If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know that hotels and homeowners alike are wondering how to get rid of bed bugs. These pests can cause serious problems because once they’ve made your home their own, they quickly spread to other people on clothing, luggage, furniture, and more. Before trying your own bed bug treatment, learn more to understand if you can effectively eradicate them yourself.

What are these pests?

These pests, also known as cimicidae, are small and parasitic. They feed on warm-blooded animals, including people. Contrary to their name, they don’t just live in beds; they like to live on sofas, pillows, and even in small spaces like nightstand drawers, baseboards, and between beds and headboards.

Cimicidae bites can cause itchy red bumps and a number of allergic reactions. The severity depends on how many bites a person has and how their particular immune system reacts to the bite. There is no treatment, except to eradicate the pests.

What causes an infestation?

Although dirty houses or unsanitary hotel rooms are commonly thought to cause an infestation, this is not always the case. Cimicidae can enter a home through a variety of ways, including on pets or wild animals, from furniture that is already infested, through shared passageways, from people visiting an infested home, or from a hotel.

To avoid an infestation, inspect all luggage and place clothing in a sealed plastic bag before leaving the hotel. Wash items immediately in hot water when you return home and inspect them before returning them to your closet. If you see any signs of cimicidae, including eggs or feces, seal the items in a plastic bag until you can determine if the infestation is contained. Don’t be fooled into thinking the parasite is dead if it doesn’t move. These pests can go without food for up to a year.

Home bed bug treatment?

If you think you have an infestation, you may be tempted to try a home bed bug treatment. Killing bed bugs with heat is one way, but it’s more complicated than it seems. Eggs can take 60 minutes of constant heat to die, while adults and nymphs take 15 minutes. This means that if you are killing bed bugs with heat, you need to know what life stage the pest is in. Since the eggs can be hard to see, you can eradicate all the adults, but leave yourself open to another infestation when the eggs hatch. Insecticides are believed to be ineffective and could introduce dangerous fumes into your home.

Will a pest control company know how to get rid of bed bugs?

Instead of trying a home bed bug treatment, hire a company that has experience with bed bug pests. A pest control professional will be able to tell you for sure if you have an infestation and provide you with a plan on how to fix your problem. They will be able to eradicate these parasites effectively, but know that it may sometimes take several treatments to completely get rid of them in your home.

Look for a company that offers guaranteed removal. Some companies may require you to remove or dispose of furniture, so check to see if the company you hire can complete the removal without forcing you to spend the extra money on new furniture or bedding.

Knowing that you have these parasites and knowing how to get rid of bed bugs is the first step toward a good night’s sleep and a pest-free home.

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