Few things induce an uneasy feeling than discovering you have mattress bed bugs and pests.
You might wake up and see spots on your bed or even get itchy and have red marks all over your body. These could be signs that you are dealing with a bed bug infestation in your mattress, furniture, or anywhere else in your house.
Bed bugs are problematic pests, but the CDC does not classify them as disease-transmitting. They are also not a sign of uncleanliness. A house or hotel room could be immaculate but still have bed bugs.
If you plan on getting rid of these unwelcome guests, solutions like throwing out your mattress and box spring, mattress cover, or dismantling your bed frames won’t work.
Instead, you should be aware of what bed bugs are, how they behave, and how to get rid of these pests effectively.
Use our ultimate guide on mattress bed bugs and learn how to deal with a bed bug infestation.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are small, oval-shaped, brown insects or pests, and they like to infest beds and furniture across the United States. Bed bugs feed on a blood meal from animals or humans, after which their color changes to a reddish hue.
Bedbugs cannot fly, but their quick movements allow them to walk over walls, floors, and ceilings. Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs that are the size of a speck of dust over their lifetime. Once the eggs hatch, bed bugs begin life as nymphs and go through several life stages before reaching maturity.
During a bed bug nymph’s growth period, they shed their skins about five times and require feeding before each shedding. That means immature bedbugs need a blood meal five times before they become adult bed bugs.
So if you are experiencing many bed bug bites, they could be from bed bug nymphs trying to grow. Fully grown bed bugs have flat bodies, can reach the size of an apple seed, and are visible to the naked eye.
How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation?
Bed bugs are crafty creatures, and they can enter your home through luggage, used furniture, clothing, or any other items.
Because they’re so small and flat, measuring the width of a credit card, bed bugs can fit into any crevice or crack. This makes it very difficult to spot them, but they still are visible to the naked eye.
From their nesting grounds, they then migrate to mattresses, box springs, headboards, bed frames, and other places where they can bite a person during the night. If you have pets, they will also move to your pet’s sleeping place so they can feed
As bed bug nymphs increase in number, they’ll move throughout your home, before spreading to other apartments. So identifying a bed bug infestation early is crucial to stopping the sprawl.
Here are a few things to look for if you suspect you have a bed bug infestation in your home.
What Are Common Bed Bug Behaviors and Habits?
When you suspect you have bed bugs, your first reaction might be panic. However, understanding their behaviors and habits can help you go from bed bug bites and infestations to bed bug control and treatment.
Bed bug feeding habits can help you reduce the opportunities for feeding:
Mating and Growth
Understanding how bed bugs mate and grow can help you gauge the level of infestation you may have in your home and what treatment would work best when dealing with this problem.
Eventually, all these eggs hatch and start the cycle all over again. You can see how quickly a bed bug problem becomes an infestation.
Bed Bug Living Conditions
Knowing how bed bugs like to live and how they survive helps you get a better view of how to implement bed bug control in the United States or elsewhere.
Treating Bed Bug Bites
Once bed bugs bite you, your skin will react with a red, itchy bump. Any part of your body that makes contact with infested bedding while you’re sleeping is fair game. To treat bed bug bites, you can take the following steps.
Sometimes, but very rarely, you may experience an allergic reaction to bed bug problem. In that case, an at-home treatment may not be enough, and you’ll need to reach your doctor or call emergency services.
Five Steps to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Treatment and prevention are the keys to stopping an infestation from wreaking havoc on your life. If you’re unsure about having bed bugs in your home, begin by calling an exterminator. These experts will know what to look for in your mattresses and can help you find the source of the infestation.
But if you are confident that you have bed bugs, you should take these steps as a bed bug treatment.
Step #1: Remove Unnecessary Items From the Room
In the infested room, remove any items you can, such as blankets, electronics, toys, etc. Many people make the mistake of just putting these items in other rooms, but you should be careful. Simply putting the items there will cause the bed bug infestations to spread to the other room. Instead, transfer the items to a vacuum bag.
Step #2: Launder Infested Fabrics
Next, any items go straight into the laundry. This includes bedding, curtains, linens, and clothing. Wash these fabrics, which all bed bugs love, in high temperatures and dry at high heat settings. Place anything unfit for washing in the dryer for about 30 minutes to kill bed bugs.
Step #3: Encase Your Mattress and Clean It
Encase your mattress and box spring with a tightly zipped cover so the bed bugs cannot get out. Vacuum the mattress thoroughly and place the vacuumed matter in the garbage outside immediately.
Step #4: Vacuum and Treat the Entire Room
Do a thorough cleaning of the entire room very frequently. Scrub the room to dislodge the eggs. At this time, you can rub or spray neem oil on your bed frame, baseboards, around your windows, and into cracks in your room.
Vacuum and scrub every crevice and potential hiding spot, including wall hangings and other furniture — even your wall paper.
If possible, use steam for a thorough clean. The combination of heat, washing, and vacuuming can be very effective in getting rid of a large majority of these pests.
Step #5: Use Natural Repellents
Trying to remove bed bugs requires a multi-step approach. Besides washing and cleaning, you can also use a natural repellent treatment made specifically for the bedroom or on mattresses. This can include using sachets of lavender or mint, or eucalyptus oil-infused sprays.
Sometimes, the inevitable solution to bed bugs is throwing your mattress out. Bed bugs are stubborn pests that can be quite difficult to exterminate and treat after they hit a certain number in the population. So even if you thoroughly vacuum and treat the room with chemicals, it might be time to get a new mattress.
Essentia is the right choice for keeping bed bugs at bay if this is your chosen course of action. have been extensively tested, and are uniquely impervious to dust allergens, dust mites, and other bed invading bugs — a perfect solution for allergy sufferers.
Essentia’s performance-focused collection of mattresses also help you sleep at cooler temperatures all throughout the night, which means there’s less chance of your body overheating and your mattress attracting these heat-seeking pests. Learn more about the Essentia difference and how we help you get the rest you deserve.