While bed bugs might prefer to hide in your home's dark corners and crevices, it's about time we spotlight these parasites! As isolating as a bed bug problem can feel for New Braunfels residents, you don't have to tackle an infestation or deal with bed bug control alone.
Here's what New Braunfels homeowners should know about identifying the signs of bed bugs, what causes bed bugs, how bed bugs spread, and what pest control in New Braunfels can do to help.
How Can I Tell If I Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs rarely come out and announce their presence in your home, which means you've got to be on the lookout for the signs of bed bugs. Here are some easy-to-spot signs that could indicate a bed bug infestation in your New Braunfels home:
You Find Dark Stains On Sheets And Pillowcases
With a bed bug infestation in New Braunfels, you might start to notice dark fecal matter marks or bloodstains on your sheets, pillows, and mattresses. This happens when bed bugs defecate, but also when they get crushed while crawling across your bed at night.
You Start Smelling A Musty Odor
Does your bedroom, living room, or other parts of your home have an unexplained smell? Several types of pests can emit odd odors, and bed bugs are one of them. An odd smell doesn't automatically mean bed bugs, but if you see other signs as well as smelling a musty odor, it may be bed bugs.
Bed bug pheromones can stink up a room, and many people compare the smell to food products like raspberries, cilantro, or even almonds. The odor may not be apparent with early infestations, but as the bed bug problem grows, so will the smell.
You Or Someone You Live With Has Itchy Bites
Does it seem like you're always waking up with itchy bug bites after a long night's sleep? While it's easy to blame new bug bites on mosquitoes or other outdoor pests, it's important to consider bug bites as a possible culprit – especially if you're noticing the itchy bites in the morning or in the off-season.
Since itchy bites on your skin are impossible to miss, many people consider the bites to be the first sign of a problem. However, keep in mind that not everyone has a physical reaction to bed bug bites. While some family members may end up with itchy, red welts that last for days, others might not have any physical symptoms of a bite.
You're Spotting Egg Shells And Casings
Bed bug eggs are about the size of a pin-head with translucent white coloring and are often near areas of high bed bug activity. Once the eggs hatch, bed bugs shed their skin as they grow. Shell casings are also translucent but have the same basic shape as a live bed bug.
You've Found Live Or Dead Bugs
If you're finding itchy bites on your skin or smelling musty odors, it probably won't be long until you start spotting live or dead bugs. Because bed bugs are nocturnal, you may not see live or dead bugs until the infestation has grown serious.
Don't be surprised if you find live or dead bugs around areas with regular human activity. Since bed bugs will hide where people spend the most time, it's not unusual to spot live or dead bugs around your mattress or other furniture.
How Did Bed Bugs Come Into My Home?
Often called parasitical hitchhikers, it's no surprise that bed bugs in New Braunfels make their way into your home through traveling. If you visit somewhere that already has a bed bug infestation, like a hotel room, airport, or even a bus, these insects can latch onto your luggage or other personal belongings.
These places, and anywhere else where there's plenty of regular human activity, tend to be hot spots for bed bugs. And there's always the chance you could even pick them up at a friend's house.
Once they've made it into your home, any bed bugs you've picked up can crawl off your luggage and begin finding a well-hidden spot to continue growing their colony.
Even if you're careful about spending time in hot spots, bed bugs can still enter your home through secondhand clothing or used furniture and appliances. Used appliances, furniture, and sometimes clothing, can hold small colonies of bed bugs if these items were in a place with an existing infestation.
Do bed bugs only infest dirty homes? No, because bed bugs use travel to get around, the cleanliness of your home doesn't matter. Bed bugs are attracted to human activity, so these pests are just as likely to show up in the dirtiest homes as they are in the cleanest ones. As long as they've got an abundant food source, these pests will stay as long as they can.
For this reason, it's not just homes that are at risk for bed bug infestations – businesses are too. If an employee has a bed bug problem at home or travels somewhere where there is one, they could potentially bring bed bugs into the office or a business too.
Keep in mind that bed bugs don't just hang around your mattress or bedroom either. While sleeping areas are a hotspot for these pests because it ensures they'll have sleeping bodies to feed on at night, larger bed bug infestations can spread to other rooms of your house or business. Living spaces with plenty of furniture, break rooms, or anywhere where there's human activity has the potential for bed bugs.
Can Bed Bugs Spread?
Not only can bed bugs spread, but they can do so very easily. You could catch bed bugs from a co-worker, friend, or just a guest stopping by to visit.
Even if they don't travel directly on people, it only takes a few bugs on your luggage or your backpack to jumpstart a new infestation.
They also don't have any trouble traveling between rooms in your house or units in an apartment complex. If a close neighbor has bed bugs, there's a chance they could eventually spread to you – especially if you live in an apartment complex.
However, bed bugs don't reproduce as quickly as you might think. An adult female bed bug can lay a single egg every day, and it can take weeks for that egg to develop into a nymph.
With that said, bed bug infestations still spiral out of control quickly because they go unnoticed for so long. It could be months before you realize that you've got bed bugs, especially if you or your family aren't having strong physical reactions to the bites.
Bed bugs are also nocturnal and small enough to miss. You may not even see live or dead bugs until the infestation has become severe, so you'll have to rely on the other signs of a bed bug infestation to help you identify a problem.
How Can I Get Bed Bugs Away From My Home For Good?
When they first discover a bed bug problem in their home, many homeowners want to try and solve the problem on their own with home pest control for bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY bed bug treatments are rarely effective at getting rid of entire infestations, and you often end up wasting more money and time than if you'd just gone with professional treatment.
Not to mention, if the chemicals in DIY treatments aren't used correctly, they can become toxic or dangerous for your family or pets.
With professional pest control services, there's no room for error. With a service like Gold Star Exterminators, our bed bug services in New Braunfels begin with a thorough inspection. Not only will we determine the extent of your bed bug problem, but we'll also come up with an individualized treatment plan that works best for your home and infestation.
And while our reliable treatments are extremely effective for ridding your home of bed bugs, the safety of your family and pets is still our number one priority – and all of our treatments are EPA-registered for pest control use.
Unlike a lot of home remedies or DIY solutions for bed bugs, professional pest control also comes with a satisfaction guarantee that your home is pest-free after our bed bug treatments.
For safe bed bug removal and extermination, there's only one effective solution: Gold Star Exterminators. Not only do we have experienced specialists that know how to get the job done, but our reliable treatments are safe and time-tested.
If you're spotting live bed bugs or some of the other signs of a bed bug problem, don't wait for the issue to get worse. Contact us at Gold Star Exterminators today for more information about our residential and commercial pest control services in new Braunfels, including our bed bug services.