Itching, biting, sleepless nights, worry, stress. How can we stop them?
Can we stop bed bugs? Can we do anything to possibly prevent them or keep them from becoming a nightmare like so many of us have experienced? That’s such a question we find ourselves asking at some point. Particularly those who have experienced bed bugs firsthand from a cost standpoint as well as a mental health standpoint. I think this is what makes these “biters” such an important topic for this discussion.
The level of impact bed bugs leave on our day-to-day lives during and sometimes long after can bear quite a toll. From anxiety, worry, lack of sleep, high levels of stress and frustration, people struggle with these during encounters and sometimes long after bed bug activity subsides just because of the fear of how difficult life was during that process. Even people who have never had an issue with bed bugs know and understand how serious crossing paths with them can be. All of us have been put on alert and lots of useful information has emerged to help keep all of us safe from having to experience a nightmare like the ones we’ve heard or seen or felt? (ha ha)
So back to the question at hand….can we stop bed bugs? Can we prevent bed bugs? So, the answer to this is complex. The short answer is, no. The longer answer though is YES! Let me explain. Due to the “hitchhiker” nature of the bed bug, we could not say that you may never encounter a bed bug. That threat is very real and very possible. For all of the areas that bed bugs have been reported, encountered, and found and what I have personally seen myself at this point I don’t think there is anywhere they couldn’t go or exploit as a potential spreading location. It’s almost as easy as catching the flu or a virus! Bed bugs are always close by us all in a creepy kind of way (ha ha). So, whether it’s a doctor appointment, a movie out, the library or even the grocery store……it can happen. But we can put forth measures that would limit their abilities or even prevent them from furthering their existence. Here are some of those great tips that we all should practice overall in our day-to-day lives and would greatly decrease the opportunity of a “hitchhiker” or bed bug.
Always keep all bedrooms and living areas in your home well-kept and tidy, bugs love clutter. Keep floors as clear as possible to limit the number of hiding places. Don’t leave clothing or other items on the floor and keep linens in a hamper. Practice vacuuming once a week thoroughly in and around the bed area focusing on cracks and crevices nearby. This will help alleviate hiding places bed bugs would first encounter upon entering a residence. Wash bed linens and pillowcases regularly every week to help catch any new arrivals that may have found their way to you. Washing linens in hot water and drying them with high heat eliminates any and all stages of the bed bugs including their eggs. Dusting often also helps maintain a clean environment as well as identifying possible harboring pests, not to mention helps aid in dust mites which could also cause itching or rashes possibly misidentifying a bed bug infestation. People who already live in this manner through my experience and through other colleges experiences usually catch bed bug activity much earlier than others. This plays a pivotal role in lowering the stress of the whole process going forward. It helps the affected areas with the levels of preparation needed going into the treatment process as well as the number of treatments that may be needed and the overall cost of the entire plan.
We all know now not to pick up furniture or bed furniture second-hand without a professional checking them out first. Always keep mattress and box spring encasements on all mattresses and bedroom furniture. These should be purchased around the same time as the mattresses, if possible, to keep them new and fresh. If encasements are purchased for beds around a possible bed bug issue or sighting, make sure your exterminator treats them prior or during treatments making sure to put them back on afterwards. If treatments are not taking place and a tenant is uncertain of potential bed bug activity after placing encasements on beds, try not to remove them for at least one year as bed bugs have the ability to survive up to a year without feeding! I know crazy right? Like they couldn’t get any worse or have any more super abilities! Whether you have had active bed bugs in the past or never had bed bugs, keeping mattress and box spring encasements on also makes stress levels going through the process much easier for the effected. These will also help minimize allergens and dust mites on your beds for the years of use.
When traveling or leaving the house, there are also steps that can be taken to limit the possibility of exposure to bed bugs. When visiting others, especially ones we’re not super familiar with, never bring in more than you need. Take caution where you sit down with any of your belongings like a purse or where you hang or sit your jacket. Understand that these are the moments and times when bed bugs are looking to further themselves into newer environments. After returning from places of uncertainty and make it back to your home, stop at the door and carefully inspect items bringing inside. Check yourself including places like your shoes, soles, pants leg seams, collar seams, and similar areas for bed bugs. If the concern is high, take all washable items and immediately place them inside the washing machine. Thoroughly check other items that can’t be washed to ensure that any unwanted guests have not attached themselves, too.
Another good habit is to check a hotel room for bed bugs first before bringing in your luggage. When my family and I do bring our luggage into our room after a long day of traveling, I like to leave our things in the bathtub while I take a peek around the room for a bit for any signs of bed bugs. Have a look around mattresses, under the sheets, around the headboard, and around the nightstand. Most of the time if bed bugs are there, they will show you a small sign or two. If it is really bad, bed bugs may show you a lot more than that, haha! If there is only one or a few bed bugs, you could tear that room apart and still not find anything. Bed bugs are very clever with how they move and where they choose to hide. This is what makes bed bugs so difficult to find and identify if they are on site.
So now that we know what we all can do to help prevent the spread of bed bugs, what else could we do? Particularly speaking to those who may have encountered these suckers more than once or may have a “high rate” turnover property, like hotels, airbnb, vrbo or rental homes. Or you may just want to be safe from exposure of bed bugs? Or worried because it has popped up in conversations at one point or another in our inner circles? There are plenty of reasons why we all want to be as safe as possible. Health insurance is a ‘just in case’, car insurance is a ‘just in case’, vaccinations is a ‘just in case’. We all have our worries that we like to ensure we’re being as proactive as we can to limit our threat to any given topic at hand. And like all these others, we pay for ‘just in case’ the latter comes with a hefty toll financially just like the bed bug treatments do. This leads into what I wanted to discuss with you all about this topic that seems to plague so many of us nowadays and plays a big role in our mental health as well as our bottom line. Two very important day-to-day topics.
Here at Q36 Pest Control we have developed the ideal service plan to help address some of these bed bug concerns. This plan takes preventive measures to the next level and is at the fore front of superior protection from these pests. Our service focuses on removing areas of opportunity for bed bugs if they were to be brought into the home leaving them with nowhere to hide or harbor without infecting themselves. The service plan comes with a 90-Day Bed Bug Free Guarantee and is continued to be warrantied every quarter or 90 days. Very little to no prep is involved for the client, and the treatment protocol causes no harm or need to vacate for tenants. After an inspection is conducted to ensure there are no active bed bugs found, we will perform a painless preventative service to all areas where people sit, sleep or spend lots of time, like bedrooms, movie rooms, living rooms, etc. Wall voids in these spaces will be treated with a dust treatment essentially removing this space as a potential hiding place. This product carries a long residual effect, which kills off multiple different pests that may have considered hiding in these areas in addition to bed bugs. All lounging furniture and bedroom furniture in these rooms will then be serviced leaving behind a residual only in the confinements of the furniture where bed bugs would hide or encounter if they were present.
This product carries a 90-day guarantee residual that not only ensures them a much shorter life but has the potential to be carried like a virus to any other bed bugs that may be nearby. This in turn would ensure that even in circumstances where bed bugs are brought in, they would not be able to survive within that environment nor be able to sustain themselves or reproduce, essentially spreading this treatment amongst others. This helps keep infestations from getting out of control before they’re noticed as well as contaminating any “hitchhikers” from being capable of spreading back home or to other locations. Another great benefit of this plan is to help ease the burden of the cost of having to go through bed bug treatments, which we all know can get pricey fast! Especially when these costs come up unbeknownst to the owner’s budget. This helps owners that rent out high turnover properties with their annual budget so that they know what they need to spend rather than the unexpected, high cost of your average bed bug treatment. This is something that alleviates the worry and cost for us all no matter the scenario of dealing with bed bugs which we all know is the most difficult aspect of encountering these pesky biters. Give us at Q36 Pest Control a call to see how we can make your life dealing with bed bugs an ease and give you back your peace of mind with your budget intact!
Let me know some of your favorite or worst horror stories when dealing with bed bugs. How did you fare during and after some of these scenarios? Were there any aspects that could have been done or changed to help out in anyway through this process for you? Would having this kind of option with bed bugs saved you or your budget from keeping the problem from snowballing into a much larger more expensive outcome? Thank you all for tuning in with us here at Q36 Pest Control and feel free to call or reach out with any questions or thoughts about this service or any other pest related services. Our goal here is always to provide the best service we can and aid anyone in need of pest related problems. Give us a call anytime for your PEACE OF MIND!
Zack, Service Director for Q36 Pest Control
Knoxville, Oak Ridge and Surrounding Areas