with Mountaineer Pest Services on your side
Tiny blood-sucking bed bugs are a giant epidemic throughout the U.S., invading even the cleanest, most expensive apartments and homes in the neighborhood as well as classy hotels. Bed bugs are wingless, rust-colored insects, about the size of an apple seed. They’re nocturnal, so they sleep during the day and quietly eat on humans at night, piercing the skin with their proboscis to inject salvia. As the bug fills with blood, its color changes from light brown to rust-red.
You might not see them until they’ve already gotten to you. They are rarely seen in action. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices. They love bedding and mattresses, where they have easy access to you. But they can also hide:
- Between wooden floorboards
- In wall cracks and crevices
- In carpeting
- In the seams and cracks of furniture, particularly bed frames
- Under loose edges of wallpaper
- Behind peeling paint
The first signs of an infestation are itchy bites that start as swollen wheals, and then fade to red spots that disappear in a few days. Experts suggest washing bed bug bites with antiseptic soap to avoid infection. The itching can be treated with calamine lotion or antiseptic creams.
Aside from bites, also look for:
- Tiny bloodstains from crushed bugs on sheets or mattresses
- Dark spots of bug excrement on bedding or walls
- An offensive musty odor when infestations are severe
Bed bugs often spread by hitching rides on people’s clothes. They jump from host to host when people brush up against each other in crowds, but they’re also spread through mattresses.
Experts say bed bugs have been all but dormant for decades. The recent comeback is said to be primarily the result of increased global travel, along with the banning of potent pesticides like DDT.
Getting rid of bed bugs is tricky — even nightmarish — if you try it on your own. If conditions are right, adults can live for a year, maybe longer, without eating, so you may think they’re gone when they’re really just waiting to get hungry again.
With Mountaineer Pest Services on your side, you can sleep easy. Once our inspector finds evidence of bed bugs, you will need to:
- Strip beds, including sheets, mattress pads and bed skirts.
- Empty closets, dressers and nightstands. Seal the clothes in bags, and leave the bags in the room.
- Wash or dry clean drapes, curtains and rugs.
- Toss or seal paper and cardboard products.
- Vacuum thoroughly, especially where the carpet meets the baseboard.
- Vacuum mattresses and box springs, focusing on the cracks and crevices or the buttons and tuffs of upholstered furniture.
- Remove your vacuum bag immediately, seal it and dump it.
- Have the carpet and furniture professionally steamed.
We take it from there, treating seams and cracks where bed bugs hide, including mattresses, box springs and upholstered furniture.
After treatment we recommend that you bug-proof your bed with an “encasement system,” kit that can be purchased online. Prices start at $170 and include mattress and box spring enclosures and pillow protectors. If you have already had bed bugs, the encasement seals them inside to die in a few months. It also keeps new ones out permanently.
After treatment, Mountaineer will re-inspect your home in 10 days. If activity is detected, we continue to exterminate until the bugs are gone.
Because bed bugs are hitchhikers, your home can be re-infested. The good news is that Mountaineer’s products prevent bed bug eggs from hatching and also control adult insects. Our service technicians will teach you where to look for minor problems before they turn into major outbreaks.