You may have heard about the bed bug epidemic spreading across the U.S., and Maryland is no exception. If you’re worried that you might have bed bugs, there are some things you can do to get rid of them.
The first step is to call a professional exterminator. They will be able to help identify the source of the infestation and recommend the best course of action. This article will discuss everything you need to know about bed bugs, including how to spot and eliminate them.
Are Maryland bed bug problems getting worse?
Bed bugs are a growing problem in Maryland. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, more than 2,600 cases of bed bug infestations are reported annually.
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are tiny parasitic insects that feed primarily on blood. They’re parasitic because they suck your blood during feeding time. Bed bugs prefer warm and dark places like beds, couches, chairs and woodwork, where people sleep and relax. But they can be found anywhere else that attracts people: hotels and motels, movie theatres, libraries, offices and schools!
The female bed bug lays about five eggs per day, and the nymphs that hatch from the eggs suck blood for about four months before they become adults. The most common sign of an infestation is small blood spots on sheets or mattresses, but only when you look closely at them. Bed bug bites typically appear as raised red welts with a small cluster of red dots underneath each one.
When are bed bugs most active?
Bed bugs are nocturnal, which means they are active at night. The average life cycle of a bed bug is three to five months. Although they can survive without food for a year or more, they do not live very long without a blood meal, so they will die after feeding. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide, so people who have pets in their homes should be aware that this may also attract bed bugs to their living space.
If you suspect a bed bug infestation, here are some signs you should look out for, according to our expert team at Old Bay Pest Control:
- Itchy bumps or welts. Bites from bed bugs can cause these, but they also can be caused by other skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
- Blood stains on sheets. Bed bugs leave behind their faecal matter (their poop) to mark their territory and hunt for victims. If you find blood stains on your sheets, it’s a sure sign of an infestation in your home.
- A red welt or rash under the skin around your hairline or neck area. This is another sign of an infestation and can occur if you’re allergic to the resulting bites!
- Bed bugs can be found in a variety of places. They like to hide in crevices and cracks, so if you come across any strange marks on your mattress or bed frame, it’s best to get them checked out.
Bed bug treatment tips for Maryland homeowners
Bed bug treatment is a big job because all of the spots in your home need to be treated. You can’t just place some insecticides on one spot and expect it to be completely eradicated. To ensure that you get the most effective treatment possible, hire a professional pest control company. Here are two common treatment methods:
Heat treatments are very effective for treating bed bugs. The heat kills the eggs and larvae and any adult bed bugs that may be present in the infested area. Heat treatments require using a space heater to heat an area in your home to a temperature of at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). Professional exterminators will leave this equipment running for a few hours, as this is sufficient time to kill any bed bugs that may be present. When using a space heater, make sure that there is no flammable material around it, such as paper or clothing.
Pesticides are chemicals that kill bed bugs but do not harm humans or animals. Pesticide applications can be applied directly to the affected areas of your home or business and will kill any bed bugs that come into contact with them. The most common pesticides used are carbamate insecticides. These all have different modes of action but act on similar pathways in insects’ bodies that cause paralysis, death and dehydration.
If you see any signs of bed bugs, it’s important to call a pest control specialist as soon as possible. Bed bugs can be tough to get rid of, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be.
At Old Bay Pest Control, we specialize in getting rid of bed bugs. We use a combination of techniques to exterminate bed bugs from your home, so you can rest easy knowing they’re gone for good.