Bed Bugs On the Rise: Be Proactive
As the Southeast’s major commercial, economic and tourist hub, Atlanta hosts hundreds of thousands of business and leisure visitors each year. With this many visitors, who can wonder that bed bug infestations in Atlanta continue be on the rise? Atlanta residents can also take precautions when traveling to avoid unwittingly returning home with bed bugs in tow. Some of these precautions include washing and drying everything in your luggage with hot water and a high temperature drying cycle. Taking an extra precaution to vacuum your luggage is also advisable, especially if you suspect any bed bug activity. If there are signs of a bed bug infestation in your Atlanta home, consulting a professional pest control company is the best form of action.
Bed Bugs: Information and Habits
Even though bed bugs pose no threat of disease to Atlanta residents, their bites can cause ongoing physical discomfort to their human hosts, as well as creating anxiety and psychological mayhem, leading to sleep disorders and sleep deprivation that can ultimately lead to health issues and disease.
- Flat, oval, reddish brown insects, about .5″ in length, bed bugs, engorged with blood, grow to the size of a small droplet of blood.
- Nocturnal and fast-moving, bed bugs feed on blood, preferably human.
- Attracted by warm bodies at rest and exhaled carbon dioxide, bed bugs come out of hiding at night and feast on their human hosts before returning to their hiding places, in mattresses, in upholstered headboards, in cracks and crevices and on curtains.
- As their numbers increase, bed bugs can spread to furniture, artwork and walls: any object that they can cling to.
- The first signs of a bed bug issue usually manifests in small, itchy welts on the head, neck and upper extremities.
Bed Bug Infestation: What To Do
Okay, so it’s undeniable, you’ve got bed bugs. Do not panic. Your first two impulses might be to throw away all bedding, beds and other affected furniture, and move out immediately. But, just hold on! Removing infested items may spread bed bugs to other parts of your home, making them harder to eliminate. Even worse, retreating to your relatives’ and friends’ homes could bring bed bugs into their homes. The best line of defense for Atlanta homeowners is to contact a pest control professional immediately.
What You Can Do: Before Your Inspector Arrives
Even before your licensed inspector arrives, you can take some initial steps towards prepping your home for treatment.
- Launder all bedding, clothes and other washable items, like curtains, that can endure high temperature drying.
- Non-washable items like shoes, some handbags, backpacks and stuffed animals can be placed in clothes dryers for at least one half hour, on the highest heat setting to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
- Lose the clutter. Bed bugs love clutter because it makes great hiding places and is difficult to treat. Eliminating clutter around and under beds has proven to be a crucial key to getting rid of bed bugs.
- Don’t change where you sleep. Fight the inclination to sleep in a different room or on the sofa in another room, or at relatives’ or friends’ houses. Sleeping in different places increases the potential of spreading bed bugs to the other areas of your home and even worse to your friends’ and relatives’ homes as well.
- Vacuum all carpeting in affected area. Place vacuum cleaner bags in plastic bags, cinched tight and dispose of them in an outside container or dumpster.
Treating Bed Bug Infestations
After your Atlanta pest control inspector verifies a bed bug infestation, skilled technicians apply a high pressure misting system that drives control components into seams and cracks where bed bugs hide.
All mattresses and box springs are treated, along with any window treatments and upholstered furniture. Removing hardware and drawers in dressers, clothing chests, nightstands and armoires can ensure as many bed bugs as possible are exposed to treatments.
Heat treatments may be required for some upholstered furniture. Additionally, attention is paid to places where carpeting meets baseboards or wall surfaces, doorframes and crown moldings, at wall abutments and ceiling surfaces. Trained technicians inject material into each wall void to eliminate hidden bed bugs and their eggs.
Technicians treat artwork and moisture sensitive items, by enclosing them in plastic bags and emitting a one-second blast into the bag. Contents remain sealed in the bag for up to a week to allow treatment to eradicate any bed bugs.
Encasement Systems Work
In order to protect and prevent future re-infestations in central Georgia homes, pest control experts recommend installing encasement systems for mattresses and box springs to seal out any future bed bugs, while sealing in existing bed bugs, that will die in a few weeks. Encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds, and future bed bugs are easy to spot on the slick outer surfaces of encasements. For encasement systems to succeed, take care to purchase bed bug specific encasements. Inspect the zipper to make sure the zipper fully closes.
Unless you are just looking for a good excuse to purchase a new bedroom suite, encasement systems offer cost-effective alternatives to buying new beds and coordinating pieces.
Out of the Woods: Monitoring and Prevention
After ten days, treated areas must be inspected. Skilled technicians will thoroughly inspect, monitor and perform appropriate control actions that will address any signs of bed bug activity.
Surviving a bed bug infestation is no joke. Even with a professional’s most diligent and thorough techniques, a bed bug re-infestation can occur, as bed bugs can still enter Fulton County homes through guests’ clothing and luggage or your college student’s laptop or backpack.
Controlling bed bugs can be a daunting and frustrating task filled with tedious challenges. There’s no quick fix. Contacting a professional takes a huge load off homeowners in the Atlanta area, as DIY treatments rarely work and professionals, like Truly Nolen Atlanta can contain and exclude bed bugs through a proven step-by-step process that prevents bed bug eggs from hatching and works to control adult bed bugs.
Working towards prevention of future infestations, Atlanta homeowners are advised to wash and heat dry bedding often, vacuum often and eliminate clutter in your homes. Also, before traveling, research the Bed Bug registry site at http://www.bedbugregistry.com before you book a hotel room.
Truly Nolen Atlanta
Bed bug infestations are difficult, but not impossible to conquer. Truly Nolen Atlanta’s bed bug control program will provide a solution for treatment and prevention. Highly trained technicians will determine the extent of your bed bug infestation and devise a plan to eliminate bed bugs from your property as well as educate you and your family on ways to monitor and prevent further infestations. If you suspect a bed bug infestation, call Truly Nolen Atlanta today at 678-561-2847. Sleep tight!