There are many misconceptions about bed bugs. One of the largest misconceptions is how they get into Pittsburgh homes. What causes you to get bed bugs? Well, it isn't because you left a door open or that those bed bugs found a crack in your foundation wall. Bed bugs don't live in your yard or in your landscaping. They're carried into your home. They may be brought in by a next door neighbor, a friend, a family member or even by you. They are tiny bugs that are easily missed when they climb into stuff. This is why bed bugs are so difficult to prevent. So, how can you keep bed bugs from getting into your Pittsburgh home? The secret is to be proactive.
Proactive Bed Bug Prevention
- Learn as much as you can about bed bugs. The more you know about where they hide, what signs they leave and what threats they present to you, the more likely you are to prevent an infestation.
- When you spend the night anywhere, be sure to do an inspection for bed bugs and their warning signs, such as black streaks, brown stains, shed insect skins, tiny white eggs, etc.
- When you stay somewhere for more than a day, be sure to put your laundry in a sealed plastic bag. Bed bugs are highly attracted to items that have touched your skin and soaked up the oils in your skin.
- When you get home from staying somewhere, put all of your clothing through a hot wash and a dryer cycle that is longer than 30 minutes. High heat kills bed bugs in all stages of development.
- Teach others how to detect bed bugs and why they should be concerned about them. Can bed bugs kill you? Probably not. But they can cause you to be sick. Prolonged exposure to bed bugs can cause anemia, anxiety and insomnia, among other issues. There is also recent evidence that bed bugs have the ability to spread the bacterium that causes Chagas disease. There are no current, verifiable cases of Chagas disease contracted from a bed bug, but it is best to be cautious.
If you take these steps, you may be able to catch bed bugs before they catch you off guard. Once inside your home, bed bugs will go from your luggage, duffle bag, pocketbook, clothing and other items to infest the areas where you sleep. How do bed bugs find you? They're drawn to the carbon dioxide you exhale while sleeping.
When bed bugs feed on you, you may not know it at first. The initial bites you'll receive are likely to be bites from newly hatched bed bug nymphs. These bites don't get irritated, red and itchy because nymphs don't inject as much saliva into the wound. Over time, with more exposure to bed bug saliva and larger, adult bed bugs feeding on you, you'll begin to notice the bites. Bed bugs bite multiple times, so the bites they leave on your skin will look like they follow a path across your skin. If you start seeing bites that follow this pattern, take a look for other bed bug signs. Inspect your mattress and box spring first. These are common locations bed bugs live. But they are far from the only places they'll live. They can be in your furniture, under your rugs, behind your baseboards and even inside your walls.
Reactive Bed Bug Control
Okay. I think I have bed bugs, what are my options? There are many options but only one that is guaranteed to solve your problem and rid your home of your bed bug infestation. It is best to contact a pest control expert with experience in bed bug elimination.
If you live in Pittsburgh, reach out to Witt Pest Management for all your pest control needs. We are Pittsburgh's oldest and most advanced pest control provider. We'll make sure bed bugs are completely eliminated—the first time.