Few people realize how big of a problem bed bug infestations are, until they have to deal with it themselves. However, bed bug populations are on the rise, both in Utah and around the continental . In the last few years, Salt Lake has reported a big spike in bed bug cases, with no signs of a decrease. Because they don’t spread disease, it’s not a public health crisis, but there’s no denying the bother of the situation, and the fact that the trends aren’t good for homeowners and residents.
Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood. Attracted by the carbon dioxide that we breathe out as we sleep, bed bugs rely on a human host, feeding about once a week. Although they don’t infect humans with diseases, their bites often create a small itchy spot that looks like a spider or mosquito bite.
Despite their names, bed bugs don’t live exclusively in beds. They can live in your house’s baseboards, in warped wallpaper, and in other possessions in your room. Bed bugs like to stay close to their food source, although they’re only active during the night.
Recognizing Early Signs
Bed bugs are hard to spot, since they’re small and don’t leave many signs. Even at full adulthood bed bugs are the size of an apple seed. Here are some warning signs of bed bugs.
- Spots of blood on your sheets
- Multiple bites on your body (You might assume it’s a mosquito or spider bite, until you realize that it keeps happening night after night)
- Dark speckles on your mattress or in other areas of the room that indicate bed bug droppings
How to Prevent Them
Bed bugs are hitchhikers. They usually migrate from one place to another by riding around on humans. Although they can thrive even in clean houses, keeping your room neat and clean can still be helpful in controlling an infestation. Here are some other tips for preventing bed bugs.
- Vacuum around the bed and floorboards to help prevent or control an infestation.
- Fix loose wall coverings and repair shredded wallpaper to minimize habitats; repair cracks.
- Keep the area around your bed uncluttered.
- Quickly contact a professional as soon as you see signs.
How to Counter an Infestation
Some people move sleeping locations in order to prevent bed bug bites and possibly starve the insects. However, bed bugs can actually hibernate and survive without feeding for months. In order to keep them from spreading, keep sleeping in the same bed. Bed bugs can easily migrate to a new location in one night. If you share a wall with others, as in a town home or apartment complex, the infestation is probably going beyond your property, and it will take a coordinated effort to get rid of them.
You can clean your bedding and possessions by heating everything up to 140 degrees, or using professional cleaning products. However, in order to effectively eradicate a bed bug problem, you’ll want to contact a professional. Bed bugs can be tricky to exterminate. For one thing, harsh chemicals aren’t ideal when working around your mattress and bedroom. For another, bedbugs won’t be tricked by poison and bait, as many other pests are, since they feed exclusively on blood. Here at Smart Guard, we have the tools and experience necessary to eliminate a bed bug infestation in your home. Give us a call at one of our locations in Riverton and Eagle Mountain!