Have you been waking up with strange patterns of bites on your body? Blood spots on the sheets? A strange, musty odor in your house? You're most likely dealing with a bed bug infestation.

Bed bugs are tiny, rarely-seen insects that live by feeding on human blood. They're usually less than 1/4 of an inch in size, with a mahogany-colored body shaped similar to an apple seed. When bed bugs feed, they literally swell with blood changing in color to reddish-brown and almost tripling in size.

Bed bugs are nocturnal and have millions of years of practicing staying out of sight. They hide around the room during the day and come out to feed during their active period, between 12 and 5 a.m., when we're fast asleep. Bed bugs find their next food source by sensing CO2 emissions from human breathing and body heat.

Once close to their next victim, bed bugs start probing the body by biting, looking for a capillary that will allow them to feed. We don't feel bed bug bites because as they bite, their saliva administers an anti-coagulant and a local anesthetic to avoid being discovered.

Each female bed bug can lay up to 113 eggs during its lifetime, which is usually close to a year. With a 97% hatch rate, the number of bed bugs can double every 16 days, with just a single female able to create an infestation of truly nightmarish proportions.

Let's take a look at how to prevent bed bugs from getting into your house, learn how to get rid of bed bugs if they're already there, and, if the DIY approach fails, how to find reliable pest control in Albany.

How Can I Tell If It's Bed Bugs In My Home?

You're not likely to spot signs of a bed bug infestation aside bed bug bites themselves until the number of bugs in your house is exceedingly large. Bed bugs are experts at hiding, their young nymphs are practically invisible to the naked eye, and even the bites themselves are often not discovered for days, if not weeks.

Watch for the following signs to spot an infestation early:

  • Reddish-brown fecal spots on the bedding
  • Blood spots
  • Bed bug eggs
  • Molted skins 
  • A musty smell of bed bug pheromones

Bed bug bites, while usually painless, can cause severe mental anguish and distress, and their victims commonly suffer from sleep deprivation.

Bed Bugs Won't Just Go Away On Their Own

Once bed bugs make their way into our homes with their comfortable temperature-controlled environment and reliable access to their next meal, bed bugs have everything they need to kick back and enjoy life.

An untreated infestation will snowball, and the more bed bugs you have in the house, the more likely they will bite you. The longer the infestation stays untreated, the more likely it'll spread to every place you visit, work, friends, and family.

Tips To Avoid Bed Bugs That Actually Work 

Bed bugs in Albany don't fly or even run far but instead have evolved to hitchhike on a multitude of objects close to the vicinity of their next victim. A suitcase put on the floor at the airport, a library book that spent some time in a home infested with bed bugs, or a piece of used furniture containing bed bugs or bed bug eggs; that's all it takes to start a new infestation.

Let's take a look at what you can do to keep bed bugs out of your Albany home:

  • Carefully check bedding and hotel rooms in general when traveling.
  • Do not set your luggage on the floor in public transportation.
  • Wash and dry on high temperature all your clothes after returning from a trip.
  • Vacuum your luggage after returning from a trip in case bugs or eggs are hitchhiking on it.
  • Be careful when using shared laundry facilities.

The old urban myth about bed bugs and dirty houses is just that, a myth. Bed bugs don't care about how clean or dirty the place is, just the temperature it stays at and easy access to the blood of its occupants.

How Can I Prevent Bed Bugs From Coming Back?

The trick to never dealing with another bed bug infestation is strict adherence to preventative measures and clearing every bed bug and bed bug egg out of your house.

At Absolute Pest Control, we've been helping Albany residents keep their homes bed bug-free for over 40 years. We provide reliable, custom treatment plans designed specifically for your circumstances and the pests you're coping with.

If you can't sleep thanks to a bed bug infestation-give us a call today to get started and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Albany.

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