Treating your home for bed bugs can be complex, and success depends on early and thorough detection of all bed bugs in their various life stages. Here is how to assess your need for bed bug control in your Nassau County, NY, home.
1. Don’t just look around the bed. It’s a common myth that bed bugs only hang out around the bed. That’s where they may feed—but it’s not necessarily where they sleep. Since bed bugs tend to spend most of their time hiding, you cannot on your own ever be sure you’ve located all of their secret hiding places. A visual inspection of the immediate bed area (you will likely find some, but definitely not all) is not enough.
One thing is for certain: If you do see one bed bug, there are very likely many more around. Even if it really is just one bed bug, do not assume that squishing it will be the end of the bed bug control process. If even one pregnant female finds her way into your space, your home could become infested in a short amount of time. Bed bugs love to hide in tiny spaces like electrical outlets, the folds of curtains, behind furniture, behind baseboards, behind pictures, or even in cracks in floorboards.
2. Check the clutter. Bed bugs are masters at hiding, and they don’t discriminate. They can hide just about anywhere: stacks of books, desk or dresser drawers, throw pillows, couch cushions, piles of clothes, boxes of shoes, sports equipment, pet beds, bags of stuff that’s going to charity, and even poorly sealed plastic bins. The more clutter you have, the harder it may be for you to find bed bugs on your own—while highly trained bed bug sniffing dogs can detect the pests under any conditions, you may want to declutter before the exterminators come by for their visit.
3. Talk to your neighbors. If your neighbors have bed bugs, you can be in danger as well. Single-family detached homes tend to be less susceptible to bed bug infestations than multi-family apartment buildings. However, living in a detached house is not a guarantee that you won’t get bed bugs. Bed bugs are great little travelers. They can make their way into your home on your clothing, on pets, or even in delivery packages.
4. Call in the dogs. In some cases, what appears to be a bed bug is not a bed bug at all, even if it bites. Here are five insects commonly mistaken for bed bugs: bat bugs, spider beetles, booklice, carpet beetles, and fleas. Bed bug dogs take the guessing out of your bed bug searches by finding them right where they’re hiding—or alerting you to the fact that you don’t in fact have a bed bug problem at all.
5. Check your body. Bites, whether from bed bugs or any other biting bug, are a sign that an unwanted guest could be cohabitating in your bedroom. You do not want to take chances—schedule an inspection if you cannot find the culprit.
The most effective way to determine whether you have bed bugs is to schedule an inspection with our highly trained bed bug dogs. Our dogs live for the chance to sniff out bed bugs, and they are exceptionally effective!