WHAT’S BUGGING YOU?
This is one question that is asked frequently when it comes to those who have experienced a bed bug infestation. People are curious to know if their bed bug problem from the summer will be resolved once the temperature begins to drop. Perhaps you woke up with some strange marks on your pillow case - or you’ve noticed mysterious red welts on your arms. Maybe you’ve spotted them right there in your bed. Bugs!
According to Wikipedia, bed bugs are a type of insect that feed on human blood, usually at night. Their bites can result in a number of health impacts including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Bed bug bites may lead to skin changes ranging from invisible to small areas of redness to prominent blisters. Symptoms may take between minutes to days to appear and itchiness is generally present. Some individuals may feel tired or have a fever. Typically, uncovered areas of the body are affected and often three bites occur in a row. Bed bugs bites are not known to transmit any infectious diseases. Complications may rarely include areas of dead skin or vasculitis.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can and do survive the winter. Bed bugs have spread rapidly over the past two decades, and the prospect of infestation can strike fear into the most cool-headed of people. Hopper Termite & Pest understands the many concerns you may have, as we have battled bed bugs at a growing rate over the past several years. When we were researching our guide to the best mattress cover, we found a real lack of levelheaded, practical advice on what to do if you suspect a bed bug infestation at your home. Here are some next steps you can take.
If you think you have bed bugs, don’t move furniture out of the room, don’t throw mattresses and other belongings away, don’t rip up carpet, and don’t use DIY pesticides on the bugs. All of this can spread the bed bugs further throughout your home. Even if you know beyond a reasonable doubt that you have bed bugs, remain calm and don’t do anything hasty. Bed bugs spread rapidly, may leave itchy bite marks, stain and soil bedding and furniture, are difficult and expensive to eradicate, and carry social stigma—all causing real psychological distress. But they don’t pose any immediate threat to your family’s health because they don’t transmit diseases. They are actually much less of a threat than other blood feeders like mosquitoes or ticks.
There are many bed bug look alikes, including carpet beetles, spider beetles, roach nymphs, and bat bugs. Study guides show the size and appearance of bed bugs throughout their life cycle. Bed bugs typically hide during the day and are active from nightfall until an hour or two before dawn, clustering near a food source (i.e., you). To spot them you can grab a strong flashlight and look for bugs, eggs, and cast skins in cracks, crevices, nail or screw holes, furniture joints, seams, and under any mattress tags, as well as on the bed frame and baseboards near your bed.
There’s nothing distinctive about a bed bug bite, so neither bite marks nor red or light-brown blood stains on your bedding are proof you have them. Look for their characteristic brown-black, dot-like fecal stains (digested blood) on your bedding, mattresses, box springs, or baseboards.
If you have bed bugs, you will find some visible evidence. Bed bugs, from eggs to adults, are visible with the naked eye. They are not microscopic, they do not fly, and they do not spontaneously generate.
If you try to sleep in a different bed, different bedroom, or even on the couch, you could easily make the problem worse. You might be grossed out by sleeping in the room where you found bed bugs, but if you can cope, it’s much better to stay put, even if it means a few more nights of anxiety. If you sleep in a different bed, different bedroom, or even on the couch, you could easily make the problem worse, because hungry bed bugs will search throughout the home looking for a meal. It’s easier to treat 500 bugs in one room, than 50 bugs in several rooms. It’s probably okay to sleep in another room for one or two nights, but eventually, the bugs will seek you out.
We know from experience that you’ll probably want to hide your bed bug problem, but if you live in an apartment building or attached house, part of an effective treatment is coordinating inspections and treatments with your neighbors. Bed bugs can move easily between dwellings that share walls, so it’s crucial to inspect adjacent homes, treat any neighboring infestations, and put down barrier chemicals to prevent them from spreading. It doesn’t matter if you’re the cleanest person in the world or the dirtiest or somewhere in between - if you have blood, they’re coming for you.
You shouldn’t try to fight bed bugs on your own. Hopper Termite & Pest do not recommend any DIY treatments that would be safe and effective as a stand alone treatment. Bed bugs have developed resistance to many DIY insecticides. Spraying bed bugs with insecticides you buy at a hardware store or online will likely kill only some bugs and scatter the rest, making your problem significantly worse. Today, proven professional methods for killing bed bugs include using heat and steam (adult bed bugs, nymphs, and eggs die at temperatures above 113 degrees Fahrenheit), spraying growth-inhibiting chemicals, and dusting powders that physically injure the bugs. Recently, an insecticide that infects bedbugs with a deadly fungus has shown promising results. All these treatments require professional-grade equipment and training.
Effective treatment requires a multi-pronged approach, including initial inspections and subsequent treatments at two-week intervals. Avoid hiring an exterminator who schedules treatment without inspection or who provides proof that you actually have bed bugs. Also beware of a pest company that tells you to throw away your mattress or other belongings. The National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization that sets standards for pest control companies in the US, states that in almost all cases, it’s never necessary to discard these items because treating them is part of the pest control company’s job.
Unless you live in Antarctica, you can still have a bed bug infestation during the winter. While bed bugs are not a fan of the cold weather, they can survive extremely cold temps. A study conducted at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities discovered that bed bugs can survive temperatures as low as -13°F. In order for the bed bugs to actually die, they need to be exposed to temperatures lower than 3°F for at least 80 hours.
Here are some methods and tips that may be helpful, that will work if used in conjunction with professional bed bug treatment. Even if you have to wait a while for professional treatment, there are some things you can do in the meantime, and are things you can do year-round as an ongoing regiment.
Clean infested areas. Wash any bedding, towels, or objects that can safely go in the washer with your washer set on the hottest water setting. When you get ready to dry the items, dry them on the highest temperature setting. Heat-treat bedding, clothing, and other textiles in your dryer will kill bugs and eggs. The dryer becomes your best friend. Every bug that you find and remove is reducing the population.
You can pick up bugs with tape or a sticky lint roller, or vacuum them up. Remove the vacuum bag immediately afterward, and seal it in a plastic bag for disposal, to prevent any bugs from escaping.
Encase mattresses and box springs in close-fitting, impermeable bed bug-proof covers. Mattress encasements should cover all six sides of the mattress, and have a zipper that won’t easily open to let bugs in or out. If you think you have an infestation, leave the covers on mattresses and box springs for 12 months.
Since bed bugs die after being exposed to severely low temps for at least 80 hours, many people have used their freezer as a way to get rid of the bed bugs lurking in their bedding and pillows.
Vacuum areas that may be infested with bed bugs and their eggs. Make sure you get to areas such as your mattress, the bed frame, baseboards, and headboards.
Place small, rimmed saucers dusted with talcum powder beneath the legs of your beds, chairs, or couches to trap bed bugs trying to climb up or down.
Remove other bed bug pathways by moving your bed away from walls and curtains, and don’t let bedding drape onto the floor.
Take your infected items outside and leave in the cold for a few days. However, since the temp outside rarely hits below 0°F for three days straight in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, this method doesn’t always work.
To prevent sharing your bed bugs with co-workers, friends, family, and the public at large, you should limit what you carry out of the house, and inspect those items carefully. Go minimalist (temporarily) and carry just a single bag in and out of your home. Before leaving, look over the bag’s exterior to make sure there are no insects on it. It can also be helpful to keep a clear, plastic bin with a lid near the front door and seal your belongings in it when you return home.
The tips above only get the process of removing bed bugs started, and will not completely solve your problem. The easiest way to get rid of bed bugs and keep your sanity is to call a professional pest and bed bug exterminator such as Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. We employ some of the most educated and highly trained technicians in the state. In fact, Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. is the only company in this area to be NPMA QualityPro Certified.
Whether you are experiencing a bed bug infestation in Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, Bentonville, Mountain Home, Bull Shoals, Yellville, Mountain View, Flippen - or any area in between, Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. can help. We are also certified to manage your bed bug infestation in Missouri. Don’t wait until your bed bug problem becomes overwhelming. Give us a call today and let us take care of you, your family, and your bugs.
You finally did it. You picked up the phone, called Hopper Termite & Pest, and you are now scheduled for bed bug extermination. Making the call was a big step in getting rid of bed bugs. However, your work is just beginning.
When it comes to exterminating bed bugs, homeowners play a huge part in the success of the treatment. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your home for the professionals.
CLEAN UP AND PICK UP AROUND YOUR HOME
If your house is already spotless and clean, then you can skip this step. However, the majority of homes could use a little clean up and pick up. Clutter provides hiding places for bed bugs and it also makes the process of extermination longer. Toss items that you don’t need or use and double bag loose items that need to be inspected and possibly treated.
WASH, DRY, AND REPEAT
There are a lot of things that will need to be put in the washer and/or dryer. Start with your closets. Then, move onto the bathroom and bedrooms. You want to wash all linens, clothes, curtains, stuffed animals, or any fabric related items on the hottest water setting available. Once you are finished, don’t just put them back in the closet or on shelves. Places the items in new plastic containers that can be closed tightly.
You don’t want to leave any items in your closets. Take clothing items that cannot be washed to the dry cleaner and place all loose items like shoes in new plastic bags or new sealable plastics containers.
EMPTY IT ALL OUT
Go through the drawers in your nightstands, side tables, and any other drawers you have. If they hold clothes, then go through the same process of washing, drying, and storing in a clean container or trash bag.
For miscellaneous items, inspect for signs of bed bugs and then place them in a clean container to be treated later. Bed bugs love to get into little nooks and crannies and your “stuff” has a lot of hiding places.
MOVE IT! MOVE IT!
Once you have moved all of your clothes and miscellaneous items, it should make the next step a little easier. You will need to move all furniture at least two feet from the wall. This gives technicians easy access to walls and baseboards that need to be treated.
You will also want to remove all paintings, pictures, clocks, and decor. These items will need to be inspected and treated.
BE PREPARED TO LEAVE YOUR HOME
For bed bug treatment to be successful, it is necessary that no one enters the home for at least four hours after the treatment. This also includes pets. It is very important that you plan to be out of the home. Plan a small getaway to the bowling alley, go shopping, or be a tourist in your town for the day and visit places you have never been able to visit.
HOPPER TERMITE & PEST IS HERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
These are just a few of the main steps that need to be taken in order to properly prepare your home for bed bug treatment and extermination.
This may also seem like a lot of work, but not taking proper measures to prepare your home for bed bug treatment could cause reinfestation. Look at the bright side. Not only are you getting rid of bed bugs, but your home is getting a nice deep clean.
For more information on how we treat bed bugs, visit http://hopperenvironmentalservices.com/services/bed-bugs/blog. You can also give Hopper Termite & Pest a call at 1-888-863-0206 if you have any questions.
It’s that time of the year. People are traveling to visit family and friends to celebrate during this holiday season. Some choose to stay in hotels and some choose to stay with their loved ones.
Since bed bug infestations are on the rise all over the world, it’s important to take a few steps in order to avoid bringing bed bugs home after an extended trip or having your guests bring in bed bugs when they visit.
PLASTIC IS YOUR FRIEND IN THE FIGHT AGAINST BED BUGS
Bed bugs enjoy having places to hide. You can find them in tiny crevices, cracks, and scattered throughout non-porous materials. Because plastic is a non-porous material, it can become your best friend in the fight against bed bugs when you travel.
How so? Bed bugs can travel from one bag to another. If your bag is next to a bed bug infested bag on an airplane, on a bus, or on a train, your bag can also become infected. Wrapping your bags securely in plastic can prevent this from happening. There are even products out there specifically made for covering your luggage when you travel, but a thick trash bag that can make it through the wears and tears of luggage being thrown into the cargo bay will work.
PLACE LUGGAGE ON NON-POROUS FLOORING
When you finally arrive at your holiday destination, it’s important that you follow the next step. Most people tend to put their luggage on their beds or on the floor of their hotel room. This is the WORST thing that you can do. If you place your bag on a bed bug infested bed or floor, it will be easy for them to make their way into your belongings.
The best thing you can do is place your luggage on a non-porous surface such as the bathroom floor. This gives you time to complete a thorough check of the room you are staying in for your trip without having to worry too much about bed bugs invading your luggage.
IT’S OKAY TO BE PARANOID WHEN IT COMES TO BED BUGS
Only those who have never experienced an issue with bed bugs will think that these measures to keep bed bugs away are a little too much. The fact is that many people don’t even think of techniques to avoid bed bugs until they experience first hand the havoc bed bugs can cause. The truth is that it is okay to be a little paranoid when it comes to bed bugs and the possibility of bringing them home from traveling.
• As mentioned before, keep bags off the floor. Even if you have completed a room check, it’s better to place your bags on top of dressers, nightstands, desks, or a carefully checked luggage rack.
• Like your luggage, you also don’t want to place clothing on the floor. Some prefer to place it in a plastic bag. You can keep the bag of dirty laundry in the bathroom if you prefer or on a non-porous surface.
• Before going home, you may want to wash your clothing. Research suggests that bed bugs are more attracted to soiled or dirty clothes than clean clothing.
• If you don’t have time to do laundry before returning home, there are a few things you can do. Sit your luggage in the garage or outside of your home before taking it inside. From there, you can thoroughly inspect your belongings before bringing them into the house.
• On the flip side of this scenario, you may have invited guests to stay at your home. If you are afraid of guests bringing bed bugs into your home, it may be best to not invite them to stay if you want to keep the relationship strong. Your paranoia may be seen as being rude and your guests may not like being told that they need to wash their clothes immediately or that they need to place their luggage in the bathroom or garage.
HOPPER TERMITE & PEST, INC. CAN PROVIDE RELIEF FROM BED BUGS
Even with the best efforts to avoid these pests, you can still bring home bed bugs. Don’t worry too much. With one call to Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc., we can start the process of exterminating your bed bug issue. Our staff is highly trained in the most effective pest management techniques and strive to make our customers happy with our service.
It doesn’t matter if you are experiencing bed bugs in Fayetteville, bed bugs in Rogers, or bed bugs in Mountain Home, or bed bugs in Gainesville, Hopper Termite & Pest Inc. has a large service area. Give us a call today at 1-888-863-0206 and let us get to work on eliminating your pest problems.
In this day and time, it is easier than ever to look up anything you have ever wanted to know about a particular topic. However, just because someone tells you something or you see it posted on social media, it doesn’t mean that it is true. It’s important to get your information from a reputable and knowledgeable source.
At Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc., we know about bugs! Here are 6 common myths you may have heard about one popular bug, the bed bug, and how Hopper can help you sleep better at night.
MYTH #1: BED BUGS ARE TOO SMALL TO SEE
While it is true that it is difficult to see something that you have never seen before, you can see a bed bug with the naked eye. Adult bed bugs are generally the size of an apple seed and are a dark reddish brown color. However, it is true that you may need to use a magnifying glass to check for bed bugs that have not quite reached the adult stage of the life cycle.
MYTH #2: THROWING AWAY YOUR MATTRESS GETS RID OF BED BUGS
Wouldn’t it be great if this myth was true!?! Unfortunately, throwing away your mattress and bedding will NOT get rid of bed bugs. Bed bugs like to stay within about 5 feet of their host. And as their population grows, bed bugs tend to spread out even more. You can find bed bugs in electrical outlets, alarm clocks, nightstands, frames, and more.
MYTH #3: BED BUGS PREFER DIRTY, UNSANITARY CONDITIONS
Your home can be the cleanest home on Earth, and you can still get bed bugs. While an unsanitary or messy home can present more hiding places for bed bugs, the truth is that they simply do not care how clean your home is. In fact, hospitals have even been known to get bed bugs. As long as your veins are pumping blood, you are a source of food for these bugs.
MYTH #4: BED BUGS ONLY COME OUT AT NIGHT
It is true that bed bugs are nocturnal. However, if you are stretched out on your bed in the middle of the day, you can still be bitten. Keeping the light on in the middle of the night won’t keep the bed bugs away either. If you are close by and a bed bug is hungry, then you could become the host whether it’s light or dark in the room.
MYTH #5: BED BUGS TRANSMIT DANGEROUS DISEASES
Bed bugs often get confused with their friend the flea. Unlike fleas, there have been no reports of bed bugs spreading or transmitting any type of disease. However, their bites can cause different reactions in different people. Some people may be allergic to their bites, and therefore, extreme itching and redness may occur. Some people may never see a bite or a reaction.
MYTH #6: STORE BOUGHT TREATMENTS CAN GET RID OF BED BUGS
There are many companies out there that say their products will get rid of bed bugs. The catchy phrases mixed with bogus statistics and facts get many people to purchase these quick remedies. However, the truth is that bed bugs are not easy to get rid of and one treatment is not enough. Not only are store bought pesticides ineffective on bed bugs, but they can make the situation worse.
HOPPER CAN HELP YOU GET RID OF BED BUGS
When it comes to getting rid of bed bugs, you need to call the professionals. Our trained technicians know where to look to find these pests, and they know the best treatments to use in order to exterminate the bed bugs. We know that DIY tactics look like a quick, easy, and affordable way to treat the situation. However, we also know that you will probably end up spending more money in the long run without any results.
Whether you are looking for bed bug extermination in Mountain Home or the best bed bug treatment in Fayetteville, Hopper Termite & Pest, Inc. has you covered. Our service area spreads far and wide across the Ozarks to include areas such as Flippin, Cotter, Mountain View, southern Missouri, and everywhere in between. Give us a call today at 1-888-863-0206 and say goodbye to your bed bug problems.
In the natural state and surrounding areas, it is not uncommon to get a bite or two from an insect such as a mosquito or chigger. However, no one expects or wants to be bitten by the infamous BED BUG. These bugs can creep into your home and take over if they are not taken care of properly.
But how do you know if you have a bed bug problem?
USE YOUR SENSES WHEN IT COMES TO DISCOVERING BED BUGS
Sight - When it comes to bed bugs, you may have a difficult time finding them. These small brownish blood suckers are usually no larger than an apple seed. And though they don’t fly, they are very quick and can move from the floor to the wall to the ceiling quickly.
However, since they feed on blood, they tend to stay in areas where their victims like to relax such as the bed. The first place you should inspect is your mattress, box spring, and your headboard. Make sure to pull back any sheets or mattress cover. You may also want to pull back on the piping around the mattress. Bed bugs love to tuck away in these crevices.
Even if you don’t locate an actual bed bug, you may find evidence that they have been in your home. Since bed bugs shed as they grow, you may find clear exoskeletons. However, the largest telltale sign of a bed bug is the fecal and blood stains they leave behind. Their fecal stains are usually dark brown or black while the blood stains come from them being squashed after they filled up on dinner.
Smell - Bed bugs reproduce quickly and if they go unnoticed, you can quickly have a bed bug infestation on your hands. If you notice a new smell that is musty or like the coriander herb, then you need to take a look around your home. In many cases, people have noticed the change in smell before they see any bugs.
Touch - The main reason people are so adamant about getting rid of bed bugs is due to the fact that they bite. Different people react differently to bed bug bites, but here are some things to look for: