December 16, 2019
During the holidays, most of us have lots of people coming and going from our homes. There are many opportunities for gift swapping, holiday meals, and holiday visits. This provides an opportunity for a bed bug infestation to take root in your home. If you don't take steps to protect yourself, you could be looking at some holiday misery. Here's what you should know about bed bugs in Southern Maine.
How Bed Bugs Spread
Bed bugs spread from one location to another by accident. As they look for places to hide, they sometimes get into items that are easily transported, such as a duffel bag, a piece of luggage, or a pocketbook. After these items are moved to new locations, the bed bugs crawl out and start looking for new places to hide. Here are a few places a friend or family member can pick bed bugs up before they come to your house:
- Hotels and motels along the way to your home can have small infestations. One nights' stay is all it takes for these insects to hitch a ride.
- Planes, buses, taxis and other forms of public transportation are all potential locations to pick up bed bugs. Close proximity to other passengers allows bed bugs to transfer from one item to another.
- Bed bugs can go from home to home. If your friend or relative has a bed bug infestation in their home, they may not know it yet and accidentally expose you to bed bugs.
Bed Bug Eggs
Sometimes an infestation begins with a batch of eggs. Bed bug eggs do not need to be tended by the mother. When they are deposited in gaps, cracks, creases, pockets, and overlaps of transportable items, they can hatch at a new location and be the start of an infestation.
Detection — If you know what a bed bug egg looks like, you can eliminate the eggs before they hatch. A bed bug egg may be by itself or with a small group. These eggs are white, rice-shaped, about 1 mm in length, and slightly shiny.
Elimination — If you find bed bug eggs, you can apply certain topical applications to kill them or you can put the infested item into the dryer for 30 minutes, assuming it is dryer-safe. But keep in mind that treating bed bug eggs yourself can result in an infestation because it is easy to miss both bed bugs and their eggs. It is always best to have a licensed pest control professional deal with these bugs. Professionals that specialize in bed bug extermination, like the ones at Pine State Pest Solutions, use K-9 bed bug inspectors. Dogs have a powerful sense of smell so they are able to find bed bugs that are hiding inside items, where you can't see them.
More Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Early detection of bed bug eggs can help you avoid a bed bug infestation, but it can be awkward to check your friend's and family's items for bed bug eggs when they come in. Here are a few other ways to help you prevent an infestation.
- When your guests leave, be sure to put all the bedding through a hot wash and a long dryer cycle. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development.
- Vacuum the rugs in the guest area and put the bag outside.
- Do an inspection for tiny white eggs, bed bugs, shed insect skins, tan or red stains, and black streaks. If you find bed bugs or signs of bed bugs, contact a professional immediately.
If a bed bug infestation breaks out in your Southern Maine home, reach out to Pine State Pest Solutions. We specialize in getting rid of bed bugs. We can also assist you with an after-holiday K-9 bed bug inspection to make sure you don't have these bugs. When you need assistance with bed bug control, we can help you get the results you're looking for.