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You lift a mattress, and you see them. Bed bugs! Oh, the horror! What do you do? When you detect bed bugs, it is best to contact a professional for bed bug pest control in South Portland. These are tricky pests that are adept at avoiding treatments. Professionals use strategies that get results, even when bed bugs are particularly hard to control. But bed bugs aren't always easy to detect, in fact, you can have an infestation for months and not realize it. There are many ways you can prevent a bed bug infestation. So, long before you experience the horror of seeing bed bugs, there are steps you can take to deal with bed bugs in South Portland. Join us as we look at where bed bugs hide and how to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home. Long before you call local pest control for bed bugs, there are ways to get proactive about keeping these bugs out.

South Portland's Bed Bugs: Assessing Their Habits And Behavior

A bed bug is going to do what a bed bug is going to do. When you find them in your home, you can predict a few things—if you understand these pests. Knowing how bed bugs behave is critical because it will impact what you do about them. For example, not seeing bites after you apply bed bug control methods can make you think that all the bugs are gone. You may not know that bed bugs can grow dormant for weeks or even months when they detect danger, and it may lead you to stop taking action to get rid of them. It can also prevent you from contacting a licensed pest control service provider when you should. Do you see how it works? Let's look at a few more habits and behaviors you should understand.

  • Bed bugs live in beds but they also live in many other places. When you apply methods to control bed bugs in your mattress, box spring, or bed frame, you might not realize that bed bugs can live in other places. They can be in other furniture, luggage, bags, and even in the structure of your home.

  • Bed bugs prefer to feed at night but can also feed during the day. If you take measures to prevent nighttime bites, bed bugs can still survive in your home. They can bite you while you watch television, work at your computer, or sip your coffee by the window in the morning.

  • Bed bugs don't live in your yard. You may try to drive bed bugs out of your home by using essential oils and other deterrents. You should know that bed bugs don't live outside and that it is impossible to drive them out of your home with something that smells bad to them.

  • Bed bug bites are often slight at first. The reason it can take months to detect bed bugs is that bites are often slight at first. 

The more you understand bed bug habits and behavior patterns, the more equipped you will be to deal with them. Easy peasy, right? Now, let's look at bed bug behaviors that can help you detect these pests in your home.  

How Can I Tell If I Have A Bed Bug Infestation?

Since bed bug bites are often slight at first, you need to know other ways to detect them if you hope to catch an infestation early. The good news is that they leave lots of evidence for you to find. The bad news is that you may misinterpret the evidence you see or not know where to look for this evidence.

What You Might See

  • Baby bed bugs. Immature nymphs are the bed bugs you're most likely to see and most likely not to recognize as bed bugs. They aren't reddish-brown like the adults. They are white and will have a red abdomen after taking a blood meal. So, as you can see, knowing how to identify bed bugs in all developmental stages is critical.

  • Blood stains. Bed bugs excrete blood. These stains may appear tan after they dry, making some people think that bed bugs leave urine on sheets, but bed bugs don't urinate.

  • Black feces. Bed bugs can leave their black feces in many places and these can look like other things, such as rub marks on a mattress.

  • Shed skins. Bed bugs shed their skins several times as they grow from nymphs to adults. These skins will be white or tan.

  • White eggs. A bed bug egg is 1 mm long and white. You may find them as individuals or in small groups.

Where To Look

  • Bedding. You will find blood stains and fecal spotting on your bedding, sheets, and pillowcases.

  • Mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs hide in the seams, under labels, and inside these items.

  • Bed frames. Bed bugs tuck themselves in recesses, cracks, joints, and voids.

  • Furniture near your beds. Bed bugs hide in nightstands and other furniture items found near beds.

  • Upholstered furniture. You may find warning signs of bed bugs in your couch or living room chairs.

  • Baseboards and crown molding. Bed bugs hide behind these and hanging wall items.

  • Outlets and wall voids. Bed bugs get into your walls by way of your outlets. Look for black streaks on outlet covers.

  • Luggage and bags. You may find bed bug eggs, shed skins, or bed bugs in hiding places within these items.

While bed bugs provide lots of evidence, there are many ways to miss the evidence. Licensed technicians are trained to detect bed bugs and use methods and resources to properly accomplish this difficult job. If you currently have a bed bug infestation, the best course of action is to hire a professional. If you don't have an infestation yet, there are many ways you can prevent one.

Eight Simple Tips For Bed Bug Prevention

Bed bugs are hitchhiking pests. As we discussed earlier, they don't live in your yard or come into your home from the perimeter next to your foundation. They hitch rides into homes. You can prevent this in a few ways. Here are our best suggestions for preventing bed bug infestations.

  1. Keep watch for bed bugs and warning signs and take action when you see them. You can notice bed bugs at work, in a taxi, at a laundromat, and in many other places. You're not going to only pick bed bugs up while on vacation. Stay vigilant to look for bed bug activity and warning signs. 

  2. Always perform a quick inspection when staying somewhere away from home. Check sheets and bedding, look between mattresses and box springs, and inspect around your bed. As you do this, keep your luggage outside of your room or in the bathroom. 

  3. Protect your laundry items. Bed bugs are attracted to laundry items because they smell like you. Store laundry in a sealed plastic bag. A trash bag and a bread tie are all you need. Doing this will keep bed bugs from laying eggs in your laundry items.

  4. Protect your luggage. Bed bugs are drawn to cracks and gaps and often get into luggage because they can smell you on your items. You can put luggage or bags inside a plastic bag to protect them. Some travelers use lavender spray to keep bed bugs out of their bags. If you like the smell of lavender, this may provide a solution for you. Be sure to apply the spray before going to sleep. The scent won't mask the smell of your items or repel bed bugs for long periods.

  5. Launder your clothing items when you return home from a trip. Soapy water exterminates bed bugs, and the heat of a dryer destroys bed bugs in all stages of development. Put all your clothing through the wash, even if you didn't wear the items.

  6. Use your dryer to treat certain items. If you detect bed bugs or eggs in a duffel bag, pocketbook, or some other dryer-safe item, you can use your dryer to deal with the bugs and eggs hiding in these items. Put them in your dryer for thirty minutes, that should do it.

  7. Inspect used items. When you buy a household item from someone else, inspect the item for signs of bed bug infestation. Since bed bug infestations are often not noticed for months, the person selling you the item may not realize they're sharing a bed bug infestation with you.

  8. Teach your kids about bed bugs. Every time your child goes to school, spends the night at a friend's house, or visits public venues, they can pick up bed bugs or bed bug eggs. Teach them what you've learned here.

It is a hassle to prevent bed bugs, but it is much more of a hassle to deal with a bed bug infestation. Even when you hire a professional and get a professional bed bug treatment, you have to do some work. You'll need to prepare your home for treatment. It is a chore we're sure you can live without.  

Professional Services To Keep Bed Bugs Out Of Your Home

In most cases, residents reach out to us when they detect bed bugs and need bed bug control. That is acceptable with these pests. While other pest problems are easily prevented with ongoing exterior pest protection, bed bugs are different. But there is a way to get proactive about bed bug control in South Portland if you want the greatest protection possible. You can get routine bed bug inspections to catch bed bugs early and stop them before they make you miserable. Whatever you choose to do, remember that the service team at Big Blue Bug Solutions is here to help. We use a scientific and well-tested approach to pest control. You can trust our team to deal expeditiously with these irritating pests. Contact us at any time for assistance. 

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