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Pest Spotlight: Tackling A Bed Bug Problem In Phoenix

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Now and then, we highlight certain pests and spend more time than usual looking at how they spread—and why it is important to prevent their spread. We are, after all, a pest control service provider. Our focus is on public health and the protection of public property. How do bed bugs rate? Are bed bug bites dangerous? We're happy to say the answer is no. But continual and numerous bites from any pest is harmful. Do they damage your stuff? Yes, they can stain your belongings with blood. While blood stains are one of the early signs of bed bugs and are helpful for alerting you to a problem, those stains may not come out. Join us as we look at where bed bugs hide, common bed bug signs, and the implications of having bed bugs in your home. We will conclude with tips for how to keep bed bugs out of your home permanently. If you are currently struggling with a bed bug problem and you need bed bug pest control service for your home, consider reaching out to us. We provide leading solutions for professional bed bug pest control in Phoenix. The service team at ACTION Termite & Pest Control can help.     

Why Do I Have Bed Bugs In My House?

We can start off by saying that it isn't because you have a dirty home. It is commonly believed that bed bugs only infest dirty homes. A reason why this myth is associated with bed bugs is that they leave black fecal spotting and brown blood stains on mattresses and furniture. When these items are carried out of homes, and neighbors see the stains, they probably assume the worst. But not only were those stains not the result of poor house cleaning, they were likely hidden from view. Bed bug stains are often hidden in tight spaces. It is only when you start to pull a bed apart that you see them.

What attracts bed bugs to your home? Would it surprise you if we say nothing attracts them? Bed bugs don't choose to live with you. They spread through passive dispersal. Here are two ways this may happen:

  1. A bed bug, or a few bed bugs, climb into an item. The item is moved from one location to another. The bed bugs climb out of the item and explore their new environments where they get into new items.
  2. A female bed bug lays eggs in an item. The item is moved from one location to another. In the new location, the eggs hatch. They don't need their mother to tend to them, they hatch on their own. When they hatch, they find a place to hide near a food source. Since they eat blood, they'll establish themselves near humans.

Bed bugs don't live in your yard. They are not outdoor bugs. In all cases, these insects are found dwelling with humans. They feed on humans almost exclusively. The reason they prefer humans is that they are not equipped like a tick or flea to move through hair. Their need for humans and human blood is strong. It is so strong that they are attracted to our dirty laundry because they smell us on our clothes. When considering how bed bugs hitch a ride into your home, laundry is a critical factor. You need to protect laundry items while away from home.

Bed bugs in Phoenix are active at night unless conditions force them to move around during the day to feed and survive. An example of diurnal bed bugs is a batch of bed bugs that hatch from their eggs in a movie theater. They must hide in gaps in chairs and underneath carpet strips and feed on people during the day as they come in to watch movies in the dark. So, you may have bed bugs in your home because you picked them up in a public venue during the day. But this only happens if there is darkness. Bed bugs avoid the light.

Darkness plays a role in the transfer of bed bugs from one carriable item to another, such as a book bag or duffel bag. When kids go to school and store their book bags in a locker with the book bags of other students, bed bugs can transfer in the darkness. It is the same when two gym bags are stored in a locker.

Bed bugs are found in many surprising places because they don't choose where they live. If they did, we'd only find them in cluttered homes where there are plenty of tight spaces to hide in. But bed bugs have to make the best of any environment they find themselves in. In many cases, they don't survive. Here are just a few of the places infestations have taken root.

  • Office spaces
  • Police lock-ups
  • Libraries
  • Daycares
  • Preschools
  • Elementary schools
  • Middle schools
  • High schools
  • Dormitories
  • Taxies
  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Hotels
  • Motels
  • Five-star resorts

You can also get bed bugs when someone stays the night in your home. They can bring them from their home or pick them up along the way. Holidays are when bed bugs spread most because it is when people travel to see friends and family. Don't get too mad at your friends or family members. Bed bugs can infest homes for weeks or months without becoming noticeable, and as we said, they don't just infest dirty homes.

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

It is important to know the signs of a bed bug infestation if you hope to keep bed bugs out of your home. When you stay somewhere, you can look for these signs and prevent bed bugs from coming home with you. When you take a trip in a taxi, bus, train, or plane, you can catch bed bugs and take steps to stop them in their tracks. All you need to know is how to identify bed bugs and a few simple warning signs they leave for you to find.

Bed Bug Identification: A bed bug doesn't always look like a bed bug. You may know them as tiny insects that look like apple seeds with legs. Those are adult bed bugs. Here are some ways they may not look like that.

  • A reddish-brown adult may look redder after taking a blood meal. It will also look bloated, instead of flat.
  • A reddish-brown adult may look black after it has digested a blood meal. The black coloration is fecal matter seen through the skin of the abdomen, which makes up the largest portion of the insect's size.
  • A baby bed bug is white, not reddish-brown. If it has not fed, it will look like a tiny white speck.
  • A baby bed bug that has had a blood meal will look like a tiny red insect.
  • A baby bed bug will look slightly black after digesting a meal.
  • A growing nymph may appear tan and have black or red coloration in the abdomen.

Along with identifying bed bugs, you need to know the signs they leave. Bed bugs rarely show themselves. Look for:

  • Black stains
  • Brown stains
  • A mix of black and brown stains
  • Shed skins
  • Tiny white eggs
  • A smell of coriander

These warning signs are in or around beds, couches, and chairs. Check all tight spaces and inspect entry points to dark voids.

Is It Dangerous To Have Bed Bugs In My House?

There is currently no link between bed bugs and disease transmission to humans in the real world. Research studies show that it is possible for bed bugs to carry and incubate certain diseases that have implications on human health, but there are no reported cases of bed bugs making people sick. The primary issue with bed bugs is that they bite—and they bite a lot. Each bed bug typically bites three times in a row or zig-zag. As a bed bug infestation grows, the number of bites will grow three-fold. The bites also intensify as people become sensitive to the allergens in bed bug saliva. It is a good idea to address a bed bug infestation early. If you don't, a few tiny, rashy bumps will turn into numerous larger, rashy welts. 

How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In My Home Permanently?

The only way to keep bed bugs out of your home permanently is to keep watch for them when you leave your home and wash your clothing in hot soapy water and run them through a dryer cycle when you get home. There are, however, some ways your pest control service provider can help you maintain a home that is free of bed bugs. We evaluate the conditions that are specific to you and alert you to issues, such as the potential for bed bugs to travel through wall voids from one apartment to another. While year-round pest control service won't keep bed bugs out of your home, it gives you access to a trained and experienced professional who can answer your questions. If you're in Phoenix, reach out to ACTION Termite & Pest Control. We have a track record of successfully controlling these bugs and helping our customers with bed bug prevention.