Control Those Bed Bugs

YP Editors

A bed bug is a type of insect that feeds on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded mammals. Bed bugs often make their homes in mattresses, but they can also be found in sofas, chairs and other soft furnishings.

Bed bugs were out of the spotlight for many years, but they've experienced a resurgence that started in the 1990s. Increased airplane travel has facilitated this upswing by making it easier for bed bugs to spread from one location to the next. These pests are carried from place to place by humans and their luggage.

How to Tell If You Have a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are reddish brown in color. Adults are about a quarter-inch long with a flat body, but if they've recently fed, they can appear engorged.

Bed bugs work pretty hard to avoid being spotted. However, they'll often leave telltale signs of their presence.

Skins and shells: If you have a bed bug infestation, you'll often see bed bug skins or shells around your home. You may also notice bed bug exoskeletons on your floor or on your furniture.

Fecal stains: Bed bugs will leave fecal stains in their chosen habitat. If you notice strange stains on your mattress, your sheets or your furniture, you may be in the grip of an infestation.

Blood stains: Bed bugs feast on blood, and if they've been gnawing away at you while you sleep, they'll leave some evidence of their activity. You'll likely notice blood stains on your nightclothes. You may also observe blood on your bedding.

Identifying a Bite

A bed bug's bite is often painless, and it usually takes about 10 minutes for the insect to complete its meal.

In some cases, a bite from a bed bug might leave a red welt and may cause the skin to burn and itch. Bed bug bites can also cause a localized skin rash. Since bed bugs tend to cluster in groups, you may also notice multiple bites within close proximity to each other.

However, it's important to note that it can be difficult to gauge the presence of bed bugs based solely on a bite. This is because bed bug bites resemble bites from insects such as mosquitos. Bites left by bed bugs can also look like skin reactions caused by fungal infections or eczema.

Bite Treatment

If you suspect you've been bitten by a bed bug, start by washing the area with soap and water. This will help to mitigate the itching, and it will prevent the bite from becoming infected.

If this doesn't help the itching, turn to a corticosteroid cream for relief. These are available over the counter, and stronger versions may be obtained if you get a prescription from your doctor.

Professional Bed Bug Control: Services and Cost

Bed bugs can be tricky to eliminate. For this reason, the simplest way to rid them from your home is hiring a professional exterminator.

An exterminator will perform an inspection to confirm whether bed bugs are present and where. Exterminators can offer quick and effective solutions for bed bug relief, and many provide nontoxic alternatives for addressing the problem.

Bed bug removal can cost $500-$1,500, depending on the treatment.