For a bed bug infestation to take place in your home, they must first be introduced. The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is to take whatever precautions you can to avoid transferring bed bugs into your home.
Some things are easier to avoid than others, for example, you can make sure you’re careful about bringing second-hand items into your home, limit your travel, be careful about packing and unpacking and check items brought into your home. However, there are things that you can’t so easily avoid such as bringing them into your home from a restaurant, bar, cinema, having overnight guests, or traveling for business or pleasure.
If you are unlucky enough to introduce bed bugs into your home, the key is to detect them early before they have a chance to infest your home. Once they are in your home, it’s important to take immediate action.
There are mattresses that you can buy that limit the movement of bed bugs to the outside of the mattress only because once they get inside your mattress the safest thing is to get rid of them completely. Mattresses that are encased are very effective in preventing a serious infestation as it restricts their mobility and activity.
You will also need to be familiar with signs that you have a bed bug infestation. If you know what to look for you will identify if you have a bed bug problem straight away.
Signs to look for include red bloodstains on your sheets where a bed bug has been crushed and has undigested blood. You may also see small dark spots on your sheets, shed skins, which look like clear little shell casings the size of a lentil, and they will also emit a musky odor. You may also see the bed bugs – look for them at night in dark creases in your sheets or mattress and also in gaps in furniture.
Lastly, you may be bitten and have bumps and itchy areas on exposed skin. It’s not dangerous but it can be very distressing.
It is wise to be on the lookout for bite symptoms and to conduct inspections in the weeks and months following an event that may have exposed you to bed bugs. For example, for several months upon returning from an overnight trip it is a good idea to periodically inspect (at least once every few weeks) your bed and upholstered furniture. As mentioned above, bed bugs often go undetected for several months until their populations become larger and they eventually emerge in areas where they are more easily detected.
If you believe that you have a bed bug infestation, it’s important to contact a pest control specialist to conduct an inspection and carry out the relevant checks. We can do this for you with a very fast response time so give us a call at HLA Pest Control today.