Everyone in San Diego County wants to know how to get rid of bed bugs permanently. The unfortunate reality is that it is impossible to get rid of bed bugs for good. Why? It has to do with how bed bugs get into homes. They don't do it like most other pests do. They don't lurk around in your landscaping, explore the sides of your home, and slip in through tiny gaps. Bed bugs are indoor pests that move from structure to structure passively. In fact, understanding that bed bugs disperse passively is one of the most important facts you can know about them. The surprising truth about bed bug infestations is that bed bugs don't decide where they're going to live. They're carried into your home. When they find themselves in a new environment, they get busy doing what they always do. They stay hidden, come out at night, draw blood from sleeping people, and attempt to grow a population. Since this is their standard mode of operation, it should come as no shock that they're really good at it. If they weren't, these disturbing indoor bugs would most certainly be extinct by now. So, what can you do? We have many blogs that offer prevention tips to help you stop bed bugs from hitching a ride into your home. Today, we're going to offer advice for what to do "when" they find their way into your home despite your best efforts to keep them out. If you're dealing with a bed bug infestation and want fast answers, call us and speak with one of our pest professionals. We are your San Diego County pest control experts and we're here to help. With that said, let's look at what you can do about a bed bug infestation.

bed bug on furniture

Bed Bug Bites Are Usually The First Sign Of A Problem

Life comes to a screeching halt when you find them. Bed bug bites, on your skin. But sometimes we're called to deal with bed bug infestations and no bed bugs are found. The first step in getting control of bed bugs in San Diego County is making sure that you do, in fact, have bed bugs. Let's start with how to identify bed bug bites.

One Bite: If you only have one bite on your skin, you aren't going to have an easy time determining whether or not it is a bed bug bite. Insect bites commonly swell and have an associated rash due to an allergic reaction. You'll need more evidence than just that bite.

Two Or Three Bites: It is common for bed bugs to bite more than once as they feed at night. If you see three bites that are close together and surrounded by a rash, there is a good chance they are bed bug bites. 

A Dozen Bumps: If you have a rash with lots of tiny bumps, you may have bed bug bites. Early bites, or bites from immature nymphs, may only produce small bumps rather than welts. Since each bug tries to bite more than once, and each bug moves across your skin, the numerous bumps will look like a path on your skin.

Where will you find bed bug bites? These insects are attracted to carbon dioxide, so they typically bite on the upper body. You can expect to see bites on your shoulders, neck, and face. They also tend to bite skin that is exposed during sleep, so you may find bites on your hands and arms. It is rare to find bed bug bites on ankles and feet, though it can happen.

Warning Signs Of Bed Bug Activity: If you need more evidence, you'll have to go looking for other signs. What signs do bed bugs leave for you to find? 

  • These insects leave black and brown stains. The black stains are caused by fecal matter, and the brown stains are dried blood. Look for these stains on fabrics, mattresses, box springs, and upholstery.
  • As bed bugs grow, they shed their skins. You may find them tucked inside tight spaces, under labels, and inside pockets.
  • Bed bugs leave eggs in tight spaces as well. Their eggs are 1mm long and white.
  • You may see bed bugs as you search. They start as tiny, white, six-legged bugs. As they grow, they become tan. Adults look like apple seeds and are about ? of an inch long.
  • If you have a large enough infestation, you may smell bed bug pheromones. Some describe it as the scent of coriander.

When you find bed bugs and determine that you definitely have an infestation, the next step is to evaluate your bed bug problem. Let's consider the anatomy of a bed bug infestation and some of the problems associated with having these pests in your home.

The Problems That Come With A Bed Bug Infestation

We don't need to tell you how annoying, and somewhat disturbing, it is to have insects biting you while you sleep. The goal of this section is not to convince you to get rid of bed bugs. We're sure you'll want to as soon as you see them. What we want to do is describe the way bed bugs will infest your home and how the infestation is likely to grow.

  • Bed bugs may enter your home as adults or eggs.
  • If adult bed bugs hitch a ride into your home, you may get a few bites and not notice an infestation for a while because bites are sometimes mild at first.
  • If eggs enter your home, they can hatch into a group of immature nymphs. These nymphs can leave numerous tiny bumps on your skin. You may mistake these bumps as a prickly rash, rather than insect bites.
  • Bed bugs are likely to stay isolated to one area at first. They prefer beds but will establish themselves near any place where you sleep, lounge, or sit.
  • Over time, bed bugs will reproduce and grow their population. Once their numbers are large enough, they will spread to other zones within your home.
  • Over time, you'll notice the bites more as the allergic reaction is likely to worsen.
  • Bed bugs can get into walls and move between apartments once an infestation is large enough.
  • Prolonged exposure to bed bugs can lead to sleep deprivation, anemia, and infections.
  • The longer you have an infestation, the greater the chance the bed bugs can spread to friends and extended family members.

It is critical to use effective methods to address a bed bug infestation as early as possible, which is why we emphasize learning to detect bed bugs in your home. Once you've found bed bug activity, the best course of action is to contact local pest control for bed bugs. Let's take a look at why this is the case.

You Shouldn't Try To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs On Your Own

Bed bugs are hard to control. They hide in tight spaces and come out at night to bite you. They live to breed and grow their populations. They're also built for survival. San Diego County residents use a variety of methods to deal with these scary bugs.

Heat: Some residents find out that pest control service providers sometimes use heat to eliminate bed bugs and then attempt to use space heaters to get the job done. Space heaters are a costly mistake. The equipment and methods used by professionals go far beyond what a space heater can do. Bed bugs will elude the heat by hiding in cold spots or spreading to other rooms.

Home Remedies: Many residents prefer natural pest control for bed bugs. The methods learned online are not backed by science, and the typical result of home remedies is bed bugs are allowed to infest for a longer period. But, some home remedies are dangerous. There are heartwrenching accounts of bed bug treatments gone wrong, like one woman who sprayed alcohol to eliminate bed bugs and when that didn't work, she turned on her oven to drive them out with heat, and burned her apartment complex down.

Products: There are a number of products you can purchase for bed bug control. These products fail for a variety of reasons. Topical treatments don't get deep enough and wear out on surfaces. Bed bugs avoid powder. Traps only capture a small portion of the population.

The best solution for bed bugs is a systematic and multi-pronged treatment plan performed by an experienced professional. We have a few of those on staff here at HomeShield Pest Control. Do you live in San Diego County?

The Most Effective Bed Bug Control For San Diego County Homes

Contact HomeShield Pest Control when you discover bed bugs in your home. We use field-tested methods developed by industry experts, and we apply a range of solutions. Your technician will inspect your home, listen closely to your concerns, and help you find the right solution for you. Once you decide, we do the rest. You can count on HomeShield Pest Control to guide you from start to finish and completely rid your home of bed bugs. Reach out to us today to get answers to your questions about bed bug control in San Diego County or to schedule service. We have the solution you're looking for.