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Eliminating Bed Bugs: Strategies For Effective Bed Bug Control For Your Home In Tampa

There are a few signs that indicate bed bugs have found their way into your Tampa home. You might wake up with small red bumps in a rash on your skin. But red bumps and a rash aren't always bed bug bites; they may be from another source. 

Another common sign is seeing insects in your house. But there are so many different kinds of insects that can get into Tampa homes you may think you've found bed bugs when it's another kind of pest entirely. 

You may also see warning signs, like black stains on your sheets or bedding. However, many pests, like cockroaches, can leave black stains. It is hard to tell the difference between droppings left by bed bugs and cockroaches. 

It is important to know facts like these because detection is critical to catching bed bugs before they get into your home and also so that you'll use the correct solution to stop them when they do. If you know you have bed bugs and need advice, feel free to contact us. Haskell Termite & Pest Control provides advanced solutions for bed bug control in Tampa. We can help.

Visual Clues: Identifying Bed Bugs By Appearance

bed bug and larvae on a bed

There are several visual clues you can use to identify bed bugs when you find them in your home, evaluate the evidence you're seeing, and determine if you do, in fact, have a bed bug infestation. Let's start with the big question, "What do bed bugs look like?"

Live Bed Bugs

A bed bug starts as a pale nymph. It has six legs and looks like a small oval. The tiny insect is about 1/26 of an inch. That is really small, but you can still see it. When it draws a blood meal, its abdomen will become red because it is transparent. After digesting the meal, black fecal matter will develop in the abdomen. As the insect grows, it turns tan and eventually a rusty color. It also becomes less transparent but never fully opaque. 

Adult bed bugs look like apple seeds, particularly the males, which have a pointer abdomen. Along with these visual clues, you can also look for the horizontal creases across the abdomen; you can see these creases if you look closely. When full-grown, adults are 1/5 of an inch.

Harborage

You can often tell you have bed bugs by where you find them. They are a bit like bed and furniture fleas. What do we mean by this? If you've ever looked for a flea on a pet, you know that they do a great job of hiding, and you'll catch them tucked into the fur. Bed bugs tuck themselves into cracks, gaps, pockets, and other hiding places. When you pry open a seam and see brown bugs tucked in it, there is little doubt that you've found bed bugs. You can also detect them by shining a light into cracks and holes. You've likely found bed bugs if you see something wiggling in response to the light.

Droppings 

Bed bug fecal matter is black, like the feces of many insects. However, bed bugs excrete blood when they leave their droppings on fabrics and surfaces, so you'll likely find bloodstains, too. The blood will dry during the night, so keep in mind that it will appear tan or brown rather than red.

Skins

Bed bugs, like cockroaches and a few other pests, shed their exoskeletons as they develop. When you look for the shed skins of bed bugs, keep in mind that they will be the same color as the nymphs. You're also likely to find full skins that look like bed bugs. Unlike cockroaches, bed bugs don't eat their shed skins and create fragments.

Bites 

When bed bugs bite you, they're going to do so in a unique way. If you understand how they bite, you may detect that pattern. Each bed bug is likely to bite you three times during the night. It will bite you, crawl a short distance, bite again, crawl again, and bite one last time. If only one bug gets you while you're sleeping, you'll wake up with three bumps close to each other. When a group of bed bugs gets you, they'll all bite in the same area. So, you'll have lots of bumps that follow this pattern.

These insights should help you recognize a bed bug infestation more easily. When you find bed bugs in your home, you may feel fear; this is a common response. But we don't want you to fear these bugs. Let's look at what you can expect from bed bugs.

Bed Bugs And Sleepless Nights: How They Affect Your Well-Being

One question we often get is, "Can bed bugs make you sick?" This question reveals much of what causes people to fear bed bugs. It is hard not to immediately think of pest-borne diseases, like those spread by ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other pests. On top of this, there is something particularly unsettling about having insects crawl on you and bite you while you sleep. It is not the same as having a mosquito land on you, bite you, and fly away. While we can't provide any comfort regarding that latter point, we can ease your fears about diseases. 

According to the data we have right now, there is no indication that bed bugs spread diseases to humans in controlled laboratory studies. While they can carry diseases that could have implications for humans, their behavior patterns prevent them from transmitting them.

While bed bugs don't spread disease, they still bite. That biting can lead to two issues that can arise over time. The first is a condition called anemia. Ongoing bloodletting can create this condition and lead to many symptoms, including lethargy. The second issue is sleep loss. When you don't get good sleep, it can impact your well-being in many ways. You can feel anxious, irritable, tired, and depressed. You'll also lose motor coordination, which makes driving a vehicle a hazard.

Now that you know what you're dealing with, let's shift to bed bug control because, at this point, you're likely thinking about the big question; "How can I get rid of bed bugs?" Our recommendation is professional control. Let's take a look at why.

Eliminating Bed Bugs: The Smart Solution For Your Home

After you find bed bug signs, you may consider tackling an infestation on your own. But you should know how difficult the task is before you get started. Bed bugs are experts at avoiding danger. If they sense that something is harmful, they'll avoid it. Here are some ways the pros at Haskell Termite & Pest Control help you get the results you want the first time:

  • When you contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control, we will complete a thorough inspection, evaluate your bed bug infestation, and provide you with a free quote so you can make an appropriate plan.

  • We offer targeted control if you need a single room treated. Our methods corral the insects and prevent them from spreading during the treatment.

  • The science of controlling bed bugs is complicated and requires more than one visit. We apply field-tested methods until no insect activity is detected.

  • When bed bugs have spread throughout the house, we may recommend fumigation. It is the best way to ensure that no bed bugs remain active in your home.

  • We back our treatments with a warranty. That means it is on us to make sure those bugs are gone.

Would you like to know more about bed bug control or get a free quote? You can contact us for advice and control options or to schedule a bed bug inspection for your Tampa home. Our team looks forward to helping you with this frustrating problem.

Maintaining A Bed Bug-Free Home: Prevention Strategies

Once we eliminate the infestation, how do you maintain a home free of bed bugs? It takes effort. You must consider how bed bugs can enter your home and counteract their natural behaviors. Here are our best suggestions for bed bug prevention:

  • Check hotel rooms and other overnight accommodations for bed bugs before you stay the night.

  • Protect your laundry in a sealed bag.

  • Protect your luggage by storing them high.

  • Use a luggage rack when opening your bags.

  • Launder all of your clothing when you return home.

  • Always inspect used beds, furniture, and other household items you purchase.

  • When living in a multi-unit structure, seal gaps and cracks in adjoining walls so bed bugs cannot move into your home through the walls. If you need pest control, contact Haskell Termite & Pest Control for assistance.

If you are diligent, you can catch bed bugs and prevent them from hitching a ride into your house. But if they ever do, remember that we're here to help you get rid of them. Contact us at any time for guidance and home pest control options in Tampa. We're here to serve you.

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