There is a secret to getting control of bed bugs. Do you want to know what it is? Knowledge. Why is knowledge the solution? Because bed bugs aren't like most other pests. They don't live in your yard and they don't get into your home through your exterior walls or open windows. Therefore, no product will keep bed bugs out of your home. You need to understand how these insects behave if you hope to keep them out. Knowledge is power. Our goal today is to provide you with all you need to know about bed bugs in the Sacramento region and offer tips to help you find them and deal with them when you find them. If you're currently dealing with a frustrating bed bug infestation and you need immediate assistance with bed bug control, feel free to jump to our contact page. The service team here at HomeShield Pest Control provides industry-leading bed bug pest control in the Sacramento region.

How To Identify A Bed Bug

We get a lot of questions about bed bugs, such as: what color are bed bugs? or what do baby bed bugs look like? These questions arise when residents recognize bed bug bites but can't identify the bugs they've found—or they can't find the bugs at all. Why is it so hard to identify bed bugs? Here are a few reasons.

You may have seen bed bugs on television or on the internet, and you might think that all bed bugs look like the ones you've seen. However, the bugs you've seen are probably adult bed bugs, which are reddish-brown, but not all adult bed bugs are reddish-brown. When a bed bug takes a blood meal, it may look like a red bug. When a bed bug hasn't eaten, it may look like a black bug. The black coloration is the feces inside the abdomen of the insect. Blood or feces in the abdomen of a bed bug and poor lighting conditions can make bed bug identification difficult.

You may have a hard time identifying bed bugs because they're tiny. Images of bed bugs on the internet reveal clear characteristics, such as crease lines on the abdomen. You probably won't see those crease lines when you see a real live bed bug. At full size, a bed bug is only about 1/6 of an inch long.

Furthermore, you may not know you're looking at a bed bug when you find a baby bed bug on your skin or crawling around in your home. Newly hatched bed bugs are pale-colored, not reddish-brown. As they develop, they become tan. But, in all stages, a bed bug that has had a blood meal will have red coloration in the abdomen, which can throw you off.

It is important to recognize bed bugs when you see them because they can alert you to their presence, and you can take steps to keep from bringing them home with you. Proper identification will also help you detect them in your home so you can take steps to get rid of them before they cause too much trouble. How much trouble? Let's look at another area where bed bug knowledge is essential. 

bed bug biting skin

Bed Bug Infestations Only Get Worse With Time

There are a few things you can expect from bed bugs. You know they're going to bite you. These insects feed on blood. You know they're going to breed and increase their population because it is what insects do. And you can expect that, as their population grows, you will get more bites. Why is it important to understand this? Because some folks ignore bed bugs and figure they will go away. Some pests do go away, ants are a great example. You can have thousands of ants invade your home, and in a day or two, all the ants may be gone or deceased. Bed bugs don't do this. Bed bugs aren't going to run out of food and starve because they can get a blood meal from sleeping people, or wide-awake people. As long as people are in your home, bed bugs have a food source. Over time, your problem is only going to get worse.

The Many Ways Bed Bugs Can Find Their Way Into Your Home

Now that you know how to identify bed bugs and why it isn't good to ignore them, let's look at three more common questions we get about bed bugs. These will provide insights into keeping bed bugs out of your home.

"Do bed bugs come from outside?"

We touched on this above, but it is worth drilling in a little deeper. Bed bugs don't live in your yard. There is no product you can apply to your exterior walls to keep bed bugs out because they hitch rides and go right into your home through your front door. It is also impossible to drive bed bugs out of your home because they can't readily find a meal in your yard. If you put down repellent odors, bed bugs will find a way around them.   

"Where do bed bugs come from?"

You've probably heard you can get bed bugs from staying at a motel or hotel. You may also have heard that bed bugs infest dirty motels and hotels. Both of these are partly true. Can bed bugs infest motels and hotels? Yes. But they are far from the only businesses these insects infest. Can they infest dirty businesses? Yes, but they don't choose where they infest. Bed bugs spread through passive dispersal. They don't decide where they want to live. Wherever they find themselves, they make the best of the situation, no matter how clean or dirty a place is.

"How did I get bed bugs?"

There are many ways to pick up bed bugs. You can get them while on vacation. Motels and hotels tend to be hotspots. You can also get them from taxis, buses, trains, planes, and other forms of public transportation. But vacation isn't the only time you can get bed bugs.

  • Your kids can bring them home after a sleepover.
  • You college-age kids can bring them home from the dormitory.
  • Your kids can bring bed bugs home from school.
  • You can get bed bugs at work.
  • You could get a hardback library book and bring bed bug eggs home.
  • You can get bed bugs when visiting a family member in assisted living.
  • A relative, friend, or neighbor can bring bed bugs into your home.

There are many ways to get bed bugs. The secret to keeping bed bugs from coming into your home is to see those bugs and stop them before they do. There are also a few steps you can take to prevent bed bugs or their eggs from getting into your things and coming home with you.

  • Perform quick inspections before spending the night somewhere.
  • Put laundry in a sealed plastic bag while staying overnight away from home.
  • Spray lavender on your luggage or bags to keep bed bugs out.
  • Wash all your laundry in hot soapy water and put your wash through a 30-minute dryer cycle when you return home from vacation.
  • Keep watch when you take rides in public transportation.
  • Use your dryer to treat items that have bed bug eggs.
  • Store items in your freezer for three to four days to kill bed bugs.
  • Suck bed bugs up and dispose of the vacuum bag outside.

When you understand how bed bugs get into your home, you have a better chance of keeping them out. But what do you do when bed bugs find a way? Should you get bed bug control products and try to exterminate these bugs yourself? Our recommendation is to contact a licensed professional. Let's look at why. 

Call The Professionals At The First Sign Of Bed Bugs

We've looked at many questions regarding bed bugs and addressed some common misconceptions. Now, let's look at the most important question of all. "How do you treat bed bugs?" 

When bed bugs enter homes in the Sacramento region, people sometimes throw everything but the kitchen sink at these pests with little or no results. Why are these bugs so hard to control? Bed bugs hide in tight spaces and dark voids, and these areas are hard to treat. So residents attempt to use traps and other products that attack the symptom of the problem instead of the source. Doing this will allow bed bugs to continue to plague you in your home indefinitely.

Your HomeShield Pest Control technician uses specialized knowledge to outsmart bed bugs. The process we use is a mixture of inspections, treatments, monitoring, and evaluations. Your pest control technician will systematically work the problem until there is no evidence of bed bug activity in your home.

If you'd like to learn more about the products we use or the services we provide, reach out to us. We'll walk you through the treatment process from beginning to end. You won't have to make guesses as to what will work to stop those bugs, and you won't have to wonder if all the bugs are gone. At HomeShield Pest Control, we have a long track record of dealing with these pests. We know what works to stop bed bugs. Get help today.