Southern California is a beautiful place to live and a beautiful place to visit. With such ideal weather, and so much to do, the area is always packed with human activity. Where there is human activity, there is likely to also be bed bug activity. Bed bugs follow their food source, and their food source is human blood. When they get inside, they can cause widespread infestation and can be a complete nightmare to deal with. Let’s go over some of the basics before getting into what you can do to keep them away.
Bed Bug Basics
Bed bugs have flat, oval-shaped bodies. They are a reddish-brown color and are usually around ¼ of an inch long. They go from flat to swollen after they’ve just finished feeding, and they tend to turn more of a dark reddish-purple color when they’re full of your blood.
Though they are small, about the size of an apple seed, bed bugs are not invisible. Many people suspect they are because we can never really catch them in the act of feeding. Because bed bugs are nocturnal, they remain inactive during the day and only emerge at night, while we’re asleep. It is then, and only then, that they feed on our blood, and we can never catch them because we’re sleeping.
Bed bugs are wingless, so they can’t fly. They’re not really jumpers either, but they have other ways of getting around. They hitchhike on people or objects that are moving from room to room. This is how populations spread and create new problem areas.
When bed bugs bite, it looks like your typical bug bite. Sometimes they appear more like rashes or hives, depending on an individual’s reaction to the bite. More often than not, they are tiny red bites that tend to appear in a linear formation. If you notice a line of bites when you wake up in the morning, bites that weren’t there when you went to sleep, chances are it’s the work of a bed bug. Discovering bed bug bites is often the first indication of a bed bug problem.
So, Are They Dangerous?
That’s a good question. While bed bugs aren’t known to transmit any diseases, your health can become compromised if an infestation goes undetected and untreated for a prolonged period of time. Bites can become severely itchy or inflamed. If you scratch these red, bumpy welts excessively, they can easily become infected to the point where you need to go to the doctor. Aside from infection, bed bugs can also take a toll on your mental health as well as your finances.
Bed bug activity is extremely hard to prevent. It happens right under our noses and we don’t notice a thing. Here are the most common indications of bed bug activity:
- Small red spots on your bedding and linens – bloodstains left behind after bed bugs finish feeding.
- Rusty, dark excrement and fecal spots on linens, mattresses, clothing, and walls.
- Eggshells and shed skins around hiding areas.
Stop Bed Bugs In Their Tracks
Obviously, the big question is, how do you keep bed bugs from getting inside? There are a number of preventative measures that you can take to avoid bed bug activity. Try the following:
- Wash and dry all linens, bedding, and clothing on high heat to kill off any bed bug activity.
- Regularly steam clean upholstery, curtains, carpets, etc.
- Examine all items for bed bugs or their eggs before bringing them inside.
- Use protective encasement on mattresses and box springs.
- Eliminate clutter and mess around the home.
If you do detect any signs of bed bug activity, don’t try to get rid of these blood-sucking pests on your own. At the first sign of a problem, contact the professionals at Excel Pest Control. We offer comprehensive bed bug inspection and elimination services that guarantee lasting results. Call us today to protect your space from bed bug infestation!