What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are tiny insects that grow to an adult size of about 4.5 mm. That means that you'll be dealing with pests that are smaller than the size of the average apple seed. They're identifiable by their oval shape and light tan to brown coloration. These small insects feed on blood like mosquitoes and need a host to complete their life cycle.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Because of their small stature, bed bug bites are not usually dangerous to humans. Most people do not notice when they are bitten. However, bed bugs tend to stay close to the host and multiply. In a short amount of time, someone may go from having one small bite, to having dozens. Bed bugs tend to bite their host in a cluster pattern, which is sometimes mistaken for a rash. Bites are often itchy, and some people may develop allergy symptoms. Secondary infections caused by scratching are also a concern.
Why do I have a bed bug problem?
Many people think that bed bugs are drawn to dirty or messy homes. The truth of the matter is that they crave warmth, darkness, and humidity. Any home is susceptible to a bed bug infestation. Townhouses, apartments, and condos are more likely to have bed bug problems. Connected homes allow bed bugs to travel quickly and spread from one dwelling to another. Bed bugs often enter homes through ventilation systems, gaps or cracks in foundations, and under doors or windows. Bed bugs are also commonly introduced to homes by people returning from vacations. Used furniture can be a source of infestations, as well.
Where will I find bed bugs?
Bed bugs tend to make their nests close to sleeping areas, as they feed on their hosts at night. The first place to check when looking for signs of bed bugs is the bed itself. Check your sheets for small blood stains caused by feeding, or for fecal matter. Next, look between the mattress and the box spring, as bed bugs hide in confined areas. Check mattress seams and look for egg casings, adult bed bugs, and shed skins. Next, inspect the bed frame - looking into crevices with a bright light can be helpful. Inspect nightstands and dressers, as well, and pay close attention to drawers. Baseboards, electrical outlets, and ventilation vents should also be inspected.
How do I get rid of bed bugs?
Bed bugs are tenacious insects that can go months between meals. Their small, flat body shape also allows them to hide deep in your home. This means that DIY methods and some topical insecticides will not be able to reach the bed bugs where they hide. The key to removing bed bugs is to eradicate the entire colony. Bed bugs breed so quickly that just a few stragglers can repopulate your home in no time. We recommend calling in a professional such as RAM Wildlife & Pest Management at the first sign of infestation. Give RAM a call and our team of licensed technicians will be able to recommend the best course of treatment.
How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?
There are a few preventative measures you can take to keep bed bugs out of your Aspen, Vail and Roaring Fork Valley Colorado area home:
Inspect luggage after vacations or overnight stays.
Investigate mattresses and box springs in hotel rooms and other places you will stay overnight before bringing your belongings inside.
Keep all personal items up off the floor of public places such as libraries and airports.
Inspect all used furniture before bringing it into your home. You may consider quarantining used items in your garage overnight when you bring them home. Check after dark to see if bugs have begun to creep out of the item. If so, dispose of it immediately.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are some of the most common pests found in our area. The good news, however, is that at RAM Wildlife & Pest Management we have a team of licensed professionals ready to help you. Call us to schedule an inspection or to discuss your bed bug removal options!
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