Bed bugs are frustrating pests. When these insects find their way into your Tampa home, there is one thing you can be sure of: they're going to bite you. Bed bugs feed on blood. If you're thinking, "Um…no thanks. I'll pass." We're with you.
Here is a quick guide to bed bug pest control in Tampa. With these bed bug facts and these simple preventative tips, you'll be able to significantly reduce your chances of a bed bug infestation and deal with bed bugs quickly when they get into your home.
The Lifecycle Of The Tampa Bed Bug
When considering how to control bed bugs, the first thing you need to think about is the lifecycle of these insects. Let's break it down, starting with a bed bug egg.
- A bed bug egg is about 1mm long and white in color. You may find these in tight spaces and dark hiding spots. An infestation in your home can begin with eggs that have been laid in your luggage, bags, clothing, and other items that are carried.
- A bed bug hatches from its egg and begins its life as a nymph. It is important to know that bed bugs don't have a larval stage. They come out of their eggs looking like a tiny version of the adults. They are shaped like a seed and have six legs. These baby bed bugs are what you're most likely to see. They are about 1mm long and pale in color, like their eggs. If they've had a blood meal, they will look like little red bugs. This is because you'll be able to see the blood in their abdomens, and their abdomens are the largest part of their bodies.
- A bed bug goes through five instars. As it grows, it sheds its skin. Finding bed bug skins can help you with detecting bed bugs.
- When a bed bug reaches its adult stages, it is about 4.5 mm long. The insect will be a reddish-brown color but may appear black or red. The black coloration is feces within the abdomen. The red color (as you may be able to guess) is blood.
If you know how to identify bed bugs and where bed bugs hide, you may be able to catch them before you bring eggs or bed bugs home with you. The next step is to catch bed bugs in your home before these insects can drive you crazy.
What Does A Bed Bug Infestation Look Like?
There are many ways to tell that you have a bed bug infestation. We hope you don't have to wait until you're finding bites on your skin, but bites are one way to tell.
- Step 1: Look for bed bugs. Use the identification tips given above to find bed bugs in compressed areas, seams, creases, and other hiding places. Check beds, furniture, and carpet edges.
- Step 2: Look for shed skins. These may be dislodged from seams, gaps, and crevices with a butter knife or some other probing tool.
- Step 3: Look for black feces. You may find fecal spotting on pillowcases, sheets, bedding, upholstered furniture, and more. You may also find black streaks on baseboards, crown molding, outlet covers, and electronics.
- Step 4: Use your nose to detect bed bugs. The pheromones bed bugs create can be described as a musty towel smell.
- Step 5: Finally, look for bed bug bites. These will appear as three bites in a line or zig zag pattern, or many bites all in one location of the body. These bites are associated with a rash and may look like an allergic reaction to food, fabrics, or something else that causes skin irritation.
You may be able to use natural pest control for bed bugs when you find them. Suck these insects up with a vacuum and dispose of the bag outside. Put duffel bags, book bags, and other dryer-safe items through a 30-minute drier cycle. Seal small items in plastic bags and put them in the freezer for a few days.
Simple Ways To Keep Bed Bugs Away
When you're away from home, there are a few simple tips that can help you prevent bringing an infestation home with you. We touched on one.
- Keep an eye out for bed bugs.
- Always do an inspection if you're spending the night.
- Store laundry in a sealed bag.
- Keep watch for anyone who has bed bug bites.
- Put all your clothing through a hot wash and a dryer cycle when you get home.
If you are vigilant, it is possible to reduce your chances of a frustrating bed bug infestation in your home.
Permanent Bed Bug Removal
There is no way to permanently remove bed bugs from your home, but there is a way to catch bed bugs early and prevent the issues associated with having bed bugs. You can do this by having routine inspections performed by a licensed pest control technician. If you live in Tampa, we can assist you with this. We can also provide you with bed bug control if an infestation has already taken root in your home. Reach out to us here at Haskell Termite & Pest Control to schedule service.
Great service and value! Being a local Realtor, I have referred Haskell to my customers and they have always thanked me for the referral. I have had them service my own home and have been quite pleased with both their professional and their expertise. I would refer Haskell to anyone who is seeking an extermination service, you will be happy with both their expertise and the value that they offer.