Mystery novels and movies are fun because you are trying to figure out who committed the crime. As you view the who-done-it shows, you intently watch the mannerisms and listen to the conversation of each character. Your goal is to gather clues so you can build a case and hopefully come to the same conclusion as the master detective in the story.
Successful sleuthing involves paying attention to details; it also requires knowing the background and characteristics of the suspected suspect. The same principles apply when determining if bed bugs are inside your house. In this article, we give you what you need to know about bed bugs so you can start your investigation. In the meantime, prepare for the worst by getting pest control in Charlotte from ProForce Pest Control.
We are a family-owned company committed to exceeding your expectations by using the latest technologies and pest control methods to eliminate bed bugs. Our 4.9-star rating on Google gives you an idea of our quality service and demonstrates why over 15,000 homeowners have trusted us with their pest control needs. Please continue reading to gather the information you need to begin your bed bug sleuthing as you partner with us to stop your pest problem.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Bed bugs are tiny parasites that feed on your blood at night while you sleep. Although these creatures hide during the day, that does not mean they don't leave clues. A successful bed bug investigation requires identifying the bugs and knowing where to search. Let's start with the following early signs of bed bugs in your Charlotte home:
- Bed bug bites
- Bed bug stains
- Bed bugs
- Bed bug odor
- Bed bug skeletons
- Bed bug eggshells
- Bed bug eggs
We have arranged our list from most visible to more difficult-to-see signs. Bed bug bites on the arms and legs are the first indicator of a problem. Bed bugs crawl out of their hiding places and feed on nearby hosts between midnight and 5 am. Sensing carbon dioxide from the exhalation of a nearby host, they crawl onto exposed areas of the body and pierce the body for a concentration of capillaries for quick blood flow. The locations they probe later develop small, itchy red bumps due to the body's reaction to the bug's saliva. Because of the probing, bed bug bites often appear in a cluster. Once a bed bug finds its ideal feeding post, it feeds on the host for five to ten minutes. After three to seven days, a bed bug repeats this process.
As bed bugs feed, they excrete reddish-brown feces that stain bed linens and mattresses. Bed bugs also defecate as they travel to hiding spots leaving marks on box springs, upholstery, and walls.
Although small, adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. During your investigation, look for six-legged bugs about 1/4 inch long. If they are unfed, they will have a flat, oval, mahogany body; if they have recently eaten, their body will be elongated, swollen, and red-brown. It is nearly impossible to see baby bed bugs (nymphs) due to their size and almost colorless body; however, if you use a magnifying glass, you can find them.
Bed bugs produce a sweet-musty odor which they use to communicate. Because it requires a large infestation for this smell to be evident, if you notice an aroma in a room, you likely have many bed bugs requiring immediate attention from ProForce Pest Control.
Bed bugs are insects; all animals in this category have an external skeleton (exoskeleton), which they must shed to grow. Once hatched, bed bugs progress through five growth stages (instars) and must shed (molt) their exoskeleton at each instar to grow. You cannot see the first discarded exoskeletons from early instars without magnification but can witness the creamy-colored ones from later instars.
Most insects hatch from eggs, and bed bugs are no exception. Using a magnifying glass, you can find creamy-colored eggs and discard egg shells if you know where to look. We will reveal hiding places in the next section.
If you see bed bug indications during your investigation, you need the bed bug pest control near you from ProForce Pest Control. Our team has over 60 years of combined experience in the pest control industry, and we know how to eliminate bed bugs.
All The Places Bed Bugs Like To Hide In Your Home
Now that we know about bed bugs, we must learn where to investigate because looking in the wrong places wastes time and energy. Beginning in the rooms where people sleep, start your sleuthing in the following areas:
- Cracks and corners
- Upholstered furniture
- Electrical outlets
- Picture frames
Let's go into more detail about these areas. Most bed bugs live within eight feet of their hosts, so start your search in rooms where people sleep. When you investigate the bed, look for fecal stains in mattress seams, the box spring, and bed linens. Search behind the headboard for bed bugs hiding in the cracks; you may also find bed bugs in the mattress seams. If you have nightstands, investigate cracks and crevices for bed bugs, eggs, and eggshells. When female bed bugs lay eggs, they coat them with a sticky substance to glue them to verticle surfaces or underneath furniture. So, look on the underside of nightstands and bed frames for unhatched eggs.
Bed bugs can squeeze into areas no wider than a credit card. Search for signs of bed bugs in cracks between the baseboards, walls, and carpet. Also, look in crevices in wood flooring, corners, and seams where upholstery and wood or metal meet in furniture.
Believe it or not, bed bugs crawl into electrical outlets. Carefully remove wall outlet plates to see if bed bugs are hiding behind the outlets. Another seemingly unlikely place bed bugs hide is behind picture frames. They also crawl behind peeling wallpaper seams.
ProForce Pest Control offers the best bed bug pest control near you. When you schedule a highly-trained service professional to inspect your Charlotte home, they will search these areas and more for signs of bed bugs.
Don't Waste Your Time And Money On DIY Bed Bug Products
If you are a person who enjoys figuring out detective movies, reading crime novels, and sleuthing to find answers, you are probably also inclined to tackle a bed bug problem without outside help. We understand the drive to find the problem and fix the problem, but purchasing a product to eradicate bed bugs is not as easy as you may think.
Bed bugs haven't survived for millions of years without developing survival skills. By the mid-twentieth century, bed bugs were considered a problem of the past in the west, but by the end of the century, they had returned with a vengeance. How did bed bugs manage to reinvigorate their presence in our part of the world? Advancements in travel enabled the bugs to return to the west, but when they returned, they developed a resistance to previously effective treatment products. Store-bought products are not as effective as professional-grade treatments.
In addition to resistance to some consumer products, bed bugs can detect some chemicals in those same products. When they sense these substances, they avoid the treated area. Perhaps the main reason it is nearly impossible for homeowners to remove bed bugs is their rapid reproduction rate.
When a fertilized female bed bug consumes a blood meal, she produces one to five eggs daily for the next ten days. The cycle repeats each time she is fertilized and enjoys a blood meal. Over its lifetime, a female bed bug produces up to 541 eggs. There is a 1:1 male-to-female ratio, so one female bed bug produces over 250 reproducing female bed bugs. Once a bed bug hatches, it takes only 21 days to become a reproducing adult. Thus, the bed bug population can double every 16 days.
A store-bought product is not effective enough to stop a full-scale infestation due to resistance, the ability of the bugs to avoid, and their rapid reproduction rate. The only way to eradicate bed bugs is to use ProForce Pest Control, your local pest control for bed bugs. Our service professionals know how to properly treat your home to remove bed bugs while protecting your family.
The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
To avoid spending money on ineffective products and wasting hours trying to stop a bed bug infestation, use the bed bug control services in Charlotte from ProForce Pest Control. When you contact our customer service team, we will listen to your concerns and dispatch a service professional to conduct a thorough investigation.
Your service professional will investigate the house for bed bug signs and hot spots. We will take the information from the inspection and create a custom treatment plan to remove the bed bugs quickly from your Charlotte home. Our pet and family-friendly treatment methods are proven to end your bed bug problem. Contact us today about treatment options and our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
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