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Bed Bug Identification Guide

What are bed bugs?

Bed bugs are small insects, but it is easy to identify them if you have a general idea of what they look like. Bed bugs have oval-shaped bodies similar in size and shape to apple seeds. After consuming a blood meal, their appearance does change. Their color turns from a reddish-brown to a deep purplish-red, and their bodies expand into a capsule or cigar-like shape.

Bed bugs have adapted to having a very close relationship with people as our blood is their preferred food source. Because they lack wings and live mainly indoors, bed bugs travel easiest by hitchhiking on people and our belongings. Avoiding bed bug infestations is difficult as there is always a chance that you, a visitor, or a family member could accidentally introduce them into your home.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

Currently, bed bugs are not known to spread diseases through their feeding habits. Unlike blood-feeding pests that spread diseases to people, bed bugs don’t fit into the category of dangerous pests, but they are unwelcome nuisance pests.

Below are some of the biggest reasons these pests are so unwelcome in our Rhode Island homes.

  • Those allergic to their bites may develop red, itchy rashes around the bite sites.
  • The openings that bed bugs create in your skin to feed can allow bacteria into your body and cause a secondary infection. 
  • Sound sleep is impossible when you know bed bugs are in your home and using you as a free buffet!
  • As bed bugs feed, they stain mattresses, bedding, pillows, upholstered furniture, and walls with blood droplets and excrement.

Why do I have a bed bug problem?

Bed bugs hang out in places where people spend the night, such as hotels, airports, and dormitories, or where people spend a lot of time like office buildings, schools, hospitals, laundry mats, and libraries.

Bed bugs are efficient crawlers, and when you are spending time in a place where bed bugs are present, it is easy for them to move onto your clothing or into something like a suitcase, purse, or shopping bag. When you go back home, the bed bugs move indoors with you and quickly make themselves at home. Our houses provide a temperature-controlled environment that allows bed bugs to remain active all year, feeding, breeding, and completing their life cycle.

Where will I find bed bugs?

It is important to understand that bed bugs, despite their name, don’t just live in or around our beds. They are quite capable of moving throughout a home and hiding in multiple areas. If you know where bed bugs like to hide, you can regularly check those areas of your home for hiding bed bugs. Since bed bugs like to hide in dark, cracks, and crevices, using a flashlight to look for hiding bed bugs is helpful.

Below are some common bed bug hiding spots.

  • Cracks in wooden furniture - headboards and footboards
  • Seams of mattresses and boxsprings
  • Behind the cushions of upholstered furniture
  • Within electrical outlets
  • Under piles of dirty laundry and within areas of clutter
  • In the folds of curtains
  • Behind wood trim and wall hangings (pictures)

How do I get rid of bed bugs?

Professional help is the best way to get rid of bed bugs. Though trying to get rid of bed bugs on your own may be tempting, these insects need an experienced professional to rid a home of a bed bug infestation completely.

If you currently have bed bugs in your Rhode Island home or want to prevent them, reach out to us at Encon. Our business is to help people, and we take this commitment very seriously. Our professionals work with our customers to ensure their homes become and stay free of unwanted pests. To eliminate bed bugs, we begin by performing an inspection of your home to determine the size of the infestation. We then perform a treatment using one of our two options and one best suited for your home. Finally, we conduct follow-up treatments to ensure the bed bugs have been completely eliminated. Reach out today to learn more about our bed bug treatment options!

How can I prevent bed bugs in the future?

Reduce the chance of introducing bed bugs into your Rhode Island home using the following prevention tips:

  • When traveling, always thoroughly inspect your hotel room or other accommodation where you will spend the night for bed bugs.
  • Always keep bags and suitcases up off the floor of hotel rooms. 
  • Vacuum and wipe out all suitcases and bags taken on a trip. Wash all clothing after returning home from traveling.
  • Wash your family’s bedding weekly, inspecting mattresses for bed bugs as you do so.
  • When using shared laundry facilities, always take your clean, dry clothing home to fold. 
  • Place bed bug-proof covers on mattresses in your home to take away one of the bed bug’s favorite hideouts.
  • Thoroughly vacuum your home regularly. 
  • Routinely steam clean your home’s carpets and upholstered furniture.

Contact us today to get started with effective bed bug control for your Worcester, MA, and surrounding areas' home!

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