Understanding Bed Bugs

This Page Covers Answers Question Like: What Do Bed Bugs Look Like? Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites, Do It Yourself Options to Control Bed Bugs, How to Detect Signs of Bed Bugs.

If you still need help, one of our many Nationwide Affordable Bed Bug Treatments Providers is standing by 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week, to Help You Kill Bed Bugs Fast With Safe, Clean, Effective Heat.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs?

One of the most common questions that our customers ask is "How Did I Get Bed Bugs?"

 

Let us be the first ones to say that: "It's not your fault."

 

It has nothing to do with you, something that you or your family did, or the condition of your home.

 

The truth is: Bed Bugs are Master Hitchhikers, and it only takes a single Mature Female that has mated recently to cause an infestation in your home. 

What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed Bugs are Small Oblong Reddish-Brown Bugs that vary in size, from the size of a Small Pinhead in early Nymph stages, to the size of a Large Apple Seed, as an Adult.

Very mature Bed Bugs can grow to sizes that are almost as large as a fingernail. 

 

Bed Bug Eggs are white and cylindrical, and roughly two to three grains of sand in length. Newly hatched Bed Bugs are Scarlet Red immediately after their first feeding, and darken to a reddish-brown as they continue to mature. 

Bed Bugs do not jump or fly, which may help distinguish them from other parasites that feed on blood such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitoes; or bite or sting such as flies, bees, wasps, beetles, or gnats. 

Bed Bug Pictures

The various stages of Bed Bugs vary slightly in appearance. Baby or Newly Hatched Bed Bugs tend to be translucent immediately after birth, but are Scarlet Red immediately after their first feeding. As Bed Bugs continue to grow and transition between each life cycle.​

Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bites affect everyone differently. There have been numerous studies in recent years that seem to indicate that anywhere from 30% to 60% of the population experience no signs whatsoever that they have been bitten. This can allow for an infestation to remain undetected for extended periods of time. 

 

Those that do experience signs, experience raised itchy bumps, ranging from 2mm to 5mm in size. Bed Bug Bites are often in a line of several bites in a row or in a zig-zag pattern. 

How to Kill Bed Bugs

When we saw first hand just how difficult it was to get rid of Bed Bugs, we decided to open a business that would help people with this challenging problem. In doing so, we chose Heat Treatment as our method of choice for eradicating Bed Bugs and have helped thousands of customers get their sleep back with our proven Heat Treatment Process. If you need help, please don't hesitate to take advantage of our Lowest Price Guarantee. We can help you get rid of Bed Bugs and we can help you do it affordably. Please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our many Nationwide locations today.

Bed Bug Images

The following image contains a handful of stages of Bed Bugs, including some of the very early Nymph Stages that are a Scarlet Red color, along with older and larger Adults that have a much darker Reddish Brown color.

Bed Bug Signs

There are several signs that we look for when inspecting for Bed Bugs. Aside from the obvious signs of identifying Live Bugs, One of the next most common signs is Blood Spatter. Blood Spatter is the feces excreted by Bed Bugs after feeding. There is a histamine in Bed Bug excrement that is used to signal other members of the colony to congregate in a room. Blood Spatter is red initially, but will eventually turn black as it ages and often stretches into a star shaped pattern as it wicks into fabric.

An additional sign of Bed Bugs is the Exuvia that they shed as they mature and molt between the various stages of their lifecycle. Exuvia is essentially the exoskeleton or skin that the Bed Bug sheds as it continues to grow in size. 

The last and perhaps most difficult sign to detect is Bed Bug Eggs. Bed Bug Eggs are small white cylindrical eggs that are roughly the size of three grains of sand, and are typically laid in clusters. Eggs will typically be seen in conjunction with Blood Spatter, Exuvia, and Live Bugs but may also be seen individually.

Baby Bed Bugs

Newly hatched Bed Bugs are translucent in color, but are Scarlet Red in color immediately after their first feeding.

What Causes Bed Bugs?

Contrary to the stigma that is typically associated with Bed Bugs regarding excessive clutter or lack of cleanliness, neither of these actually cause Bed Bugs. While clutter may provide additional areas for Bed Bugs to initially evade detection, the only real "cause" is that one or more Bed Bugs have Hitchhiked on you or your clothes, or have stowed away in your belongings in hopes of finding a viable food source. 

Diatomaceous Earth and Bed Bugs

Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that can be ground into a fine white powdery substance which often has an abrasive type of feel. This abrasive nature coupled with its physico-sorptive properties of the substance can erode the natural lipid protective layer that insects posses and can result in a dehydration effect that can be fatal to those bugs that encounter it. Diatomaceous Earth has proven highly effective against pests such as roaches, but tends to have a limited effect on Bed Bugs. 

Bed Bugs however, tend to avoid the substance where possible, reducing its effectiveness on any bugs or eggs that have eluded contact.

We encounter Diatomaceous Earth on a daily basis when treating our customer's homes and are sad to say that its effectiveness as an eradication method is limited. 

Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites

People experience Bed Bug Bites in different ways. Some people are fortunate enough to not experience Bed Bug Bites in any way at all. According to WebMD, as many as one in three people experience no reaction to bed bites whatsoever.

 

For those that do experience the itchy, painful, bites, we wanted to try and recommend some home remedies for easing the irritation and reducing the visibility associated with Bed Bugs. If left untreated, repeated scratching can result in infection, and in certain cases permanent scarring. 

Aloe

Vera

Aloe Vera is one of nature's cure all solutions for inflammation, itching, or burning. It does wonders for all sorts of skin reactions to bites, and can help greatly with Bed Bug Bites as well. 

 

Directions: Apply Aloe Vera Gel, or Gel directly from a Half Inch Section of an Aloe Vera Plant Directly to the Affected Site. Allow to Dry and Remain in Place for 1 Hour. Repeat as Needed.

Witch

Hazel

Witch Hazel has a number of wonderful tannins that act as a Natural Astringent, preventing infection, and has a great cooling effect that reduces the itching sensation associated with Bed Bug Bites. 

 

Directions: Place 1 TBSP of Witch Hazel into a glass, and apply Directly to the Affected Site with a Cotton Swab. For added effect, allow the Cotton Swab to remain on the site for a period of 5 Minutes before removing. Repeat as Needed.  

Ice Packs

For temporary relief of itchiness and swelling associated with Bed Bugs, a cold compress or Ice Pack can be used.

 

Directions: Place 6 to 10 ice cubes in a Plastic Bag, Wrap in a Towel, and Place Directly on the Affected Site. Repeat as Needed.

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice is a wonderful Natural Astringent that can prevent infection, and doubles as a Natural Inflammatory that can reduce swelling. Be mindful of any bite locations that have been scratched excessively, as lemon juice may cause a stinging sensation when applied. 

 

Directions: Place 1 TBSP of Lemon Juice into a small glass, and apply directly to the affected site with a Q-Tip, or Cotton Swab. Allow to Dry before Rinsing. Repeat as Needed.

Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidic properties in Apple Cider Vinegar has fantastic Anti-Inflammatory and Antiseptic Properties and can function similar to that of Lemon Juice. In the same manner, be mindful of any bite locations that have been scratched excessively, as vinegar may cause a stinging sensation when applied. 

 

Directions: Place 1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar (feel free to substitute other vinegar in a pinch) into a small glass, and apply directly to the affected site with a Q-Tip, or Cotton Swab. Allow to Dry before Rinsing. Repeat as Needed.

 

Baking

Soda

Baking soda does a wonderful job of neutralizing the acidic chemicals associated with a Bed Bug Bite and also reduces some of the swelling associated with your bodies reaction. 

 

Directions: Moisturize 1 TBSP of Baking Soda with 1 TBSP of Water to form a Paste, and Apply Directly to the Affected Site. Allow to Dry Slightly and Rinse Off. Repeat as Needed.  

Over the Counter Products for Bed Bug Bites

Some additional Over the Counter Remedies include Calamine Lotion which can be applied directly to the Affected Site, or even Benadryl, which is a great Antihistamine which alleviates the itching and swollen reaction commonly experienced from Bed Bug Bites. 

If you need help with addressing the source of the bites as well, please don't hesitate to reach out to one of our many Nationwide Affordable Bed Bug Treatments locations.

Where do Bed Bugs Come From?

As we mentioned previously, Bed Bugs are Master Hitchhikers. Contrary to what you may have heard, they simply do not spontaneously appear as a result of excess clutter or due to a lack of cleanliness. A Bed Bug Infestation or Colony only appears as a result of one or more Bed Bugs Migrating or Hitchhiking in your Clothes or Luggage from another Colony.

 

Common Sources include Hotels, Motels, Restaurants, Thrift Stores, Movie Theaters, Planes, Trains, Buses, or Multi-Tenant Housing where Bed Bugs can Migrate from Structure to Structure such as Apartment Complexes, Condominiums, or Townhouses.

 

There have even been instances of Bed Bugs in large department store retail locations, and you may simply have had the misfortune of purchasing something from a store that was infested.

 

Another common source that we try and dissuade our customers from partaking in is claiming Discarded Furniture that is left on the side of the road with a "Free to a Good Home" sign on it. Some individuals may take the hard and fast approach of discarding furniture rather than having it treated and will attempt to give it away for free. Unfortunately, those that provide a new home to that mattress or sofa, may also be inheriting a much larger problem than they realize. 

How to Tell if You Have Bed Bugs

There are numerous ways to tell if you have Bed Bugs. One of the first symptoms of Bed Bugs is their bites and the itching sensation that certain people experience after being bitten. This will often cause people to search for the source of the pest that is biting them, and will lead to the discovery of additional signs including: Blood Spatter, Eggs, Exuvia (otherwise known as skins or shell casings), and ultimately one or more stages of Live Bugs. 

Do Bed Bugs Fly?

No, Bed Bugs cannot fly. They may appear to have flat wing-like structures, but they are thankfully incapable of flight. If you are experiencing a pest that also flies, we are happy to say that this is not a Bed Bug. 

Can Bed Bugs Jump?

Thankfully, the answer to this question is also No! Bed Bugs can move fairly rapidly, and can crawl up to 100 Feet per evening, but we are happy to say that they cannot jump!

DIY or Do It Yourself Treatments for Bed Bugs

An Internet Search for Do It Yourself Solutions will generate a number of different results including those containing Lavender, Borax, Diatomaceous Earth, Baking Soda, Salt, or even Alcohol Based Solutions; each of which seem to have varying levels of success. We know exactly how hard it is to get rid of bed bugs, and we know that doing so can be a costly expense, so we've included as much information as possible regarding DIY solutions, but we want to caveat that most of these options have very limited effectiveness. 

One of the challenges that we face is that most research indicates that Bed Bugs continue to become increasingly resistant to chemicals, and that by and large chemicals of any kind, including items that you may have in your pantry, have little to no effect on Bed Bug Eggs despite the claims that you may find online, meaning that an infestation will continue to linger for months and years at a time.

We've included this options for the sake of trying to cover the topic thoroughly but want to try and set the expectation ahead of time that these options will have limited, if any effectiveness.

Lavender

We rate this DIY Solution as: No Effectiveness for Eradication, but Effective as a Repellent. 

While Lavender will not actually kill or address the source of your bed bug infestation, Lavender can be used as an effective repellent to try and keep them at bay. It is not a 100% solution, but Bed Bugs in general do not appreciate the smell of Lavender so they will avoid it somewhat. An added benefit of Lavender use is that it is also an excellent sleep aide.

 

Directions: Combine 1 Teaspoon of Lavender Oil in One Cup of Water, Apply to Mattresses and Box Springs by Misting with a Spray Bottle

Borax

We rate this DIY Solution as: No Effectiveness for Eradication

Borax has numerous Do It Yourself uses, but it unfortunately has met its match when it comes to a DIY Solution for Bed Bug Eradication.

 

Rumors online have indicated that it functions similarly to Diatomaceous Earth and that it erodes or damages the exoskeleton of the insect, thus causing them to die; but these claims appear to be false based upon numerous accounts. 

 

While this may have worked during our grandparents generation, the exoskeleton adaptation and the thickening of their skin that has naturally developed over time seems to have overcome this as a DIY option. 

 

Diatomaceous Earth

We rate this DIY Solution as: Limited Effectiveness for Eradication

As mentioned previously on this page, Diatomaceous Earth is an abrasive naturally occurring mineral that can erode at the protective coating that bedbugs have on their exoskeletons, resulting in a dehydration effect sometimes resulting in death.

Due to the evolutionary nature of bed bugs, Diatomaceous Earth has demonstrated limited success in recent years. Recent studies have shown that Bed Bugs have  developed a thicker exoskeleton in an effort to survive. 

 

Directions: Sprinkle generously in areas that bed bugs are known to travel. 

Baking Soda

We rate this DIY Solution as: No Effectiveness for Eradication

We wanted to discuss Baking Soda really briefly, because their is quite a bit of speculation that Baking Soda has the ability to function similarly to Diatomaceous Earth, or has the ability to dehydrate bed bugs due to its absorptive properties. 

Based upon our research however those claims seem to be largely false. The waxy protective layer on their exoskeletons acts as barrier protecting bed bugs from the erosive or absorptive characteristics.

Salt

We rate this DIY Solution as: No Effectiveness for Eradication

Sadly, Salt falls into a similar category as Baking Soda and the general consensus of laboratory testing is that Salt has no effectiveness for eradicating Bed Bugs. The waxy protective coating that bed bugs have developed, protects them from solutions that may dehydrate other insects. 

IsoPropyl

Alcohol

We rate this DIY Solution as: Limited Effectiveness for Eradication

Alcohol has been used to anesthetize and preserve organisms for centuries. As such, misting live bed bugs with isopropyl alcohol does have a limited effect on visible bed bugs.

 

We rate this as limited due to the elusiveness of bed bugs however, and that more often then not, for every bed bug that is visible, there are dozens more that have evaded detection. 

 

It should also be noted that alcohol is highly flammable and cause irritation to eyes and lungs if inhaled or contacted. It can also damage some fibers, so apply with caution. 

 

Directions: Read the Danger Section on the packaging thoroughly and keep away from any Open Flames or Cigarettes. Spray directly onto live Bed Bugs.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Given the chemical resistance of Bed Bugs, we have chosen 100% Chemical Free, Safe, Clean, and Effective Heat as our method of choice for getting rid of bed bugs fast. We know just how challenging getting rid of Bed Bugs can be, and have proven time and again that our process works. If you and your family are struggling with this challenge, we would love the opportunity to help you get your sleep back. Feel free to reach out to any one of our Locations to Get Rid of Bed Bugs Today.

We are currently helping families all throughout Colorado, Illinois, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland.

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