What Every Wilmington Resident Ought To Know About Bed Bugs

A bed bug on white sheets

Itchy bumps when you wake up? Are mite-sized insects crawling around your bed and furniture? By now, you’ve probably figured out that your Wilmington, NC home has an unwanted guest: bed bugs. Bed bugs are some of the hardest insects to detect, but once you know you’ve got them, you’ll want to get rid of them fast. Let’s review what bed bugs look like, where they come from, and what you can do to protect your home. 

What Bed Bugs Look Like

A common misconception about bed bugs is that they can’t be seen with the naked eye. While they are incredibly small and easier felt than seen, this isn’t true. Adult bed bugs grow to about 5mm or a little under 0.2 inches in length. They have flat, oval-shaped, red-brown bodies and look a lot like moving apple seeds. Some adults may have vestigial wings, but bed bugs are incapable of flight. Often, the reason you can’t see your bed bugs is that they’re nocturnal creatures, so they’re hiding by the time you wake up in the morning.

If they’re so small and can’t fly, then how did they get in your home? Bed bugs are the quintessential hitchhiker, latching onto your bags or clothes in public spaces and scuttling around once you’ve returned home. Bed bugs are heavily reliant on human activity to survive, as they need humans or other animals to transport them long distances, and they feed themselves on animal blood - hence the bites and itchy bumps. 

You’re probably wondering where you picked up your bugs, and truthfully, it’s hard to know. Bed bugs can invade virtually any space; however, they are most common in highly populated public areas. Bus stops, train stations, subway platforms, common office spaces, universities, waiting rooms, and hotels comprise some of the biggest hotspots for bed bug activity. 

Bed Bug Prevention Tips 

Once you’ve got bed bugs, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of on your own. How can you prevent them? For starters, make sure all of your personal belongings and bags are properly sealed in public. These dark, secluded spaces serve as ideal harborage for bed bug travel.  If you notice bugs in your luggage, don’t try to remove them – rather, seal the luggage in a plastic bag with a no-pest strip, and let the bag fumigate in a controlled environment away from family and pets. Wash your clothes in hot water. Bed bugs cannot survive in extreme heat. Finally, be sure to take a shower sooner rather than later because if any bugs have latched onto your body, they’re more likely to end up in your drain pipes than your bed once you’ve washed with hot water. 

The Surefire Signs of Bed Bugs

Since they hide at night and can burrow into the tiniest cracks, how do you know you have a bed bug infestation? Here are some common signs:

  • Itchy bumps usually appearing in a line along your arms, legs, and exposed skin
  • Rust-colored stains around the edges of your sheets or upholstery 
  • A strong, musty scent – provided enough of them have lived in your house for a while 
  • Discomfort while sleeping due to itchiness or a general inability to sleep 

Despite the name, bed bugs aren’t always found in the bed. Any furniture is fair game, especially if it has cool, dark spaces that they can hide in. Bed bugs can sometimes be caught in the closet as well, burrowing in your clothes and accessing your skin by the clothes you wear. 

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs - For Good

You won’t always see your bed bugs, but if you begin to notice these signs of infestation, its time to contact a professional for help. If you suspect you’re dealing with an infestation, the best thing you can do is call an exterminator because bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, and DIY treatments don’t do the trick. You may be able to temporarily quell bed bug activity, but these pests can lay dormant for long periods of time and will resurface months later. 

Our experienced and licensed technicians at Jay Taylor Exterminating will work with your unique situation and come up with a plan for bed bug extermination that works. 

Contact the professionals at Jay Taylor Exterminating; with four generations of experience under our belts, we have the know-how to protect you and your family from pests.