January 28, 2022
To date, there has never been a Maine city that has earned the distinction of being ranked one of the U.S.’s worst bed bug infested cities. This piece of information probably doesn’t come as a shock when the competition includes L.A., Chicago, Denver, Philly, and New York City. That doesn’t mean though, that the current state of our state is bed bug free. No indeed, we’re sure bed bugs have been around since before Maine joined the Union in 1820 and today, despite improved measures and prevention efforts to eliminate these biting pests, bed bugs in Maine continue to be a problem for homes, apartment buildings, hotels, and other commercial buildings.
How does a home or business in Maine become infested with bed bugs?
When it comes to single-family homes, apartment units, and commercial spaces, the common denominator is people and it just so happens people (and more specifically our carbon dioxide and blood) are what attract bed bugs.
In most cases, bed bugs are carried into both homes and businesses on people and/or their belongings. Infested luggage, backpacks, clothing, and secondhand mattresses are just a few items that bed bugs may use as vehicles into structures.
Another common way for apartments, condos, and townhomes to become infested with bed bugs is when these insects exit an infested space via small cracks and gaps in walls and floors and make their way into the next unit.
Bed bugs in Maine do not spread disease but are a serious problem
Bed bug bites, while not typically dangerous, do affect each person differently and could trigger an allergic reaction. Excessive scratching at an itchy bed bug bite could also result in a secondary skin infection.
Another by-product of a bed bug infestation is the effect these biting pests can have on mental health. Stress, anxiety, depression, and even paranoia have been reported mental health symptoms associated with bed bugs.
Signs of bed bugs Maine residents should be on the lookout for
Knowing how to spot a bed bug infestation is essential especially if you want to eliminate bed bugs quickly and before the infestation grows exponentially. Before we discuss the signs of a bed bug problem though, let’s take a minute to go over what bed bugs look like.
Most people know what bed bugs look like but on the off chance, you’ve never seen a live bug or a picture of one, head over to our bed bug identification page to see our bed bug life cycle chart.
Now, getting back to those signs we mentioned. Here’s a list of a few of the most common signs of a bed bug infestation:
- Live bed bugs
- Bed bug bites
- Stains on bedding and other fabric caused by blood and bed bug feces
- Shed bed bug skins
- Bed bug eggs
We recommend checking out an article we posted a few months back for a more in-depth look at each of these signs of bed bugs.
How to keep bed bugs out of your home or business
While we’d love to provide you with an exact answer, the truth is, that this will look different for everyone. For homeowners who want to keep bed bugs out their homes, here are a few bed bug prevention tips:
- Be extremely careful about bringing secondhand items including used furniture and mattresses into the home and do so only if you’ve THOROUGHLY inspected each item and are confident that there’s not a single shred of evidence to suggest bed bugs are stowed away amongst the seams, cracks, and other hiding spots.
- When traveling, don’t assume your hotel room is free and clear of bed bugs. Instead make good use of your phone’s flashlight app and start searching for bed bugs on bed frames, mattresses and box springs, nightstands, and upholstered furniture. Also check behind headboards and wall hangings.
- Do not unpack luggage inside your home after traveling until you know for certain bed bugs didn’t hitch a ride home with you. We suggest unpacking your suitcases outside or in the garage and head straight for the washer machine with all clothing, and vacuum and/or steam your suitcase before putting it away. The same process is recommended when you welcome your college kid or guests from out of town into your home.
To avoid bed bug infestations in the workplace, we suggest the following tips:
Keep or increase your cleaning schedule.
While cleanliness alone will not prevent bed bugs, routinely vacuuming, mopping, and disinfecting will allow you to identify a bed bug problem early on.
Train your staff.
Educating your employees on what bed bugs are, where they hide, and how to handle an infestation as well as how to prevent bed bugs allows you and your team to respond promptly and effectively to an infestation of bed bugs. As the old G.I. Joe PSA said, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.”
In addition to training your employees on how to inspect for bed bugs, we highly recommend contacting a pest control company to set up routine bed bug inspections. This is especially advantageous for those involved in property management or who oversee apartment units.
What to do if you uncover bed bugs in your home or business
At Pine State Pest Solutions, we are Maine’s premier bed bug control pros and offer effective strategies to get rid of bed bugs in Portland, Auburn, and throughout the state. When you contact us for your bed bug problem, we’ll start by asking a handful of questions, such as:
- Do you own or rent?
- What are you seeing for signs?
- Are you getting bit?
- Where are the bites?
- How many bugs have you seen?
- Have you traveled recently or had guests visit?
- How long would you say this has been going on?
- Have you been treating this yourself?
Once we’ve taken your information, we’ll schedule a bed bug inspection to confirm bed bug activity. If bed bugs or signs of bed bugs are present when we inspect, we’ll go over our bed bug treatment recommendation and schedule your service.
We will not perform the bed bug treatment on the same day as the inspection as there are certain preparations property owners/managers must complete before we can address the bed bug infestation.
How Pine State Pest Solutions treats for bed bugs
Pine State kills bed bugs using heat, conventional material, or a combination of both to achieve optimal results (i.e., complete bed bug extermination). When you contact us for bed bug control, we’ll walk you through the process and provide an explanation of our 30-day bed bug guarantee, if applicable for your address.
Bed bug treatments for Maine multi-unit housing
For property managers that are either constantly fighting bed bug infestations or want to be proactive in combating these pests, Pine State Pest Solutions offers pest control solutions tailored specifically to these types of properties. If you want to keep your units free of bed bugs, we’re the local Maine pest control company to call!