What To Do After Finding Bed Bugs In Your Home

April 8, 2018

You've found bed bugs, now what? Do you throw your mattress and bed out? Do you go to the internet and see what the online "experts" have to say about getting rid of bed bugs? Do you wash all your clothes and vacuum all your rugs? Do you set off a bug bomb in your home? We know how creepy it can be to find bed bugs, but it is important to let level heads win the day. None of the above are going to adequately address the issue. In fact, they could make things worse. Take a deep breath and read down through this quick step-by-step guide to dealing with a bed bug infestation.   

a-1 technician inspecting for bed bugs in nightstand

Step 1
The first course of action should be to make sure that the bugs you've found are actually bed bugs. Just because you find a bug (or several bugs) in your bed, doesn't mean they're bed bugs. If you are familiar with bed bug identification and you are sure you have bed bugs, you can move to the next step. But, for those of you who don't know for sure, use the following:

  • Bed bugs have 5 stages of development. When they first hatch they are milky white, mostly transparent, and about 1 mm in size. As they develop, they become tan, and eventually turn into a brownish red color. They also become less transparent. Through all stages, it is possible to see black feces and red blood inside the abdomen of these bugs.

  • Bed bugs are insects. They have six legs, two antennae, and three body parts. It is difficult, however, to see the division between the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.

  • Bed bugs have lined ridges that run, like the lines of a piece of paper, from the top of their abdomens to the bottoms. These lines become more distinguishable as a bed bug develops.

  • Bed bugs are usually found near black feces, dried blood stains, shed insect skins, tiny white eggs, or other bed bugs.

  • Bed bugs may be flat and oval or bloated and pill-shaped, depending on whether or not they have had a blood meal.

Step 2
Call a professional. DIY bed bug prevention has many pitfalls. Here are a few you should be aware of:

  • Bed bug DIY treatments have led to a catastrophic loss of property and a loss of human life.

  • When chemicals are used they can lead to illness for anyone living in the home. It can also transform normal bed bugs into chemical-resistant bed bugs. As bed bugs develop, they shed their skins. Each time they shed their skins, they have the potential to grow a new one that is more resistant to any chemicals found in their environment.

  • Bed bugs don't all come out at the same time. When products are used to kill bed bugs, it can drive the bugs that are still hiding to go deep into wall voids.

  • There are some bug infestations that can be arrested by cleaning a home and washing all clothes and bedding--bed bug infestations are not one of them. These bugs can hide in electronics, wall outlets, wall voids, crown molding, and more. While cleaning can be helpful to reduce bugs, it isn't likely to fix the problem.

  • There are many products that trap and kill bed bugs. These can prevent you from getting bites while you sleep--in some cases--but bed bugs don't have to wait for you to sleep. These bugs can feed on you while you are fully awake. And, even though they are mostly nocturnal, they can feed during the day.

Step 3
Your pest control technician will give you instructions on how to prevent the spread of bed bugs before, and during, your treatment. 

If you live in Western North Carolina or in the Piedmont region and believe you have a bed bug infestation, let the bed bug experts here at A-1 Pest Control get rid of those bugs, entirely.  Reach out to us today to learn more about our effective bed bug treatments!

You don't have to let the bed bugs bite.  We're here to help.  

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