bed bug

Why do Bed Bugs keep coming back?

bed bugs fredericksburg virginia sigma pest control
bed bugs on the furniture

We know how frustrating it can be to treat your home for bed bugs only to have them return. You think you’ve done everything right, but the bed bugs keep coming back. You washed the bed sheets, multiple times, and even used bleach, yet, there they are. You vacuumed, used a steam cleaner, ever covered the bed mattress, and still those resilient bed bugs are in your clothes, furniture, carpet, and other places.

The fact of the matter is bed bugs are tricky pests. You can pick them up from just about anywhere regardless of when you last treated your home. Check the Internet and you’ll find articles on bed bugs in malls, schools, subways, and hotels.

A single female bed bug can create as many as 200 bed bugs. If one room in a hotel or apartment gets bed bugs, the entire building will eventually have them.

What if they were never really gone to begin with? You went to the store, bought some bed bug spray, and treated the area where you saw them … but did you get ALL of them? You may have missed a spot. Perhaps you didn’t notice that they were also in your closet, on the chair next to your bed, or even in your suitcase.

That is the real problem with bed bugs. If you don’t eradicate them, they’ll just keep coming back.

The dangers of DIY

bed bugs fredericksburg virginia
bed bug spray with actual bed bugs on the bottle

Do-it-yourself bed bug treatment is not a recommended solution. While it is convenient to go the local hardware store and pick-up a bottle of bed bug stray, we can tell you from experience that it won’t be the last time to have to go back for more. Sprays kill living bugs, but bed bugs lay hundreds of eggs, making them particularly difficult to get rid of.

We often find that many do-it-yourself bed bug treatments are applied incorrectly and can often be dangerous.  Sometimes people choose an outdoor only chemical and apply it indoors. This is extremely dangerous if you apply such chemicals to the bedrooms and bed mattress where children sleep.  

Adults and children could have a terrible reaction to pesticides if they are applied improperly. Your best option is to call a professional like Sigma Pest Control. Not only are we good at what we do, but we also protect you by using HEAT TREATMENT and NOT chemicals or sprays.

Can bed bugs return even after treatment?

Unfortunately, yes, but that is often the result when treatment is applied incorrectly. Remember, just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t in your home. Treating the infested area is a start, but it is often a small part of the overall problem.

Sometimes, when a customer contracts with an exterminator, the customer thinks by treating only certain rooms that they’ll save money. This also is a reason bed bugs appear to return after treatment. The fact is, the treatment wasn’t thorough enough and spots were missed.

Regardless of the treatment, bed bugs can return under the right conditions. Treatments kill the existing bugs, but it is always possible that you’ll bring them into the house again.

How do you prevent bed bugs from returning in your home?

If you’ve already had a professional treat your home for bed bugs, be sure to keep a watchful eye out for their return. You’ll already know the areas treated, but also watch out for other areas as well. Create a routine where you inspect everything in your home thoroughly for bed bugs. Being vigilant takes a lot of effort, but it is worth it. Here are some things you can do to prevent a re-infestation:

  • Vacuum regularly the room, cracks and all seams, to pick up live bed bugs.
  • Use a hand steamer on all cracks/crevices where bed bugs lay their eggs.
  • Add mattress covers for use after treatment for both the mattress and the box spring.
  • Wash bedding, sheets, blankets in hot water followed by the dryer.
  • Treat all furniture near the bed.

When traveling:

  • Never place luggage on the carpet or bed. Always use the luggage rack.
  • Be sure to check for signs of bugs by lifting up the corner of the sheet and look on the edge of the bed near the seam for droppings.
  • Wash all items in hot water when you return to kill any bedbugs that may have come home with you.

Heat Treatment

Bed bugs are small, and they can hide out in the smallest spaces: cracks in the floor and walls, inside wall outlets, in carpet, drapes, folds in the blankets, shoes … etc. Heat treatment treats the entire room all at once, and a certified pest control manager can administer the treatment much more effectively than a do-it-yourself approach.

Bed bugs have a thermal death point, and when exposed to temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period, the entire population of bed bugs at all life stages (including eggs) are eliminated.

Our bed bug control and heat treatment is your best option because it is highly effective at killing both adult bed bugs and their eggs, wiping out the chance of a re-infestation. Not only are heat treatments more effective, but they are also better on the environment and your lungs and overall health.

Hire a Professional

Bed bugs are hard to see, so if you think you have bed bugs, call a pest management professional. Bed bug infestations can be a real nuisance to deal with. To take care of an infestations, it’s important to know what these pests look like, how to identify bites, and what potential risks are associated with bites. Thankfully, getting rid of bed bugs is as easy as calling a Sigma Pest Control technician. If you find that you have a bed bug infestation, be sure to call a Sigma Pest Control for efficient, professional, and effective pest control services.  

CALL US! (540) 947-4462 Sigma Pest Control 

bed bug

I have bed bugs, now what?

The biggest mistake people make is waiting too long to call for help, professional pest control help. If you have bed bugs, then don’t delay – call Sigma Pest Control at 540-94-SIGMA. The longer the problem remains, the further they’ll spread throughout your home and to others.

What can I do, right now, to treat bed bugs?

Remove bed sheets, pillowcases, and bedding, and seal in a plastic bag. The plastic bag will trap the bed bugs so they don’t spread when you take the bedding to the washer. You don’t want them to spread from one room to another.

Put the infested bedding into the washing machine using the hottest water, and then the dryer on the highest heat allowable per the bedding instructions. The high heat and water temperature will kill what it finds on your bedding.

When you removed the bedding, it is possible that some bed bugs, shells, eggs and fecal matter fell to the floor. You need to vacuum all around the bed, along the floor boards, in the spaces between the bedroom and the laundry room. Be sure to discard the vacuum bag immediately after use. And make sure you seal it in a plastic bag so those critters can escape your garbage can and return to your home.

You can run out and rent a high-pressure steamer to treat the mattress, box springs, carpet, wood floors, baseboards, window coverings, and furniture but your best move is to call on a certified pest control manager to provide HEAT TREATMENT to the infected area and other parts of the home.

Is heat treatment the best remedy for bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small and they can hide out in the smallest spaces: cracks in the floor and walls, inside wall outlets, in carpet, drapes, folds in the blankets, shoes … etc. Heat treatment treats the entire room all at once, and a certified pest control manager can administer the treatment much more effectively than a do-it-yourself approach.

Heat treatment is a popular environmentally friendly substitute to using chemicals, pesticides, or insecticides to eradicate insect infestations.

Also know as Thermal Remediation®, heat treatment utilizes a high powered heater to raise the home’s air temperature to a bed bug lethal zone, killing all life stages from adults to eggs. Bed bugs have no defense against heat-it is our best weapon against them.

Can I use chemicals and sprays to treat bed bugs?

Do-It-Yourself bed bug treatments may reduce the bed bug population, but not all bed bugs can be killed in a single spray treatment. As a matter of fact, most bed bug pesticides do not kill the eggs. If you don’t kill the egg, then new bed bugs will continue to hatch and more eggs will continue to be laid. This creates a never-ending cycle of bed bug treatments needing to be perfectly timed to eventually rid your room of all bed bugs.

Will bed bugs go away on their own?

No – unlike some pests, bed bugs do not disappear when the weather changes. They want blood, human blood. They’ll go where you go and, if left untreated, bed bugs will continue to multiply and spread. Bed bugs DO NOT go away on their own.

Call the experts - call Sigma Pest Control

Bed bugs have a thermal death point, and when exposed to temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period, the entire population of bed bugs at all life stages (including eggs) are eliminated. Sigma Pest Control are your licensed and trained heat treatment experts. Our Bed Bug Control program is your answer to a bed bug free home. Call today for a FREE inspection and consultation – (540) 94-SIGMA.

bed bug

Bed bug life cycle

Knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying and controlling bed bugs; this is the real gist of the article. While being able to identify a bed bug life cycle is important, it is equally important to be able to identify bed bugs altogether. Egg shape, nymph, or adult, bed bugs are a problem once they take hold, and the fact that they have an identifiable life cycle will help with treatment and remediation.

Bed bug facts:

  • They feed on humans and animals and use their blood to grow and reproduce.
  • They do not transmit disease to people, but they do bite.
  • They prefer to be close to where people sleep, rest or sit for long periods of time.
  • They are most active at night and prefer to hide during the day.
  • All ages are found in a reproducing population.

Bed bug appearance - what do they look like?

Adult bed bugs are oval, flattened, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long (5-9 mm); about the size of an apple seed. Upon feeding on blood, its color changes from brown to purplish-red and it becomes larger.

Bed bug life cycle

A bed bug’s life begins with an egg, about the size of a grain of salt, oval in shape and cloudy white in color. To the naked eye, bed bug eggs are difficult to see and look like grains of sand from a distance.

Female bed bugs product one to five eggs at a time. A single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs within its lifetime. Eggs are often placed within tight cracks or crevices, and they glue their eggs to the surface using a sticky secretion. Within two weeks, eggs hatch and bed bugs begin to feed.

Once the bed bug hatches from the egg, it is called a nymph. These young bed bugs pass through five molts (a.k.a instars) before reaching maturity. In order to move between instar phases, the bed bug must feed at least once and shed their exoskeleton. Each instar phase produces a slightly larger bed bug until it grows into an adult.

Upon reaching maturity, the 5th instar, a bed bug will take one more feeding (blood) and molt into a full grown bed bug. It is at this time the bed bug becomes sexually active and starts reproducing. Adult bed bugs will feed every 3-7 days. In warmer climates, bed bugs will eat approximately every 2.5 days. They may live for 3 to 10 months as adults. Under the right conditions, there can be three or more generations of bed bugs per year.

How to treat your home for bed bugs?

Regardless of their size or reproductive stage, bed bugs are a real problem and need to be dealt with right away. In this case, bring the heat! Heat treatment is the most effective bed bug treatment strategy. Bed bugs have a thermal death point, and when exposed to temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period, the entire population of bed bugs at all life stages (including eggs) are eliminated. 

Sigma Pest Control are your licensed and trained heat treatment experts. Our Bed Bug Control program is your answer to a bed bug free home. Call today for a FREE inspection and consultation – (540) 94-SIGMA.

bed bug

Bed Bugs: How do you check for them?

Detecting bed bugs is not easy because they are small in size and able to hide in tiny, hard to reach spaces. Fortunately, live bed bugs leave signs that they’re around and active. Dark brown or black spots are one such indicator. Dried excrement on infested surfaces and a sweet, musty odor are also signs of bed bug activity.

Know the signs

In order to look for bed bugs, you must first know the signs of their existence. Here are some of the most commons signs of bed bug infestation:

  • Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by crushed bed bugs.
  • Dark spots (about this size: •). This is most likely bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
  • Eggs and eggshells. Egg shells are tiny and pale yellow skins that the nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • Live bed bugs. If you can see them moving around, then you’ve got them.

Where to Check for Bed Bugs

They don’t call them bed bugs because they live in the tub, so check around the bed, first. You will usually find them near the seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and headboard.

If the room is heavily infested, you may find bed bugs:

  • In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
  • In cabinet and dresser drawer joints.
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances.
  • Under loose wall paper and wall hangings. 
  • At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.

Other common locations:

  • Cracks and gaps behind wall outlets.
  • Floor, window and door molding.
  • Where carpet edges meet the wall.

How to check for bed bugs in a hotel room

If you are concerned there might be bed bugs in your hotel room, follow the same examination you would perform at your own home plus the following:

  • Inspect the bedding and furniture when you first arrive and remember to keep your suitcase off the bed.
  • Pull back the bed sheets and blankets and check the mattress and box-spring seams for bugs, especially at the head of the bed. Adults, nymphs, and eggs are visible to the naked eye.
  • Move the bed away from the wall, if possible, and inspect the baseboards.
  • Check upholstered furniture and curtains.
  • Check inside the nightstand drawers … especially the corner sections.
  • Check the wardrobe and dresser drawers BEFORE you unpack your suitcase.

If you have found yourself with a bed bug problem, the best way to remove bed bugs from your home or business is to enlist the help of a pest control professional. Sigma Pest Control specializes in bed bug remediation using a eco-friendly heat treatment process.

Call 540-94-SIGMA to schedule an inspection.