For some bed bug bite victims, the swelling, itching and welts are immediate. From the first bite, about 1/3 of people bitten by bed bugs have an allergic reaction.
But more than 60% of bed bug victims, have been bitten many times before they realize their living quarters are infested. They may learn that itchy rash that won’t go away is actually a series of bed bug bites.
Most victims find out the hard way that sprayed pesticides are rarely successful.
“Bedbug pesticide-resistance appears to be increasing dramatically. Bedbug populations sampled across the U.S. showed a tolerance for pyrethroids several thousands of times greater than laboratory bedbugs.” USANEWS.com Health
The reality is, we need to think of bed bugs as nocturnal super-vampire roaches. They are nocturnal and elusive and they are “vampires” because they must have blood to survive. They are “super” because they are stronger and harder to kill than roaches. Roaches have “tasters” in their feet. When roaches stand on something they can both “taste” and “smell” it through their feet. Spraying pesticides on walls will kill them for weeks as they walk through the chemicals. Pest Control Operators call this “residual affect”.
But most Pest Control Operators do not know that bed bugs do not have those “tasters” on their feet, so even a room soaked in pesticides will rarely kill all of the nocturnal super-vampires. Even one surviving adult female bed bug can re-infest a room in 90-100 days. Even if all the adults are killed, just a few eggs, can re-populate a room in 3-6 months. By then, the company that sprayed may likely tell you that you brought bed bugs back in from somewhere else. And they probably believe that. But in reality, traditional methods of bed bug control rarely get all of the bed bugs and eggs. And the bugs will be back.
How can you find out if you have bed bugs?
“One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by bite marks that appear on the face, neck, arms, hands, and any other body parts. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area.
These signs may include the exoskeletons of bed bugs after molting, bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets, a sweet musty odor, and rusty-colored blood spots from their blood-filled fecal material that is often excreted on the mattress or nearby furniture.” - CDC.gov EPA Statement
How to find bed bugs.
Follow the instructions below based on this WKRN story. Make sure you put on latex gloves before you begin inspecting. If you do find them, there will be eggs. The eggs are as small as a grain of sand and clear. You don’t want to spread the eggs. After you finish inspecting, take off the gloves and put them in a zip lock baggie. Close it firmly and put it in the trash. Then take out the trash.
1. Get educated
Read up on bed bugs and how they spread. Know what the bites and the bugs look like. Go to the links on any of the pages on this site and you will find bed bugs articles by experts in the field. We’ve already done all the hard work for you. If you want information on how to kill bed bugs or getting rid of bed bugs, it’s already there. You want to see bed bug pictures and video, just look to the right and you’ll find all the info you need.
If you want to do your own Internet searching, the most common search terms are “bed bugs”, “bed bug”, “bedbugs”, “bedbug”, “bed bug bites”, and “bed bug pictures”
2. Start your own investigating
When was the last time you turned over your mattress and inspected the underside? Probably never. But that’s the first place you’re likely to find bugs. However, don’t assume they are limited to the bed. Particularly if they have been sprayed. They can travel up to 100 feet for their next blood meal. They can inhabit any crack or crevice in nightstand, baseboards wood floors, under carpets, behind carpet tack strips, behind electrical receptacles, and anywhere there are clothes or books. They are commonly found in telephones, computers, and electronics. Watch for all sizes of nymphs and bugs. Watch for tiny small black dots that are bedbug feces. You will not likely be able to see the eggs. They are tiny and clear.
3. Keep a sample and take it to an expert
If you think you see a bedbug, grab it with tweezers and put it in a small container with rubbing alcohol. Or pick it up with clear tape, and tape it to a piece of paper. Before you spend money ridding your home of bedbugs, you want to make sure you actually have them.
4. Call the bed bug pros at ThermalRid
We can do what you can’t: treat your home with the ThermalRid Method. We heat treat the entire room. Do not spray or allow anyone else to spray. Bed bugs are largely pesticide resistant and even after multiple chemical treatments, some bed bugs will likely scatter and hibernate until they are ready to come out again, weeks or months later.
You might want to google or yahoo, “bed bugs second treatment third treatment”. You will find many victims blogging about repeated treatments of pesticides, and inferior heat treatments, and the bed bugs are still biting. See our tab “Traditional Control Methods” for more information.
5. Turn up the heat
Understand that there are several different types of heat treatment. Steam is very limited in that it must actually touch the bedbug. Cryogenic treatment has the same weakness. They are very labor intensive and rarely completely effective. Mobile Thermal chambers only treat the furniture and not the room. (Traditional Control Methods for more info.)
The ThermalRid Method is the only method that can safely heat your living space to bed bug killing temperatures using no chemicals or pesticides. We have successfully treated hundreds of homes in the Nashville area, some of them more than 5000 square feet. More than 95% of the time, the ThermalRid Method only takes one treatment to kill bed bugs.
“Heat is the Achilles’ heel of bedbugs,” so start washing your clothes in hot water whenever possible, and dry them on high. Then start storing them in large trash bags. Seal the bags up, and live out of the bags until you can have ThermalRid in to solve your bed bug problem.
6. WAIT: Don’t start throwing things away
While you may choose to invest in mattress covers to limit bed bug bites immediately, your mattress will be salvageable after ThermalRid treatment. We commonly hear horror stories about furnishings and belongings, even family heirlooms, having to be trashed. With ThermalRid, our bed bug treatment uses no bed bug spray and all belongings can be cleansed and kept.
For more information check out these links:
Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters and Group Living Facilities from Cornell University