part, bed bug bites can pass without impacting your quality of life. However, some more severe bed bug bites can cause problems that are a little more problematic to you.

The most common signs of bed bug bites that you should keep an eye out for are:

  • Raised, itchy bumps that are clear in the middle – this is a sign it is a bite, not a spot
  • Itchy bumps that have a darker central color and are swollen around the bite mark itself
  • Small bumps that appear in a zig-zag line on your arm; this is the sign of many bed bug bites
  • Small red bumps that appear to carry small blisters and hives surrounding the bite itself
  • Any sensations that feel like they are burning, overly warm, or painful/irritated

You might find that the above symptoms are more common if you have a hypersensitive reaction to the bite. Some of us are more prone to reacting badly to bed bug bites; you can do nothing about them. As mentioned above, though, taking some antihistamines might be a good way to help reduce the discomfort and the irritation.

However, please note that you might be unlucky in some more extreme cases and suffer a major reaction to a bed bug bite. It is not common at all, but in some people, you can find that you start to suffer from a reaction that can include:

  • Shortness of breath or finding it hard to take in a full, deep breath consistently
  • Large, swollen, and irritated blisters that begin to formulate over the bite marks
  • Sensations of fever taking hold, which can include temperature changes and delirium
  • Nausea, which can come from the pain and the intensity of the discomfort you are feeling
  • Swollen parts of the body, including your hands, arms, neck, and tongue
  • Irregularities in your day-to-day life, including having an irregular or uncertain heartbeat

We highly recommend seeking medical care immediately if you notice any of the above problems. The sooner you receive treatment, the quicker you can overcome these more severe symptoms. For most people, though, the bed bug bite symptoms they receive will not be as intense or as damaging as the above.

Treatments For Bed Bug Bites

Thankfully, dealing with bed bug bite marks is not as challenging as it might first appear. While it might seem normal to let the bite subside and hope it does not happen again, that will not work. If you have been bitten once by bed bugs, you will be bitten again; these parasites do not move on. Why would they leave behind a food source actively letting them feed? The only way to stop bed bug bites is to eradicate the source. More on that below. For now, though, let us look at treatments for bed bug bites.

Most bed bug bites are basic and can be treated simply by cleaning the bite with soap and water. However, minor bites that are becoming annoying can be treated by using anti-itch and anti-rash creams and hydrocortisone that you buy over the counter from a pharmacy. Antihistamines can also be used to help reduce the swelling and irritation in some people, though this does not always work.

However, the most effective treatment for bed bug bites will be time. Most bites will reduce in size and swelling on their own very quickly, especially if you give the wound a proper clean-out. However, what do you do if your bed bug bite swells up or is persistent in not going away?

More serious bed bug bites might require medical intervention, though. The most common treatment for more severe bed bug bites is to look for antibiotic treatments through your doctor. You might also have to take some corticosteroid, though this is only meant for the most severe bug bites on your skin.

Second, you should now look to find ways to treat your bed bug infestation. As mentioned above, bed bugs will not move on because you ask nicely. They must be dealt with professionally if you want the best chance of reducing or removing bed bug bites from your daily life.

For the most part, though, bed bug bites will clear up independently and should not need any treatment. The main thing that you should focus on at this point is how to prevent bed bug bites so that they do not return in the future.

Are Bed Bug Bites Threatening To Your Health?

As noted by the CDC, bed bug bites are NOT likely to be life-threatening. As you read below, you will better understand the signs and symptoms of a bed bug bite. For the most part, though, bed bug bites will not become life-threatening to you. You would need to be pretty unlucky to be in a position where a bed bug bite was more than a mild irritation to your body.

However, one side effect that can become quite dangerous is the potential for infections. This can be caused by constant itching and scratching at the bite. If you continue to do this, you can cause a skin infection, which might need to be treated by a medical professional. For the most part, though, you can find that you can overcome the discomfort of a bed bug bite without too much discomfort.

Worrying about your health and well-being is common if you live in a place with bed bugs. However, not only do bed bug bites not spread disease or cause disease, but they are unlikely to develop into anything more than a short-term irritant. Bed bug bites can become dangerous, though, due to the fatigue they can cause.

If you are being bitten at night, it stands to reason that you are not sleeping very well. If you do not sleep well, you will be more tired during the day and thus susceptible to making mistakes. Especially if you drive, you must ensure you get the best sleep quality possible. As such, you should take bed bug bites seriously and find out how to handle the infestation ASAP.

If you find that your bed bug bites are extremely itchy, you might find that you can reduce the itchiness by taking some antihistamines. This will not work for everyone, but it can be a good way to help reduce the intensity and itchiness of the bite. 

Preventing Bed Bug Bites

As noted by the Cleveland Clinic, it is possible to prevent bed bug bites. Of course, the most effective way to prevent bed bug bites is to get rid of the bed bugs in the first place – though you probably already know that!

The most effective ways to try and reduce the risk of bed bug bites, if not actual bed bug infestations, is to do the following:

  • Focus on sealing areas where bed bugs most likely enter your home. This should mean looking for cracks in your baseboards and entry points into your home.
  • If you buy any kind of new or used furniture, ensure it is inspected beforehand. Even new furniture can get infected as bed bugs can thrive in the kind of settings that warehouses produce.
  • The same goes for any clothing you buy – new or old. If clothing has come from the back stock room, then it is even more important that you take the time to check for bed bugs.
  • Always make sure to inspect any bedroom that you are sleeping in for bed bugs. This includes hotels and other places you might be staying; if you notice the signs, alert staff.
  • Reduce cluttering around your home; though bed bugs are not always attracted by mess (they can thrive in clean spaces, too), unkempt houses can create spaces for bed bugs to live.
  • Make a habit of carrying out a weekly vacuuming session around your bed. The more time and effort you can put into vacuuming around your bed, the better.
  • Cover up your mattress with a protective plastic covering. These can ensure that bed bugs cannot roam as easily around the mattress as they did.
  • When you return home from any kind of trip, wash your clothing and luggage in hot, soapy water and then dry on high heat for around 20 minutes. Bed bugs hate the heat!
  • When going to bed, wear some kind of protective clothing. This might mean wearing pajamas that do not have open arms or legs. This can help to prevent bed bugs from biting you.
  • Try and add some lavender-smelling solutions to your bedroom. Bed bugs hate the smell of lavender, so using some fresh or essential oils can be a good option.

These simple but effective tips should go a long way to try and prevent bed bug bites from becoming a common occurrence. Inspecting for bed bugs at home would be wise if the issue persists.

How To Inspect For Bed Bugs

One of the most important elements of dealing with such a pest is ensuring you can find them. Inspecting for bed bugs is not as challenging as it might initially sound. Don’t worry; you don’t need to install a magnifying glass!

What you will need to do, though, is use the below guide to help you find the bed bugs in your home. You can understand if this is your problem by identifying bed bugs. In some cases, your infestation might be something else – spotting bed bugs, though, is easy if you stick to the below things to consider.

Checking For Bed Bugs: Where Do You Start?

Of course, the most obvious sign that you have bed bugs is that you are starting to find bites on your body. Sadly, since bed bugs live in our blood, they will not be noticeable by causing structural issues. For example, a sign of termites is when you begin to notice wood that has been pretty heavily damaged. With bed bugs, you only really notice them if you spot their presence on the bed or your body. Gross!

As mentioned above, the most common sign of a bed bug infestation is when you notice blood and feces on your bedding. You might notice their skins, eggshells, and bed bugs moving around in severe cases. This is pretty rare; bed bugs do a good job of staying out of the way. Therefore, the best way to check for bed bugs is to look for the signs above.

The best place to start is to watch the stains mentioned above. These brown and red/rust-colored stains are the clearest indicator that you can have that bed bugs are now well and truly present. Sadly, you will not notice bed bugs before they become a major infestation. So, getting ahead of the problem can be tough.

Where Do Bed Bugs Most Commonly Appear?

The most common places you will likely find a bed bug hiding can be confusing. One of the most commonly associated places you will find a bed bug infestation, according to the EPA, is in the following locations:

  • The seams of your upholstery. This can include chairs, couches, and cushions
  • The folds of your curtains. Bed bugs can hide here quite easily without being seen
  • The seams of your mattress. Even a tiny hole can be enough for bed bugs to fit in
  • The tags on your mattress. This is one of the most common places to find bed bugs
  • The framing of your bed. You might find that bed bugs loiter around the base of your bed
  • Your baseboards. Bed bugs have a pretty nasty habit of getting behind our baseboards
  • Your wallpaper. If you have any loose wallpaper, bed bugs can get up behind this
  • Wall hangings, such as where you hang portraits from – bed bugs can get in here, too!
  • The joints of your drawers and other storage appliances – particularly those made of wood
  • In electrical appliances. That might sound off, but finding bed bugs in plugs is common!
  • Junctions of your rooms. Bed bugs love dark spots – including where walls and ceilings meet
  • Small areas where you might not think to look –this can even include a screwhead!

These are some of the most common places where bed bugs are likely littering. If you are having a particularly hard time finding bed bugs, then this is where we recommend you begin your search. By looking in these areas for either moving, live bed bugs themselves or signs of their presence like blood and feces, you are more likely to spot the signs of a bed bug problem before it worsens.

As we have already covered, you will not only find bed bugs in your home. These parasites can get around – they are commonly found in locations such as:

  • Public transport, particularly buses and trains that come through high-traffic areas for people
  • Hotels and motels –even clean, four to five-star establishments might have bed bugs!
  • Though hospitals are good at catching bed bug infestations, some slip-through
  • Nursing homes, given the high number of people coming in and out of these locations
  • Schools and education facilities, again due to the high traffic of people moving around
  • Though less common, bed bugs can easily make a nest in an office environment

So, do not assume that the only place you need to worry about finding bed bugs is in your home. You should always conduct a thorough and full search of your home, yes, but also anywhere you might be staying. Even if you stay in a superb hotel or a major, well-funded hospital, you should watch for bed bugs closely. Again, infestation is often spotted once it is serious.

How, then, can you avoid such bed bug problems? Can you do anything to prevent an infestation?

Do Bed Bugs Travel On People?

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding bed bugs is whether or not they can travel on a person. Despite not having wings, these annoying little pests have a habit of getting places you would never expect or assume. Given that they are so survivable and durable, it makes sense that the bed bug can survive during transit from one location to another. Do they travel on people, though?

The good news is that bed bugs DO NOT travel from person to person – at least not primarily. Yes, you might be unlikely and have bed bugs on your person that move from one location to the next. In extremely unlucky circumstances, you might find that bed bugs in a hotel or elsewhere stick to you and your luggage and come home with you.

However, unlike lice, they will not stick to your skin and travel with you from one location to the next. Instead, what a bed bug does is that it sticks to your clothing and your luggage. They are taken from one location to another by sticking to your clothing and luggage. Not only is this much harder for you to notice, but it means that you will not feel the bed bug on you physically. As such, it becomes much harder to spot bed bugs because you do not feel them on your body/skin.

Do Bed Bugs Stick To Other Furniture?

The majority of bed bugs will get around by sticking to your furniture. They will spend most of their time getting into your home by being connected to furniture and upholstery. This does not have to be second-hand furniture; bed bugs have a horrible habit of populating even brand-new furniture and fittings. As such, the main way a bed bug will ‘break into’ your home is through furniture.

If you want to reduce the spread of bed bugs or bring bed bugs into your home entirely, thoroughly check your furniture. If you spot any tell-tale signs of bed bugs we have listed above, alert the seller. This might stop any of the usual headaches of having to return items, and it will stop the bed bugs from populating your home in the first place.

Another thing to focus on is making sure that, if you are selling any furniture, you clean it thoroughly beforehand. You know how annoying having a bed bug problem can be – don’t pass that problem on to someone else!

How To Avoid Bed Bug Problems

If you want to stop bed bugs from becoming a permanent pest, you need to know how to get rid of them at source. Here are some useful tips that might help you to avoid such problems from becoming a headache:

  • As mentioned above, commit to removing any clutter in your home – including large piles of clothes lying around. These are havens for these horrible creatures to thrive in.
  • Get rid of clutter, and then make sure that you heavily vacuum any areas where there might have been the potential for bed bugs to gather. Regular vacuuming can get rid of transient bugs.
  • If you are buying any second-hand furniture, especially beds, make sure that you give the furniture a VERY thorough check-over beforehand.
  • The same goes for any upholstery that you buy. While bed bugs are commonly found on our bedding itself, they can travel via other furniture products.
  • Protect your property by using plastic covers. Protective coverings on beds and mattresses can stop the bed bugs from getting comfortable and sticking around overall.
  • Check any protection you buy regularly for signs of holes or impact. It might be pierced by accident, or something – not usually bed bugs – might have caused a hole to form.
  • Just came home from a holiday? Then, give all of your clothing and luggage a thorough wash in warm water and soap. Then, dry at a high heat to kill off those bed bugs!
  • Once you come home from holiday, thoroughly vacuum your entire home. You can be surprised at how easily a bed bug can enter your home!
  • Do your laundry separate from anyone else, especially if you share laundry facilities. Ensure your laundry is brought in one bag and taken home in another.
  • Take the dryer bag that you have used above and put it into a high-heat dryer. The high heat temperature eradicates bed bugs better than any chemical or spray treatment you might consider.
  • Install things like draught excluders at home to ensure that your doors have less visible room for bed bugs to move from one room to the next.
  • Actively take the time to look for cracks and damage to your home, especially gaps between indoors and outdoors and between other households. This can limit their ability to get into your home.

How Do Bed Bugs Move Around, Then?

One of the most common ways bed bugs get from one home to another is to move from one home to the next. If you live in housing connected to another house or an apartment building, it is frustratingly easy for someone else’s bed bug problem to become yours. Since bed bugs do not have wings, they tend to crawl around the place – or, as noted above, hitch a ride on your clothing, luggage, and furniture!

Bed bugs generally move around the place from one property to another. They will move through the walls, through gaps in the floors and the ceilings, and even through your piping. Yes, that’s right - bed bugs could get into your home through your pipes. They might move quite slowly, but a bed bug can easily get from your piping system to your bed with minimal fuss. And, crucially, with minimal notice being paid by you. This is why a small bed bug problem can become an infestation overnight.

Limiting The Spread Of Bed Bugs

We have already covered many of the best ways to prevent bed bugs from entering your home. Once they are in, though, what can you do to ensure the problem does not worsen?

  • First and foremost, make sure that you continue a regular vacuuming session. Vacuuming can help catch bed bugs you have not noticed on the move – very useful!
  • Clean up any infected rooms with bed bugs by removing all clutter and areas where the bed bugs could hide. This can help to stop the infestation from getting any worse.
  • Avoid moving furniture from an infected room into another. Instead of doing this, pile all of the furniture in the impacted room up to one side until you can clean the impacted room thoroughly.
  • Put all bedding and clothing in an infected room through a thorough wash, clean, and then a high-heat drying process. This heat can help to kill off the bed bugs much more effectively.
  • Take care to close over areas that might allow for easier transit. This means filling in cracks, dealing with baseboards with gaps, and looking for areas in the walls and ceilings.
  • Focus on other areas where cracks might exist, too. Since bed bugs can get through your walls, focusing on areas like cracks around your windows might be wise.

Remember these ideas, and staying on top of a bed bug problem should be easier for you. The best thing you can do is stop the bugs from going from one room to the next and turn a room-specific infestation into a home-wide one.

The same goes if you run any hospitality venue; kill off the infestation and reduce the risk of bed bugs going from one room to the next. One negative review for bed bugs being present is bad enough – multiple reviews could hurt your business greatly.

Now that you understand more about bed bugs, their behaviors, and their presence, let’s get to what you want. How do you eradicate bed bugs and eliminate the problem once and for all?

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

Anyone dealing with bed bugs should consider their options. The sooner you can deal with the problem, the better. Unfortunately, bed bugs will not simply go away on their own. These pests live on blood and will not leave a location where they can consistently access blood. As such, you should be prepared to be willing to deal with bed bugs as soon as possible.

There are a few options open to you. The first option is to use some do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments. Then, if that does not work, try out some professional solutions. However, we want to make clear that bed bugs in the modern world are far more resilient than they once were. Old DIY techniques and solutions to get rid of bed bugs no longer work as effectively as they once did.

There is one preferred method of treatment – heat treatment – that we will speak about below. If you are looking for the most surefire way to eradicate bed bugs from your home, heat treatment is the answer. Before we get to that, let us look at some of the most common treatments you might consider trying.

Just be warned: Apart from heat treatments, the treatment solutions below are not guaranteed to deliver results.

DIY Treatments

So, one of the first places you will turn to when dealing with bed bugs is DIY treatments. Naturally, we all want to avoid contacting professionals – this costs money. Therefore, you might go the cheap route and eradicate those bed bugs alone. However, we should note that bed bug treatments in the below list are not likely to work – at least not permanently.

DIY treatments for bed bugs can easily get rid of some bed bugs for now, but it will not destroy the source of the infestation. It might clear up what you can visibly see, but it is unlikely to eliminate all the bed bugs in your home. In the best-case scenario, your DIY treatments might make the bed bugs move into another room – or, if lucky, into the property next door. That means the problem is being passed on instead of being dealt with.

Considering all of that, what DIY treatments for bed bugs exist that are worth considering?

  • ‘Crush and flush.’ Pick up any bed bugs you see and flush them down the toilet pan. This is only suitable if you can catch an infestation at its source. This, though, is the least effective treatment.
  • A simple DIY solution for getting rid of bed bugs is to get used to vacuuming regularly. Vacuum any baseboards, carpets, and bed frames you have at home. Once done, empty the vacuum bag.
  • Hot water cleaning. One of the most effective DIY treatments for bed bugs is to clean your bedding and anything around your bed with hot water. Then, dry items using a high-temperature dryer. Do this regularly to thin the numbers.
  • Regular cleaning. Get rid of as many dark spaces as possible; bed bugs tend to thrive when they have dark places in your home that they can hide within. Tidy up more regularly to reduce numbers.

Some commonly claimed useless DIY treatments include putting down essential oils. Essential oils other than lavender have no noticeable impact on bed bugs; even lavender only slightly puts them off hanging around the place. Another useless investment would be those expensive ultrasound ‘repellers’ that are sold online. They do nothing to eliminate bed bugs and waste your time, money, and power.

Do not waste your money on buying foggers, either. Many people have bought foggers, believing them to be the ‘secret’ to getting rid of bed bugs. However, there is absolutely no science to prove that foggers are useful for getting rid of bed bugs. It might sound like a useful idea, but there is a higher risk of you hurting yourself by using a fogger than getting rid of these annoying little pests.

Now you understand how limited many DIY solutions are, let’s look at what a professional can offer you.

Professional Solutions

When you look to hire the pros, they will likely offer you a range of treatments to kill off these bug bugs once and for all. When left to thrive, bed bugs will quickly grow out of control. As we have already mentioned, if you can see the signs of bed bugs – or the bed bugs themselves – then the infestation is already out of your hands. You need professional treatment to help you get rid of the problem once and for all.

Think about this: a bed bug can lay around ten eggs per day, so everyone you kill is likely getting replaced by an ever-growing number of parasites. As such, people want to invest in treatment that can permanently kill the bed bugs.

For years, using a chemical treatment was the go-to option for killing off bed bugs completely. Chemical treatments were seen as lethal, so much so that you often need to leave your home for some time while the treatment is carried out. Or, at least, you need to be careful around the applied area.

In the USA, the EPA has provided a list of treatments that can be used to kill bed bugs. Bed bug products on the market today are in their hundreds; you can easily find as many as 300 different products to pick from. Most are the kind of ‘over the counter’ treatment you could try at home, but the most effective chemical treatments are for professional use only. However, is this worth the money?

Desiccants: More Effective?

Another form of chemical treatment often referenced is that of desiccants. These are supposed to strip away the outer layer of the bed bug, meaning that they will begin to dehydrate and then die over time. These are useful for controlling infestation, but complete eradication is unlikely if you rely upon desiccants. While bed bugs cannot become resistant to desiccants, they are unlikely to kill the whole population. Some professionals will use desiccants to help thin out the numbers and complete the job using other chemical treatments.

Other options include using growth regulators to stop these creatures from growing beyond a certain size and age. This can stop the insect colony from developing quickly, but again, you must find something to eliminate the bed bugs.

Heat Treatment For Bed Bugs

Throughout this guide, we have mentioned that bed bugs are the least resistant to heat treatment. Right at the beginning, we mentioned the temperatures at which you can expect bed bugs to survive. Therefore, the secret is to ensure that any bed bugs in your home cannot live by changing the heat they are being asked to deal with daily.

Turning to the conventional treatments commonly used in the past will simply not provide the quality of results that you are looking for. Using chemical sprays and spot treatments will only help delay the inevitable: a return by these infuriating parasites. By using heat treatment, you can likely avoid all or most of the problems we have discussed.

Let’s look at heat treatment for bed bugs and why it appears to be the #1 choice for anyone looking to help eliminate bed bugs.

Is Heat Treatment The Secret To Bed Bugs?

Heat treatment is, without a doubt, the premier choice for killing off bed bugs. Not only is it the most effective of all bed bug treatments, but it could be argued that using heat treatment is also the most humane option. Known as thermal radiation treatment, this is the most effective way to eliminate a consistent bed bug infestation, especially if the bed bugs are in more than one room!

Some people will combine pesticide treatment and heat treatment for the utmost results. Most of the time, though, turning to bed bug heat treatments alone can be enough to help eliminate this annoying problem once and for all. Heat treatment is often carried out by using industrial-standard heating instruments within your home. This will heat the temperature of the infected area with bed bugs to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Once we reach these heats, bed bugs – even the little ones – cannot survive and thrive. This will mean that the ENTIRE infestation dies.

Another thing to note is that bed bugs can escape chemical traps and pesticide treatments. They can also escape pesticide dust. They can even get through encasements put on mattresses and bedding. What they cannot do, though, is escape-focused heat treatment where they reside. This becomes unbearable, and the heat quickly creates conditions whereby bed bugs simply cannot survive.

Heat treatment is the secret because it can be carried out in one session, unlike other treatment types. For severe bed bug infestations and for those who simply want to eradicate the problem now without messing around, heat treatment for bed bugs is the perfect place to begin. This will kill off the entire infestation without you having to do anything else.

Heat treatment is at its most effective when used in places like apartments, properties, places of work, and hotels. However, with the right scaling, heat treatment for bed bugs can be used anywhere you wish.

What Is The Best Heat Treatment For Bed Bugs?

Do Chemical Solutions Work?

Chemical solutions are supposed to wipe out the population at source and eliminate the problem. Chemical classes will kill bugs in various ways, mostly poisoning the colony from the inside. One insect will be poisoned, take the poison back to their community, and then wipe them out slowly. As inhumane as that sounds, this was the go-to solution for years because, put simply, it worked. However, modern bed bugs are much more resistant to chemical treatments and solutions.

Most bed bug colonies know how to avoid the chemicals put down now. Enough of their species have been wiped out in the last few decades due to such chemical treatments. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will find a chemical treatment that can truly wipe out the bed bug colony. Chemical treatments let themselves down because, for the most part, they only truly target adult bed bugs.

Why is that a problem? Because the younglings survive and wait for their moment to re-appear. Then, they appear large enough to continue the above cycle. Using chemical treatments for bed bugs is an outdated concept; it rarely, if ever, works today.

The use of pyrethrins and pyrethroids are the most common chemical treatments used when it comes to dealing with bed bugs. These can flush out the bugs and make them easier to kill. In many parts of the USA, though, bed bugs resist these chemical strains. That is a problem – a pretty big one!

Extermination: Can Bed Bugs Survive?

If you use a chemical treatment to get rid of bed bugs, you should not expect immediate results. Sure, any bugs caught directly with the toxic chemical spray will die within a few hours – if not immediately. However, despite being highly effective for days after the treatment has been processed, chemical treatments will not always kill off the entire colony.

In most parts of the USA, you will be lucky to do anything other than reduce the numbers that newborns will soon replace. Some bugs will see their colony being wiped out and take precautions to avoid the same fate. When this happens, bed bugs retreat from their source of angst and wait until the chemicals have faded. Today, bed bugs have a strong sense for pesticides and other similar treatments. As such, they know when to come out and when to stay hidden.

When you hire a pest controller that uses chemical treatments, they must return more than once. They often have to return for around one month, delivering numerous treatments to help get rid of the problem. Eggs can last up to a month, so you need to keep allowing treatment to be administered.

If you have this treatment carried out in the winter, prepare for the problem to simply re-emerge in the summertime. Bed bug eggs are great at being hidden and are resistant to cold weather. As such, the bugs will avoid your chemical treatments and wait until the weather changes for the better. When that happens, they will return to your home and likely find the same sources to drain blood from.

With all this in mind, you should think about your next move. What other treatment options exist?

Why Does Heat Treatment For Bed Bugs Work So Well?

The main reason is that we change the conditions in which bed bugs live by changing the temperature. Bed bugs cannot handle temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the region. Bugs at all stages cannot sustain this; this is in comparison with pesticide treatments. These often only work on a very limited number of bed bugs, and certain members of the bed bug family know to avoid them.

With heat, you are killing off the entire population near the heat treatment. With enough preparation time and planning, heat treatment can be quickly applied to your whole property and eliminate bed bugs in every room. If your bed bugs are located in one part of your home, you might find that heat treatment is easily the most cost-effective alternative to what we have already discussed.

So long as you hire a pest control specialist who can use the best form of bed bug heat treatment, you will likely be very happy with the results you see. While you will need to leave your home to have treatment carried out, usually for around 8 to 10 hours, heat treatment for bed bugs will eliminate the problem.

Does this mean bed bugs will never return? Unfortunately not. A new family could move in from the property next door, or they could become attached to you somehow. However, heat treatment will kill off your home's bed bugs. That is the guarantee of heat treatment: it will kill off any bed bugs already in your home. Future infestations can still happen, but the current infestation will be brought to an end. Contrast that with chemical treatments that might not eliminate the current infestation, leading to a guarantee of a repeat problem shortly.

There are many heat treatments for bed bugs, and one of the most commonly used is Heat Assault.

Heat Assault is the #1 choice in the USA for dealing with bed bugs. This can produce temperatures as high as 145 degrees Fahrenheit, guaranteeing that all bed bugs caught in the radius will be dealt with efficiently. The kill zone needed to wipe out the bed bugs is produced quickly, meaning treatment is quicker, more efficient, and more reliable than ever before. This means the heat gets into wall voids and insulated areas without any bed bugs missing.

At the same time, though, Heat Assault is designed to avoid the risk of collateral damage to your home. It is one of the most environmentally friendly bed bug solutions and is delivered using industrial-standard equipment. By using remote temperature tracking, technicians can find the best way to help capture the right balance between unbearable heat for bed bugs and safe conditions for your home.

The Cost Of Bed Bug Treatments

Of course, you might be determined to bring an end to this annoying problem by hiring professionals to deal with your bed bugs. Given the above, we hope that you now appreciate that going for a DIY approach is unlikely to yield the kind of results that you were hoping for!

Before you go ahead and hire a professional, though, it pays to know a little bit more about the cost of bed bug treatments. Of course, every company and every location is different. The cost of your service will be determined by factors such as:

  • The location that you are based in; big city bed bug treatments can cost more
  • The level of experience of your bed bugs professionals; greater experience costs more
  • The distance that has to be traveled to deal with your infestation; longer travel costs
  • What is the scale of the infestation that you are dealing with? Is it one room or the whole property?
  • The style of bed bug treatment that you need – is it a residential service, or is it commercial?
  • The treatment that is being used – most experts charge more for heat treatment, for example

Factoring all of the above into your decision should be very important. If you hire a rookie from the local classified ads who has no prior experience, you might pay a lot less. However, as the old saying goes, if you pay cheap, then you will pay twice. It is better to invest in proven bed bug professionals.

How Much Do Bed Bug Treatments Cost?

While the above acts as a general consideration that might impact the price you are charged, you are generally looking at a set price range.

Those who are looking for bed bug treatments in a single room can expect to pay around $300 to $500 USD. That might sound like a lot of money, but it is about the fair going rate to help deal with the arrival of bed bugs in one room in your home. Of course, if the infestation is still in an early phase, then you can expect this price to be closer to the floor price. For more serious infestations or for more thorough treatments, though, expect to be closer to the higher end of the price scale.

For those who are dealing with a house-wide bed bug infestation, prices start at around $2,500 and can exceed $5,000. That, again, sounds like a huge amount of money, but there is a lot of work that goes into dealing with bed bugs. This is not a quick and simple treatment that can be dealt with in a few hours. It requires professional training, thorough preparation, and the use of equipment – such as heating equipment – that is very expensive to own, operate, and run. This adds to the price.

Generally, most companies will charge anything from $1 to $8 for every square foot of household they treat. Naturally, the price will go up if they are using treatments.

Does This Include Heat Treatment?

Most of the time, yes, you should be able to get the most thorough form of bed bug eradication in heat treatment for this price. If you are looking for the most effective way to deal with bed bugs, it is worth paying the extra price for heat treatment. Even if it costs you more today, the price means that you are getting rid of the infestation in its entirety.

In fact, for some professionals, treatment costs for bed bugs can be LESS if you go for heat treatment. On average, the cost of using chemical pesticides for a single room can be around $2 per square foot. Heat treatment, though, can be as little as $1 per square foot for singular rooms.

Yes, paying for heat treatment for bed bugs will kill off the entire local population in your home. This means that you know that if any bed bugs appear again in the future, it will be bad luck. Sadly, there is no way to guarantee 100% that bed bugs will be removed from your home and never return. With heat treatment, though, you know that the current infestation has been removed completely.

Relying on cheaper treatments often means simply delaying their return. As we mentioned above, bed bugs have a nasty habit of getting into parts of your home and hiding until the chemical treatment dies down. With heat treatment, though, there is no escape possible.

Of course, if you want to make sure that what you are dealing with is 100% bed bugs, you might wish to first invest in sniffer dogs. Specially trained dogs can be brought into your home to sniff out and diagnose bed bugs. At a cost of around $300 to $600 on the national average, this might be a worthwhile investment to ensure that you are dealing with bed bugs as opposed to termites or other pests.

Ready To Get Rid Of Your Bed Bugs?

The above guide should give you more knowledge about bed bugs and give you confidence that the problem can be overcome. If you are sick of bed bugs infesting your home and making your life miserable, investing in heat treatment solutions is time.

Ignore the alternatives – heat treatments are the most humane, effective, and reliable bed bug treatment in the USA today. If you want to ensure that bed bugs in your home are wiped out en masse, the only way for bed bugs to return is through reinfestation, which takes much longer; invest in heat treatment.

Avoid the quick-fix solutions that simply kick the can down the road for later. With heat treatment, you can get rid of bed bugs quicker and easier without risking collateral damage to your home. If you want to finally get freedom from the frustration of bed bugs, this is the service you need!

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