Check for little black spots (about the size of poppy seeds) behind the headboard, cast off skins or actual bedbugs.
Bedbug spots (fecal matter) are dark brown to black in color and stick to the surface. If it falls off, then it’s probably not a bedbug spot. You can also try using a wet towel to wipe the spot. If it smears then it may be fecal matter from a bedbug.
Check the nightstand or any other furniture near the bed. Bedbugs don’t like light, so they hide in dark or low light areas.
Look for shed skins. As the bedbug develops and grows, it sheds skin which looks like the bug. Also look for tiny translucent eggs along the edges of the mattress.
During the early stages of infestation, bedbugs usually hide out in the mattress. If someone is concerned they might have bedbugs, it’s a good idea to buy a special mattress cover to seal in the bedbugs and keep them from spreading.
QUESTION: You mentioned that many people get bedbugs from hotels. How can someone avoid getting bedbugs from a hotel room?
LARRY JACK: Use the luggage stand in the hotel room to keep your bags off of the floor where bedbugs can easily get into your things and end up hitching a ride home with you. You might even consider putting your clothes in sealed plastic bags until you are ready to use them.
If you see signs of bedbugs on the mattress, headboard or in drawers, let the hotel know about it immediately and I would go look for another hotel.
Other signs of bedbugs may include a foul smell. Most describe the odor as that of spoiled raw beef, a musty odor or a sweet odor like fresh red raspberries. I commonly walk into a home or business and can tell they have a pest problem just by the smell. Roaches, bedbugs and many other insect do have a distinct odor to them.
Even new hotels are susceptible to bedbug infestations. It only takes one previous occupant to transfer a bedbug for there to be a problem. If you find a bedbug inside your luggage, wash the item in hot water and use a blow drier on high heat for 20-30 minutes. Then place the item in a zip lock bag, which should keep any bedbugs out.
Remember, just because they are called bedbugs doesn’t mean they are only in your bed. Most of the time, bedbugs are in a small, concentrated area and usually within 10-20 feet of where you sleep so look around the bed area too.
QUESTION: Should a bedbug problem be handled by a professional or can it be solved with an over the counter insecticide?
LARRY JACK: There are steps you can take to reduce the chances of bringing a bedbug into your home. In general, try to minimize or remove hiding places for bedbugs. I would recommend using insecticides for the residual effect they provide but the use of insecticides needs to be combined with the other mechanical methods of control to be effective.
There’s a lot to know to killing these bedbugs. I help homeowners all the time that have been misinformed about effective treatments. I would recommend calling a professional for a bedbug infestation…and the sooner, the better.
As a homeowner you might want to save money and try to do it yourself, but get it wrong, and you drive bedbugs into other areas, spreading the problem and making it more likely to have to use more extreme measures to mitigate the problem, increasing the cost when you finally realize you need a professional.
QUESTION: How can you be reached for more information about bedbug control and other pest control services you offer in the Phoenix, Az. area?
LARRY JACK: Jax Pro Pest Control has served the Phoenix, Az. metro area for over 28 years. Our expertise is relied on by hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities and homeowner across the valley. We are licensed, bonded and insured and an authority in bedbug infestation control measures. We can be reached by phone at 480-892-9563 or through our website at http://www.jaxpropest.com.