When you start to get the sick feeling that you may have bed bugs in your home, you will likely have questions. You'll have the same questions many San Diego County residents have had before you. Today, we will look at the four biggies: How do I know I have bed bugs? How bad are they? How do I get rid of them myself? What do professionals do to get rid of them? If you'd like the answers, keep reading. If you'd like to speak directly to a pest management professional regarding your bed bug questions, remember that your HomeShield Pest Control service team is here to help.

HomeShield Pest Control provides bed bug pest control in San Diego County. We can also schedule a professional bed bug treatment for you if you'd like. We're here to help you resolve all of your pest problems. 

Now, let's take a hard look at the four big questions most people have concerning bed bug control.

Identifying Bed Bugs: Signs And Symptoms Of An Infestation

If you've found live bed bugs in your home, you're not wondering, "How do I know if I have bed bugs?" But, sometimes, figuring out where these insects are hiding is difficult. In some cases, people wonder if they're imagining things. Bed bugs are incredibly elusive pests, so we'll direct the answer to this question to them. If you know you have bed bugs, skip to the next section.

When you find bites on your skin but no bugs in your home, it'll have you scratching your head and other parts of your body. Don't worry; you won't have to scratch your head any longer. Here are four ways to know for sure that you have bed bugs:

  1. Finding Live Bed Bugs: Bed bugs hide underneath the feet of beds and other furniture, in tight seams around mattresses, under mattress labels, around vent grommets, inside pockets, and in the gaps of wall hangings. 

  2. Identifying Bed Bugs: Bed bug nymphs sometimes come out to bite. These little insects are white and red when feeding on your skin. Keep an eye out for them in the evening and before bed.

  3. Analyzing Bed Bug Bites: The bites caused by bed bugs have a particular pattern. Each bed bug that bites you will try to bite you three times in a short distance of about eight inches. As bed bugs feed, they move across your skin, feeding a few separate times and creating a group of bites in a pattern. 

  4. Finding Warning Signs: There are other warning signs bed bugs will give you. They leave black excrement and dried brown bloodstains on fabrics and surfaces, shed skins and tiny white eggs in tight spaces, and a scent that some describe as coriander. 

If you apply these tips and still can't determine whether or not you have a bed bug infestation, contact HomeShield Pest Control for a bed bug inspection for your San Diego County home. We can get to the bottom of even the most mystifying bed bug infestation. We can also give you insight into what you're dealing with if it's not a bed bug problem.

Once you know you have bed bugs, you're only at the beginning of solving your problem. You may deal with anxiety and sleepless nights as you work to resolve the issue. Let's quickly examine why you shouldn't lose sleep over bed bugs.

a bed bug crawling on bedding

Bed Bugs And Sleepless Nights: How They Affect Your Well-Being

There is something a bit unsettling about having bed bugs. We're not quite sure what it is about these specific pests, but some people have a lot of fear when it comes to bed bug infestations. We don't want you to be fearful, so we will put the kickstand down for a second and talk honestly about the dangers of a bed bug infestation.

Okay. How bad are bed bugs, really? You've heard the stories. You know the hype. What is the truth? Here are some simple facts that may help you get a better night's sleep as you work to address your bed bug problem:

  • Bed bugs are far from the only pests that can bite you while you sleep at night. Mosquitoes can get in and get you. Fleas can take root in your home and spring into your bed. Just think of bed bugs as just another bug that bites.

  • While numerous, bed bug bites aren't any worse than mosquito bites. In fact, it is much better to have a bed bug bite you. Mosquitoes transmit some very harmful diseases. There are no documented cases of disease transfer from bed bugs to humans.

  • When bed bugs get inside a home, they typically stay in one area. If someone is getting bites, it doesn't mean you're next. You may resolve your problem before bed bugs spread. They tend to stay in place until they grow a large enough population.

It is important to find peace of mind when it comes to bed bugs because stressing about an infestation can lead to sleep loss, and it isn't good for you to lose sleep. You should have nothing to fear as long as you're actively working to rid your home of these intruders. Let's turn our attention to bed bug control methods you can use to stop these pests in their tracks.

Eliminating Bed Bugs: The Smart Solution For Your Home

The biggest question we get is, "How do I get rid of bed bugs myself?" It is a big question because bed bug control isn't easy, even for a trained and experienced professional. There is usually no quick fix. We say "usually" because you can stop bed bugs quickly if you find them early enough. Since bed bugs hide in one location at the beginning of an infestation, you may catch them and remove them in the time it takes to say, "Honey, where is the vacuum cleaner?"

Our recommendation is to do routine checks for bed bugs in your house. Use the tips we provided earlier. As you search, keep a vacuum close at hand. Make sure your vacuum hose has a crack and crevice attachment on it. If you locate bed bugs during your search, suck them up and dispose of the vacuum bag outside your house. Doing this may end your infestation in seconds, as long as you don't have bed bugs in another hiding place, such as a suitcase, duffel bag, pocketbook, etc.

When a treatment plan is needed, it is best to contact HomeShield Pest Control to systematically remove bed bugs. If you do this yourself, you will likely allow bed bugs to live with you much longer than needed. We don't want that. 

How do the professionals at HomeShield Pest Control get rid of bed bugs? We perform an inspection to find the subtle warning signs and track bed bug activity. We apply control materials to eliminate the bugs in the areas of infestation. Along with the treatments, we use other control products to arrest activity. After the initial treatment, we return to inspect and monitor for bed bug activity. We continue this until there are no bugs left inside your home. It is a scientific process developed by experts in the industry and guaranteed to stop infestations.

Once the bugs are gone, what comes next? Do you need ongoing protection provided by a professional? No. There are many ways you can prevent a bed bug infestation on your own. Let's take a look at what you need to know.

Long-Term Bed Bug Prevention: Tips To Prevent Reinfestation

Bed bugs don't live in your yard or come in from the outdoors like other pests. If you have a residential pest control plan, you can still get bed bugs because they pass over your perimeter treatments as people carry them into your home instead. Here's how you can stop this from happening:

  • Keep watch for bed bugs while away from home. For example, use the light on your smartphone to check around your seat before settling in to watch a movie at the theater.

  • Perform a quick inspection when you spend the night somewhere. Use the inspection tips above to look for bed bugs in your room. Keep your luggage in your vehicle or set it in the bathroom as you inspect.

  • Always guard your laundry. Bed bugs are strongly attracted to laundry items. Store your shed clothing items in a sealed plastic trash bag.

  • Wash and dry your clothes when you get home. Soapy water is a desiccant for bed bugs, and high temperatures eliminate bed bugs in all stages of development. 

  • Inspect used items you purchase. Bed bugs can hitch a ride into your home within mattresses, box springs, bed frames, couches, chairs, alarm clocks, computers, pianos, etc.

  • Use caulk to seal gaps in baseboards if you live in an apartment. Bed bugs can travel from one living space to another using wall voids.

You may never need another bed bug treatment if you're diligent. But keep HomeShield Pest Control in mind if you ever need pest control in San Diego County. We're only a phone call or text message away.