Dust Mites vs. Bed Bugs – How To Tell Them Apart?

Dust Mites vs. Bed Bugs – How To Tell Them Apart?

Bed bugs and dust mites belong to different groups of pests that infest our household and cause various health issues. Where bed bugs are typically the size of an apple seed and are easily discernible to the naked eye, dust mites are microscopic.  Bed bugs are small, oval insects that do not fly and can live anywhere in the home. These pesky pests take up residence in various areas of the home, including cracks in furniture, in any type of textile and most commonly, in beds, where they thrive in the mattress, box springs and bed frames.

Bed bugs are parasites that feed on blood of humans and pets (mammals) but dust mites do not actually feed on humans and pets. Bed bugs are insects and dust mites belong to the arachnids (spider) family. Diseases caused by dust mites are mainly due to the chemical composition of their shed skin and feces. Let’s look at the differences between bed bugs and dust mites.

Dust MitesBed Bugs
Microscopic – cannot be seen.Visible – brown and 5 mm in length.
Doesn’t bite – feeds on dead skin.Bites – feeds on human blood.
Found mainly in mattresses, bedding, and upholstery.Found in furniture, under mattresses, cushions, and other dark places.
Cause allergic reactions.Cause bites and itching.
Remove with vacuuming, hot water, sunlight, and certain chemicals.Remove with vacuuming and specific chemicals.
Can be partially prevented with hypoallergenic mattresses and bedding – plus regular cleaning.Can be prevented with regular cleaning and checking for infestations.

Symptoms of Dust Mites

Dust mite allergy symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

Dust mite vs. bed bug bites:

Where bed bug bites are real and cause discomfort that can be easily diagnosed, dust mites may not be easily diagnosed due to lack of awareness. Dust mites are potentially more dangerous than bed bugs because they adversely affect people and children who are susceptible to allergies and further weaken their immune systems. Bed bugs on the other hand are quite predictable and with a little effort, it is easy to get rid of them.

Where Do They Live?

You may have got the hint that both dust mites and bed bugs are sharing the same bedroom with you. While both have different feeding habits, humans are the primary source of food.

Hundreds of thousands of dust mites can live in the bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets, or curtains in your home. They feed on the dead human skin cells found in dust. Dust mites are not parasites; they don’t bite, sting or burrow into our bodies.  Also, dust mites thrive in dark and humid environment and that’s basically most households on the planet.

As for bed bugs, they are hiding not too far from dust mites. Bed bugs prefer cracks and crevices that are hidden from plain sight. Also, you may find bed bugs hiding beneath cupboards or upholsteries. Occasionally, you may spot their feces, and skins that gave away their hiding spot.

Treatment For Bites

Bed bug bite treatment includes measures to relieve the symptoms like irritation, itching etc. If, of course you are convinced that the skin lesions you experience are not caused by bed bug bites, it is better to see a qualified doctor to both figure out the cause and treat the problem An over the counter antihistamine pill is effective as a bed bug bite treatment for itching and irritation. You can also use a hot washcloth to wipe down the area affected by bed bug bites.

Although dust mites don’t literally bite, the discomfort caused can only be explained as a dust mite bite. Besides, allergic rash that looks like fleabites maybe caused by dust mites. Dust mite bites treatment involves treating for allergies and asthma. Dust mite bites rash is also caused by the allergies and can be cured with appropriate allergy medication.

If you see dust mite bites symptoms, it is important to see a qualified doctor to get the allergies under control and take measures to prevent asthma. It is also important to treat your home and get rid of invisible dust mites.

If you suspect dust mites in your home or find rash that looks like dust mite bites on baby, immediately consult your pediatrician and take measures to prevent and treat any known and unknown allergies.

Controlling Dust Mites & Bed Bites

Keep the house aired out and dry. Dust mites do well where humidity is greater than 50% but do not do well in dry conditions. Try to keep the moisture level (humidity) below 50%. This may be difficult in some seasons and some climates. Plants and fish tanks add to humidity, so keep these out of the bedroom.

Lysol can kill 99% of dust mites; however, the dead carcasses and droppings of dust mites are what causes allergens. Killing them will not be enough; you must also vacuum the area or shake out the bedding to remove them after you have killed them.  Also consider steam cleaning carpets when possible. In addition to cleaning the carpet, the heat of the steam kills dust mites.

Wash bedding, including pillowcases and mattress covers, in hot water [ 130°F (54.5°C)] every 1 to 2 weeks. You can also dry bedding at high temperatures.

You can limit your contact with dust mites by using allergen-proof covers on your mattress, box spring, and pillows, and washing them regularly. This works well as part of an overall plan to reduce allergens in your home. It is not enough to use mattress and pillow covers without some of the other methods mentioned above.

As for bed bugs, it’s also important to keep your home and bedroom clean and uncluttered. You will also need to caulk and seal cracks around HVAC vents, walls, plumbing, or other locations.  Cover electrical outlets and install bed bug proof encasements on the mattress and box spring.

Ultimately, you may have completely got rid of bed bugs, but dust mites are a stubborn enemy. If you reduced dust mites to a minimum, the allergies would subside.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Bed Bug Inspection

If your calling a pest control company then you already suspect you may have bed bugs.   No one wants these loathsome parasites anywhere near their homes and families.

Hopefully, this is your first experience with a bed bug infestation. In which case you probably won’t know what to expect when the technicians comes to call. Naturally, you’ll have some questions about what you should, and shouldn’t, be doing to prepare your home for the inspection.

CATCH AND SAVE LIVE BED BUGS

If possible, catch and save live bed bugs to show the technician. You can save a couple of specimens (popping them in a jar works best) it can help to speed up the inspection process. If you don’t like the idea of handling a bed bug, you can even take a photograph. If the home has been recently altered, or over-the-counter pesticides have been applied, and bed bug populations are either spread out or temporarily diminished, evidence of live bed bugs is extremely helpful to the technician.

DON’T SLEEP IN ANOTHER ROOM

We know, the idea of remaining in a room in which you know bedbugs are hiding is a nightmare situation.  As tempting as it might be to move to another room, it is advised that you stay put. Bed bugs follow their food source. If you move to another room, due to the incredibly adept sense of smell of the bed bug, they will follow you, or otherwise find other individuals in the home to feed on. This means that the bed bugs will migrate and cause rooms that may not have been infested to require professional treatment. Of course, this all means more money and time spent on eradicating the infestation. To contain the infestation, save money and time, and to give the technician an accurate picture of the infestation, it is important to stay put and contact a professional as soon as the infestation becomes known to you.

MOVING FURNITURE & BELONGINGS AROUND

Moving around furniture and other items in your home will only exacerbate the spread of the pests and alter what has been happening naturally in your home. This will give our technician an inaccurate picture of the degree of the infestation. Bed bugs are more likely to go undetected by the homeowner, when furniture and other household items have been recently shuffled around, leading to a more severe infestation. To give the technician the most accurate information on the infestation, it is hugely important to refrain from altering the normal layout of your home.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP A BED BUG INFESTATION?

How can one determine the length of time that has passed since the bugs arrived? Is it even possible?  For large or long-time infestations, it becomes unrealistic to determine the age of the infestation by observation alone. Confounding variables such as multiple introductions, feeding frequency and treatment attempts enter into play. It is best to say they have been there for a long time (months or years), and leave it at that. However, the age of small infestations can be gauged fairly well for the first couple months, and that is likely sufficient in many cases.

A GOOD GUESS. At normal room temperatures (72°F) and with ample feeding opportunity, bed bug nymphs require about a week for development of each instar between molts. Each molt leaves behind exoskelton, the “shed skin.” In small infestations, these exoskelton can be used to estimate a timeline. This method is limited but can be useful under the right circumstances. For example, if a fourth instar bug is found alone in a mattress tuft along with some fecal spotting and three graduated exoskelton, a reasonable guess would be that it has been using that harborage for at least two to three weeks.

Able to lay 3 eggs a day if a host is available to feed on. Eggs take about 10 days to hatch at 72°F, so if you find hatched eggs attached to furniture, they’ve been there for at least that long. Newer eggs can be collected, and upon hatching provide an estimation of when they were laid.

Often a great indicator of how long an infestation has been around is the number of adult bed bugs present. Generally, it takes at least seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult, so there should be no new adults from eggs during that period. Therefore, if many adult bugs are present one can reasonably assume that the infestation has been there for more than seven weeks. The assumption here is that the infestation started from only a few bugs and there have not been additional introductions during that time. For example, if an infestation starts with five bugs of any stages, there will still be no more than five adults seven weeks later.

The bottom line is that while there isn’t a surefire way to determine the age of an infestation, you can determine some limits. It requires careful inspection of the available evidence including fecal spotting, exoskelton, eggs and adult bugs.

Be sure to inspect your home regularly if you believe you have been subjected to an area with bed bugs. Or you can even call professionals to come and do an inspection of your home or vehicle. Don’t hold off! Call ECO Bed Bug Maryland to schedule your inspection (443) 266-0205!

BED BUG BITES DON’T AFFECT EVERYONE

Because bed bug bites affect everyone differently, some people may have no reaction and will not develop bite marks or any other visible signs of being bitten. Other people may be allergic to the bed bugs and can react adversely to the bites. These allergic symptoms can include enlarged bite marks, painful swellings at the bite site, and, on rare occasions, anaphylaxis.  So, why exactly do some people say bed bugs seemingly bite one person over the other?

Characteristics of Bed Bug Bites

Since bed bugs usually attack their victims during the night, it will most likely happen when you are sleeping in your bed. Which means the parts of your body that are usually exposed during the nighttime are the most vulnerable to their bites. Most cases of bed bug bites show up in a small area clustered together. The cluster of bites may also form a line pattern on your skin. The bites usually cause a burning and itching sensation and appear to have a reddish presence to them. There can also be signs of small blood stains on your bed sheets that alerts you with the presence of bed bugs. 

Do Bed Bug Bites Typically Swell?

Bed bug bites form red, swollen areas with dark red centers. These marks are a reaction to the saliva used by the bug to numb the area while feeding. An allergic reaction to bed bug bites could increase swelling or cause hives near the surrounding area, mostly from excessive scratching.  Most bites will heal within one to two weeks of appearing and not cause any long-term problems. Those with stronger sensitivities to insect bites may take up to three weeks or longer to heal.

Is There a Blood Type Preference?

You may have fewer or more bed bug bites on your body than your spouse or a roomate due to your blood. These pests prefer a certain blood type and get it where it is available. They prefer blood that they’ve been accustomed to. For instance, bed bugs that grew up drinking O+ blood will feed on O+ blood in the future. If they grew up feeding on AB+ blood, they would prefer people with this blood as well.

This means that bed bugs don’t have a preference for a single type. They can drink any blood. It only depends on their taste. This is probably why bed bugs often target you and you don’t see any bites on your spouse or a roommate.

Is it Bed Bug Bites or Something Else?

There are many other insects (not to mention the many other non-insect related causes) that leave similar markings on a human’s body.”  A rash can be concerning, of course, but just because you noticed it first thing in the morning or it looks a bit like what you think a bed bug situation might, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what is happening. Talking to your doctor or a dermatologist or hiring a pest control company to come out and take a look can help you figure out what you’re really dealing with — and help you get to a place of resolution much sooner, whether you do really have bedbugs or not.

If you need an professional opinion feel free to contact us at 443-266-0205.

DIY Bed Bug Treatment Does It Actually Works!

OIP_diy

Of the countless DIY treatments for bed bugs, there are very few that are actually effective in exterminating an entire infestation. Many of the popular methods don’t kill the entire bed bug life cycle or they simply mask the problem by causing the bed bugs to move to another room. So, the short answer is NO!! The best treatment for bed bugs is HEAT!

Heat effectively eliminate bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. Heat treatments are performed by raising the temperature of a room or structure quickly and holding it until all the bed bugs have been eradicated. Even the bugs that are hiding in the flooring, ceiling, inside furniture or in wall coverings are killed when the head permeates the entire space.

If you have tried DIY treatments and still have a problem contact us today at ☎️ (410) 929-3420 to schedule an inspection!

Bed Bug Treatment Also Kills Coronavirus, Can Be Used To Sterilize Masks

2020-05-06 14_31_44-Bed Bug Treatment Also Kills Coronavirus, Can Be Used To Sterilize Masks

We’ve seen all kinds of innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is a new one.  A former ICU nurse and an exterminator came up with the idea.

Turns out coronavirus and bed bugs have something in common – neither can survive above 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

The National Institutes of Health recently approved high heat – the kind used to kill bed bugs – for coronavirus decontamination. Click here to read the full article.

© Provided by CBS Denver

 

Do Bed Bugs Bite Your Pets?

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Do Bed Bugs Bite Your Pets?

Bed bugs are notorious for being elusive, difficult pests that give even the most popular and premier bed bug exterminator a run for their money. They are also extremely irritating, biting humans while they sleep and often leaving red marks and annoyance in their wake. But many times our first thought is not about ourselves, but about others in our household and how bed bugs can affect them. This includes our older family members, children, and even pets.

It is common knowledge that bed bugs bite humans for feed in order to reproduce and grow, but what about our furry friends?

But first, what are bed bugs?

Bed bugs, also known scientifically as Cimex Lectularius L, are insects that feed on warm blooded animals as their only source of nutrition. Only the size of an apple seed, these pests are flat, which makes them an ideal size and shape to hide within seams, cracks, and crevices. Because their food source is stagnant at night, they often choose to hide within mattresses, bed frames, and box springs. At night, they come out from hiding, feed for about five minutes, detach, then retreat back into hiding. Because of their quick, almost non-exist, appearance in public, most people don’t realize they have an infestation until it becomes a large problem.

So they bite humans, but what about pets?

Bed bugs prefer humans as their main source food, but they can bite any warm-blooded animal, including pets. This includes cats, dogs, rodents, and other animals that tend to sleep near their humans. Although these pets are not major hosts of bed bugs, their beds are often great hiding places, so it is important to inspect their bedding if you suspect a infestation. If you do find live bed bugs, be sure to call a professional bed bug exterminator as soon as possible.

Do bed bugs carry diseases like other pests, such as fleas and ticks?

Bed bugs are irritating and can make even the most sane person go a bit crazy, but bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases. Bed bug bites can cause skin irritation and, if severe, might require some minor treatment from a doctor, but will not develop to anything of concern. However, bed bugs are labeled as a significant public health issue due to their ability to lead people to poor physical health, mental health, and negative financial outcomes.

Can my pet carry bed bugs, like fleas?

Bed bugs do not live on their hosts as much as common pests, such as ticks, lice, and fleas. Although, they are excellent and efficient hitchhikers that spread using luggage, furniture, bedding, and clothing. This leaves the possibility that they can use your pet or their bedding as a transportation outlet.

How can I tell if my pet has been bit by a bed bug?

Looking under your pet’s hair, you will notice very tiny red bumps, often times on their limbs and belly. Because they move in a linear pattern while feeding, the bites will occur what will look like a straight line. If you notice your pet beginning to itch more frequently, it is important to check their skin for irritations and pests.

How can I tell if I have a bed bug infestation?

Keep an eye on your pets for biting, licking, scratching, and irritability. If they are showing these signs, it is often because of a pest infestation or skin irritation due to other factors. If these pests are bed bugs, you will feed tiny red blood stains on their bedding due to the smashing them. You will also notice what will look like little black dots, the size of a mark made by the tip of a marker, on their bed. These are bed bug feces that are deposited after feeding. Bed bug sheddings, or their exoskeletons, will be around your pet’s bedding and will look transparent and empty.

Bed bug eggs are often an indication of a bed bug infestation, but are very hard to find. A very obvious sign of an infestation is the appearance of live adult bed bugs, which are small, reddish brown in color, and are shaped like apple seeds.

Don’t give an ounce of blood further to these pests, call us today at ☎️ (410) 929-3420 or contact us on our site to learn more information on our bed bug heat treatment and bed bug removal process.

BED BUG DETECTOR TRAPS: WORTH IT?

 

BED BUG DETECTOR TRAPS_WORTH IT

Because of their elusively and size, bed bugs can be very difficult to detect. Often residing in seams, electrical outlets, even the baseboards on the walls, they can bypass even the most experienced bed bug exterminator. If the bed bug infestation is new and there are not many present yet, it can be even more difficult to identify them. So before calling professional help, people often choose to confirm the presence of bed bugs to have confirmation that this is the pest they are dealing with. And oftentimes, if the infestation is new, bed bug exterminators will recommend a detection trap to affirm an infestation.

What does a bed bug detection trap do?
Detection traps are often used in unoccupied rooms to confirm the presence of bed bugs. These devices often feature a system that lures the bed bug into the trap. This system imitates a person sleeping, releasing carbon dioxide and pheromones, drawing the bed bugs out of the hiding places and trapping them into a specific location within the device that the user can check periodically.

There are two types of detection tools, active and passive.

Active Detection
Bed bug active monitors mocks a live host by using heat, carbon dioxide, and pheromones, which are several components that draw bed bugs out of hiding. An example of an active detection trap is NightWatch. Because bed bugs only feed every five to ten days when a host is available, ideally, it should be ran for 14 days from 10PM – 6AM so it has an adequate amount of time to pull the bed bug out of hiding.

Passive Detection
Passive monitoring, unlike active, contains no “lure” factor. Meaning, it does not attract the bed bug to the trap like the active one. Think of it being “passive aggressive” when it comes to bed bugs, while the other one is “actively aggressive”. Passive detection traps, such as ClimbUp Interceptors, trap bed bugs that physical cross them for defensive or monitoring purposes. Often, they are placed under a leg of a bed because they are attracted to the person sleeping in that bed. This would be an insistence of using external bait to lure the bed bug into the trap.

Which bed bug monitor should I invest in?
The answer to this question is dependent on the location for which the detection tool will be located. If there are no external baits, such as a sleeping person, then it is recommended that you use an active detection tool, such as NightWatch. This would be placed in your home such as living or family room, kitchen, or any vacant room. This would be ideal if you were testing to see if there are any bed bugs in a vacant home that you are about to move into or a hotel room!

Passive detectors would be ideal in a room where there is “external bait” such as a host that will naturally lure the bed bug out of hiding. Examples would be bedrooms with a permanent resident. Passive monitors involve less maintenance and are a less expensive option.

If you feel as though you are living with bed bugs call ECO Bed Bug Exterminators Baltimore for a inspection (410) 929-3420.

 

 

Why You Should Consider Bed Bug Heat Treatment

heat treatment bedbugs

When you get a bed bug infestation, your first instinct is probably to panic. They’re disgusting little pests that literally feed on your blood.

Plus, bed bugs are notoriously difficult to kill–adults can go anywhere from 20 to 400 days without feeding, depending on the temperature and humidity. They’re cold-blooded, so in cold temperatures, their metabolism slows down and they can survive longer without food.

So, how do you get rid of bed bugs? Your best option is killing bed bugs with heat.

Here’s what you need to know about bed bug heat treatment and why you should consider this treatment option as your first line of defense against an infestation.

What is Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs?

First, though, you should understand what heat treatment for bed bugs is. Heat treatments involve a process of heating up your home to a temperature of 130 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the treatment will kill bed bugs in all stages of life, including eggs, nymphs (immature bed bugs) and adult bed bugs.

Heat treatments at this temperature range usually kill bed bugs within the first hour and a half. However, exterminators typically keep the heat treatment going for several hours to make sure that any lingering pests are dead.

Why is Heat Treatment So Effective?

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? So why are heat treatments so effective in killing bed bugs? Well, for one thing, bed bugs are increasingly resistant to many pesticides.

Think about it–we’ve been using the same pesticides to kill bed bugs for years. Over time, the bed bugs that don’t die from pesticides reproduce to make more bed bugs that are resistant to pesticides. And suddenly, you’re facing a group of bed bugs that is resistant to chemical treatment.

That doesn’t mean that chemicals are useless. They’re actually quite helpful as a supplement to keep the bugs contained. But as a standalone treatment, you won’t know whether you have resistant bed bugs until you try to kill them with pesticides–and the bed bugs refuse to die.

But heat is a different matter altogether.

When you trap a bed bug with a heat treatment, what you’re really doing is trapping the bed bug in an environment that’s too hot for it to survive.

Since the entire room (or your entire house) is too hot, there’s nowhere for the bed bug to escape before the heat kills it. And since the exterminator keeps the heat up for several hours, the bed bug can’t simply wait out the heat, either.

The bed bugs are just trapped in a room set at their thermal death point, for hours at a time.

Why Use Heat Treatment?

Done in a Matter of Hours.  Heat treatments take less time than many other treatments.
You can cover every corner of your home more effectively.  The technician will take several hours to treat your possessions or rooms in your home at a high temperature that will ensure any lingering bed bugs are wiped out.

Do You Need Bed Bug Heat Treatment?

If you need a bed bug heat treatment, your best bet is to call in the pros. Please contact us to schedule your inspection.

HOUSE SOLD WITH UNKNOWN OCCUPANTS: BED BUGS

HOUSE SOLD WITH UNKNOWN OCCUPANTS_BED BUGS

House hunting? Make sure you keep an eye out for these pests.
Whether you are buying a house for the first time, buying an additional home, or finding yourself a change a scenery, house hunting can have its own aches and pains. One obstacle you don’t want to have to think about when you walk in the door for the first time is being greeted by the militant pest, bed bugs.

Often found hiding in the seams of mattresses and other places, bed bugs can invade any home and because of their tiny size, they are also difficult to find and can be easily overlooked. Bed bugs are notorious for causing sleepless nights, which often lead to mental and physical anguish and are extremely difficult and costly to get rid of. So before buying a home, ensure you have done your due diligence so you aren’t moving into a home that is surprisingly occupied.

Quick Visual Inspection
Although you may be distracted by the layout and design of a property you are interested in, it may be worthwhile keeping your eyes open for signs of bed bugs. Because you are in someone else’s home, it isn’t proper to be peeling back bed sheets to look for them on mattresses, so you will have to keep it general to start out. You will more than likely not see any walking around, as they are very elusive, but what may look like dirt, could be feces and exoskeletons left by these pests. Here are some signs of bed bugs to look out for:

Live bed bugs
Dark spots on mattress or sheets
Bed bugs’ excreta
Bed bug eggs and eggshells
Bed bugs are extremely small and flat. To put this into perspective, the insect is about the size of the thickness of a quarter, 0.1 inches, and enjoy being in warm and dark places. Bed bugs can be anywhere, but they are most often found in the following locations:

Mattresses and box springs
Drawers and furniture
Bed frames, headboards, and baseboards
Cracks behind outlets
Curtain folds
Furniture seams
Floor and door molding
Electrical appliances

When looking for bed bugs while touring a house, you are not going to be able to look at the mattress, box springs, and furniture in respect of another family’s belongings. So keep an eye out along the baseboards for any of the signs.

What To Do If You Find Bed Bugs
If you find a bed bug or have the signs of bed bugs in a home you are interested in purchasing, you must first tell your realtor to ensure that it is communicated clearly to the other party. This may or may not alter property value or halt any offers that are in place. At this point, the seller would have to seek help from a professional bed bug exterminator. They will be able to confirm whether there is, or is not a bed bug infestation and the best methods to exterminate. If the house you are seeking does have bed bugs, it is not a deal breaker. With the right bed bug treatment procedure, the bed bugs can be exterminated in just one day.

Hiring a House Inspector
Hiring a house inspector that is familiar with bed bugs could save you an immense amount of time and money. Some home inspectors may or may not be familiar with bed bugs and many individuals have to hire a separate bed bug investigator to make sure there aren’t any infestations in your home. Because of this, it may be worth doing some research and finding a home inspector that is familiar with these infestations!

If you need a bed bug exterminator specialist or need someone to inspect your home, please contact ECO Bed Bug Exterminator Baltimore at (410) 929-3420.