bedbug on a matress

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small brown bugs with flat, oblong bodies. Adult bed bugs grow to be about a quarter of an inch long and are distinctively reddish-brown in color. The eggs are difficult to spot, as they are only about 1mm in size and almost clear in color. Bed bug nymphs look similar to the adults but are both lighter in color and smaller in size.

a bedbug on brown gravel

Adult females are able to lay up to five eggs in a day, and those eggs are sticky, making them easily adherable to surfaces to keep them safe until they hatch. Once hatched, bed bug nymphs are incredibly minuscule, but they grow rapidly, shedding their exoskeleton with each blood meal. Bed bugs prefer human blood, but will also feed on other warm-blooded animals they come into contact with.

Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal, which is why they’re mostly found in beds, hence their name. While you go to sleep, bed bugs will start biting you, feasting on your blood, and leaving you with itchy red bites the next morning. Their nocturnal activity is the main reason why hotels, motels, and other businesses that offer sleeping accommodations commonly have issues with bed bugs, and why many home bed bug infestations originate at these locations.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Although bed bugs aren’t currently considered to be a threat to our health, their bites can produce itchy, red skin rashes, and scratching them can bring about serious health concerns if they become infected. While not a direct physical danger, bed bugs’ tendency to keep people up at night can also have a damaging effect on their psyche due to lack of sleep and the constant feeling of being dirty.

Common Warning Signs Of Bed Bugs

Since bed bugs are such a difficult pest to handle, it pays to know the early warning signs they leave behind so that you can act as quickly as possible when they invade.

Common warning signs of bed bugs include:

  • Small brown or black spots or smears of blood, especially on mattresses and bed linens.

  • Tiny brown droppings found in sleeping areas.

  • Shed exoskeletons left behind by growing nymphs.

  • Tiny white eggs and egg casings often found in clusters. These eggs will look like small grains of rice.

  • Live bed bugs found on mattresses or bedding.

  • Bed bug bites found on your body. Keep in mind that 30% of people will NOT have a reaction to a bed bug bite and would be unaware that they have been bitten.

These warning signs are often found around bedding or other frequently-used furniture, on mattress edges and corners, in stitching on upholstered furniture, on outlet covers, and the surface of baseboards near the bed. They can also sometimes be found near electronics

These areas may also contain bed bug bodies. While they are rarely seen with the naked eye due to their nocturnal nature, bed bugs congregate together when active. Seeing bed bugs with your own eyes is a sure sign of a severe infestation, so if you're finding groups of small oval-shaped bugs in the same location, time to call a professional for help.

It’s also helpful to know what bed bug bites look like, as they can appear differently for different people:

  • Bed bug bites make the skin rise into a red or pink bump on the skin, similar in appearance to mosquito bites.
  • Bed bug bites will appear in rows or clusters. Bed bugs feed multiple times a night, so bed bug bites will most commonly be grouped together at certain parts of the body instead of distributed across your skin.
  • Bed bug bites will often have a rash around them which can resemble hives.
  • Research has shown that approximately 30% of people will not have a reaction of any kind to a bed bug bite.

If you are seeing signs of bites or suspect that you have a bed bug problem, call a professional for bed bug service immediately!

Steps You Can Take To Prevent Bed Bugs In Western Washington

Bed bugs are incredibly difficult to treat once they infest a structure, making prevention a necessity. Here are some tips you can use to help prevent them in your home or business:

  • Keep your laundry contained in sealed plastic bags when traveling.

  • After returning from a trip or vacation, wash all your laundry at the hottest temperature to kill any bed bugs that might have stowed away inside.

  • Keep bags and luggage off the ground, either stored on a countertop or on a luggage stand.

  • Inspect any hotel or motel room you stay at for signs of bed bugs prior to taking in luggage or lying down.

  • Inspect mattress seams for black fecal residue, and look for black streaks on pillowcases, sheets, baseboards, and wall outlets.

  • If you are in a location in which you suspect could have a bed bug issue, avoid placing bags or personal belongings on any soft surfaces. Avoid sitting on any soft surface locations.
  • If you are in a location with a known bed bug infestation, use a sticky lint remover roller on your clothing and any personal items upon leaving that location.

Why Call Guard Pest Control For Help With Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to treat, especially for a home or business owner working to resolve this issue on their own. Because of the secretive hiding places and nocturnal nature of these pests, do-it-yourself methods of bed bug removal are rarely successful. And if bed bugs get inside, rest assured they will never leave on their own. After feeding at night, bed bugs will return to hiding in small cracks and crevices or inside walls where they can live up to six months without a meal, so simply moving rooms or sleeping locations is not effective and can even exacerbate the infestation.

Simply put, if you have bed bugs, you need professional help. An experienced eye and training are essential to fully understand and eradicate the pests, and Guard Pest Control's bed bug treatment specialists will have the tools and know-how necessary to fully eliminate the problem the first time.

When it comes to bed bugs, no one eliminates them better than Guard Pest Control. Using the latest in pest control equipment and techniques, we can make any bed bug infestation a thing of the past.

Guard Pest Control Proprietary Treatment Process is a complete bed bug treatment program designed to minimize the need for costly re-treatments and to prevent future infestations. Our methods are backed by years of research and success in the field, and there is no bed bug problem too big for us to handle.

At Guard Pest Control, we don’t provide our clients with bed bug "control"; we provide complete bed bug elimination for Snohomish homeowners. Contact us today for more information.

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