If you’re like us, your bed is your safe haven. There’s nothing like plopping down onto your mattress at the end of a long day, and, more often than not, it can be a struggle to climb out from under the sheets in the morning – heck, they invented the snooze button for a reason! Nothing should threaten the bond we have with our beds.

But it’s a scary world we live in. Even if your bed looks and feels clean, your mattress could be infested with bed bugs. Hotels, hospitals, schools, and any other highly visited areas make great homes for bed bugs. If you’ve traveled recently, you may have caught bed bugs in a hotel room and brought them back in your luggage or folded clothes.

If this sounds like you, and especially if your body is showing signs of bed bug bites, it’s time to get your home inspected. First, though, you should know the facts:

  • Bed bugs feed on human blood – sleeping people are the easiest targets
  • Bed bug bites are initially painless, but become red and quite itchy over time
  • Bed bugs usually live within 8 feet of where people sleep
  • Bed bugs are gifted at hiding in any small crevice they find
  • Bed bugs can feed undetected and go back into hiding by the morning

Inspect the Uninspected

At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, our pest control experts know that to get rid of bed bugs, you need to find them first. That’s why a thorough inspection is always a good starting point when dealing with bed bugs. But, even for a trained expert, a visual inspection only goes so far. The most effective way to find and eliminate bed bugs is to rely on man’s best friend.

The average dog is tens of thousands of times more sensitive to odors than the average human, which makes canines the perfect bed bug sleuths. Specially trained dogs can detect live bed bugs and viable bed bug eggs, and they’re even trained to ignore dead bed bugs. Their olfactory precision ensures that treatments are focused on the problem areas and don’t disrupt the rest of your home.

Some Like It Hot (But Not Bed Bugs)

Once you’ve identified the source of the infestation, treatment is the next step. There are several do-it-yourself bed bug treatment options, but we would recommend leaving the extermination to the professionals. In fact, many amateur bed bug treatments – like sprays and moats – carry the risk of fire and injury.

Bed bugs are extremely sensitive to heat, as they are composed of 95% water, so we recommend heat-based treatment to target the bugs most efficiently. With a precise level of extreme heat, our expert technicians are able to eliminate bed bugs in an environmentally responsible way, while limiting the disruption to your home.

As a last resort, fumigation could be used to treat your entire home. It’s the most aggressive treatment option, but is also the most effective. During fumigation, your home is secured in an enormous plastic tent, and the entire interior of the home is treated with Vikane gas. Since it is more expensive than other options and requires significant preparation, we only recommend fumigation for the most problematic bed bug infestations.

The last step to a successful bed bug treatment plan is a follow-up inspection to ensure that the treatment was a success. If you partner with the right pest control company, you’ll be sleeping soundly again in no time.

Strange (and Icky) Bedfellows: How to Prevent a Bed Bug Invasion in Virginia

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