Bed Bugs are little, wingless bugs. While that have not been known to transmit disease, they cause a lot of discomfort and are among the hardest pests to control.
Adults have level, oval molded bodies. They are usually between one to seven millimeters long (similar to an apple seed). The size of an adult bed bug differs a lot, depending on how much blood they have just taken form the host.
They develop a deep red color right after dining on their host. Bed bugs are typically most active during the evening and prefer to bite people and creatures while they are asleep. Their ability to live a long time without feeding makes them difficult to kill.
The Texas Department of Health Services suggests these steps:
If you suspect you may be infested with bed bugs:
- Seek confirmation from a Licensed Pest Control Operator.
- Once confirmed the apartment needs preparation for treatment:
- Clean and organize home, getting rid of clutter where they can hide.
- Caulk and seal all cracks and crevices around each room (like baseboards, shelves, etc.
- Seal floors or the spaces between floor boards and tiles.
- Seal what you can in plastic bags and airtight containers. These items may need to be stored outside the home for at least 6 months to a year to insure re-infestation does not occur.
- Remove sheets, blankets, coverlets, stuffed animals, pillows, quilts, bed skirts and drapes. Launder these items in hot water and use the highest heat setting in the dryer.
- Move furniture away from walls.
- Place a knee high stocking over the vacuum handle attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Vacuum the mattress, box springs, floors, furniture, and baseboards.
- Once the mattress has been vacuumed, encase both mattress and box spring in plastic mattress covers.
- Remove the bag from the vacuum and discard the stocking in an air-tight bag immediately after use. Discard the sealed bag immediately.
- If infested furniture is discarded PLEASE mark the items with bright indelible marker or paint “BED BUGS” to prevent someone from picking up the infested furniture and transmitting bed bugs to other dwellings.
- Contact licensed pest control operator for proper treatment. Treatment may be more extensive and require more than one application if you have not done the above prevention steps.
Be careful when you travel. You can come into contact with bed bugs on aircraft, in taxis, subway cars, cruise ships, city and tour buses, etc.. Here are some tips that may help you avoid bringing them back with you when you travel.
- Take all toiletries and place them in plastic zip-loc bags and pack additional large kitchen garbage bags to store dirty clothes.
- Inspect hotel rooms prior to taking your luggage and belongings into the room.
- Turn back the comforter, sheets and mattress pads and look for actual bed bugs, their fecal spots, and eggs in seam line of mattresses and between mattress and box springs, behind hanging pictures and headboards.
- Always store suitcases on the luggage racks NOT on the floor.
- Dirty clothing should be placed in an airtight bag and not in the suitcase.
- When packing to leave, inspect your luggage for bed bugs, then place all personal effects in bags, then into your suitcases.
- When you arrive home, leave your luggage outside… DO NOT take it into your home… if possible.
- Remove items individually and inspect them for bed bugs immediately
- Wash all clothing in hot water and place in the dryer at the highest heat setting for a minimum of 20 minutes.
- Items that can not be washed and dried at high heat should be dry-cleaned. Take dry clean items to them still in the air tight bags.
- Put all luggage in tightly sealed plastic bags and leave outside storage or in a garage if possible.