The first step in determining if you need a Bed Bug treatment is determining whether you have Bed Bugs. There are many insects that bite including fleas and mosquitoes so just because you are being bitten does not mean you need a Bed Bug treatment. Even a skin allergy or Scabies may produce a rash that look like Bed Bug bites. Because of this, it is very important to find evidence other than the bites before getting a Bed Bug treatment.
The best indicator of whether you have Bed Bugs is actually seeing them. Bed Bugs are 1/5 to 1/8 inches, oval, and flat; almost like the shape of an apple seed. They can range in color from mahogany to rusty brown. If they have gone a while without eating, they may appear pale or translucent, and if they have recently fed they will appear bright red in color. Newly hatched nymphs are almost impossible to see even by a trained professional because they are about the size of a grain of sand and clear in color since they have not yet had a blood meal.
The second indicator that you have Bed Bugs is seeing Bed Bug evidence such as blood smears, dark brown and black smears or spots (which is its feces…Yuck!), and skin cast-offs. If there is a large infestation present, you may be able to detect a sweet musty odor.
When looking for evidence, do not only look on your sheets and the surface of your mattress. Look in the seams of the mattress and box spring, under the mattress, on the bed frame, and on the headboards (especially where the joints meet). But if you limit your inspection to just your bed, you are doing yourself a great disservice! 70% of the population of Bed Bugs is generally found on your bed. That leaves 30% of the population that may be found in other areas. Look along the baseboards, electrical outlets, furniture, in closets, and behind wall hangings. You should also inspect adjoining rooms or even other units in the building that share a wall.
If you see any of these signs, even if you do not think you are being bitten, you should call a professional for a Bed Bug inspection. Many people may not be aware that not everyone has a reaction to a Bed Bug bite, so they may not realize they are being bitten! This is why sometimes two people can be sleeping in the same bed but only one person complains about bites.
So you have Bed Bugs! Now what? Quick action is required to keep a Bed Bug infestation from getting worse. BED BUGS WILL NOT GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN! Most Bed Bug experts recommended against treating Bed Bugs with a ‘Do It Yourself’ product. Bed Bugs can hide deep in cracks and crevices as well as inside walls where the average person cannot get the product. Additionally, most products sold on-line or in stores have very little effect on Bed Bugs, and some even make the problem worse by forcing the Bed Bugs to burrow deeper into their hiding places. Because of this, a professional treatment is necessary. Depending on what company you call, you may be offered a chemical treatment, heat treatment, or a fumigation. Each method has its pros and cons and only you can decide which one is the best for you and your family.
At Sentinel, we will first perform an inspection to confirm that you have bed bugs. If we determine you do have Bed Bugs, we offer a 3 service chemical treatment to help you get rid of your Bed Bug problem. We also offer to install monitors after your final treatment to ensure that the Bed Bugs are indeed gone. We understand that Bed Bugs not only take a physical toll by feeding off you and your family, they also take an emotional toll because of the stress of dealing with the Bed Bugs and the stigma attached, as well as a mental toll because even after the Bed Bugs are gone, people tend to feel phantom bugs on them or instantly think a simple bug bite means the Bed Bugs are back.