Bed bugs have been a pest known thorough history, and even in modern days, they’re still a bother for a number of households. The Fantastic Pest Control team has helped thousands of London property owners to get rid of the infestation, and it’s baffling how curious our callers are about these nasty insects.
This is why here are the most frequently asked questions about bed bugs.
Table of Contents
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small, blood-sucking insects that infest private properties and most people’s beds. They usually hide during the day, and by night they come out to feast on human blood while the person sleeps.
What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs are brown, oval, flat and no bigger than 5 mm. They have six legs and are able to move quite fast over your bedsheets. Bed bug nymphs are translucent and are no bigger than 1 mm.
Are bed bug bites dangerous?
No. they’re itchy and irritating, but unlike other bloodsuckers, such as mosquitoes, they’re not known for carrying diseases. The problems they bring are mostly psychological than physical.
What should I do if I get bitten?
Since bed bugs do not carry diseases, it is not necessary to seek medical attention. If the bites are causing severe irritation, however, it would be wise to consult a doctor.
What temperature kills bed bugs?
When it comes to high temperatures, bed bugs start to die at 100°F (37.7 C). At 113°F (45 C), bed bugs will die in 90 minutes, and at 118°F (47.77), they will die in under 20 minutes. As for low temperatures, -13°F (-25 C) can kill adult bed bugs in about two days. One of the most effective ways to kill these critters is to use a heating unit to rapidly heat beds and floors. The heat will suffocate and kill them.
Do bed bugs hibernate?
Bed bugs don’t truly hibernate as many other critters do. The way that bed bugs stay dormant is by lowering their metabolic rate and spending most of their time in hiding places around the house.
How did I get bed bugs in the first place?
Bed bugs usually get into people’s homes by attaching themselves to clothing or luggage. Most often, an infestation occurs if you bring home second-hand furniture or mattresses. Bed bugs can also become uninvited guests once you come back from long travels.
Check also: How to Check Used Furniture for Bed Bugs
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
Only a pest control professional can tell you with 100% certainty that you’re infested with a particular pest. But, the signs of bed bugs are easy to notice – if you wake up with a row or cluster of itchy bites over your skin, then your bed is infested.
It’s also possible to spot the nasty insects with the naked eye. They usually hide during the day, but it’s not uncommon for a stray adventurer to wander outside of the hiding place. It’s especially easy to see if your sheets are white.
How can I prevent a bed bug infestation?
Rule number one is to never bring home second-hand furniture, mattresses or bed sheets. The other most important precaution is to protect yourself during your travels. Never place your luggage on the bed of your temporary place of stay, and always inspect your bags.
Can bed bugs fly?
No, but they are known for sometimes climbing on the ceiling if someone tries to disturb their new home with insecticides.
Do bed bugs only live in my bed?
No, bed bugs can also live in upholstered furniture, behind headboards, baseboards, and even behind pictures on the wall.
If I keep my home clean, will that prevent bed bugs?
No, like any other living creature, bed bugs care only about food and shelter. Even if your house is spotless, while they have your bed and your blood, they will breed and thrive. On the other hand, a messy room provides more places to hide, so this can be an attractor. Also, it will be difficult for the pest control team to work in a cluttered room. So, it’s a good idea to keep your home tidy.
If I have bed bugs, does that mean trouble for my pet too?
Pets are known to carry bed bugs inside people’s homes. Since cats and dogs are mammals, just like humans, they can provide the bed bugs with a good warm-blooded meal. However, bed bugs cannot live on pets, the way fleas can. They also cannot attach themselves or their eggs to animal fur. So, if you’re worried that your pet might bring bed bugs inside, quick grooming in the backyard would be enough.
How can I avoid bed bugs when travelling?
The best way to protect yourself from bed bugs is to make an inspection of the bed in the hotel you are staying in. Check the headboard, check the sheets and pillows for spots. Look around the bed and around the bedside tables and drawers. If there’s nothing suspicious, you can rest easy.
What do I do, if I suspect I brought home bed bugs?
Open your luggage on the floor, where you will be able to see bed bugs (light coloured tiles for example). Don’t unpack on a carpet. Launder everything at 90 degrees.
What do I do when I see bed bugs?
First, there are several insects that resemble bed bugs, you would need a professional to identify them. It’s not a good idea to grab the insecticide, you might only end up endangering your health. If you’re asking a professional to come over and take a look at the infested property, you better give them information about everything you have done to battle the pests. Keep notes where you explain how long you’ve been infested, how many you have seen, etc.
What should I never do?
There are many “natural” ways of dealing with bed bugs posted online, such as using petroleum jelly or thyme oil. None of them works.
The worst thing you can do is take the matter into your own hands and spray the bed with any kind of insecticide. That’s a health hazard. Also, it won’t work because bed bug treatment is very specific, and the product you need is hard to find. Also, once you give up and call professionals, they will use an insecticide product on your bed again.
And, if you think changing the mattress with a new one will get rid of the problem, it won’t. The new mattress will get infested all over again.
How does a pest control company treat the bed bug infestation?
First, the bed bug control espert will inspect your bed and the rest of your property to get a grasp of the severity of the infestation.
Next, the treatment is carried out in two visits, separated by two weeks. We can apply a powerful insecticide or a bed bug heat treatment with 100% efficiency. On the second visit, we will apply a product for a residual effect.
Finally, the technician will present you with a report of the job done and offer advice for future prevention of a new infestation.
How long should I wait to use a room after it has been treated?
Depending on the treatment, it can take from several hours to several days.
What guarantee do I have that the treatment will be successful?
Fantastic Pest Control offers a satisfaction guarantee, as long as the technicians’ methods aren’t hindered by the customer. With this in mind, we offer one month guarantee of a bedbug-free house if the customer has booked only the initial treatment. And three months guarantee if the customer has purchased the full treatment of two visits.
Bed bugs aren’t a health hazard, but they are annoying and can drive a person mad if their population goes out of control. To ensure your peace of mind, get educated on prevention and learn when to leave it all in the hands of professionals.
Image source: Akos Nagy/shutterstock.com