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No Bull Bed Bug Control

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything You Need To Know About Bed Bugs

Adult Bed Bug

What do bed bugs
look like?

Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. They are usually very thin unless they have recently fed.

They are usually a reddish-brown color and are fairly easy to see especially on white or black mattresses and box springs.

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Bed Bug on Fabric

Where could I have picked up bed bugs?

Anywhere that has a lot of traffic and people coming-and-going offers the potential for picking up bed bugs. Some common areas include buses, subways, schools, libraries, or even apartment complexes and dorms with higher turnover. Also, used furniture and clothing can be methods of transmitting bed bugs.

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How long does it take for bed bugs to grow up?

A bed bug life cycle is around 2 to 4 months. Bed bugs start from small, white, oval eggs that are very sticky and usually laid in cracks and crevices of a bed frame or headboard as well as in mattress seams. Eggs hatch in about a week as nymphs. These nymphs feed on blood and grow until they need to shed their exoskeleton (their outer “skin” that is like a hard shell). Nymphs will molt five times before they become an adult bed bug and must feed each time before they molt.

Adult bed bugs on average feed once every 3 to 7 days. It only takes them 2 to 5 minutes to have a filling blood meal, after which they return to their hiding spot. Feeding is typically done at night since bed bugs are nocturnal. They depend on blood for survival as well as producing their eggs. A single female adult bed bug can lay up to 3 eggs a day and as many as 300 eggs in her lifetime.

Bed Bug Lifecycle

Are bed bugs a problem these days?

Bed bug populations in North America dropped significantly several decades ago and several factors are leading to the recent resurgence of bed bug populations. A major reason is the widespread use of chemical treatments such as DDT greatly reduced the number of bed bug infestations until the 1970’s when the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals become well-documented. DDT use is now banned worldwide. Also, multiple studies are indicating the existence of DDT-resistant strains of bed bugs meaning a return to using DDT may not even reduce bed bug populations as it did previously.

Another factor leading to an increase in bed bug populations across North America is the development of cheap long-distance travel. As it has become increasingly easy to travel across the country or even around the world, people now have a higher chance of coming into contact with a bed bug which can then hitchhike back home with them and their family.

Aren't bed bugs only found in dirty homes?

Most people think having bed bugs are a sign of a dirty home. This is simply not true and that belief may adversely impact an affected person because he or she may feel uncomfortable asking for help to remove the infestation. Bed bugs are parasitic insects that require blood to survive and reproduce. Once they come in contact with a human host, that person’s house can and usually will become infested with bed bugs. They are not picky as long as you have blood for them to eat (if you’re reading this, we assume this describes you and are therefore capable of being infested by bed bugs). The cleanliness of your home is not a deciding factor for a bed bug.

What are the common signs and symptoms of bed bugs?

Bed Bug Evidence on Couch

Bed bugs are not known to transmit human diseases in nature; however, research has shown bed bugs can transmit certain types of parasites in laboratories, though it’s not yet known why it hasn’t been documented outside of a lab.

The most common sign of a bed bug infestation is itchy, red bite marks on the skin. You could see their feces which look like small ink stains on mattresses, box springs, or other areas where bed bugs gather (see attached picture). Of course, it is also possible to see bed bugs crawling across your bedding, pillow, or bed frame. Occasionally you can smell a bed bug infestation because they emit pheromones and histamines to attract other bed bugs. The smell has a musty odor and is described as smelling like a locker room.

What is the best way to get rid of bed bugs?

Pest control specialists often use pesticide sprays, heat treatments, or a combination of both. We prefer using heat treatments for several reasons. First, we like to avoid introducing pesticides into your home due to health concerns. Second, every living organism has a heat tolerance (a thermal point at which it will die). This is true for adult bed bugs as well as their eggs and their heat tolerance is, conveniently, not very high. We will heat your home to a temperature which is lethal for bed bugs, monitor temperatures within your home to ensure there are no cool spots which could keep bed bugs safe, and then hold the temperature long enough that no bed bug nor bed bug egg will be able to survive regardless of where they are hiding.

Pesticide sprays are still a common option many people choose. Some people like sprays because they are a cheaper alternative; however, cheaper isn’t always better. Spray treatments often take several applications because it is hard for sprays to reach every area where bed bugs may be hiding and bed bug eggs are often resistant to many sprays. There are also multiple research studies out suggesting adult bed bugs are becoming resistant to popular pesticides which are believed to be a contributing factor in increasing bed bug population across North America.

Are there any do it yourself bed bug treatments I can perform?

It is difficult to remove all bed bugs and their eggs from an infected area by treating yourself. The EPA has several recommendations if you want to try self-treatment which includes:

Non-chemical methods:

  • Heat treatment with a clothes dryer on high heat, place items in a black bag in direct sunlight or place items in a closed car.
  • Cold treatment by placing items in a home freezer set to 0° F for 4 days making sure to use your thermometer to verify the temperature.

Pesticide treatments (carefully following label directions):

  • Use a fogger (“bug bomb”). The EPA notes these often do not reach all the places where bed bugs hide.
  • Use desiccants (drying agents) such as diatomaceous earth, being careful to choose pesticide-grade rather than the food-grade which could cause harm if inhaled.

How can I avoid bed bugs when I'm traveling?

Traveling is one of the most common ways to come into contact with bed bugs. There are a few tips you can follow to reduce your infestation risk when you travel:

  • Search your hotel room before unpacking. Remove bedding slowly and check the mattress and box springs of your bed for adult bed bugs or feces stains. Search on the luggage rack and headboard as well as pillows. To be more thorough, inspect the closet and furniture as well as behind any peeling wallpaper or carpet.
  • Never place luggage or clothing on beds or furniture. Keep luggage away from the floor around the bed. You can place luggage in a bathroom for additional protection.
  • As soon as your return from a trip, run clothing and jackets through a full cycle in a clothes dryer on as high a heat as the clothing will tolerate.
  • Put luggage in a bag or plastic container that can be sealed tight so bed bugs can’t crawl out to infest other areas of your home.
  • Items such as luggage which cannot be run through a dryer may be heated (120 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour) or frozen (below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 days) to kill any hitchhiking bed bugs. Be careful not to freeze or heat items such as electronics.
Bed Bug Bites

What do bed bug bites look like?

Like mosquito bites, some people react differently to bed bug bites. Bites usually appear as red, itchy spots on the skin. Bites can appear anywhere on your body but are most commonly found in areas of your body that are exposed while you sleep such as your arms, hands, legs, neck, or shoulders.

Unlike other insect bites, bed bug bites are normally found in groups that can either be slightly spread out or in a line.

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Adult Bed Bugs

Where do bed bugs hide?

Bed bugs are commonly found under or in seams of mattresses and box springs. They may also be hiding in cracks or crevices of your bed frame and headboard and can hide under loose carpet, in furniture cushions, or even behind baseboards and electrical outlet covers.

Remember, they like to hide in places where they are relatively undisturbed but can easily reach humans or other animals for a quick blood meal.

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Where To Look For Bed Bugs

No Bull Bed Bugs

Fast. Safe. Affordable. That’s No Bull.
Hours

8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday - Saturday

Phone

385-323-2266

Location

Serving the Wasatch Front in the Provo & Salt Lake areas.

UPMA

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