Bedbug bites and infestations have become more common over the last few years.
Many people are waking up with itchy, scratchy bedbug bites from bedbug infestations in their mattresses. Aside from being a health hazard, this can really make people feel uncomfortable with the most intimate location in their home: their bed.
Bedbugs were almost non-existent until their reemergence a few years ago. International travel is said to be the biggest reason for recent exploding populations. It is also believed that the latest Bedbug sprays on the market, that most people have access to, are nowhere near as effective as they used to be.
- Bedbug bites
From the naked eye, bedbug bites look like a regular bug bite. And for the most part, they are. But unlike most bites, Bedbug bites usually have a sequential pattern and may not be noticed for days.
- Other Signs/Symptoms
Other than welts, and itching there are numerous other signs to look for: Visual, blood spots on bedding and fecal matter in cracks and crevices on mattresses and other hiding locations such as corners, bed frames, baseboards, etc.
- Hiding locations
Bedbugs usually only come out at night, and are very small. So some investigative work is sometimes necessary. Looking into the folds of mattresses, bed boards and bed frames is a good start. But these little fellows can be found in numerous locations such as baseboards, electrical outlets, dressers, and behind pictures, just to name a few.
- Clean up all clutter
Bedbugs can hide in very small places. So it’s imperative to remove as many obstacles as possible. Piles of clothes, magazines, boxes, etc, need to be removed before you begin the process.
Vacuuming is a must to remove as many Bedbugs as possible. Check and clean the seams of mattresses, crack and crevices, carpet, baseboards, behind pictures, dressers, drawers, bed frames, etc. Bedbugs are very small, so vacuuming everywhere is a must.
The hotter, the better. Extreme heat is the key here. Wash all cloths and linens with detergent with as hot of water as possible. This should kill any Bedbugs that may be hiding.
After you inspect your mattress, and you see no evidence of Bedbugs, get some kind of monitoring device such as a glue board and stick it under your bed or dresser. If it’s established that indeed you have Bedbugs, go ahead with treatment. Residual and contact insecticides can be used. Be sure to read the label first to see if it’s labeled for Bedbug treatment.
- Preventive maintenance
Loose or damaged carpet, baseboards, wallpaper, wallboards, electrical outlets, and light fixtures are ideal hiding places for Bedbugs. Fix these problems immediately. Caulking, nailing, and tightening are usually all that is needed. Your local home improvement store will have anything you need.
Depending on the extent of the damage (blood stains), your mattress will need to be replaced. At a minimum, the mattress will need to be treated with a contact insecticide if Bedbugs are present, and or, put in a location where temperatures will exceed 100 F for at least 8-10 hours. If the mattress is torn, you’ll need to replace it.