You’ve never had this sort of problem before. Or maybe you’ve been trying to fight it yourself with little to no luck. Is it time to hire a professional? How do you find a bed bug exterminator when there are so many companies out there to choose from?
Looking for a bed bug exterminator Chicago?
When choosing the right pest control company for your bed bug situation, always remember and follow these guidelines, as recommended by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA):
- Always deal with a qualified, appropriately licensed and insured pest management company. It’s totally okay to ask for credentials. That’s your right to know.
- Evaluate companies that are members of NPMA, state and local pest management associations. This ensures that they have access to up-to-date info and education to handle your situation.
- For bed bug infestations, choose a company that has experience in dealing with this challenging pest. The bed bug is NOTHING like other common household insects.
- Consider going with a company that is Quality Pro certified. This is a seal that marks a company with excellence in the industry. For a company to be certified, extensive training, education, background checks, and testing takes place with all employees to make sure they’re absolutely trustworthy and super intelligent with their work.
- Ask your friends or neighbors if they’ve ever had to use a pest control company. Referrals are always great.
- Get quotes from several companies before making your decision. You shouldn’t have to pay for one either.
- Before signing agreements or contracts, be sure you completely understand the work involved, what is covered, if a guarantee is given and your responsibilities.
- Buy value, not price. The companies that charge the least are probably not cut out for bed bug control. Just sayin…
How about some general info about bed bugs?
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs are able to crawl into very small crevices in and around human environments. They do not have nests like ants or bees, but do tend to congregate in
habitual hiding places. These hiding places include:
- Mattresses, linens, and upholstery
- Furniture crevices
- Wood trim
- Electrical boxes and outlets
- Behind wallpaper and picture frames
Photo: Bill Hastings
How can I identify a bed bug?
Bed bugs are flat, wingless, oval shaped, and lentil-sized (although young bed bugs can be too small for the naked eye to spot).They are often mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Distinguishing characteristics include:
- Mahogany to rust
- brown/red color
- Six legs
- Short, golden
- body hair
- Two antennae
How do I know if I have bed bugs?
Typically, the first sign of a bed bug infestation is the appearance of small brownish or reddish dots on bed linens and mattresses. These are bed bug droppings and blood spots. Eggs and molted skins may also be visible. Also, heavy infestations may result in an odor described as “buggy” or sweetish smelling. Bed bug “bites” (actually entry points of their blood-drawing beaks) often result in red, itchy welts (red dots with a lighter red ring around them). Bed bugs feed on any bare skin exposed while sleeping (face, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, etc.).
How to get rid of bed bugs
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eliminate. And do-it-yourself measures won’t work at all. So, your first step should be to contact a pest professional. He or she will locate the bed bugs, guide you with the appropriate treatment to infested areas, and will usually return for a follow-up inspection. Future inspections and treatments may be necessary. Each situation is unique.
Photo by Ricky Kluge
How to prevent infestations
Bed bugs are very elusive, transient pests. But you can take steps to help keep them from your home:
- Be vigilant in assessing your surroundings, especially when traveling.
- In hotel rooms, pull bed covers down at night and look for any movement or spots on the sheets.
- When returning from a trip, inspect your luggage and clothes for bed bugs.
- Vacuum your suitcases before bringing them into the house.
- Encase your mattress and box springs.
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