It's summer and that means bed bugs are active and showing up more often in people's homes and belongings. Bed bugs are a serious nuisance that can cause skin problems and that can lower the value of your home.
But while most people are aware that bed bugs are a problem, many don't know much about them, such as where they're found, what they look like, or how to get rid of them. You don't need to be an expert, though, to know when there's a problem - the following information can help you get - and keep - your home bed bug free.
Bed Bug Facts Every Homeowner Should Know
We've taken relevant information for homeowners from PestWorld, and displayed them here in an easy to read graphic. Within these 4 graphs, you'll find the facts and statistics every homeowner should know about bed bugs, so you can better arm yourself against them.
You'll notice that, while bed bugs can be found anywhere, 97% of the time, if they're in your home, you can find them in the master bedroom. And while they're called "bed bugs" that doesn't mean that they're confined to these spaces; 88% of the time, you can also find them in the living room and furniture as well. And if you do spot signs of bed bugs, it's also a good idea to check children's rooms, as they're also affected 83% of the time.
Bed bugs are active all year round, but most contractors note that they get called out to deal with the issue most frequently in the summer months, with late summer making up 30% of the calls and early summer taking 21%. They're least active in the winter months, with only a combined 9% of calls coming in this season. This can be helpful for homeowners to stay aware of; warmer weather may mean an increase in insect activity.
You may also be surprised to learn that most homeowners that have bed bugs, think that they have a different type of pest in the home. Up to 84% of the time, when a homeowner calls for a pest expert to come out, they believe that they have another insect, such as fleas, that needs treatment, rather than bed bugs. This could be because bed bugs are most often noticed by their bites, which can resemble the bite of a flea or other insect.
And when the exterminator visits, you'll find that they tend to be evenly split on what they're most likely to recommend. 53% of the time, you'll be offered treatments such as sprays, while an additional 52% of the time, you'll also be offered additional monitoring and K9 inspection.
How Best to Deal with Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a serious issue that can be difficult to deal with and to treat. Unfortunately, most people aren't aware that they're bringing them into the home. You can help avoid them by not bringing in secondhand furniture or mattresses, and avoid sleeping in hotels as often as possible, as they can be picked up and brought home in your suitcase.
However, if you travel, try to keep an eye out in your hotel room for signs of bed bugs, such as rust-colored stains, bites when you wake in the morning, or shed carcasses. If you notice these signs, you can bag and seal your belongings and have them treated before bringing them into your home.
If you happen to notice any of these signs in your own home, it's best to call a professional in to deal with them right away. Home-based treatments are often ineffective, so you're only prolonging the inevitable.
In the meantime, vacuum all your furnishings, wash your bedding, and vacuum along baseboards to help cut down on the number of bugs in your home. This can help make the treatment faster and more effective once the exterminator arrives.
Bed bugs aren't something that any homeowner wants to deal with. By knowing the facts, you'll be more equipped to deal with them, however, if they do visit your home. Stay informed and learn what to look for, so you can keep your home healthy and safe all year long.