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Pest Spotlight: Tackling A Bed Bug Infestation In Manchester

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How much do you know about bed bugs? Do you know that they can cause lots of tiny bumps surrounded by a rash? Do you know that they often live in one location inside a home when they first infest? Do you know that bed bug problems only get worse? They never go away. These pests are in it to win it. But you don't have to let the bed bugs bite. Join us today as we look at common misconceptions about the insect we call the bed bug. We'll discuss early signs of bed bugs, what you can expect if you have a bed bug infestation, and bed bug control techniques for your home and beyond. If you are dealing with these pests and want professional advice or professional bed bug pest control in Manchester, give us a call. Our friendly technicians have the training and experience to guide you in the right direction. 

How To Tell If There Are Bed Bugs In Your Home

Do you know that you can think you have bed bugs when you actually don't? It happens. The reason is simpler than you might think. Any time you get a rash, it is because of an allergic reaction. When you are allergic to food, eating that food can cause a rash. When you are allergic to a fabric, wearing that fabric can cause a rash. When certain pests climb on your skin, you may react by developing a rash. You can get a bump and a rash in response to insect venom such as when you're stung by a bee, wasp, or fire ant. You can have a reaction to insect saliva, like the bump and rash you get when a mosquito, flea, or some other insect bites you. All of these are your body's response to an invasion. It responds by sending histamines into the area. Those histamines are what cause the itchy feeling, swelling, and rash. When you see lots of little bumps surrounded by a rash, you may think you have bed bugs. How can you tell for sure? Here are some facts to consider: 

  • Consider the number of bumps. Each bed bug bites more than once. It will draw a blood meal, move forward, draw another, move forward, and draw one more. Look for this pattern.
  • Consider how the bumps appear on your skin. A general rash will have random bumps, and insects that only bite one time will leave random bumps. Since bed bugs each typically bite three times as they move forward, the bumps will almost look like a path on your skin. Look for this path.
  • Don't consider "when" you notice the bumps. If you wake up with bumps, it is easy to assume a bug bit you while you were sleeping. Not only can you get bumps from other things while you sleep, such as sheets or carpet beetle larvae, but your bites could be from outdoor insects. It can take hours or even days for insect bites to swell and develop a noticeable rash. 
  • Keep in mind that different people respond differently to bed bug bites. If you're a senior, you should know that seniors tend to have a minor reaction or no reaction at all.
  • Keep in mind that bed bug bites range from small bumps to large welts. You can't rule out bed bugs if your bumps look too large or too small for what you think an insect bite should look like.

Hopefully, these tips will help you unravel the mystery, but there are other ways to tell that you have a bed bug infestation in your home. The secret to unraveling this mystery is knowing how to find bed bugs during the day and how to identify bed bugs when you find them.

Where Bed Bugs Hide: You need to look in tight spaces for these pests and you want to check near beds, couches, living room chairs, and office chairs first. Look for black stains, black streaks, brown or tan stains, shed skins, an unpleasant coriander smell, and the presence of insects.

What Bed Bugs Look Like: You may already know that adult bed bugs look like apple seeds with six legs. This is true. But an adult bed bug doesn't always look as you might expect, and baby bed bugs don't look like the adults. Here are a few facts to consider:

  • While adult bed bugs are normally a rusty color, they may appear black in certain lighting and if they haven't recently had a blood meal.
  • While adult bed bugs are flat, they may look bloated if they've recently fed.
  • Newly hatched bed bugs are pale white and look like miniature adults. 
  • A newly hatched bed bug that has recently fed will look like a tiny red insect.
  • A growing nymph will appear tan and have red or black coloration in the abdomen.

It is critical to know what bed bugs look like in all stages of development so that you can recognize them when you see them. You must also consider the size of the bed bugs. Newly hatched nymphs are only 1mm long. While not invisible to the naked eye, they are quite small. Adult bed bugs aren't much larger. A full-grown adult bed bug is about 4.5mm long. You can have more than a dozen squeezed into a tiny space the size of your thumbnail. You can also have them hiding in tight spaces that are difficult to check. Use a credit card or a butter knife to scrape along seams, cracks, and other hidden spaces.

What It's Like To Have A Bed Bug Infestation In Your Home

You may imagine that it is sheer torture to have bed bugs, but it isn't—at first. In fact, some people don't know they have bed bugs for weeks or months. The initial bites are often slight. The reason for slight bites is that an infestation often begins with a batch of eggs that hatch into tiny nymphs. These nymphs come out a few at a time to get food. If the few that come out don't return, the others take notice. They work together to avoid danger. So you can expect to get a small bumpy rash at first—assuming you see any reaction at all.

The longer bed bugs stay in your home, the more noticeable the bites become. One reason for this is that the human body sends more and more histamine as it is continually invaded. Eventually, your body will throw everything but the kitchen sink at the invading proteins from the anticoagulant in bed bug saliva. We hope you don't wait until this point to seek out local pest control for bed bugs.  

Easy Tips To Prevent Bed Bugs Catching A Ride Into Your Home

Bed bugs move passively from one location to another. They do this by hiding in objects that we carry with us, objects such as luggage, pocketbooks, and book bags. They also do this by hiding in furniture items that are sold. Here are a few tips to prevent bed bugs or bed bug eggs from getting into your stuff or hitching a ride into your home.

  • Always do a quick inspection when you spend the night somewhere away from home, even if it is clean, and even if you would consider it safe. A family member or friend can have bed bugs and not know it.
  • Always store laundry items in a sealed plastic bag. You don't need a special bag. A trash bag and a bread tie are enough.
  • When you return home from a trip, wash all of your clothing in hot, soapy water, and put all of your laundry items through a hot dryer cycle. Soap works as a desiccant and heat eliminates bed bugs in all stages of development.
  • Refrain from storing bags or clothing in a locker with someone else's items. All bed bugs need is darkness to move from item to item.
  • When you are in a dark location, even during the day, do a quick search for bed bugs or warning signs. For example, use your smartphone flashlight before you take a seat in a movie theater.
  • Be aware that bed bugs can come home from work or school with you.
  • Be aware that bed bug infestations have been found in taxis, buses, and trains.
  • Inspect used furniture and other items before bringing them into your home, including alarm clocks, computers, and pianos.

When you keep watch and use simple preventative steps, you can prevent an infestation. It is a slight hassle, but worth the effort.  

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Home

If you find bed bugs in your home, should you treat bed bugs yourself? We don't recommend it. Bed bugs are easier to treat at first, but improper treatments cause them to disperse. You may have to spend more money for professional treatment if you try to do it yourself first. At the first sign of bed bugs, contact EcoChoice Termites & Pest Control for professional bed bug control in Manchester. We use strategies designed by industry experts and products that are known to stop bed bugs in their tracks. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite. Connect with us today for assistance.