Bed bugs are the stuff of nightmares for a lot of people. Tiny, nearly invisible creatures that spawn quickly and are often hard to get rid of, these insects can drive you wild with bites in just a matter of days. That’s why learning how to take care of them quickly is so important.
No matter where you picked up these pests, they can be a serious issue. Some people even get them from a hotel or motel, a foreign trip or an infestation in a hot spot within the city they live in. Time is of the essence though, since they can reproduce very quickly and cause you some serious headaches once they’re in your home in large numbers.
Keep reading to learn more about spotting and removing these annoying bugs in a hurry. You definitely don’t want these ugly little things lingering any longer than necessary.
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How to Catch Bed Bugs
One of the simplest ways to spot bedbugs is to check your sheets and mattress. In many cases, you may be able to spot signs of bed bugs before they start to bite you on a regular basis. This is obviously ideal since you’ll be catching the bedbugs as early as possible.
Check for Signs Around Your Bed
Look for these signs on your sheets, mattress and around your bed:
- Rust-colored or red stains on your sheets or pillow. These are caused when bed bugs are crushed by your body weight in the night. This is relatively common and many people who have bed bugs will spot these on a regular basis even as they are being bitten.
- Bugs moving around your mattress. Watch carefully for a few minutes and you will likely see them move. This may be a sign that your issue is getting worse since bed bugs are usually only visible if you have a fair amount of them in a given space.
- Dark spots about the size of a “.” on your mattress, sheets or pillow. Some bed bugs may not be moving visibly when you are looking for them.
- Eggs and eggshells of bed bugs on your mattress, sheets or pillow. Bed bugs reproduce quickly, so spotting bed bug shells isn’t uncommon. These tend to be very small and pale yellow and color, which is why many people have a hard time spotting them on white sheets.
Look for Bed Bug Bites on Your Body
Spotting bed bugs on your mattress or around your home is possible, but in most cases, it’s going to be the bites that notify you that they are in your house. While the bites may itch and be a little annoying at first, catching on before you’ve got a major infestation can allow you to rid your home of bed bugs with relative easy.
Look for signs of bedbugs if you think they may be in your home or that you’ve been exposed to them in a hotel or foreign bed:
- Small red bumps, generally only about the size of a large pin head. These often come in clusters on the arms and shoulders, though they can appear in other places as well, especially if your problem is more severe.
- Zig-zag patterns of bites. Bed bugs, unlike some other insects that can end up in your home, tend to bite in a zig-zag pattern instead of a circular one. You’ll likely notice that the bites are clumped together, but not in any clear shape. This is a common indicator that these problematic bugs are in your home.
- Check for small, flat or very slightly raised bumps on the skin. Not everybody reacts severely to bed bug bites, so the redness that most people associate with them does not always develop in the first few days. Typically mild itching is involved as well, but this is not always the case either.
Is it Easy to Catch?
Bed bugs are not always easy to spot, which is why many people do not notice them until they are being bitten and feel the itching, stinging sensation associated with bedbugs. Most people aren’t on the look-out for bed bugs either, making it nearly impossible to spot one of them.
Once you start your search for bugs because you fear that you have them or you find signs of a bite, spotting them should be a relatively easy process if you are patient. Actually catching one to find out if you have an infestation can prove tricky, but this process can help you identify whether or not you have them.
How to Catch Them Early
If you suspect bed bugs because you’ve heard that your area is a hot spot or a roommate or neighbor has bed bugs, there are some methods you can use to try and catch them before they become a problem. This commonly involves basic cleaning procedures.
Use these tips to spot bed bugs before they move in large quantities and start biting you:
- Wash your sheets and blankets regularly. Doing this a few times per week, or even changing sheets daily, can help keep bed bugs from calling your bed their home.
- Check in drawer joints, electrical appliances and outlets near your bed. Bed bugs sometimes hide in these seemingly odd places.
- Look in the seams of couches, chairs, curtains and all upholstered items.
- Inspect the area where carpet meets hardwood or other hard flooring materials in your home. Bed bugs can even hide in floor and ceiling joists, though checking these may prove more difficult for the average homeowner.
Bed bugs can cause some serious problems in your home, and even if their bite doesn’t hurt or cause a lot of discomfort, nobody wants to live with these annoying insects. That’s where bed bug traps come in handy.
Choosing the right bed bug trap isn’t always easy when there are so many different options available on the market though.
Major hardware retailer Home Depot sells bed bug traps that many people can pick up the same day they realize they have a problem, making them very attractive. Home Depot will also ship these traps to your doorstep if you can’t get to a store in your area.
The most common types of bed bug traps Home Depot sells is a basic glue trap.
Here’s how you use Home Depot bed bug traps:
- Remove the covering from the glue trap and place it in an area where you have an infestation. You’ll likely want traps for every room in your home and at least one under every mattress in your house.
- Slide the bed bug traps under the mattress, sofa, chair or couch and leave it there. Many traps last up to six months, but you’ll need to read specific product information to know more.
- Check your bed bug traps regularly. You’ll also want to follow basic procedures for keeping your home free of bed bugs like regularly washing your sheets, shampooing and vacuuming carpet and keeping hard surfaces as clean as possible.
Are Double Sided Traps Effective?
Double sided bed bug traps are commonly found in hardware stores and online. Some even have the capability to lure bed bugs with special odors and materials that they tend to gravitate to.
Here’s how double sided bed bug traps work:
- Place double sided bed bug traps in areas like under your mattress or sofa cushions.
- The bed bug trap attracts them with a smell or odor and catches them on both sides of your mattress.
Double sided bed bug traps can be effective for finding out if you have an infestation and for catching bedbugs in the early stages of invading your home. If you have a serious infestation, they may not be powerful enough to completely remedy your problem since the bed bugs have likely spread out over a large portion of your home.
What About Homemade Dry Ice Traps?
Dry ice bed bug traps are something you’ll find on the internet if you do a little digging into how to get rid of these annoying pests. While they can be effective, great care needs to be taken when handling dry ice. Dry ice also isn’t smart to have in your home if you have cats, dogs or small children who may get hurt by it.
- Apply fabric to the inside of a bowl using regular or double-sided tape. This gives the bed bugs a way to crawl up and enter the bowl. Pet food bowls designed to not tip over are an ideal container.
- Rub talcum powder on the inside of the bowl. This helps to trap the bed bugs once they enter the bowl.
- Fill the container half-full with dry ice. In many cases, this will take about two to three pounds of dry ice per trap.
- Turn the lights off and leave the room for about an hour. Bed bug traps can also be set overnight.
Dry ice traps work by attracting the bed bugs through carbon dioxide, a substance that they are lured to along with human warmth. Once the bed bugs wind up in the bowl with the dry ice they will be trapped there since they won’t be able to crawl out of the center portion of the bowl.
You’ll need to change dry ice traps regularly if you do use these in your home, making them a less effective solution for many homeowners. There’s also no guarantee that bed bugs will leave the comfort of your bed or upholstered furniture to find the dry ice traps when they are already feeding on a regular basis by biting you, your family members and your pets.
If you do want to use bed bug traps, they are best used to find out if you actually have an infestation or if something else is biting you. Click here for more details on bed bug fogger.
Handling dry ice can be very dangerous and it’s not something every homeowner should do. Other bed bug traps are generally as effective and they don’t cost as much as large quantities of dry ice. If you want to try the dry ice method, make sure you wear proper hand protection and keep dry ice away from small children and pets at all times.
Top 5 Effective Traps
Getting rid of bed bugs quickly is essential to avoid a long-term infestation.
Use these five effective traps to catch bed bugs in your home:
- Harris bed bug traps. These natural traps are excellent for homes with children and pets where toxic options may pose a serious danger.
- Hot Shot bed bug glue traps. These traps are easy to find at your local hardware store and are excellent at getting rid of small amounts of bed bugs, particularly if you believe they are confined to one room or a small area.
- Raid bed bug glue traps. Also easy to find in your local hardware store, Raid bed bug glue traps are effective for treating multiple areas in your home.
- Ortho Home Defense bed bug traps. Designed to attract bed bugs within an hour, these traps are pesticide-free, making them an excellent option for homes with cats and dogs.
- Zero In bed bug traps. Poison-free and designed specifically for at-home use, Zero In bed bug traps remain effective for up to 60 days.
Bed bugs aren’t pleasant companions to have around your home. Whether you brought them into your bed from a hotel, motel or vacation, or you’re dealing with them because there’s an outbreak in your area, time is the most important factor when it comes to handling them in an effective way.
Bed bugs can reproduce very quickly, and what started with just a few bed bugs in your space can quickly turn into hundreds or thousands of them. That means that you may be dealing with a serious infestation in a matter of just a few days. Whether you’re renting an apartment or you own your home, you definitely don’t want your space to become a safe haven for bed bugs.
While being able to spot bed bugs on your mattress or the appearance of bed bug bites is important, moving quickly after you do recognize them is essential. Don’t wait even a single day to start getting your home clear of bed bugs. If you do, they may start to take over and become much harder to rid your home of.
You can find further details of Bed Bugs Control here.