Bed Bug Removal | How To Deal With Bed Bugs | Doctor Pest

by admin | Last Updated: June 19, 2020

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs + How To Keep Them Away

a complete guide on bedbugs
Table of Contents

Bed bugs are, undoubtedly, one of the most frustrating household pests to deal with. They can make you feel unsafe and unclean in one of the places in the home where it’s most important to feel comfortable.

Furthermore, their bites can be both painful and persistently annoying. However, just because you have been bitten and have an itchy or painful mark after sleeping doesn’t automatically mean that you have a bed bug problem.

Here, we’re going to look at the steps you can take to locate, diagnose, and treat a bed bug problem in the home. We’re also going to look at what you need to know about their bites, and whether their bites alone can help you diagnose their presence. Lastly, we’re going to clear up some unhelpful myths that spread more misconceptions than useful information about these pests.

Let’s look at everything you need to know about bed bugs.

How to diagnose bed bugs

As uncomfortable and downright nasty as a bed bug problem can be, it’s natural that your first instinct will be to narrow down that they are, in fact, the cause of your problem. Here, we’re going to look at some of the signs of bed bugs, as well as what can set them apart from other biting pests.

bedbug on skin of person

Bites when you wake up

Bed bugs are far from the only biting insects, and it’s easy to misdiagnose a bed bug problem based on being bitten alone. Bed bug bites aren’t unique in appearance either. They can appear as flat, red welts, zigzag patterns, or locally centered clusters. However, if you feel bite marks appearing when in the garden, in the car, or elsewhere, it’s not likely to be a bed bug. If you wake up consistently with new bites, however, it may be a sign of their presence.

Removing centipedes from your home is relatively easy. However, to ensure your safety and prevent any unnecessary pain or discomfort (or grossness) it’s best to stick to the following do’s and don’ts of centipede removal.

Nighttime troubles

As the name implies, bed bugs are usually found in beds. They provide a safe home to hide in that’s close to their food source (us humans.) If your bed feels itchy or you find yourself regularly waking up due to skin discomfort, it could be a sign of a bed bug problem.

Little red-brown spots on the bed

Taking a closer look at your bed, can you see small rust-colored spots on the mattress or blankets? Take a look around the corners and edges of the bed. These are bloodstains often left by bed bugs after they have finished feeding.

bedbug jumping

Spotting their skin

It’s not a pleasant thought to imagine it happening in your bed, but bed bugs also molt their skin as they mature. As such, if you find little oval brown exoskeletons on your bed, you may be able to spot them.


A moldy, unpleasant smell

Bed bugs are well known for a very strong, unpleasant odor. It’s a musty scent, much like a wet towel that has been left around. The stronger this smell is, the larger your bed bug problem is likely to be.

Locating a bed bug problem

bedbug biting a human

If you have any reason to suspect a bed bug problem in your home, then you will want to take a closer look to confirm where they are before you start taking any measures to eliminate them. Bed bugs can be hard to detect, however, so it’s important to look closely and thoroughly and to know where to look as well. Here are a few steps to make sure you don’t miss anything.


Starting with the bed

Of course, bed bugs are most likely to hang around the bed, so it’s only natural that this is where you should start. Strip the mattress completely, checking the sheets for blood stains as you do. Then, take a closer look at the corners and seams of the bed, as this is where matter like their leavings and shed exoskeletons are likely to be. A magnifying glass and a flashlight can help you spot these tiny marks.

Close up picture fo a bed bug

Scanning the room

Though they’re called bed bugs, beds aren’t the only place you will find them. There may be other spaces in the room they hide as well. Chairs, upholstered furniture, curtains, and carpets can all house them. Be sure to check behind and under what furniture you can, as well as behind the headboard. You’re still looking for those red-brown stains and molted skins.


Clear out the closet

Bed bugs can cling onto fabrics, which is often how they hitch a ride from one bed to the next. As such, if you have a bed bug problem, check all of your clothing thoroughly. If you see any signs of bed bugs on any of your clothes, you can be certain that they have also found their way into your home.


Follow your nose

As mentioned, bed bugs leave a distinct musty odor that’s hard to ignore. If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your bedroom, then see if you can identify an area where this scent is strongest. That is where you’re most likely to find them.

What to know about bed bug bites

One of the first (and most distressing) signs of a bed bug infestation is when you start to feel and see the bite marks left on your skin. Bed bugs bite using a small tube-like organ that pierces the skin, and they feed predominantly on human blood while we’re sleeping.

These bites can affect you anywhere you have skin. As such, they are likely to appear on the neck, face, hands, shoulders, and limbs. However, the bites are tiny so, while you might not feel the bites themselves, you can feel some of the symptoms that they then go on to cause.

Symptoms of a bed bug bite

Most symptoms will develop directly after you’re bitten, but they can also appear more slowly over a matter of days. They also tend to resolve in a week, but if you’re hypersensitive, the symptoms can be more severe and long-lasting. Symptoms include:

●      Itchiness

●      Inflammation

●      Painful burning

●      A raised bump with a clear middle

●      A red bump with a dark center

●      Small red bumps in a zigzag pattern or live

If you have a severe reaction to bed bug bites, you may also experience fever, blisters, difficulty breathing, flu-like symptoms, a swollen tongue, and an irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should get medical attention as soon as you can.

What should you do to treat a bite?

Usually, there’s no course of treatment necessary for a bed bug bite. Cleaning the bites with soap and water is recommended, but the symptoms will all disappear within a week in most cases. If the bites are itchy, you can use anti-itch creams found in any store, or over-the-counter hydrocortisone if recommended by your doctor.

For those who are hypersensitive to bed bug bites, they may receive treatment for an allergic reaction, such as antihistamines. Similarly, antibiotics can be prescribed if a bite ends up infected.

Will bed bug bites make you sick?

As mentioned, there are some people who are hypersensitive to bed bug bites and may take an allergic reaction to being bitten by them. If you experience any of the symptoms of hypersensitivity, getting the appropriate treatment is essential.

However, in most cases, bed bug bites will not make you sick. There has been some evidence of them being able to carry human pathogens, but no evidence, so far, that they are able to pass any illnesses to humans through their bites. However, bites can become infected, especially if their itchiness leads you to scratch to the point of breaking your skin.

Treating a bed bug problem in the home

If you find all the signs of bed bug problem and you know where to find them, then it’s time to take the steps to get rid of them. Bed bugs can be very tricky pests. Being no larger than 5 millimeters from end to end, it’s difficult to spot them with the human eye. Furthermore, they reproduce very quickly and are great at hiding.

However, none of this means that they’re impossible to remove. It may take time and effort, and different strategies might work depending on where the infestation is, so you might have to try a few different remedies to get rid of them. However, here are a few steps to help you get rid of your bed bugs.

Containing the bed bugs

When you’ve got a good idea of where the bed bugs might be hiding out, it’s a good idea to trap them so that they are easier to focus your attention on. To start with, you should vacuum over any suspected hiding places such as bed, dress, and upholstery. After cleaning out the vacuum, you should seal up any affected fabrics with plastic bags before washing them at the highest temperature you can. For items that can’t be washed, 30 minutes in a dryer at the highest heat setting can help.

It’s important to be thorough in getting rid of the bed bugs. If you can’t clean an item, you should throw it away. Mark furniture, making it clear that it has bed bugs, so no-one else tries to pick it up and take it home.

Prepare for the treatment

Having any clutter in the room can make it difficult to get rid of bed bugs, as they will try to use these hiding spaces if possible. Get rid of any hiding spaces by throwing them out. Don’t move clutter to other rooms as it could end up spreading the infestation throughout the house. Seal, caulk and glue down any escape points, such as cracks in furniture, baseboard seams, and loose wallpaper.  Tape shut any electrical outlets. Move the bed away from the wall.


Home remedies for bed bugs

After you’ve prepared with a thorough wash of affected items, a deep vacuum, and the room is ready, here are a few home remedies you can use to get rid of bed bugs:

Bed bug myths you should know

While there is a lot of helpful information on the internet, it’s also important to recognize some of the myths that can end up confusing matters more than anything. Here are some common myths about bed bugs, and what the truth behind them really is.

●      Bed bugs can fly: They can’t. They lack wings. They move by crawling instead, which means putting some distance between hiding spaces can help you trap them.

●      Bed bugs can live a year without a meal: Bed bugs can live a long time without feeding, but it’s not longer than 2-3 months on average.

●      Bed bugs only bite at night: While nocturnal, bed bugs will gladly wake up to grab a blood snack if they’re feeling hungry and there’s human skin available.

●      Bed bugs only live in beds: We’ve already cleared this up, but it’s importnat to mention they live on and in fabrics and soft furnishings of all kinds, including chairs, clothing, and other surfaces like ceilings or railings.

●      Bed bugs live in unclean, unsanitary environments: Bed bugs can be found absolutely anywhere. They only tend to appear more often in urban spaces because dense populations make it easier for them to spread around.

Hopefully, all of the information above will give you a better idea of what to expect when dealing with bed bugs, some methods to eliminate them, and myths to keep in mind. If none of the home remedies work for you, don’t let the bed bugs win. Professional pest removal teams can be extremely thorough, ensuring your home is left bed bug free.