Bed bug infestations are a surprisingly common occurrence, so you shouldn't be surprised if you find yourself in the midst of one. Thankfully, they are easily eradicated, if you know what you are doing. This article will both show you how to easily identify a bed bug infestation and how to kill bed bugs using heat treatment.
Identifying Bed Bugs
The main symptom of a bed bug infestation is waking up in the morning with itchy bites. However, these could also conceivably be caused by mosquitoes or other bugs. Therefore, if you wake up with bug bites, you should look for other factors which will prove that bed bugs are responsible.
First, you should thoroughly inspect your bedding and mattress for any visible bedbugs. They won't always be visible on the surface, but they are about a quarter of an inch long and will change color depending on how recently they have fed. If you check for bugs in the morning after waking up with bites, you might be lucky to find several red, blood-engorged bed bugs. At this point, you should proceed to eliminate the infestation.
On the other hand, if you do not find any live bed bugs, then there are still other signs to look for, such as molted skins. You might have to move your bed for this step, but if you search around the headboard, adjacent baseboards, and the around the mattress, you might find small empty exoskeletons. These will look fairly similar to the bed bug themselves, but are usually transparent. If there are a lot of exoskeletons, then you might have a very severe infestation on your hands.
Finally, bed bug excrement is a common indicator of an infestation and resembles a fungal or mold infestation. If you see dark spots on your mattress, then there is a good chance that you have bed bugs.
Once you have identified an infestation, you should take steps to kill the bed bugs. A common technique is to use extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, in order to exterminate them. If you live in a cold environment, you can leave your bedding and mattress outside for a few days to kill off the bedbugs. You will then want to thoroughly clean out all of the corpses.
However, most people elect to use heat treatment. If the infestation is contained to your bedding, then you could use a dryer to kill the bugs. However, you will need to clean the dryer thoroughly afterwards. Many companies also sell specialized heat treatment pads to kill off bed bugs, which are placed on the affected area for several hours or days. You might need a vacuum to remove the dead bed bugs, depending on the density and size of your infestation.
Should you need a more professional approach, contact reputable bed bug removal services.