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Is it possible to avoid getting bed bugs?

Avoiding bed bugs is a little bit luck and a little skill. Some people may live their entire lives without the discomfort of bed bugs. Other people who no fault of their own may encounter and be forced to deal with bed bugs. Of course, there is the third group of people who COULD avoid bed bugs if they knew how to identify bed bugs, where to be hyper vigilant, and what do if they suspect bed bugs.

The purpose of this blog post is to provide advice on steps you can take to avoid bed bugs. Like many things in life, no matter how vigilant you are you cannot completely control or predict the outcome with certainty. Perhaps, something you read on this page will help you avoid bed bugs.  

This is what bed bugs look like:

Bed Bug Fecal Matter

Bed bugs fecal matter looks like small black ink blots. Imagine if you leave your ballpoint pen in the same spot for a few minutes, that little blotch that appears closely resembles bed bug fecal matter. You may find bed bug fecal matter near bed bug eggs. You might also find bed bug fecal matter along the seams of mattresses and box springs.

 Bed Bug Eggs

Bed bug eggs are white and can appear clear. They are small, but still visible with the naked eye. Imagine two pieces of salt fused together, a bed bug egg is about that size. You can often find bed bug areas near bed bug fecal matter. Bed bug eggs are usually laid in places out of sight and not often disturbed.

Bed Bug Exoskeletons

Bed bug exoskeleton’s are hard to describe, but relatively easy to recognize when you see them. Take a look at the photo above, bed bug exoskeletons look exactly like that! Please be aware that NOT every exoskeleton you find will be a bed bug. A wide variety of insects leave their exoskeletons behind as they mature. Please save specimens you find in a plastic bag and our inspector will be happy to take a look when we come for an inspection.

Would you like help with the bed bug inspection? If so, please call 510-462-5820.

We are happy to send a licensed inspector to your property and give you our professional opinion. In the event that we identify bed bugs, we will leave you a quote for a bed bug heat treatment, and if we are unable to conclusively identify bed bugs we may recommend a precautionary bed bug treatment. You will find that we are respectful of your time and go out of our way to be extremely helpful.

Is It Possible to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling?

Traveling is when you need to be the most vigilant, but don’t let bed bugs ruin your vacation! When I travel I do a couple of things when I first enter the room.

Take a quick look at the room. Does it look like it has been well taken care of? Are the cobwebs in the corners? Does it have a strange smell? These are deal-breakers for me and I will often ask for a different room if the answer to these questions is yes.

Take a quick look at the bed. Do you see evidence of bed bugs – fecal matter, eggs, or exoskeletons? One time while traveling with friends overseas we found ourselves dropped off at a hotel that looked NOTHING like the images online. We took our bags to our room and literally saw a bed bug crawling across the blankets. Needless, so say we picked up our bags and headed to the lobby for a refund. I am a pest professional, but my friends aren’t and they spotted the bed bug before me!  The moral of the story: you don’t have to be a pest control professional to spot a bed bug.

 

Actionable Advice to Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling:

1. Don’t put your luggage on the bed or on the floor. Put your luggage on a luggage stand, a shelf in a closet or bathtub.

2. Do a quick check of the bed. Look for blood spots, black specks, molted skin.

3. A clean room is a good room.

Actionable Advice to Avoid Bed Bugs When You Return Home:

1. Wash your clothes immediately– dry on high heat.

2. Don’t take the luggage to your room.

3. Store suitcases in the garage.

4. Shower and change clothes before sleeping.

5. Vacuuming and disinfecting your suitcase can provide additional peace of mind.

Can I get bed bugs from a nightly rental?

Yes, it is possible to get bed bugs from nightly rentals. It is also possible to encounter bed bugs at a 5 star hotel, or your local library or coffee shop.

The people who use Airbnb, VBRO, CouchSurfer, etc. are travelers. They stay in multiple places throughout a week or a month. They may stay at a property that has a bed bug infestation, and then accidentally bring them along to the next property.

If you rent out a room in your home on a nightly / weekly basis you can take steps to protect your home from bed bugs. Bed bugs on mattress would result to an unhappy guest. A little bit of proactive work can help keep your reviews positive. Those who frequently host may benefit from routine precautionary bed bugs treatments.

There are a wide variety of possible bed bug treatments, science-based treatments are most effective. HeatRx is a specialty bed bug exterminator. We are committed to making the industry better by doing our research and then sharing what we learn with our customers and other industry professionals.

Anyone can get bed bugs. It really doesn’t matter if you stay in 1-star hotels or 5-star hotels, so you better keep an eye for any signs of bed bugs when you’re traveling and take precautionary measures once you return home.

If you think you might have bed bugs, don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel ashamed. Call a professional and get the problem solved before it gets worse. Bed bugs reproduce quickly and can spread fast. Take a look at our Bed Bug Calculator to see just how fast bed bugs can spread and reproduce.

Bed Bug Heat Treatments

Heat treatments are highly effective at eliminating all stages of bed bug activity. I would estimate the 85% of the bed bug treatments we provide are bed bug heat treatments. We are proud that we have built a reputation of delivering exceptional value to our clients and allowing them to become bed bug free in just one day!

Benefits to a bed bug heat treatment:

  • All stages of bed bugs are eliminated in just one visit.
  • Natural treatment, bed bugs do not tolerate heat well.
  • The heat finds the bed bugs and eliminates eggs, nymphs and adults!
  • Immediate piece of mind and relief.
  • Very little preparation efforts required (no need to wash/dry clothes).

The day of the heat treatment our team will arrive between 8 – 9 AM, usually closer to 8 AM but with Bay Area traffic one can never be certain. We will do a pre-service walkthrough to answer any remaining questions and help with any last minute preparation needs. We then get to work. We will keep the temperature at lethal to bed bug levels for at least 4 hours. During the treatment we will enter the property often to make sure lethal to bed bug temperatures are reached and maintained in all critical areas. We will rotate beds, adjust fans, rotate items in drawers, etc.

Our team will apply long lasting residual products that will reduce the chances of bed bug being reintroduced and creating another problem. I always like to say, “if you can eliminate the handful of bed bugs when they get introduced, you have already eliminated the 5000 bed bugs they would have become.” Benjamin Franklin would have agreed with me. He said, “an ounce of prevention, is better than a pound of cure.”

Bed bug heat treatments are typically a bit more expensive than other treatments; however it is important to recognize that it is an 8 hour treatment and you will get immediate relief. A bed bug heat treatment by HeatRx is the gold standard of bed bug extermination.

Takeaway

Bed bug heat treatment is the most convenient option for homeowners as this will solve the bed bug problem in only one day. Bed bugs are eradicated immediately in high temperatures. This treatment requires only little preparation and will take 8 hours to complete.

    Bed Bug Exterminator Heat Treatment

    Bed Bug Chemical Treatments

    Chemicals can be effective at eliminating bed bug nymphs and adults. One of the limitations to a chemical bed bug treatment is it is very unlikely that the applicator will be able to get the products directly onto the bed bug population. The majority of pesticides approved for bed bugs do not do a very good job of eliminating the bed bug eggs. It is necessary for the bed bug eggs to hatch out and then rely on the products to kill the newly hatched nymphs as the bed bugs move on their journey to get a blood meal.   

    Bed bug chemical treatments are often a little less expensive than a bed bug heat treatment. Unfortunately, it will take at least 2-3 treatments before the bed bug population is eliminated. The majority of people we work with find it is worth the extra cost to get a bed bug heat treatment. 

    Takeaway

    A bed bug chemical treatment utilizes the effectiveness of pesticides against bed bugs. It is a less-expensive option compared to a bed bug heat treatment, but it would require 2–3 treatments before all the bed bugs are eliminated.

    Biological Bed Bug Treatment

    The HeatRx Bio-Pesticide Bed Bug Treatment is a cost effective treatment that is proven to eliminate bed bug populations. Unlike other bed bug treatments this bio-pesticide has a unique transfer effect. Bed bugs who encounter the bio-pesticide are able to spread the active ingredient to other bed bugs. The materials used during this treatment are specifically designed to reduce and eventually eliminate bed bug populations. The product will have no noticeable impact on spider, mite, carpet beetle or other pest populations.

    The primary product used during this treatment is Aprehend®; a professional grade product available to licensed pest control operators. It has only recently become available for use in California and has been proven effective by pest control professionals across the United States. Aprehend® will remain effective for approximately 90 days. Residents are advised to remain outside the treatment area for 4 hours after application. Please do not clean up after our application as water will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the active ingredients. Aprehend® is a slow acting product, bed bugs who encounter the spores will perish within 3 to 7 Days.

    Takeaway

    A biological bed bug treatment is another cheaper alternative for a bed bug heat treatment. The difference between a biological treatment and a chemical treatment is that this method doesn’t use chemicals to kill the bed bugs. Instead, it uses fungal spores to kill the bed bug population. It will also take a week or two for the bed bugs to be eliminated.

    Precautionary Bed Bug Treatments

    The HeatRx Precautionary Bed Bug Treatment is a recommended treatment when we are unable to find conclusive evidence of bed bugs during an inspection. Just because we were unable to physically identify the presence of bed bugs doesn’t mean they don’t exist in the home; it could just be the early stages of a potential infestation. 

    The problem may also be caused by another pest entirely. Carpet beetles can cause dermititis that can cause bite like reactions. Also, mites can often cause discomfort in the home. Spider, mosquitoes or other pests can be the cause of the problem. Our precautionary treatment utilizes a localized heat via a high temperature, low moisture steamer along the bed frame and other locations pests love to hide. We then apply a broad label pesticide that is formulated to eliminate a wide variety of insects. 

    The good news is if we take precautionary measures now we can often eliminate the potential problem before it spirals out of control. In the event an infestation does occur the cost of this treatment will be deducted from any future bed bug heat treatment provided by HeatRx.

    Takeaway

    A precautionary bed bug treatment is recommended when you have no clue if what you’re dealing with are bed bugs or not. We will utilize a low moisture steamer and a pesticide that can deal with a broad number of pests that may be bothering you.  

    The HeatRx Sales Process. 

    Our team will provide a detailed bed bug inspection. Our licensed inspector will leave a competitive quote and will review our preparation guide. It is a 12 page booklet that describes the process from start to finish. One of our core values to “Deliver Incredible” and we find that happens best when the proper expectations are set and the client is knowledgeable about our process.

    We enjoy solving problems and helping people feel comfortable in their own homes. We will help you determine the best bed bug extermination service for your situation.  

    Call HeatRx for a FREE bed bug inspection. 

    We are also happy to identify bed bugs through images through email or text. Reach out! Our goal is to be of service.