So there it is, you’ve pulled back your sheet on your bed (just to check), and found what appears to be evidence of bed bugs. Often times once this happens, people are unsure of what comes next. So, to put your panic at ease, we’ve compiled a list of common bed bug questions and their answers. You know, because we love you.
1. I know they’re called bed bugs, but are they only found in beds?
A- No, bed bugs can be found in any contained surface. This includes, but is not limited to: bedding, cushions, photo frames, outlets, curtains, rugs etc.
2. What exactly am I looking for when I’m looking for bed bugs?
A- When looking for signs of bed bugs, you obviously want to look for the physical bug itself or evidence of its presence. If you do not see a physical bed bug, look for things like blood or fecal stains on surfaces. You may even find the exo-skeletons of bugs. These are normally tell-tale signs that you could have an infestation on your hands.
3. Will bed bugs make me sick?
A- While bed bugs do not commonly carry any diseases that would be harmful to humans, they do tend to bite…a lot. Often, these unexplainable bites are what spurs an investigation in the first place. The important thing is to be able to distinguish between a bite and a common rash. A bite will not spread, but tend to occur in a single area, and are often raised and scabbed.
4. Is there a way to prevent getting bed bugs while I’m on vacation?
A- Yes, always check your room for signs of bed bugs before unpacking and keep your luggage/items off of the floor. Often, hotels will provide a luggage rack, use it. If you suspect that there are bedbugs, alert the staff immediately and request a room change.
5. What makes bed bugs so difficult to treat?
A- Bed bugs can live for weeks without eating and move quickly. Should they be introduced into your home, they will often spread throughout in a matter of days. Their speed and ability to withstand most temperatures make them particularly difficult to treat.
6. Is everyone at risk for bed bugs?
A- Yes, bed bugs should not be equated with lack of cleanliness in a home or hotel space. Everyone is susceptible to bed bugs, however, if you are an individual who travels often, there is more of a chance that you will be exposed to an environment with bed bugs present.
7. I think I’ve been bitten by a bed bug, how do I know?
A- A bed bug bite will cause an area of the skin to raise up and itch. Many people confuse them with mosquito bites. While some individuals will have only the bites on their skin, others could develop an allergy to the bites. If you notice that you are scratching more, or have unexplained discomfort in your bed, investigate for bed bugs.
8. I have bed bugs, now what?
A- Call a professional immediately. Chances are that they have already spread without you realizing it. Pest control professionals are trained to look for the signs of bed bugs in your home and to eradicate their presence completely. Due to their ability to spread and the general discomfort that they can cause, we highly advise against attempting to control the issue yourself with OTC products.
*For more information, visit the CDC’s Website dedicated to bed bug prevention.