With substantial snowfall from Amherst and Northampton Massachusetts to Manchester and West Hartford Connecticut, bed bugs are not an issue that comes to mind. Pretty colored lights, good cheer, and the excitement of the season are far more likely. However, a bed bug infestation is still very possible if you’re not “bed bug aware.“
Bed bugs can make their way into your home via a few methods. One reason that bed bugs pose such a problem is their ability to “hitchhike.” Bed bugs can travel easily from beds to sofas, moving from room to room. They are so nefarious that they can even easily hide in or on a suitcase, overnight bag, or children’s backpack. Also, people are reluctant to discuss a bed bug issue if they have one so be aware when you visit family and friends for the holidays!
Know the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
There are a few, consistent signs of a bed bug infestation:
- Red, itchy bumps or welts on your skin.
- Tiny bloodstains on your bed sheets, pillowcases, sofa or recliner.
- Dark or rusty spots of bed bug excrement on sheets and mattresses, clothing, and walls.
- Egg shells or shed skins of bed bugs in areas where bed bugs hide.
- An offensive, musty odor in heavily affected areas.
“Bed bugs are elusive, nocturnal pests that thrive on blood,” says Jim Fredericks, technical services director for NPMA. “While these pests do not transmit diseases, bed bugs inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin as they bite, leaving their victims undisturbed. It is only when people awake that they find unexplained, itchy red welts covering their bodies.”
Bed bugs love to hide in the cracks and crevices associated with mattresses, cushions, bed frames and other structures. They are rarely seen out in the open or on the resting surface of beds or chairs.
The Health Risks of a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases to humans, but some people experience anxiety, sleeplessness, and unease as a result of having bed bugs. Bed bug infestations are understandably significant psychosocial stressors, and some people may experience sleeplessness as they worry about bugs biting them or their family members. People have been known to self-isolate, avoiding family and friends out of concern for spreading the infestation.
Prevent Hitchhiking Bed Bugs!
At hotels, put your bags in the bathroom as bed bugs rarely infest here unless the infestation is severe. Check the room by pulling back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the upper corners. You’re looking for dark stains, spots or live bugs. If you see anything suspect, change rooms/establishments immediately. Also check the rest of the room, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately. After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. If you suspect that you’ve been in the “presence of bed bugs” vacuum them thoroughly and wash all of your clothes in the hottest water recommended by the clothing manufacturer.
Once an infestation develops, bed bugs are extremely difficult to remove and require the expertise of a pest professional to eliminate an infestation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that victims of bed bug infestations contact a professional pest control expert.
Find out how our prevention plans stop issues before they start. Call us at 413-566-8222 or contact us with any questions or if you are experiencing a pest problem. We have the knowledge and the services necessary to help keep your home pest-free!