Your Trusted, Local Bed Bug Exterminator
Patton Termite and Pest Control has been providing bed bug treatment in the greater Wichita area for well over a decade. Bed bugs are a pest that require specialized treatment by experienced professionals. They can cause many different health problems including skin rashes, dermatitis, skin infections, allergic symptoms, and even emotional distress.
Before we address “how to kill bed bugs” let’s first address identification and how you may find yourself with bed bugs.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are blood-sucking insects that are very widespread in the US. Blood meals are necessary for their growth and reproduction so they become established in places where they will easily and frequently have a blood meal, this includes but is not limited to beds! They can also survive up to 12-18 months without feeding. Bed bugs are sneaky pests and can be hard to find and even harder to eliminate, especially on your own.
What do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Adult bed bugs are about the size and shape of an apple seed (3/16 of an inch long and oval shaped). Nymphs are usually yellow to light brown in color and adults tend to be a rusty red. After feeding, they may look much darker or even black. Bed bugs are naturally flat but become elongated and plump after a meal. They have very small, non-functional wing pads so they cannot fly.
Bed Bugs are not microscopic but they can be hard to spot. Because they are so cryptic, it’s best to have the situation examined by a trained professional who knows what to look for. The bugs themselves are generally nocturnal and are usually in hiding. An adult bed bug is roughly 6.5mm in length and the nymphs are even smaller. The eggs are milky white and about 1 mm in size so they can be hard to find as well. You will also see spotting of dark fecal matter and dark spots on sheets or furniture where the bugs have been crushed.
I have a clean home, why do I have Bed Bugs?
While having a clean home helps reduce pests, bed bugs do not rely on organic debris like roaches or flies to survive in a structure. Bed bugs rely on a blood source to continue their growth processes. However, increased clutter near a bed or infested furniture may allow for more harborage sites, making the problem worse. People usually either pick up bed bugs on a personal item from another location or they are introduced into the home from another person or item.
How do you get bed bugs?
An otherwise clean home can become infested with bed bugs in a variety of ways, such as:
- “Hitchhiking” on clothes, people, and personal items such as backpacks, stuffed animals, and luggage.
- Bringing used furniture, bags of clothing, or other possessions into the home from an infested location. (Inspect used items before bringing them into the home)
- Spreading from nearby dwellings that are infested such as adjacent apartments or office spaces. Bed bugs can travel easily through duct work, outlets, and false ceilings. (Especially in apartments and motels)
How can I tell if I have bed bugs?
There are a few different ways to tell if you have bed bugs in your home. Bed bugs are often discovered by seeing the bug itself or by noticing tiny dark dots lining your bedding. If you suspect they are in your bed, carefully examine the mattress and along the edges of the mattress piping. If no bugs or evidence of bed bugs are found on the mattress, remove it and inspect the box spring. Pay close attention to the four corners under the plastic corner guards and the on the underside of the box spring where the dust cover is stapled to the frame. Check the bed skirt, if you have one, and look carefully at all linens, including crocheted or knitted blankets, throw blankets, and all pillows.
Keep in mind that bed bugs can easily be missed during a visual inspection. It is better to have someone with a trained eye from a reputable pest control company perform the inspection.
What if I don’t take care of my bed bugs?
If measures aren’t taken to eliminate the bed bug population, they will continue to breed and multiply. A pregnant female can cause an infestation to escalate to the thousands in only half a year. It is important to take action at the first signs of a bed bug infestation so it does not get out of hand.
Throwing out furniture or sleeping in a different location will not solve the issue. Bed Bugs can survive up to a year without feeding. Excessive reproduction or lack of food will eventually force the bedbugs to other areas of the house, making the treatment much more expensive and time consuming. DIY bed bug measures for “how to kill bed bugs” will not work.
Can I prevent bed bugs?
You can never completely guarantee that bed bugs won’t be brought into your home. However, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk, such as:
- Make sure used furniture is thoroughly inspected for any sign of bedbug activity. (spotting from fecal matter, shed skins, eggs clustered in cracks and screw holes) before bringing it into the home.
- Quarantine college children’s clothing in the garage in sealed bags when they return home then run the clothing through a dryer.
- Keep your suitcase in the garage after staying at a hotel and immediately wash and dry your clothing. At the minimum, run your clothing through a dryer. The heat is necessary to kill bed bugs and bed bug eggs that may be present.
How to kill bed bugs without professional treatment?
Killing bed bugs requires knowledge, training, and the right materials.
DIY Natural Remedies
Some articles online will tell you how to kill bed bugs using natural remedies. These range anywhere from essential oils, diatomaceous earth, peppermint leaves, and more. There are many problems with this route of treatment. There is no way to know if you are using too much or too little of these products. Little to no testing or professional research is done to study the effects of these products.
That being said, there aren’t safety guidelines in place so you may be using these products in excess or incorrectly and putting yourself or your family at risk. You may disrupt the bed bugs, instead of killing them, causing the infestation to become worse. Usually, if people resort to DIY treatments for how to kill bed bugs, they end up calling for professional treatment afterwards. These DIY methods do not show results and can make the problem worse.
Bed bugs have evolved over the last 5 decades to become resistant to the traditional classes of chemicals. Most commercially available pesticides (available at hardware stores or big box stores) are not designed for bed bugs. The use of these products (while they may kill some bed bugs) may actually spread the bed bugs to remote areas of the home and make the problem much more difficult (and expensive) to solve. If the bed bugs are driven into the walls or other areas of the home, the infestation will be even more extensive. It is also not recommended to use chemicals bought from the store for your own safety. For more information, read our blog about what NOT to do if you have bed bugs.
The chemicals needed to effectively eliminate bedbugs are quite specialized and only available to licensed pest professionals. Professional technicians, like at Patton Termite & Pest Control, are required to read and be familiar with all pesticide label information and safety guidelines. We also provide our technicians with extensive training in regards to pest behavior, habitat, and the most effective and efficient treatment methods and procedures available. When you partner with a professional to take care of your bed bugs, you aren’t just paying for the materials and labor. You are paying for the expertise, training, and peace of mind. You can also rest assured knowing you are in good hands when it comes to a bed bug infestation.
What you CAN do to help with bed bugs
While chemical remedies should only be handled by professionals, there are measures you can take to help treatment be successful. Before bed bug service, we will send out a preparation sheet. Preparation for bed bug service requires cleaning up around beds and infested furniture, stripping beds and running materials through the dryer, and more. Thorough preparation is crucial for effective treatment. To learn more about preparation before service, please call our office at 316-773-3825.
You can also vacuum infested furniture, before you have started bed bug treatment. This helps reduce the number of bugs and speeds up the results of your bed bug program. It is important to remove the bag immediately and take it to an exterior dumpster. Dump and thoroughly clean all vacuums that don’t have bags. Bed bugs and eggs can survive the vacuuming process so you’ll want to be careful and dispose of them properly. DO NOT vacuum after the treatment process has been started. This will remove treatment material needed to kill the bed bugs.
Bed Bug Treatment
Pricing, treatment method, and number of services required for bed bug service can be highly individual. All homes are different, with different circumstances, layouts, furniture, and living styles. That being said, it is important to have a conversation with a professional about the treatment process. At Patton Termite & Pest Control we can give free pricing and information about bed bug treatment over the phone. It will help us to know things like: how many bed bugs you’ve been seeing, how long you’ve been seeing them, the type of furniture and size of beds in the home, and any other information that may help us with treatment.
How long does a bed bug treatment typically take?
The time it takes to complete bed bug treatments will depend on the severity and extent of the infestation. As a general rule, most residents would need to vacate the home for 4 hours (two hours during service and two hours following). Treatment does not require the resident to be gone overnight.
Will one service get rid of Bed Bugs?
A single treatment should kill many of the adult bed bugs in localized areas. However, others may be hiding in places untreated. Also, bed bug eggs may be present. The eggs take about 7-10 days to emerge and chemicals do not penetrate the eggs. Three or more services are usually necessary to thoroughly eliminate bed bugs and provide proper bed bug control. You want to ensure all bed bugs and eggs have been eliminated. You must ensure that bed bugs are not being re-introduced into the environment. If they are, you’ll have to start from square one.
Call Patton Termite & Pest Control to start your Bed Bug elimination services!
If you’re in need of a bed bug inspection or bed bug services, give us a call. We can talk to you about treatment, pricing, preparation, and more. Then, we can get you scheduled on a day and time that works for you to get the bed bug elimination process started.
Contact us online or give us a call at 316-773-3825, we’d love to help.
We offer Bed Bug service and extermination, and other pest control services, in the following cities: Wichita, Maize, Goddard, Cheyney, Andale, Colwich, Mount Hope, Clearwater, Haysville, Derby, Rose Hill, Belle Plaine, Mulvaine, Park City, Valley Center, Kechi, Andover, Augusta, El Dorado, Benton, and more! Check our service map to see if your area is included.