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What to Do if You Think You Have Bedbugs

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Bedbugs are a nightmare to get rid of, mostly because it’s difficult to find every single one and eradicate them entirely.

Bedbugs are a nightmare to get rid of, mostly because it’s difficult to find every single one and eradicate them entirely.

In fact, bed bugs die only at extremely high temperatures (122 degrees Fahrenheit/50 degrees Celsius) or when frozen or suffocated over a period of up to 400 days. Commonly misunderstood, bedbug infestations aren't necessarily caused by a lack of hygiene or an overabundance of clutter. Bedbugs can be found anywhere a human might rest:

  • Hospital beds
  • Curtains
  • Library furniture
  • Chairs or padded benches

Common locations for bedbugs include public places such as airports, hotels, train stations and bus terminals. If you brush against an infested surface, bedbugs can cling to your clothing and infest your living space.

How to know if you have bedbugs

If you think you have bedbugs, check these areas:

  • Bed linens
  • Mattresses
  • Couches and other upholstered furniture
  • Nightstands and dressers
  • Curtains
  • Baseboards and molding
  • Cracks, crevices and recesses

Once you’ve dismantled your bed and its components, look along mattress seams for spots of dried blood and brown or black excrement. You may also find molted skins of nymphs (young bugs) or even the bedbugs themselves. Use this EPA website to help you determine if it’s bedbugs or some other type of insect.

Another notable sign of bedbugs is having burning and itching bites. These bites may initially look like mosquito bites, but they are typically more numerous and will spread into a sort of rash. If you find eggs, stains or bugs, you have a bedbug infestation on your hands.

How to fight the infestation yourself

Anyone attempting to eradicate bedbugs by themselves should use an integrated pest management approach. This approach entails prevention, sanitation and chemical treatments at targeted sites. Here are some basic steps to follow:

  1. Promptly remove all bedding and linens for laundering on high heat, both in the washer and dryer.
  2. Eliminate clutter from the infected area, and clean and check all pieces of furniture and other items.
  3. Vacuum the entire living space, including cracks, crevices and recesses. Dispose of contents in a sealed trash bag.
  4. Use specific chemical treatments in affected areas to kill any lingering bedbugs and their eggs.

The process of eliminating bedbugs is involved and will work only if you are thorough. You can also use a handheld steamer to directly kill bedbugs and address infestations in tight places.

Unfortunately, most people who attempt to tackle a bedbug infestation on their own find that bedbugs continue to turn up, even months after initial treatments. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s best to consult a professional pest control company.

What a professional pest control company offers

Unlike getting rid of bedbugs on your own, the choice to get a professional pest control provider gives you an arsenal of tools and chemical treatments to address infestations.

Professionals also know where to look and how to address each bedbug problem, making them likely to succeed against these stubborn pests. Most of all, a professional has time to dedicate to bedbug elimination, something you likely don't have.

Have unwanted visitors already breached your defenses? Contact the professionals at Paratex for help. They’ll answer to your questions and can help create an Integrated Pest Management plan for your property. Paratex also helps homeowners and businesses with bird control, wood-destroying bugs and other pest problems. Learn more and request a quote at paratex.com. Responses are speedy and prices are fair.

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