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    • I’ve Gotten Rid of the Bugs - Now What?

      So you’ve successfully beaten back the tiny invaders who were infesting your home and removed the last traces of them from your bed. Surely now you’d like nothing more than to simply rest and get a good night’s sleep without any more worries about being bitten by those pesky bloodsucking bed bugs. However, your work is not quite done if you want to ensure that they don’t come back and force you to live through “Attack of the Bed Bugs: Part 2”, the sequel to the story you just finished.

      The first thing you’ll want to do is to carefully seal or caulk all of the cracks and crevices around your home, such as baseboards, moldings and the spaces around air conditioning or heating units. Be sure to get a good seal on all conduits and openings that would allow the insect a place to hide. Next, inspect your walls for any holes or other damaged spots in need of repair where you suspect that a bed bug could hide. Re-glue any damaged or peeling wallpaper and repair peeling paint, as well.

      Next, if you have a bed skirt, you may want to consider getting rid of it, as these are notorious hiding places for the bugs. If you truly must have a bed skirt, then be sure to purchase one without pleats or ruffles, because a flat surface is easier to inspect.

      Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll want to add a bit of protection to your bed itself. The most effective way to do this is using bed bug proof encasements for both the mattress and box spring on every bed in your home. When purchasing new mattresses and box springs, it’s important to have encasements ready upon delivery so that you can cover up these products before they ever enter the home. This ensures that if you do ever find another infestation at a later date, the mattress and box spring will still be protected and will not provide hiding spots for the insects.

      The new habits you developed while managing your infestation should last you for a lifetime and should prevent you from ever dealing with another one ever again.

    • How to prevent an infestation

      Keeping a pristine home won’t save you from bed bugs. Most infestations are triggered by bed bugs brought in from elsewhere. What this means is that no matter how much you scrub, you’re still faced with the very real possibility of becoming infected. Still, do not despair. There are multiple steps you can take in order to protect your home.

      First of all, be vigilant. Check your surroundings whenever you visit a public place. You should keep an eye out for telltale signs, such as a musty smell, dead bed bugs, bloodstains on fabric, or bug excrement. If you can help it, don’t ever place your purse or your other belongings on the floor.

      When staying somewhere overnight, make it a habit to inspect the bed where you will be sleeping. Have a look at the bedding and the mattress, particularly around the seams, edging, and tags. Don’t neglect looking at the bed frame, headboard, and nightstands. You want to pay special attention to any cracks and crevices.

      Another important rule is never to bring home used items. This isn’t limited to old mattresses or furniture, but also second-hand clothes. You never know where these come from, and they may end up causing you more problems than they are worth.

      These rules of thumb go a long way toward keeping your home safe, but even they can only do so much. For even more safety and peace of mind, consider investing in mattress and pillow encasements that will prohibit bed bug transit to and from your bed. You can even encase the clothes you hang up in your closet, as well as your dirty and clean laundry.

      If you’re looking to prevent a bed bug problem, there are many rules you can follow. But it only takes one bed bug to start an infestation. In most cases, encasing your belongings is the easiest and most effective option.

    • How Do I Know If I Have Bed Bugs?

      If you’re worried that you might have a bed bug infestation on your hands, there are a few things you can do to determine if that is the case before moving on with the necessary steps to eliminate the problem.

      If you actually see a bug, try to capture it. Gently place a piece of scotch tape over the insect and then tape it onto a piece of paper. Your pest management professional can take a look at it later and let you know if the little critter is indeed a bed bug.

      If you haven’t seen or been able to capture a bug, one sign you can look for is the presence of itchy bite marks on your body. They look very much like mosquito welts, but only appear on certain individuals who are allergic to the salivary gland injection made by a bed bug. This means that one person may show these bites, while their partner sleeping in the same bed may not.

      Another sign to look for is the presence of dark fecal spots. These are partially digested dried blood and can be present on your body, clothing, bed linens, mattress, walls, or pretty much any place where you might expect bed bug activity.

      Bed bug scent glands will also emit a sickly sweet odor when the infestation is very large. The absence of this odor does not rule out an infestation, but can help you identify one.

      These are all things that a pest management professional will look for when evaluating a possible bed bug problem, but they can also help you determine for yourself whether you are dealing with bed bugs or some other insect. If you do have an infestation on your hands, do not despair! There are many non-invasive means to fight back and still keep your belongings.

    • How Did I Get Bedbugs?

      Bed bugs are really good at hiding. Their tiny bodies fit inside fabric seams and crevices and it can be very hard to determine how exactly they came to infect your home. They are known to hitch rides on clothes, luggage, furniture, pillows, boxes, and so on. Time to put on your detective hat and figure out what triggered your infestation.

      The number one culprit is usually used furniture, especially mattresses. If you’ve bought or brought in any furniture recently, check there first.

      However, if you haven’t brought in any furniture, here are a few ways to track down the source and cause of your infestation.

      If only one bedroom seems to be the problem, focus your efforts there. Check the mattress, bed frame, headboard and bed linens. If people watch TV or nap on a nearby couch, check there next.

      If a guest stayed with you or if a traveler returned home shortly before the first signs of infestation, inspect the area where their luggage was stored. It’s important to also check out the bed where they slept, then move on to the next nearest place where people sleep.

      If you live in an apartment complex and your infestation persists despite multiple visits from a professional, the bed bugs might be coming in from a neighboring apartment. You should focus on checking the rooms that share a wall with a neighbor and remember to also check any shared laundry room.

      Once you track down the item or the area that’s causing the problem, the easiest thing to do is protect your belongings by using encasements. These come in many shapes and forms: encasements for your mattress, box spring, pillows, encasements for your laundry, luggage liners, and even garment bags that you can hang up. Your home will be bed bug-free in no time!

    • Don't Let Your Dirty Laundry Come Back to Bite You

      As you probably know already, bed bugs love to hide in fabric seams and creases. This means that, whether you have an infestation on your hands or you’re worried about preventing one, your linens and your clothes are at risk. You’ve already enclosed your mattress, your box spring, and your pillows. But what can you do about your clothes, you ask?

      There is nothing that bed bugs love more than a cluttered house with clothes strewn all over the floor. A properly closed laundry bag will prevent bed bugs from being able to pass through, so get one for every bedroom. Our patent pending Zip Tech™ zipper technology with 3-way protection and re-enforced seams ensures that the bed bugs on your clothes will stay in the bag, only to be destroyed in the dryer cycle, and that no new bed bugs will be able to make their way in. Because living in close quarters increases the risk of being exposed to bed bugs, if you’re living on a college campus we actually recommend that you use two laundry bags– one for dirty laundry, and one for clean.

      If you’re traveling, your risk of exposure to bed bugs increases exponentially. Chances are the hotel you stayed at most recently or the airplane you flew on has recently battled an infestation. Don’t bring any bed bugs home with you. For maximum safety and peace of mind, bring along a travel laundry bag and use it to store your clothing.

      There’s no need to throw out your linens or clothes that have been exposed to bed bugs. Just isolate them with the help of a special laundry bag, so that the bed bugs that may already be hiding on them do not have access to the rest of your belongings. Keeping your clothes safe really is that easy.

    • How Can I Manage the Bed Bugs in My Home?

      If you suspect you’re dealing with a bed bug infestation, don’t try to manage the situation on your own, as you will most likely be in over your head. Call a licensed and insured pest management professional, ensure they are experienced in dealing with bed bugs, and check for references. The process of eliminating a bed bug problem will be time-consuming and expensive. This really isn’t the time to scrimp, as you want it done right the first time around.

      As a rule of thumb, you should not bring in discarded furniture or mattresses. If you do, however, have your heart set on used or reconditioned items, inspect them carefully – you can even ask a licensed professional to do it for you and to treat them preventively before you bring them into your home. Cover any used mattresses or box springs with a bed bug encasement.

      Any second-hand fabrics (clothes, drapes, blankets, sheets, etc.) should be washed and dried on the hottest cycle before you bring them into your home. Consider separating them with a special bed bug-proof laundry bag.

      When traveling, never unpack before inspecting your hotel room for bed bugs. Consider using luggage liners and a travel laundry bag. Before you leave, inspect your belongings to make sure there are no unwanted travelers hitching a ride home with you. Inspect your luggage again when you get home, and wash your laundry immediately.

      Don’t remove anything from any rooms suspected of or confirmed to be infected. At your pest management professional’s recommendation, remove bedding, linens and clothing, place them in a secure plastic bag and then wash and dry them on the hottest cycle. When instructed, remove as much clutter from the room as possible. Anything you remove from the room must be properly sealed to avoid spreading the infestation.

      In most cases, you won’t have to throw out any of your belongings. Work with a licensed professional and encase your possessions as recommended. Before you know it, your infestation will be a thing of the past.

    • Have I Been Bitten By a Bed Bug?

      The best course of action to prevent bed bug bites is to protect yourself and your home, but many people aren’t aware of the threat of bed bugs until after they find an infestation or have already been bitten. So, if you suspect that you may have been bitten by a bed bug, how can you confirm and find out for sure?

      Unless you first find actual bed bugs or other signs of infestation, it can actually be quite difficult to tell if you’ve been bitten by a bed bug. When bed bugs bite, they sneakily inject you with an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevent you from realizing that you are being bitten. As a result, most bite victims do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear, which typically takes anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite.

      While some people are allergic to the salivary gland injection made by the bed bug bites and will show “mosquito”-like welts on their body where the insect has fed, others who are not allergic may not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten even though the bug has fed on them. In addition to the bite marks, other symptoms of bed bug bites may include insomnia, anxiety, and skin problems that can arise from profuse scratching of the bites.

      Similar to mosquito bites, bed bug bites tend to be very itchy. To distinguish from mosquito bites, you may note that bed bug bites have a distinctive pattern of 3 lines. These lines are sometimes called “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” since the bed bug feeds off human blood, making you its “breakfast, lunch, and dinner”!

      To avoid being snacked on, it’s important to get the protection you need and prevent the bed bugs from finding a spot in your home in the first place.

    • Your Mattress Isn't The Only Thing That Needs Protecting

      If you know anything at all about bed bugs, you’ve probably heard all about how you need to protect your mattress. But did you know that’s simply not enough? While mattress covers do help with an infestation, it’s equally important that you protect your box spring as well.

      It’s common knowledge that bed bugs like to hide in clothing and linens, but did you know they also thrive inside furniture, too? Bed bugs are very mobile, and chances are they’re not focused on one single part of your bed. Whether you’re fighting a current infestation or you’re simply preventing one, protecting your mattress alone won’t do the trick. You also need to look at covering your box spring with an encasement.

      When shopping around, look for an encasement that doesn’t just cover the top of the box spring and leaves the rest exposed – you really want to make sure the little intruders cannot get in or out. Your bedding is an important investment, and you don’t want to have to replace everything simply because you cut some corners. Another thing to make sure is that the cover you’re looking at has no pesticides. The most important thing here is the health of you and your family – you don’t want to eliminate one source of danger, only to bring in another.

      It’s important to remember that your bed isn’t one single unit. When looking at bed bug protection, the only way to go is to encase all the different parts of your bed in materials that will not allow bed bug transit. A mattress cover is the most common example, but don’t forget that there are special covers for your box spring and your pillows, as well. Don’t turn the bed bugs away from your mattress and redirect them to your box spring!

    • The Two Spots To Check First If You Suspect A Bed Bug Infestation

      If you suspect a bed bug infestation, it’s important to either confirm your suspicions or else put them to rest. The easiest way to do this is by checking the two most common problem spots where bed bugs love to hang out – your mattress and your box spring.

      While there are plenty of other spaces where bed bugs can potentially be found, a thorough inspection of the mattress and box spring will reveal any infestations in the majority of situations. Knowing where to look only gets you halfway there though, because it’s equally important to know what exactly you’re looking for and how to effectively conduct your search.

      It’s also important to keep in mind that these critters don’t like the light, so they will usually be hidden during the day time. While it’s possible to identify traces of them via dark brown or reddish blood spots from the bed bug fecal droppings on your bedding surfaces, searching at night is more likely to yield results and help to confirm your suspicions.

      The first thing to know about searching your mattress is that the seams are where you’re most likely to identify a problem. If you turn off the lights in your room and get a good, strong flashlight, you can carefully scan the seams in the mattress for any traces of an infestation.

      If this doesn’t yield any results, the next step is to raise your mattress and box spring up off of the bed frame and check underneath the box spring itself, as this is a preferred hiding spot. You might think that the mesh lining underneath your box spring would keep them out, but, for a creature as sneaky as the bed bug, that is no impediment.

      In most cases, a careful search of these two spots will reveal any sort of infestation you may have.

    • The Number One Spot You Will Notice A Bed Bug Infestation First

      As you might expect based on their name, the spot where you’re most likely to find bed bugs is on your mattress, particularly in the seams and around the corners. To ensure that you and your family are protected from a potential bed bug infestation, it’s important to regularly check your mattress.

      A routine inspection is the first line of defense to help eliminate the chances of a bigger problem occurring, since you’ll be able to identify any bed bugs before they have an opportunity to create a real infestation. Aside from the mattress itself, the other top hiding spot for these critters is on the underside of your box spring, so after inspecting your mattress be careful to lift it and the box spring off the frame and check there carefully, as well.

      To prepare for your bed bug inspection, you’ll want to get a good, strong flashlight because these bugs can be difficult to see. Starting with the lights off, carefully inspect each of the mattress seams as well as the underside of the box spring and the bed frame itself. You should be on the lookout for any dark brown or reddish blood spots, which may be signs of bed bug fecal droppings.

      While the bed itself is obviously the most important place to look during your inspection, it can also be helpful to check in any cracks or crevices near the bed as the bugs could potentially be hiding out nearby. Depending on your bedroom layout, this may include the floor, walls, or ceiling, and also other objects such as chair cushions, hanging pictures, around and inside electrical outlets, behind and under dressers, mirrors, or even along the floorboards.

      Just as in most things, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure. Rather than waiting until they become a problem, make a plan to start regularly checking for bed bugs and then you won’t have to worry about potential problems down the road.

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