Got bed bugs? Bite back!
Bed bugs are hitchhiking pests that infest a variety of places. From homes, apartments, and hotels, to transportation methods and retail establishments, bed bugs are everywhere! No matter who you are, handling a bed bug infestation is overwhelming. To alleviate bed bug problems quickly, people often turn to DIY bed bug treatments that are ineffective or even dangerous.
Signs of Bed Bugs
Bed Bug Bites
Did you know that bed bug bites aren’t the most telltale sign of bed bugs? Many other insect bites, like mosquitoes and chiggers, look like bed bug bites. Other skin conditions such as hives, eczema and rashes can also resemble bug bites. Many people (about 70%) also don’t react to bed bug bites at all.
If you think you have bed bug bites, ask yourself if any of the following scenarios are true before jumping to conclusions:
- Have you traveled recently?
- Have you recently had a houseguest?
- Have you seen blood spots on your sheets?
- Have you seen black markings on your mattress that resemble ink spots?
- Have you found any unidentified bugs in or around your bed or other resting areas, such as couches or chairs?
If any of these scenarios are true, you are getting closer to identifying a possible bed bug problem. Fortunately, bed bugs are not known to carry disease and their bites are not harmful, just a little irritating. The best way to identify bed bugs is through the physical signs they leave behind.
Where to Look for Bed Bugs
If you think you may have a bed bug issue, here are some things to watch for before you call Wil-Kil for help.
- Check your sheets for small blood spots. If bed bugs are feeding on you, it is not uncommon to squish them after they’ve had a meal.
- Bed bugs are visible, despite the common myth that they are too small to see. Adults are about the shape and size of an apple seed and range from very red and oblong, to very brown, depending on how recently they fed. Search your bed and surrounding areas for pests that match this description.
- Bed bugs, like many pests, are also easily identified by their fecal matter. It has the appearance of black ink that has soaked into fabric. Search areas such as electrical outlets, under furniture, in cracks and crevices of mattresses and box springs for these stains.
Bed Bug Inspection
Wil-Kil’s technicians will thoroughly inspect your entire property for bed bugs. Our technicians will look at areas like headboards, mattresses, bedding, nightstands, and even living room furniture for bed bug signs and the actual presence of a bed bug. It is necessary that a licensed professional does this type of inspection, as they have the training necessary to identify if a pest found is a bed bug or something else. They will also search areas where bed bugs are most commonly found, which may not be something the average person knows. This is the ideal inspection method for single family homes or hotels and apartments where under three rooms need to be searched.
A technician needs to inspect all areas of risk during a bed bug inspection. This can be time-consuming, especially when they are searching multiple rooms in hotels, apartment buildings, or other group living facilities such as assisted living facilities or nursing homes. In situations where multiple rooms need to be searched, Wil-Kil also offers canine inspections. The bed bug dogs at Wil-Kil can cut inspection times down significantly due to their keen sense of smell and ability to detect live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs with a high level of accuracy. Instead of tearing a room apart to inspect for bed bugs, Wil-Kil’s canine teams can find the bed bugs within minutes, with more accuracy and cost-efficiency when compared to traditional detection methods.
Bed Bug Treatment
Conventional treatments are localized to specific areas or pieces of furniture that are harborages for bed bugs. Methods include:
- Pesticide Dusts
- Crack & Crevice Injection/Spot Treatment
- Mattress Encasements
Areas must be extensively cleared of all clutter to allow easy access for inspection and treatment, and the property must be vacated both during and after treatment. Conventional methods also require multiple treatments, so an area will not always be cleared of bed bugs immediately.
Bed bug heat treatments (or thermal remediation treatments) are the best method for resolving heavy infestations, particularly in cluttered conditions or those situations where eliminating a bed bug issue fast is critical. Heat treatments may also include a conventional treatment for maximum effectiveness. Wil-Kil will bring industrial-sized heaters into your property and heat your space to a temperature of 120 degrees or above, which kills all stages of bed bugs.
Both people and pets must vacate the premise during the treatment for up to for as long as 10 hours, but once the room returns to normal temperature, it can be used immediately because one treatment solves the problem.
Hotels and Travel Tips
The unfortunate truth is that there is really no way to stop bed bugs from getting inside your hotel. With travelers coming from all over and a high rate of room turnover, there are numerous opportunities for bed bugs to find their way into one of your rooms. The general belief in the industry is that most properties have had bed bugs and those that haven’t will in the future. But there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk:
- Train your staff in bed bug detection and implement monthly inspection plans.
- Check sheets in laundry rooms for any signs of bed bugs, which can easily spread to other, clean sheets. Dry all linens on high heat.
- Put a strategy in place for handling complaints so that your housekeeping, reception, and management team know what to do in the even that a guest makes a complaint.
Bed bugs can quickly ruin a trip by hitchhiking from other guests on to your belongings. This can happen at hotels and even airports. There are a few things you can do to help minimize your risk of attracting bed bugs:
- Check hotel and lodging reviews for complaints of bed bugs.
- Check your room’s headboard, mattress, nightstand and other furniture in the room.
- Store luggage on luggage racks rather than on the floor.
- Hang clothes that can be hung and avoid storing clothes in dressers.