Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs In The Bay Area Can Be Fairly Tricky

bed bug infestation

Bed bug control in the Bay Area is rarely simple for residents. Unless bed bugs are caught extremely early, they're challenging to eliminate. The reason bed bug control is complicated has little to do with control products and almost everything to do with the bugs themselves. Bed bugs avoid detection, spread in surprising ways, and have behavior patterns that help them avoid treatments. Join us as we look at the challenges of bed bug detection, prevention, and control. We'll tell you why bed bugs are tricky, and we'll give you some tips to help you every step of the way.  If you currently have an infestation and need local pest control for bed bugs, reach out to us for professional bed bug pest control in The Bay Area. We can help.

What Are The Signs That I Have A Bed Bug Infestation?

Detecting bed bugs is tricky. A bed bug is less than ⅕ of an inch long as an adult and a mere 1/26 of an inch as a newly hatched nymph. They often hide in extremely tight spaces that are difficult to inspect. They prefer to come out at night and are rarely active during the day. They hide in darkness and avoid the light. It is rare to see a bed bug! And even detecting bed bugs is difficult. Here are some tips to help you catch bed bugs and detect an infestation in your home, or while you are away from home.

  • Bed bug bites. The wounds caused by bed bugs have a pattern. If you know the pattern, you may tell that you have a bed bug problem. Bed bugs feed as a group and move across the skin as each bug attempts to feed three times. Unlike bites from other insects, which appear randomly on the skin, bed bug bites look like a pathway of small, red, and rashy wounds.
  • Bed bugs. Adult bed bugs stay hidden, but you may see an immature nymph. If you know that nymphs may appear bright red when they're feeding, you may realize you're looking at a bed bug when you catch one attached to your skin. 
  • Bed bug stains. When a bed bug feeds, it may excrete blood and fecal matter. The fecal matter will cause black stains, and dried blood will appear tan. If you see tan and black stains on sheets or pillowcases, it is a sign that bed bugs are near.
  • Bed bug eggs. A bed bug egg is white and about 1/26 of an inch long. While incredibly small, you can see them with the naked eye. Drag along seams with a butter knife or credit card to bring eggs to the surface.
  • Bed bug skins. As you check for eggs, you may bring shed skins to the surface. These skins are light yellow to tan.
  • Bed bug pheromones. You may smell bed bugs if they are infesting a location. Some describe the scent as sickly sweet or having a coriander odor. Others describe bed bugs as smelling like a dirty locker room towel. If you smell something foul, you may smell bed bugs.

While tricky to detect bed bugs, it is not impossible. Always keep watch for bed bug signs while away from your home. Catching them while away can help prevent bringing them home. Catching them early in your home can help you get treatment quickly and prevent bed bugs from spreading to extended family and friends, who may turn around and accidentally bring those bugs back to you.     

How Can I Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Into My House?

bed bug infestation on bed

Keeping bed bugs out of Bay Area homes is tricky. These insects get into homes in many ways. Some of the ways bed bugs move from one location to another may surprise you. If you hope to prevent bed bugs, you need to know some of the many ways they passively travel from location to location. Here are some ideas:

  • You can pick bed bugs up at a hotel, motel, or five-star resort. It doesn't matter how clean your accommodations are, bed bugs don't choose where they infest. They move passively when people move.
  • Your kids can bring bed bugs back from a sleepover.
  • Your adult kids can bring bed bugs back from their dormitories.
  • You can get bed bugs while riding in a taxi cab.
  • You can pick up bed bugs or bed bug eggs when you go to a movie theater.
  • You can get bed bugs when you buy used furniture. While you might check a mattress, box spring, or bed frame, you may not think to check computers, pianos, guitars, gaming chairs, alarm clocks, and other items with voids bed bugs use.
  • You can get bed bugs from your neighbor if you live in an adjacent apartment. When an infestation grows, bed bugs can hide in wall voids and move between rooms or apartments.
  • You can get bed bugs from a hardback book at the library. It has happened. The reason is that bed bugs lay eggs in book bindings, and people often leave books sitting on their nightstands. 

We could provide more examples, but you get the idea. Stay vigilant when you stay the night away from home, or when you go into dark spaces in public venues. Also, keep watch for bed bug warning signs on objects, such as hardback books, bags, clothing, etc.

How Can I Get Rid Of The Bed Bugs In My Bed?

Getting rid of bed bugs is tricky. These bugs have natural defensive behaviors and adaptive abilities that allow them to avoid conventional treatments. Before you purchase products from the store and go after these bugs on your own, you should know some of the challenges to expect.

  • Topical products do not get into the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide, and these materials could harm you far more than the bed bugs.
  • Mattress encasements are useful but not a complete solution on their own. Bed bugs outside your mattress or box spring can climb over the encasements and bite you while you sleep.
  • Repellents don't work on bed bugs. These insects don't live outside, and you'll have little success driving them out of your home with repellents. What is more likely to happen is they'll stay in hiding until you grow tired of applying your repellents, or they'll push through the bad smells when they get hungry enough.
  • Trapping bed bugs is not likely to solve an infestation. Only a few bugs come out to feed at a time, and bed bugs work together to avoid dangerous areas.
  • You may decide to leave your home for a while in hopes that you'll starve those bed bugs. Unfortunately, they can live months without a blood meal.
  • You may attempt to use heat to control bed bugs, but putting space heaters in your bedroom will only drive bed bugs into other rooms of your home. Professionals use field-tested strategies to get results.

When you find bed bugs in your home, it is best to contact a pest control service provider. These are only some of the ways bed bugs evade treatments. Your service provider relies on information shared within the industry and boots-on-the-ground experience with these pests.  

Are Bed Bugs In My House Harmful To My Health?

Now that you know how to check for bed bugs, how to prevent bed bugs, and tips to get rid of bed bugs, you should know why it is important to do so. Why? Because bed bug detection, prevention, and control are hard work. You need to know why you're doing the work. Here are a few facts you may or may not know about bed bug infestations.

  • Bed bugs are not known to spread diseases, but it is still not good to have these bugs bite you. Over time, a condition known as anemia can occur. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, fatigue, jaundice, headaches, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, cold extremities, and dizziness. These symptoms can worsen and may present a serious medical concern. 
  • Bed bug bites are itchy. When wounds are scratched and opened up, infections may occur. Children are particularly at risk for bug bite infections as they don't report issues to parents immediately, and they aren't aware of the risks.
  • Fear of bed bugs can keep you awake at night. Lack of sleep can lead to sleep deprivation symptoms, such as slow cognitive response, which will put you at risk when you operate a vehicle.
  • Each bed bug bites multiple times and it only takes a small number of bed bugs to produce several bites. Along with this, bed bugs reproduce quickly and infestations grow rapidly.

Always remember that you are never alone when it comes to dealing with bed bugs. Whether you currently have an infestation or you're hoping to prevent one, we can help you find solutions and strategies. If you're in the Bay Area, contact Bay Pest. Are bed bug bites dangerous? Not nearly as dangerous as bites from several other pests. But bed bugs are miserable pests, and you don't have to deal with that misery. Reach out to Bay Pest for help with bed bug pest control in The Bay Area. We can help you find answers and get rid of those bugs. They're not too tricky for us.

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