We get a lot of questions about bed bugs. It isn't surprising. Bed bugs are the kind of bugs that make you say, "Yeah, um, no," when you find them in your home. Here are a few questions we get asked. See if your question is listed below.
"Should I throw my bed away?"
No. You're not likely to stop your infestation by throwing your bed out. Bed bugs don't just live in beds. And, besides, those bugs are probably still in the items that brought them into your home in the first place.
"Do bed bugs spread disease?"
They are not known to carry human pathogens or spread harmful bacteria in a home. This is because bed bugs are blood eaters. They don't climb in your trash can or explore the rim of your toilet searching for food, the way cockroaches do.
"How bad are bed bug bites?"
When bed bugs begin to bite, those bites sometimes go unnoticed. This is because bed bug infestations can begin with a batch of eggs, and newly hatched bed bug nymphs do not administer the same level of anticoagulant as adults do. This anticoagulant, which thins the blood, is what most people have an allergic reaction to. Not only do adult bed bugs administer more of it, allergic reactions tend to increase over time. Those who start off with no reaction can end up with larger, more irritating bite wounds as an infestation progresses.
"What do bed bug bites look like?"
They vary in size and composition. Bites from nymphs may be nothing more than a tiny red dot. Bites from adults can turn into swollen red bumps. There are many factors that determine how bad a bed bug bite will be.
"Can I do a heat treatment to get rid of bed bugs?"
If you search the internet for how to control a bed bug infestation, it won't take you long to find out that heat is a great way to arrest a bed bug problem. But raising the temperature of a home to a constant 115 degrees Fahrenheit for over an hour is not an easy task. It requires specialized equipment and specialized training. Professionals use self-regulating, industrial strength heaters, and place heat sensors throughout a structure to ensure a consistent level of heat. DIY heat treatments send bugs running deep into wall voids, at best. At worst, this can lead to a loss of property or a loss of human life.
"Can I kill bed bugs with sprays?"
There are a lot of things you can kill bed bugs with that work better than sprays. Sprays can be toxic when improperly applied. We never recommend the application of pesticides by untrained individuals. But, even "safe" measures that kill bed bugs are usually ineffective to arrest a bed bug infestation and often lead to prolonged suffering. This is because bed bugs are really good at surviving all of our attempts to kill them. In fact, bed bugs are even able to grow into chemical-resistant superbugs when pesticides are administered wrong. It is always best to call an educated professional to stop bed bugs.
"How did I get bed bugs?"
There is still a prevailing thought that bed bugs only infested dirty homes. If you have a beautiful clean home, you may be asking this question. The truth is that you got them the same way everyone else does. A bed bug climbed into an object and was carried into your home, or a bed bug laid eggs in an object and those eggs were carried into your home. This is how infestations begin.
"I haven't been on a trip recently; why do I have bed bugs?"
Bed bugs don't just come from motels and hotels. You can get bugs from a retirement home, daycare center, school, movie theater, library, taxi cab ride, or just by going to work. You can also get bed bugs when your kids come home from college or, if you have young kids, when your kids come back from spending the night at someone's home. The list of places people pick bed bugs up are increasing as bed bug infestations across the United States increase.
"How do I keep bed bugs out of my home?"
The only successful way to prevent bed bug infestations is with routine bed bug inspections and appropriate, targeted treatments from a professional.