Why Heat Is The Best Solution When It Comes To Bed Bugs In Wilmington
February 15, 2020
Do you think you have a bed bug problem? You're not alone. In 2018, 97% of exterminators reported treating bed bugs, with many of them reporting that bed bug treatments were their most common service. If you haven't contacted an exterminator yet, your home will most likely require a heat treatment. Before we get into what that means, though, let's delve into why cities like Wilmington, NC have seen a resurgence of bed bug infestations, and what you can do to prevent them.
Why Bed Bugs Have Become A Problem (Again)
Bed bugs have pestered humankind for millennia, with records of their peskiness dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. Waking up with itchy bites along your arms and legs was fairly commonplace until about the mid-20th century. The invention of a chemical compound, DDT, was game-changing for exterminators, and Americans could rest easy knowing that DDT residue protected them from bed bug infestations indefinitely.
Many people lament that banning DDT is the reason bed bugs came back, but that's not quite the case. Bed bugs were already developing an immunity to DDT before it was banned, and the pesticide would likely do little to help infestations today. Additionally, air travel became increasingly common in the late 20th century, so travelers to countries that hadn't eradicated the bug brought it back with them, reintroducing infestations throughout the nation. Lastly, America has become increasingly urbanized, and bed bugs thrive in dense, highly-populated cities.
How To Identify A Bed Bug Infestation
Part of the reason bed bugs are so tricky to treat is because of their size and deception. Bed bugs are tiny insects, and they only come out at night, so many people don't recognize the signs of an infestation until it has gone on for quite some time. Often, bed bug infestations are mistaken for something else, causing additional stress and confusion for residents.
Common signs of an infestation include the following:
You wake up to scratchy bites around the exposed parts of your skin. Bed bugs are nocturnal, blood-feeding insects, so your body is their meal in the night, but by day, you probably won't see them.
You see mite-sized insects crawling in your bed and on furniture. If you're awake between dusk and dawn, you may see swarms of insects circling around your furniture. Bed bugs are apple seed-sized insects that rarely grow over ⅕ of an inch. Bed bugs are a reddish-brown color, and they don't move in a straight line. They're all over the place, hunting for their next meal.
You smell a musty odor in your room. Prolonged bed bug infestations with a high bug population can result in a musty odor that builds up over time. If you don't see or feel the bugs, you'll eventually smell them.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
Because bed bugs are so tiny, they're hard to detect until it's too late. Moreover, bed bugs are hitchhikers. They got in your house because they latched onto your clothing or bags and stayed for the ride home. There's not a whole lot you can do to prevent them, but if you're coming back after traveling or even just from visiting a hotel, check all your bags and belongings for bugs. If you find them, secure your belongings in a plastic bag and place a no-pest strip inside it. Place the plastic bag in a fumigated room, and wait for the bugs to die.
Additionally, it helps to vacuum your house regularly, especially your carpeting. Wash your bed sheets frequently as well, and reduce clutter around your home. During the day, bed bugs like to reside in cool, dark, protected spaces. Finally, you can buy an encasement for your bed that's washable so that, if you find bed bugs, you can strip the encasement and hopefully avoid getting bed bugs in your mattress.
Bed Bug Heat Treatments
If you've discovered a bed bug infestation, the best thing you can do is book a bed bug heat treatment. Heat treatments work by pushing your house to between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to kill an infestation no matter where it is. Heat treatments work best because they touch every nook and cranny of your home. Where pesticides miss important cracks and crevices, heat seeps into everything.
Don't wait a second longer to stop your infestation. Contact the professionals at Bug-N-A-Rug Exterminators to request more information and book a heat treatment — your sleep schedule will thank you for it.