How To Identify And Get Rid Of Bed Bugs In Your Birmingham Home

two bed bugs close up

What is the most important thing you carry in your wallet? Your identification! Credit cards are necessary for transactions, but if you do not have a way to identify yourself, you cannot purchase certain medications, enter some locations, get on an airline flight, etc. If you get pulled over by the police or have a medical emergency, you want your ID.

Identity is vital to functioning in our society; it is also beneficial when pests are in your house. Of course, pests, like bed bugs, will not ask for your identity, but you must be able to identify them. You need to determine if the bites on your body are from bed bugs, mosquitoes, or spiders so you will know what actions to take. 

If you suspect bed bugs are in your house, your first step is to secure pest control in Birmingham from Havard Pest Control. For over 70 years, we have removed bed bugs from Birmingham homes. Since our humble beginnings in 1947, our commitment to quality pest control services, honesty, and superior customer service has resulted in a company of over 100 certified and trained technicians serving the Southeast from 12 different office locations. When you contact Havard Pest Control, you get a company with experience, training, longevity, and knowledge in the pest control industry. 

Because you need to know what is causing the bites on your body, this article gives the information you need to determine if bed bugs are the culprit in your Birmingham home. We not only give you the knowledge you need to identify the pest, but we will educate you on the steps to remove these troublesome pests from your house. 

Visible Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are not the only creature that bites, so we need to determine the signs of a bed bug infestation in the house. Here is a list of bed bug signs: 

  • Bed bugs
  • Bites
  • Stains
  • Discarded skins
  • Eggs
  • Eggshells
  • Odor

Let's briefly unpack each bed bug indicator. 

Adult bed bugs are visible to the naked eye. These insects have six segmented legs, two antennae, and a three-part body consisting of a head, pronotum, and abdomen. Although bed bugs have wing pads, they do not possess wings, nor can they fly. An empty bed bug has a flat, 1/4-inch-long mahogany body with a crinkled topside. When the bug has a blood meal, its body becomes dull red, elongated, swollen, and grows to about 3/8 of an inch. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) are not visible without a magnifying glass. Nymphs are colorless and 1/16 to 13/64 of an inch long, depending on their growth phase (instar).

Red bites on your arms and legs are one of the first indicators that you have a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs require blood from a nearby host for nutrition and egg production. When the host is asleep, usually between midnight and 5 am, hungry and fertilized bugs will crawl onto the person and insert a mouthpart known as a proboscis into the skin to locate a gaggle of capillaries. They may insert their needle-like appendage several times into their host before finding a concentration of blood vessels. As a result, bed bug bites are usually in clusters or lines, unlike random mosquito or spider bites.

Bed bugs consume blood and produce dark reddish feces that stain bed linens. Sometimes bed bugs leave reddish-brown stains on the mattress or bed sheets due to being crushed by a host when they roll over. 

Bed bugs are insects; one characteristic of those creatures is that they have an external skeleton known as an exoskeleton. Of course, these outer shells restrict growth, so when a nymph goes through its five growth stages (instars), it must shed its exoskeleton at each phase to allow it to enlarge its body. Discarded shells from the first few instars are not easily detectable without magnification, but you can see the creamy-white exoskeletons from the last couple of growth phases. 

Female bed bugs deposit one to three eggs pearl-white pinhead-sized eggs daily. After five days, the 3/64-inch eggs develop a dark spot. Under ideal conditions (above 70℉), nymphs emerge from the eggs in six to 17 days, leaving cream-colored eggshells.

Bed bugs have glands that produce a musty-sweet odor which the bugs use to communicate. Generally, the infestation must be significant for this smell to be noticeable; it usually only occurs when disturbing the bed bugs. 

Investigate areas where you sleep for these bed bug signs. Look behind headboards, picture frames, and wallpaper seams. Search mattress seams, box springs, and upholstered furniture for these indicators. Check cracks between baseboards and the walls and the wood floor and nightstand crevices. Examine electrical outlets and bedding materials for bed bug indicators.

If you see these signs, you need Havard Pest Control. We provide the best bed bug pest control near you. Our trained technicians know all the signs of bed bugs in Birmingham and where to investigate. We will confirm your bed bug suspicion or point you in a different direction. Either way, we will solve your pest problem. 

How Bed Bug Infestations Start

Unlike cockroaches and other infestations, bed bugs are not because of a dirty house or neighbors with trash in their yards. Bed bugs are hitchhikers who move from one location to another using public transportation and venues as a hub. Bed bugs hid in mattress seams, box springs, behind headboards, and picture frames. When a person stays in a hotel room where bed bugs hide, the bugs will crawl into their luggage, bags, clothing folds, and between shoe laces. Upon returning home, they migrate into cracks in the room until feeding time. 

Hotels and motels are not the only sources of an infestation. Bed bugs can hide in the crevices of upholstery in theatre seats, cabs, buses, or trains. While you enjoy a movie or travel to and fro on public transportation, the bugs transfer from the crevices into handbags, clothing, etc. Bed bugs also enter homes through used furniture from an infested location. 

Once you have Havard Pest Control provide bed bug removal, you don't want them to return. Before unpacking in a hotel, check the areas where bed bugs hide. Inspect your clothing and handbags for bed bugs when returning from a trip but before you enter your house. 

If you purchase used furniture, ask the seller if they have had an infestation. Even if they say, "Yes, but we took care of it," it is best not to buy the item. However, if this is a "gotta have it" piece of furniture, move it outside and inspect every crevice using a magnifying glass. 

Havard Pest Control provides bed bug control in Birmingham, so homeowners don't have to combat these troublesome pests. 

Bed Bug Infestations Only Get Worse With Time

Once the bugs enter your home, the females produce eggs after their first blood meal. During an average lifetime of six to 12 months, a single female bed bug can produce over 500 offspring. Once she lays eggs, it takes about six weeks, under ideal conditions, to progress from egg to adult. Because bed bugs reproduce quickly, a Birmingham home can have up to three generations within a year. 

According to a survey by the Pest Management Association, 79% of pest control professionals said bed bugs were the most difficult pest to remove from a house. So, if bed bugs are a challenge for the pros, you know the average homeowner can't stop an infestation. However, here are a few bed bug control techniques for your home that you can implement:

  • Sweep the house regularly
  • Suction out cracks and crevices
  • Remove piles of laundry from the floors
  • Wash and dry bedding regularly on the highest heat

Time is of the essence when you suspect a bed bug problem, so get the best bed bug pest control near you from Havard Pest Control. 

The Most Effective Way To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs

When you contact Havard Pest Control to get rid of bed bugs in your Birmingham home, we will dispatch a trained to your house. We will investigate furniture, walls, curtains, nightstands, and bedding for signs of a bed bug infestation. If we find evidence of the bugs, our technician will explain your treatment options and how to prepare for the eradication process. We will provide a detailed list to ensure we maximize the effectiveness of the treatments. 

We treat the entire house, not just infested areas, to ensure the eradication of bed bugs in your home. We focus on outlets, cracks between baseboards and the walls, mattresses, and other hot spots, but to be safe, we cover the entire floor with the latest professional bed bug treatments. Once we complete the process, we install bed bug monitors to confirm the removal of the pests. After two weeks, we review the monitors, and if the monitors reveal bed bugs still exist, which is unlikely, we will schedule a return visit. Contact Havard Pest Control today to learn about our bed bug removal program and to get a free inspection (some exclusions may apply).

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