No one wants the dreaded bed bugs. They are merciless pests that are hard to treat. The good news is that you may not need to know how to treat bed bugs. Today, we're going to tell you the three pillars of how to prevent bed bugs. If you learn and apply these pillars, you may never have a bed bug infestation in your Tampa home. How does that sound? Before we get started, we want to point out that if you already have an infestation in your home and you want those bed bugs gone, you can navigate to our contact page and reach out to us for professional bed bug pest control in Tampa. The Haskell Termite & Pest Control service team is available to help. While we specialize in termite control, our technicians are highly trained pest control professionals with experience in bed bug control. You're in good hands with us. With that said, let's talk prevention.
Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
The first way you keep bed bugs out of your Tampa home is learning how bed bugs get into your home. You might not know this but bed bugs don't live in your yard. They are almost exclusively indoor insects. They don't explore the perimeter near your foundation walls and they don't find their way into your home through tiny gaps, cracks, and holes, so no amount of perimeter pest control will keep bed bugs out. You need to focus your prevention efforts on exterior locations where you may pick bed bugs up.
It is likely you know that bed bugs are sometimes picked up when people go on vacation. The reason is that hotels, motels, and even five-star resorts are hot spots for bed bugs. When guests come in, they sometimes bring these insects with them. If you stay in a room that was occupied by someone who had bed bugs, you could pick them up and bring them home.
It is essential to understand that bed bugs spread passively. They don't choose where they're going to live. They get into objects, and when those objects move, the bed bugs move with them. You can stay in the nicest, cleanest hotel and still get bed bugs!
Another critical fact to understand is that bed bugs are not found only in hotels, motels, and five-star resorts, you can pick bed bugs up in many places, some which may surprise you. Here are a few likely places:
- Office spaces
- Movie theaters
- Senior living centers
- A relative's home
- A friend's home
- Your child's friend's home
Pest professionals have found bed bugs infesting all of these places and more. Did you notice that some of these places don't have beds? While bed bugs certainly prefer to feed on sleeping people, they have the ability to feed on fully awake people. They can draw a blood meal while you're in a movie theater or sitting at your desk at work. All they need is darkness.
One more factor to consider. Bed bugs can be brought into your home by other people. You can minimize this risk by sharing these tips and facts about bed bugs. Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, we're all in this together.
The Symptoms Of A Bed Bug Infestation In Tampa
Bed bugs are hard to see. It isn't that they're microscopic insects. It is that these pests hide in tight spaces and they avoid light. If you enter an infested location, you're not likely to know it. So, the second way to keep bed bugs out of your Tampa home is to know the early signs of bed bugs. Why do we say early signs? Because most residents and business owners don't know they have bed bugs at first. It can take days, weeks, or even months for a bed bug infestation to become noticeable. When you spend the night somewhere away from home, even if it is clean and feels safe, always do a check for bed bug warning signs.
- Look for black fecal spotting or streaks. Bed bugs leave their waste in many places.
- Look for blood stains. These stains are typically brown by the time they're noticed. Some people think they're urine stains left by insects, but insects don't urinate. If you see brown stains, there is a good chance that bed bugs are hiding nearby.
- Look for tiny, yellowish insect skins. Bed bugs shed their skins many times as they develop from nymphs to adults. These skins are found in tight spaces, seams, and cracks. You might need to use a credit card to drag along seams to bring skins to the surface.
- Look for tiny white eggs. Bed bug eggs are white and about 1 mm long. You'll see individual eggs or small batches in tight spaces. In either case, those white eggs are evidence that there is a bed bug infestation.
- Look for nymphs. When bed bugs hatch from their eggs, they are pale-colored, seed-shaped insects with six legs. As they grow, they become tan and eventually reddish-brown. In all stages, a bed bug that has recently fed will appear more red. The younger the bed bugs, the more noticeable the red coloration is because immature nymphs have thin skins.
- Use your nose to smell for bed bugs. Some describe the pheromone scent of bed bugs as smelling like a locker room towel.
When you notice bed bugs while away from home, you should know that they are rarely widespread in structures. You are safe to stay somewhere else in the home or businesses as long as your new room is not adjacent to the infested room.
How To Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Into Your Home
Along with knowing how to spot the early signs and where bed bugs hide, you need a few simple prevention tips to help you keep bed bugs from coming home with you. Some of these tips are for while you are staying away from home and some are for when you return home. If you apply these tips, you may not need to call local pest control for bed bugs. Here's what to do and why:
- Use a trash bag and a bread tie to store your laundry while away from home. It is a cheap and easy way to keep bed bugs out of your clothing. It is important to do this because bed bugs are attracted to the scent of humans. Items you have worn have this scent, and bed bugs can't resist it.
- Use a trash bag and a bread tie to protect your luggage and bags. Bed bugs explore the tight space and gaps in luggage and bags. When they happen upon your stuff, they're likely to get inside, particularly if they smell you on the stuff you have stored inside. If you don't want to store your luggage in plastic bags, you could use a lavender spray to mask the scent of the items inside. Some travelers have a lot of luck with this method.
- When you open your luggage, use a rack if one is provided. It will keep your luggage off the floor and furniture, where bed bugs can access your luggage while it is open.
- Avoid draping clothing over chairs or on the bed. Bed bugs can get into a pocket or hide in a seam of your clothing.
- When you return home from a trip, put your clothing through a hot wash and a hot dryer cycle. Soapy water and heat exterminate bed bugs in all stages of development.
- If you suspect bed bugs got into a suitcase or bag, treat the item if you can. Put small, dryer-safe items through a 30-minute dryer cycle. Put small or mid-sized items in a sealed plastic bag and store them in a freezer for four days. Both of these methods will exterminate the bed bugs inside the items. If you can't treat an item, contact a licensed professional.
These tips are effective for keeping bed bugs out of your home. Keep them in mind and teach them to your family. If someone brings bed bugs into your home, or bed bugs sneak into your stuff while you're out, the best solution for an infestation is to get professional assistance.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In My Home Permanently?
There is no way to get rid of bed bugs permanently. The best you can do is catch them early. If you'd like routine inspections, we can assist you. But, in most cases, Tampa residents reach out to us when bed bugs take root in their homes. Typically, ongoing, professional bed bug prevention is for businesses and municipalities where there is zero-tolerance for bed bugs. If you need to set up a preventative plan, connect with us. We're happy to help. Haskell Termite & Pest Control employs licensed and experienced pest control technicians who can assist you. We have a strong track record for locating and eliminating bed bugs.
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