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How To Identify And Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Phoenix Home

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Bed bugs are miserable pests. They get into Phoenix homes, leave increasing numbers of bites, and are often difficult to exterminate. One reason they're such a pain to deal with is that most residents don't know how to detect early signs of bed bugs. By the time they realize they have an infestation, the bugs have spread to several locations, making them harder to control. Our goal today is to help you avoid this outcome. While we normally focus our blogs on pest control in Phoenix, detection and identification are equally as important, particularly in the case of bed bugs.

Before we start, we want to remind you that if you need immediate assistance with a bed bug infestation and you need a bed bug treatment, you can jump to our contact page. You don't have to read an article about bed bugs to get answers to your bed bug problem! With that said, let's get into it.

How To Identify Bed Bugs And Their Signs

There are many ways to detect bed bugs early. Unfortunately, the warning signs are often hard to detect—or are overlooked. If you hope to uncover a bed bug problem early, you need to know how to identify bed bugs, what signs they leave for you to find, and how to find bed bugs during the day.

Bed Bug identification may not seem tricky, but it is. While you've likely seen pictures of bed bugs, you may still not recognize bed bugs when you see them in your home. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Bed bugs are tiny. When you look at bed bugs on the internet, many of the pictures are magnified. Bed bugs in your home will look like specks. A full-grown bed bug is only 4.5 mm long. 
  • Adult bed bugs can appear black instead of reddish-brown. The black coloration is because the skin of a bed bug is transparent, and you can see black feces inside.
  • Newly hatched bed bugs are pale white. While they have six legs and are shaped like adult bed bugs, the white coloration can throw you off. To make matters worse, a baby bed bug will look red if it has had a blood meal. The abdomen of a bed bug is much larger than its head and thorax combined. An alteration in the abdomen's color significantly changes the bug's appearance. The same is true if black feces are predominantly visible.
  • As bed bugs develop, they become tan, so you may find tan bugs with black coloration in the abdomen.
  • Bed bugs normally have a low profile. But they aren't flat after taking a blood meal. They'll look bloated.

Do you see the challenge? Bed bugs vary in appearance as they grow and feed. But, even knowing what a bed bug looks like may not help you detect them. These insects hide in tight spaces, creases, gaps, and voids. You'll need to look for the signs they leave behind.

  • Bed bugs leave their black fecal matter as they explore. They also leave it in the areas where they are nesting. If you find a group of bed bugs huddled together in an area the size of your thumbnail, the black feces will help you detect them.
  • Bed bugs excrete blood. They often do this during meals, so you'll see blood stains on sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads. Blood dries during the night and appears tan or brown in the morning rather than red. The brown coloration might have black coloration mixed in due to fecal matter.
  • As bed bugs grow, they shed their skins. You'll find these flecks of skin in tight spaces and around the areas where bed bugs congregate. The skins are shed during early development, so they'll be pale or tan, not reddish-brown.
  • Bed bugs leave their eggs in tight spaces. These eggs are pale and about 1mm long. You'll see them in a batch or as individuals.

When you detect bed bugs, there are a few ways you may quickly deal with these bugs. Suck them up with a vacuum if you find a group of bed bugs. Make sure to get the eggs too. If you detect bed bugs in luggage, a bag, a pocketbook, etc., you may put dryer-safe items in the dryer for 30 minutes to exterminate bed bugs. If an item can't go in the dryer but is safe to put in your freezer, store it in your freezer for four days to exterminate the bugs within.

If bed bugs are not isolated to easily treatable areas, it is best to contact a licensed pest professional to get local pest control for bed bugs. In the Phoenix area, reach out to ACTION Termite & Pest Control.

Why Bed Bugs Like To Bite Sleeping People

As you look for bed bugs in your home, it helps to understand where they hide and why they hide in these places. Beds are a common hiding place for these creatures. If it weren't, they wouldn't be called bed bugs. But why do bed bugs like to bite sleeping people? There are a few reasons.

  • Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal. While they are active during the day if needed, they prefer nighttime activity.
  • Bed bugs avoid the light and prefer to stay hidden during the day when indoor spaces are brightly lit.
  • Bed bugs detect carbon dioxide and come out to feed when CO2 levels rise, which occurs during sleep.

While bed bugs are likely to bite you while you're sleeping in bed, they may also bite you when you take a nap on a couch or some other location within your home. Use this information to zero in on where bed bugs are located. For example, if your kids have a fort built in the corner of the living room and spend lots of time in that fort, bed bugs may join them. The trapped carbon dioxide, dim lighting, and the possibility of your kids falling asleep in their fort can lure bed bugs in.

How Bed Bugs Find Their Way Into Our Homes

One last factor we want to touch on is how bed bugs get into your home. If you find these bugs and quickly remove them with your vacuum or address the problem by treating items in your dryer or freezer, you'll want to make sure new bugs don't replace the bugs you've exterminated. That makes sense, right? Here are a few ways bed bugs might get into your home. Some may surprise you.

  • When you purchase gently used furniture items, you may get a gently used bed bug infestation. Inspect used items before bringing them into your home.
  • When you pick your kids up from daycare, you might pick some bed bugs up with them.
  • If you have college-age kids, they could bring bed bugs home for the holidays. Bed bugs are a problem in dormitories.
  • You might get bed bugs when you visit a family member in assisted living. Seniors tend to have a minor reaction to bed bug bites, which helps these insects go undetected.
  • Young children can bring bed bugs back from a sleepover. They can also pick them up at school when they place their bags near the bags of other students.
  • You may pick bed bugs up at work, even if you don't work at a hotel or a motel. Bed bugs are found in many businesses and office spaces.
  • You could pick bed bugs up in a taxi, bus, or train.
  • You could get bed bugs from the public library. It has happened. Bed bugs lay their eggs in cracks and recesses, and hardback books set on a nightstand are a perfect hiding place.
  • Your neighbor or relative may bring bed bugs over during a visit. Don't get too mad at them, they may not know that they have a bed bug infestation. Be sure to share this article with them.

Now that you know how you might get bed bugs and you have an idea of where bed bugs hide inside your home let's end by discussing bed bug control methods used by professionals.

The Best Bed Bug Control Method For Your Home

At ACTION Termite & Pest Control, we use the most trusted products and methods for addressing bed bug infestations. For treatments, we mostly use heat remediation. The system we use is designed for the sole purpose of eliminating bed bugs. There are no space heaters and hair dryers in our arsenal, only professional-grade and temperature-control equipment designed for the task of exterminating bed bugs. Along with effective and eco-friendly bed bug treatments, you'll get the highest level of bed bug detection. We deploy K-9 Bed Bug Inspectors. Dogs are used to detect all kinds of things, such as explosives, ammo, drugs, and blood stains at crime scenes. In recent years, pest control companies have turned to dogs for the effective and hassle-free detection of bed bugs.

Are you in Phoenix? If so, contact ACTION Termite & Pest Control for industry-leading home bed bug control. There is no better way to get rid of bed bugs. If there were, we'd be using it.