Winter in the Carolinas is quickly approaching as this article is being posted. Already homeowners in the Carolinas have had freezing temperatures and frosty windshields. But while the temperatures outside drop and your heating system keeps you warm inside, there are pests that are opportunists and will look for any way they can find to get inside your home for the winter, and few of these pests can be more damaging than bedbugs.
Many Carolina homeowners think that they can defeat these and other pests with do-it-yourself or ‘old farmer’ remedies. It is commonly believed that many of these can be as effective as professional treatment solutions, but bedbug eradication can be a tricky business, and if you don’t approach a solution properly you can end up doing more harm than good and find yourself in a bad situation.
bedbug bites can cause serious skin irritation
HOW DO YOU GET BEDBUGS?
Like ticks, bedbugs look for blood and aren’t necessarily concerned with unsanitary, dirty conditions (this is a popular misconception). Since they need the fluid to survive, they’ll gather in animal areas and public places. Examples are fields, schools, offices, airports, and hotels. Once they’ve identified a target, they’ll hang onto a beast’s fur or the clothing and personal bags of a human. This is their ticket into homes. As time passes, they’ll congregate in the following:
SIGNS OF A BEDBUG INFESTATION
Odors, stains, and bites on your body are the clear signs of a bed bug infestation. When the number of insects grows, a musty scent will be dominant. You will start to notice blood drops and reddish-brown spots on surfaces and fabrics. Fecal marks and powdery fragments that are brown or black will also be visible. The welts on your skin will be similar to a rash, appearing crowded together and patchy. Itching and redness will follow shortly. In most cases, you won’t even feel a bedbug bite as they do damage you while you sleep. Noticing any of these signs should immediately alert you to the possibility of a bedbug infestation and you should quickly call for a professional inspection.
though exaggerated here, bedbugs are quite small and often hard to find
WHY DO-IT-YOURSELF DOESN’T WORK WITH BEDBUGS
Most home bedbug remedies may be effective in the short term, at least to the eye. But many rely on mixing home chemicals that can be dangerous to breathe, both while mixing and after the application. Some of these remedies rely on vinegar, bleach, rubbing alcohol, diatomaceous earth, dry ice, and more; chemicals that can produce strong negative effects if you don’t know what you are doing. In addition to being only moderately effective on living bedbugs, they often fail to address bedbug eggs, which will hatch and renew the infestation. This is why bedbugs have the well-earned reputation of being a notoriously difficult infestation to treat, especially with home remedies.
OTHER SIGNS OF A POSSIBLE BEDBUG PROBLEM
In addition to the signs detailed above, here are other possible signs that you should be looking out for
Tiny black streaks or specks found on bedding or clothing. If you’ve found small black streaks on your mattresses, box springs, bed frames, baseboards, carpets, or furniture, these are likely droppings left by bed bugs.
Small white sheddings. Bed bugs shed their skin as they develop, and these skins could be what you’re encountering around your home.
Small white eggs. While minuscule, bed bugs leave small (1mm) white eggs in homes they infest. While individual eggs can be nearly impossible to recognize, many times eggs can be found in batches, making them more visually distinctive.
Live or dead bed bugs. Bed bugs are about 1mm long when they first hatch. They are white in color with six legs. As they grow into adults, their color changes to brown or black, although they can have a reddish tint if they’ve recently fed on blood.
While they are most active in the fall, holiday traveling can often lead to bed bug infestations. If you’ve had family and friends visiting over the holidays, they could have inadvertently brought bed bugs inside with them. In contrast, if you were visiting family and stayed in a hotel or motel during your trip, bedbugs may have hitched a ride in your luggage and made their way into your home.
A CALL FOR HELP - ANSWERED!
Bedbugs can be quite difficult to treat for homeowners due to their small size, fast-breeding capabilities, and ability to get into your home via a variety of methods. If untreated, a bedbug infestation can quickly spread to other rooms in your home and completely take over living and sleeping areas.
Nelon-Cole, your Carolina bedbug removal experts, urge you to call for a FREE consultation if you see any of the signs outlined here. Our trained professionals know the questions to ask and how to follow up quickly with safe, effective treatments that both eradicate existing infestations and help keep any future problems from creeping into your home again. Call us today and let us put your bedbug problems behind you this winter!