What to Do If You Have Bed Bugs in Charlotte, NC
For centuries, humanity has spread myths of the vampire, a creature that apparently stalks during the night, sucks the blood of hapless victims, and then flees to its lair. While it’s doubtful that vampires exist, the closest thing to them here in Charlotte might be bed bugs. As it turns out, when your parents told you “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”, there was more truth to it than you might’ve originally thought. Bed bugs are very real, and they even pose a risk to your personal health! Are you dealing with these little monsters? If so, do you know what to do if you have bed bugs in Charlotte? The team at Junk Doctors has put together this guide so you can learn more about bed bugs and ultimately quash this threat before it takes over your property!
Bed Bug Behavior
Bed bugs are nocturnal parasites that feed on blood. As their name implies, they love to take over beds, but they’re not limited to that setting. They can also establish themselves in sofas, recliners, blankets, and even your clothes. Once they’ve set up shop, they usually wait until the dark of night to crawl out of hiding, then seek out a nice, warm body to suck the blood out of—such as yours! Bed bugs are so tiny, it’s unlikely that you’ll even notice them feeding. However, you’re sure to notice the marks they leave behind. After just one night with bed bugs, you can become itchy all over. This is infuriating on its own, but some people are even allergic to bed bug bites, meaning they can wind up in the hospital in a worst-case scenario.
After chowing down on your blood, home bed bugs quickly begin reproducing. In fact, after feeding just one time, a female bed bug can lay up to seventy eggs during the next ten days. You can imagine that once these eggs hatch and the new bed bugs start feeding, their population is only going to boom. This exponential growth gives these evil creatures the means to take over entire households, apartment complexes, and hotels.
Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation
It’s clear that once you’ve detected bed bugs, you should act fast to exterminate them. The question is, though, how can you tell if there are bed bugs around? The first—and most obvious—sign is that you see one out and about. Bed bugs are minuscule, six-legged creatures with flat, dark backs. If you witness them crawling about your furniture, then it’s time to leap into action.
Of course, even if you don’t see the bed bugs themselves, they aren’t exactly secretive, and they leave many tracks behind for you to find. Keep an eye out for pieces of their exoskeletons, as these bugs are constantly molting their skins. Additionally, if you find bloody specks on your furniture, you better believe there are bed bugs lurking about. We’ll say this in the nicest way we can, but those specks are their fecal matter, which is filled with your blood. Revolting, we know. But that’s enough about what a bed bug infestation looks like. Now, you must be wondering what to do if you have bed bugs in Charlotte, NC.
Best-Case Scenario: An Easy Fix
Okay, so you’ve established that you have bed bugs, but you don’t know what to do if you have bed bugs in Charlotte. The best course of action to take depends on the extent of the infestation. Let’s say that you have returned from a road trip, only to discover that your luggage has become infested with bed bugs. It’s a safe bet that you were unfortunate enough to pick up some hotel bed bugs while you were abroad. Fortunately, you are in a position where you can avoid spreading these monsters into your home. Seal anything infected within plastic bags to avoid further spread, and don’t remove them until you stuff them in your washing machine. A temperature of 120°F will kill any bed bugs—and their eggs—within ninety minutes.
That’s the best-case scenario. However, it’s likely that if you’re reading this, bed bugs have already seized control of your bed, your sofa, or your entire home. Maybe your neighbor has bed bugs and unwittingly spread them to your home. Perhaps you brought them home from work. In any case, it’s too late to stop the spread now. In a scenario like this, it’s time to take drastic measures. We won’t lie—your work is cut out for you, but there are ways to come back from this stage. Of course, wash anything you can, following the specifications we listed above. However, saving a mattress or a sofa isn’t as simple. Obviously, you can’t fit those in your washing machine. So what can you do?
Worst-Case Scenarios: Cracking Down
Let’s review what you can use to get rid of bed bugs. Some people turn to insecticides to destroy the bed bug threat. For example, pyrethrins and pyrethroids are known to slaughter these bugs in droves. However, these insecticides have a low toxicity risk to humans, cats, dogs, and other pets. Not everyone is willing to use these substances to eliminate their bed bugs. Others will happily fog their homes just to wipe out the bloodsucking creatures. Is the efficacy of this method worth the health risks? It’s ultimately up to you to do the research and make an informed decision for yourself.
If you shy away from insecticides, you aren’t necessarily out of luck. Using vacuum cleaners and steamers, you can clean up whatever bed bugs you find or kill them in your tracks. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag once you’re done, though—otherwise, those bed bugs will remain inside your home.
It’s likely that you will wash, vacuum, and steam your things many times while working to reduce the number of bed bugs. To help continue with your campaign against these pests, you may want to consider bed bug interceptor traps. These traps are essentially containers that sit beneath the legs of your furniture. When bed bugs attempt to leave the furniture, they will find themselves stuck, usually thanks to slippery talcum powder. When you find them in their little prisons later, you simply seal them in bags and throw them away.
If all of this still isn’t enough to conquer the bed bugs, you may want to consider saying goodbye to the infested items. However, don’t accidentally pass on this plague to someone else. Be sure to seal any infested items in plastic wrap. Show mercy to those who pick up junk they find on the curb, too, by leaving a sign on anything that’s ridden with bed bugs. A piece of paper reading “BED BUGS” in all capital letters should make it clear to any passersby that your old sofa doesn’t belong in anyone’s living room—not even theirs. You may want to even consider taking the infected items straight to a disposal site to avoid any potential spread altogether.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs with Junk Removal Companies
Some junk removal companies are willing to remove bed bug furniture, but not all of them. That’s because it’s so easy to spread bed bugs that many companies don’t want to bother with the risk of it. However, those that do will usually dispose of the furniture in the way we described above—with plenty of plastic wrap.
Of course, these companies will likely repeat some of the advice you already read here. Just keep in mind that removing infested furniture isn’t necessarily the end of your problem. Keep an eye out for any bed bugs that are out and about. Vacuum and steam the floors, and don’t forget to wash your clothes in hot water. At the end of the day, if your bed bug problem is still looking hopeless, a phone call to an exterminator may be in order.