Bed bugs can be a bother. Not only are their bites incredibly itchy, but they can harm you and your family. In this article, we discuss the reasons why bed bugs have made their way into your home. We also share a few property maintenance tips on how to prevent this type of pest infestation
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are parasites that feed on people’s blood while they’re asleep. They have a red/brown color, are wingless, and are typically between 1 mm to 7 mm tiny. They’re a problem in many countries across the world and can be found in developing countries as well as five-star accommodations. That said, cleanliness isn’t the main factor in determining where bed bugs may be found.
As their name implies, bed bugs can often be found concealed in beds. During the day, they hide in bed frames, headboards, etc., but at night, they emerge to feed on human blood.
What are the signs of bed bugs in your home?
If you wake up with an itch, bed bugs may be to blame. Here’s how to tell if your home has been infested by bed bugs:
- Blood stains on your bedsheets
- Rusty, red, or brown stains on clothes, mattresses, and other surfaces
- Traces of feces
- Bed bug eggs or shells of eggs
- A musty odor in your home
Can’t tell if your home has been infested by bed bugs? It would be a good idea to call the pros. A South Florida property maintenance company can help connect you to expert exterminators in your area and help you secure their services at a competitive rate.
What are the risks of bed bugs?
If you’re thinking, “A bed bug infestation sounds scary,” that’s because it can be. While bed bugs won’t kill you, they can cause conditions and complications like:
Bed bugs bite when you’re asleep, and when they do, you’re bound to unconsciously scratch at the itch. Constant scratching can lead to wounds in which bacteria can enter and cause redness, swelling, and eventually, an infection. In some cases, the infection may become so severe that you may need antibiotics.
#2 Allergic reaction
Most people aren’t affected by bed bug bites, but they can cause complex reactions in others. Those who do have adverse reactions may need to use certain medications such as an oral antihistamine or apply a cream. Anaphylaxis is rare, but if it does happen to you, you’ll have to proceed to the hospital.
#3 Lack of sleep
You won’t be able to get proper sleep if you’re endlessly being bitten by bed bugs, or if you can’t stop imagining them crawling on top of you. When you wake (that is, if you do get to rest your eyes), you’ll feel too tired to take on the day. Your work performance will also suffer.
How to get rid of bed bugs
The good news is you won’t always have to use chemicals to say goodbye to bed bugs. The trick is to use heat. If you suspect the presence of bed bugs, wash your bedding, clothes, etc. with hot – not warm – water for about 30 minutes. If you can’t wash your items with hot water, put them in a plastic bag and leave them out in the sun or a closed car.
If these methods don’t work, you may need to use insecticides such as pyrethrins and pyrethroids. However, if the bed bugs still refuse to go away, it would be best to call in the pros. Pest control companies can completely wipe out bed bugs and other pests that may be present in your home. If you’ve partnered with a property management firm, they can connect you to their vast network of vetted pest control companies.
How to prevent bed bugs
The best way to avoid dealing with bed bugs is by implementing proactive and preventive measures. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to prevent bed bugs in your South Florida property.
#1 Clean up the clutter
The more clutter in your home, the more places the pests can hide. Get rid of things you no longer use so the bed bugs can’t hide during the day. In general, bed bugs love to wait out in warm, enclosed spaces, so throw away old cardboard boxes and fix the baseboard if you notice any cracks or crevices.
#2 Don’t sit on the bed wearing dirty clothes
Your bed should be a used-clothes-free area, because who knows what bed-bug-infested surfaces your bottoms have come into contact with during the day. If you’re inviting people over, tell them not to sit on your bed because they might’ve unknowingly carried bed bugs from their homes. In the same way, don’t throw used clothes on the bed – put them as far away as possible or directly into the wash.
#3 Wash clothes and luggage after traveling
Bed bugs can travel across cities, states, and even countries. If you’re going on vacation, never put your clothes and bags on top of the bed. There’s a good chance the bed is crawling with bed bugs, and you do not want them to hop onto your suitcase. When you return home, wash all of your clothes (used and unused) with hot water to kill any bed bugs and eggs you might’ve brought home with you.
As for your suitcase, use a scrub to dislodge any egg clusters and bed bugs. You can also use a vacuum to clean every nook and cranny. Do not bring your bags (including your day bag) indoors when you get home – they should stay outside or in the garage until you can clean them.
#4 Avoid using used furniture
It can be tempting to grab the couch your neighbor threw into the dumpster, but be careful. Bringing furniture from dirty places such as the curb can lead to a bed bug infestation. You never know what creepy crawlies may be clinging onto other people’s discarded things. It’s best to furnish your home with brand-new furniture – in that way, you can make sure you aren’t welcoming pests into your property.
Pest prevention through property maintenance services
A property management company can help your home bed-bug-free by conducting regular maintenance. At Luxury Property Care, we provide South Florida homeowners with property preservation services. We’ll take care of it all, from keeping your home pest-free to making sure it’s well-maintained.
Call (561) 944 – 2992 or complete our contact form to discuss your property maintenance needs today.