Bed Bug Treatments
Have you discovered you have bed bugs? First, and foremost anybody can get bed bugs, and its something that can happen to anyone. Dealing with an infestation of bed bugs can be traumatic and just thinking about them causes most people to itch! We here at Mayday Pest Management have helped hundreds, if not thousands of families eliminate their bed bug infestation in just a few treatments. We have been successful in 100% of our bed bug treatments, and you can rest assured we are pros at what we do. We guarantee this service, when all prep steps have been followed.
Small or confined bed bug infestations can be effectively treated with pesticides.
A recent study at Purdue University concluded that successful eradication of bed bugs using pesticides requires at least two visits, with considerable time needed between visits to inspect and treat the area.
Mayday Pest Management’s standard protocol is to come out three times:
We inspect and treat for bed bugs on the first two visits
The third visit, we inspect for any live bed bugs and treat if needed
Our conventional bed bug treatments are spaced 2 to 3 weeks apart, which is sufficient for any bed bug eggs to hatch (typically 10-14 days)
Rest assured, that Mayday Pest Management only uses safe and effective methods. If you authorize a chemical application, Mayday Pest Management will only use EPA approved pesticides specifically labeled & tested to kill bed bugs.
Bed Bug Facts
The Answers You Need
I think I have bed bugs, what do I do?
It is best to find a bed bug infestation early, before it becomes established or spreads.
Treating a minor infestation, while an inconvenience, is easier and far less costly than treating the same infestation after it becomes more widespread.
If you suspect an infestation, remove all bedding and carefully check the seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and behind the headboard for bed bugs or their excrement.
Peel back the dust cover where it is stapled to the wood frame over the bottom of the box springs and examine the seams in the wood framing.
If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs in the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, and in the folds of curtains.
Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets, pillowcases, mattresses and walls are bed bug excrement and indicate a bed bug infestation.
Also look for yellow skins (exoskeletons) that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or chiggers), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. And some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.
Doctors cannot determine with any certainty whether or not you have bed bugs by looking at bug bites. Suspected bed bug bites oftentimes turn out to be folliculitis, scabies, and bites from other insects.
What do bed bugs look like?
Adult bed bugs are oval shaped about the size of an apple seed (3/16” in length).
Adult bed bugs have flat, mahogany colored bodies.
After feeding, however, bed bug bodies swell and are a reddish-brown in color.
A bed bug has 6 legs. (Eight legs indicate a tick or mite.)
A bed bug’s antennae point forward and are about half as long as its body—not longer.
The adult bed bug’s head is broadly attached to its body and it has no wings.
Bed bug nymphs are nearly colorless when hatched, becoming brownish as they mature.
Bed bug eggs are white slightly pear-shaped and about 1/32” in length.
The eggs are sticky when first laid.
Are bed bugs dangerous?
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease.
However, the mental effects of bed bugs often include stress and lack of sleep; and some people worry what friends, family, and neighbors will say if their problem becomes known. In extreme cases the effect of bed bugs resembles post-traumatic stress disorder.
In rare cases, people suffer from delusory parasitosis—a condition in which the person believes he or she has bugs when there really aren’t any.
Bed bugs inject a small amount of saliva into the skin while feeding that may cause allergic reactions that vary depending on the individual who has been bitten.
Some people will develop reddish, irritated itchy skin marks, while other may have blisters and necrotic spots of the skin. Conversely, some people do not react at all to bed bug bites.
Do not scratch bed bugs bites, as this may worsen the irritation and itching and may lead to a secondary infection.
Why do bed bugs bite?
Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood in order to live and grow.
Bed bugs usually feed while people sleep, about an hour before dawn. But they will seek blood meals during the day when hungry.
Current studies indicate that bed bugs feed once a week.
At each blood meal, bed bugs feed from three to 15 minutes, depending on their life stage.
The size of fully engorged bed bugs varies significantly depending on life stage; for example, the amount of blood taken by adults at each meal can reach up to seven times their body weight; whereas, nymphs can take from 2-1/2 to 6 times their original weight.
Bed bug bites are painless leaving the host unaware of their presence.
In order to prevent blood from clotting, bed bugs secrete anticoagulant substances with their saliva into the wound while feeding. The bed bug’s saliva also numbs the skin.
After feeding, engorged bed bugs crawl to hiding places in close proximity to the host to digest their meal before they feed again in five to ten days.
How did bed bugs get into my house?
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and can come into your house on luggage, furniture, clothing, pillows and bedding, boxes, purses and backpack – any other person items that were moved from a bed bug infested area.
Bed bugs cannot fly and will not jump from the floor to the bed.
Once in the home, bed bugs become established in any convenient crack or crevice, particularly along the seams or in the buttons of mattresses, in the coils and frame of the box spring, wooden bedsteads, bed framing, upholstered furniture, the backing of pictures, behind window and door molding/framing, behind wallpaper, between wooden floorboards, behind switch plates, as well as sofas and upholstered furniture.
In heavy infestations, they may be found in wall voids, along conduit, electrical wires, and pipes, in attics, and other enclosed places.
Why do bed bugs leave one place for another?
Bed bugs usually stay close to their hosts, but once there is no longer a food source that can nourish and support them, they will be attracted by food cues in adjacent rooms or units and spread through wall voids and ceiling holes, as well as unsealed bottom plates and utility pipes.
Another reason for leaving has to do with the way bed bugs mate. It’s called traumatic insemination. Males simply stab females in the side with their reproductive organ and inject their sperm, which makes its way to her eggs. Females recover from one mating, but several matings increase the chance of infection and death. Females will try to get away from groups of males to avoid being stabbed to death and in the process spread to adjacent rooms or units.
What is the life cycle of bed bugs?
Bed bugs go through gradual metamorphosis: egg to nymph to adult.
A female bed bug will lay 200 - 500 eggs in her lifetime, approximately 5-8 eggs per day.
Bed bug eggs are laid singly or in clusters and are cemented to wood, fabrics, or other surfaces in places where the bed bugs normally hide.
Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days.
Bed bug nymphs go through 5 molts during a 35 - 48 day nymphal stage. They cast their shed skin each molt.
Each bed bugs nymph requires at least one blood meal to develop to the next developmental instar.
At room temperature, the complete bed bug lifecycle takes about two months. However, at optimal conditions (83-90°F and 80% RH), their life cycle may take four to five weeks.
Adult bed bugs can live up to ten months, providing they have a food source.
There can be up to 3 to 4 generations of bed bugs per year.
Why has there been a resurgence of bed bugs?
International travel and changes in modern pest control are believed to be responsible for the resurgence in bed bugs.
DDT was commonly used in the 1940's and 1950's for many insects and was quite effective against bed bugs, almost eliminating them within the U.S.
In the 1970's DDT was banned and pest control evolved into less frequent applications of more targeted products, often pest specific, such as cockroach baits.
Bed bug physiology has changed and the bed bugs of today are much more difficult to exterminate than bed bugs of the 1940s and 50s.
Pest control products manufactured after the 1950's have not been tested on bed bugs and are not approved as a treatment for bed bugs or sites where bed bugs harbor, like the mattress and box spring.
Not until 2000 did researchers and manufacturers start making products that effectively exterminate bed bugs.
Do mattress encasements work?
Encasements do effectively seal mattresses and box springs and they are far less expensive than replacing infested mattresses or box springs.
It is important to get an encasement that fits the exact size of the mattress and box spring you have, otherwise there will be creases in the encasement that bed bugs will find useful for harborage.
Don't get a regular mattress encasement – you must purchase an encasement manufactured specifically for bed bugs.
A bed bug encasement will have very small zipper teeth so the first stage nymph cannot get through the zipper teeth.
There are fewer folds and seems and the encasement has been tested to ensure the bed bugs cannot bite through the encasement.
And lastly, the zipper has a zipper stop so the end of the zipper doesn't leave an opening.
Whos legally responsible for a bed bug infestation?
The question of legal responsibility has no clear answer.
Laws are changing and every situation is different.
Landlords and property owners do have legal obligations to provide safe and habitable accommodations for tenants. Bed bugs may be considered an unacceptable condition.
Tenants have an obligation to cooperate with owners and landlords. This includes preparing the unit so the pest management professional can easily inspect rooms and treat if necessary.
You are legally liable if you misapply an insecticide or apply it without a license. In most cases, landlords, owners, and building managers cannot legally apply insecticides unless they are licensed to do so.
The best recommendations are to fully communicate with all who are potentially involved, inspect regularly, take immediate steps to remediate a bed bug problem using a professional pest control company, and document everything.
Interesting facts about bed bugs
There are about 92 known species of bed bugs species belong to the family Cimicidae found in the world.
A genetic analysis suggests bed bugs may date back 245,000 years—that means the bed bug have been around longer than humans.
Bed bugs have a very distinctive sweet or musty odor.
Studies have shown that in colder temperatures, bed bug adults may live for up to two years even without a blood meal.
Although they are excellent hitch hikers, bed bugs can’t climb smooth surfaces such as glass and plastic.
Bed bugs are the only known insects with a specialized immune organ.
Since their only food is the blood of warm-blooded animals, bed bugs are equipped with specialized sensors that detect body heat, CO2, and pheromones emitted by humans.
Studies have confirmed that bed bugs are attracted to CO2.
Hungry bed bugs can sense the presence of sleeping people by sensing their body heat via heat sensors located on their antennas.
Bed bugs also can follow a pheromone release and track it directly to a blood source.
In 1965, scientists tested bed bugs for use in the Vietnam War. Scientists wanted to exploit the bed bugs ability of finding a person for a blood meal to detect enemy Vietcong hiding in the jungle. Ultimately, the army abandoned the project.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans wrote about bed bugs.
So did modern author Henry Miller, who referenced bed bugs in seven of his most famous novels: Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Black Spring, Sexus, Plexus, Nexus, and Moloch.
The pharaohs had spells cast to get rid of bed bugs.
Ancient Greeks tried to lure the bugs to other warm blooded animals by tying hare or stag feet to their beds.
Dangerous sprays made of arsenic or mercury and fumigants including cyanide gas were used to exterminate bed bugs in the 1800s and 1900s.
Humans have also tried to eliminate bed bugs with gunpowder, blowtorches, gasoline, kerosene, and washing bed frames with wormwood and hellebore boiled in a “proper quantity of Urine.”