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Bed Bug Basics

 Bed Bug

On the road or in your own bed at home, bed bugs can do a lot more than ruin a good night's sleep. They can leave itchy bites all over you, force you to throw out an otherwise perfectly good mattress and cause you to spend a lot of time and energy trying to get rid of them. The good news: the more you know about bed bugs, the easier it is to identify, avoid, and ultimately  get rid of these unwanted pests. Read through our ‘Bed Bug Basics’ information for the down and dirty FAQs about bed bugs and let us help you prevent an(other) infestation:

  • How small are bed bugs? What do bed bugs look like?

Bed bugs are brown insects that like to feed on the blood of various animals,

Bed Bug Solution Hybrid

including humans. The males of the species get big enough to be seen with ease: they are about the size of an apple seed at full size. They don’t fly but can move quickly … across bedding, of course, but also furniture, suitcases, clothes, floors, ceilings, and walls.

  •  How to know they’re around

Bed Bugs can be equated to tiny vampires. Bed bugs typically feed at night. They like to crawl out from wherever they’re hiding to feed on any exposed skin they can find, drawing blood through their beaks. They will feed for about

10 minutes, then quickly get back to cover – typically before you wake up.  Because they resemble mosquito bites, bed bug bites are not typically noticeable at first – they may not even wake you up. Later you will notice spots that are red and itchy. Unlike the typical mosquito bite, Bed bug bites will usually pop up in clusters. The pattern of bed bug bites often appear as a line or zigzag, aligning with the edge of a sheet or mattress.  If you believe you have bed bug bites, be sure to check your bedding and mattress.

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  •  Why are bed bugs hard to find sometimes? Where do they hide?
To remain undercover, bed bugs like dark, recessed spaces so they can hide safely. This means these mostly unseen pests tend to live in carpets, bedding, under and between mattresses. As you can guess, they multiply quickly, with a single generation can reaching maturity in about a year, your bedding can produce three generations every year.
  • Where will bed bugs bite me?
The short answer is anywhere there’s skin: arms, neck, hands, feet and face.
  •  How to Spot a Bed Bug (Continue at your own discretion!)

 Look for:

  • Mosquito-like bites
  • Blood stains on pillowcases and sheets
  • The carcasses of their bodies in the bed and amid the sheets
  • The sight of bed bugs on mattress
  • Dark, rusty spots on sheets and mattresses, bedding, and walls, which is their excrement.
  • Eggs and discarded skin, often found in areas where bed bugs typically hide.
  • A musty odor originating from the bed bugs sweat glands; some consider this odor offensive 
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  • How to treat bed bug bites

This varies, depending on the severity of the reaction to the bites. Wash and clean the bites with soap and water to prevent any infection. This should also reduce the itching. For some people, an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream may help reduce itching. If one of these creams doesn’t help, a doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid or an antihistamine.

 Even though they are itchy, don’t scratch bed bug bites.

  • Can Bed Bugs spread fast?
  •  How do they travel? 
They hitchhike. Because they seek out dark places to hide, and because they are fast, they can quickly get into purses, backpacks, luggage, clothes, etc. They don’t live in nests, so there’s no reason to stay at home. 
  • Where, precisely, do bugs live in beds and bedrooms?

You will mostly find bed bugs in mattresses and box springs. They are thin, and able to get into very tight spaces. Look between mattresses, on and between box springs, on headboards and in corners of bed frames during the day. At night you may be able to see them directly on bedding, mattress and pillows.

  • How to keep bed bugs out of your home
  1. Be careful when traveling. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a hotel or a friend’s home, check the bedding and room out carefully and keep your luggage closed.
  2. When you’re cleaning at home, keep a sharp eye out.
  3. Do checks under the beds and between mattresses and box springs. Check out the headboard.
  4. Get some bed bug detection traps as well, which are reliable.  
  • Prevention is the best strategy
Don’t make it easy for unwanted pests to live in your home. Use mattress covers made to block bed bugs. This may help people with allergies as well.
  •  What are bed bug traps?

Think of bed bug traps are your first line of defense. They don’t do much about getting rid of bed bugs, but bed bug traps are a reliable way to find out if they’re around. Even professionals use them. You can buy them at your local hardware store, from Amazon, or you can make them – just ask Google.

  • Bed bug traps come in two varieties:
    • Passive traps - Passive bed bug traps capture bed bugs as they travel from their hiding places to their hosts.
    • Pesticide traps - There are more than 300 registered pesticide products for eliminating bed bugs. It's best for pesticides to be used only by professionals because they are dangerous and it’s important to choose the right one. Keep in mind that bed bugs are much more resistant to pesticides. A good exterminator can use the right pesticide depending on resistance, size and advancement of infestation, and the extent of the area needing to be covered.
  •  Bed bug foggers
These simply fill rooms with an aerosol insecticide. They are cheap but often not effective. In fact, they may basically just make the bed bugs migrate to another room.
  • Killing bed bugs with heat treatments

Heat is considered by some to be the most effective way to kill bed bugs – but temperatures have to be 120°F or above. For linens, shoes and clothes, a dryer may help. There are also portable bed bug heaters, but again, it’s best to call a professional. An exterminator can bring in special equipment to heat an entire room to an average temperature of 140°F. This bed bug treatment can take up to eight hours. The good news is no poisons are used.

  • What Do I Do if I think there are bed bugs in my home?
Don’t Delay! Treatments include, but are not limited to:
    • Contact an exterminator
    • Heat treat infected areas
    • Invest in bed bug traps
    • GET PROTECTIVE BEDDING! Try our BedBug Solution™ line of mattress protectors, which features the BugStop Seal® and Bargoose Breathable Barrier™. This will keep bed bugs out of mattresses and can be put on infested mattresses, to seal bed bugs in and eliminate bites immediately.

 How can I prevent bed bugs from coming back? 

  • Knowledge is very important. Understanding where bed bugs come from and how to keep them out of our house is an initial step in bed bug prevention. We also highly suggest protecting your bed and mattress and pillow with a bed bug-proof encasement kit.  This will give you the relief of knowing you will never again have to deal with a bed bug infestation.

For more information, please feel free to contact us at (516) 255 - 1736 or send us an email at:

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