BED BUGS DO’S AND DONT’S

Bed bugs love clutter and may be your biggest enemy if you have too much of it. Clutter not only makes it harder to provide a space with heat, but also gives an infinite number of hiding places for bed bugs. The bed bug population can be reduced, but not eliminated, if the environment remains disorganized.

Tips for clearing clutter.

When not in use, shoes, bedding, toys, books, extra clothing, and other goods can be conveniently stored in plastic containers with lids and big zip-top bags. The fact that these containers will provide a “protected zone” outside of which bed bugs cannot enter is an advantage. 

Avoid letting books and periodicals pile up. To limit the amount of clutter where bed bugs can hide, throw them away or shred them. Plastic file storage containers are a good place to put important documents. Never let your dirty clothing accumulate on the floor. Use hampers as an alternative.

Don’t – Donate goods with bed bugs.

During their efforts to reduce clutter, many people like to donate unwanted goods. Although this is a terrific method to clear up clutter, if you think your home may be infested with bed bugs, you should NOT donate or remove any items from it. Before removing any objects from the house, they should all be treated for bed bugs and the efficacy of the treatment confirmed.

DO – Exercise caution when in public.

Be mindful of where you travel and how you position any items that could “take up” the hitchhikers, such as purses, luggage, and backpacks.

DON’T – Discard your belongings.

Items with bed bugs should NOT be thrown into the trash, on the ground, or in an alley. The mere mention of bed bugs makes many people cringe and want to toss everything away. This is unneeded and can exacerbate the issue. Bed bugs can fall off of the item and spread across the house to areas that aren’t infected as you disturb the bed bugs and move items around the house.

Never put goods with bed bugs on the curb or alongside dumpsters. When unaware individuals pick up a perfectly nice couch, mattress, or dresser and bring it home, they risk bringing bed bugs with them and spreading an infestation throughout their own residences.

If an item must be discarded, it must be wrapped and packed in plastic to prevent bed bugs from falling off during travel. Ensure that all objects are completely contained by wrapping them in plastic, taping them, and clearly labeling each bag with “WARNING – BED BUGS PRESENT” prior to transporting them through your home, out onto your sidewalk, or into your dumpster. If you engage a waste removal service to remove bed bug-infested goods, you should inform them that the items are infested.

DO – Research bed bugs in more detail.

The more knowledgeable a person is about bed bugs, prevention, and treatments, the more successful their treatments are.

DON’T – Turn a blind eye to bed bugs.

If you see or think you have bed bugs, let people know so they don’t come over and take some with them. Bed bugs don’t mean you or your home are “dirty,” and you shouldn’t feel bad about having a problem with them. Also, you’ll be doing your friends and family a big favor by telling them NOT to come over until the problem is fixed. Or, if your friends have been to your house and you find bed bugs, call them right away!!!

DO – Use Heat

Without a doubt, the best technique to get rid of bed bugs is with heat. A well executed heat treatment works faster and more efficiently than any other treatment.

For more information on heat treatments contact us at (410) 929-3420.

PREVENT BED BUGS WHILE RETURNING TO COLLEGE

Every year at this time, millions of teenagers and young people throughout the nation are returning to college for an additional year of higher education. These college students have a bright future as they settle into off-campus residences as well as residence halls on campus and prepare for a successful first semester. It is very simple to overlook the minor details during all the excitement, which can easily sabotage a promising start to the school year.

The number of bed bugs in the United States has risen dramatically in the past decade. Many people wrongly assume that bed bugs can only be found in dirty homes or on old furniture, but this is not the case at all; bed bugs are quite content in a spotless hospital as they are in a shabby trailer park. Bed bugs have recently made a home in college dorms. Many guests are traveling from out of town, potentially bringing bed bugs with them. Furthermore, they can do their laundry here before returning home for the holidays. There is no better situation for a bed bug.

Students, as well as parents who drive their children to school, must remember to protect themselves against these tiny little invaders. It only takes a few minutes for a bed bug or two to make their way onto your clothing or into your bags, where they will remain undetected until they have laid hundreds of eggs and hatched a whole new generation of pests for you to deal with. It is critical to be on the lookout for bed bugs at any overnight stops on the way to school. Take a few minutes, no matter how tired you are, to peel back the sheets, especially near the head of the bed, and inspect the mattress for signs of bed bug activity. Typically, you will notice dirt marks and smears that could be feces or even blood droplets from a previous meal. You might even see the bugs themselves, or the casings that growing juveniles leave behind. If you find any indication of a problem, do not unpack and notify the front desk immediately.

Even when you arrive at school and everyone is excited to get in and settle in, your bed bug investigation is far from over. Before unpacking any bags, both parents and students should thoroughly inspect the bed and all of the furniture in the room. Bed bugs can survive for months just waiting for students to return to school for a snack. Even if everything appears to be in order, it is a good idea to recheck for bed bugs on a regular basis. It is a common misconception on college campuses that bed bugs are only found in dorm rooms. These tenacious creatures have been known to wait for the ideal host in the cafeteria, library, classrooms, or even on a bench outside. Regularly inspecting your living quarters can help you save a lot of time and heartache later on and prevent the spread.

THE HIDING SPOTS

  1. Beds – this may seem self-evident. Because these insects are known as “bed” bugs, the first place you should look is in your bed. However, this does not only apply to the mattress. They can fit themselves into the smallest cracks in the bed frame. Bed bugs can also hide in box springs. Check the frame thoroughly if it is made of wood. Examine the entire mattress, checking every wrinkle and space. Bed bugs can travel with you or on your clothing and end up in your room. Check them thoroughly and keep in mind that bed bugs can be very small, resembling pepper grains or apple seeds rather than insects. For added protection, bed bug mattress encasements are available.
  2. Couches and chairs – ensure that the couches and chairs in public areas are also free of bed bugs. They can get into your room by riding on you or your clothing. Check to see if the sofa you picked up on the street to add to your dorm room or student apartment is free of bed bugs. Check them thoroughly and keep in mind that bed bugs can be very small, resembling pepper grains or apple seeds rather than insects.
  3. Baseboards – Although bed bugs are notorious for hiding in fabric-covered objects, they will hide anywhere. This includes the baseboards that run around the bottom of the walls in the room. They can also hide in electrical sockets near the ground and behind anything else that comes into contact with the wall.
  4. Dressers – Because bed bugs can enter a dorm room or bedroom through clothing or by climbing into suitcases, they can end up inside dressers. Examine the drawers for shed skins or the insects themselves. They can also hide in the corners, between the cracks, or on the clothing stored there.
  5. Clothing – piles of clothing (common in college dorms and fraternity houses) are ideal hiding places for bed bugs. Check for bed bugs in drawers, closets, laundry baskets, and laundry rooms. You can reduce the risk of bed bug infestations by keeping as much clothing as possible off the ground.

If bed bugs are ever discovered, ECO Bed Bug has the solution! Whether they are discovered in a dorm room or a studio apartment, our bed bug professionals can not only find the cause of your infestation but also eradicate it. We can also handle it if your student brought them home to you. Call us right away and inquire about a commercial or residential inspection.

Will Treatment Help To Stop Bed Bug Infestations In The Future?

Unfortunately, bed bug treatment is unable to stop new infestations from happening. However, your initiative might. Hiring a professional to perform a thorough inspection.

Our inspectors use ultra-violet lights to check for any signs of bed bug presence in your entire home such as excrement, fecal spots, eggshells and shed skins. We thoroughly examine your bedding, baseboards, couches, luggage, furniture, electrical outlets and cracks/crevices. Newborn bed bugs are very small in size and clear in color, UV lights help in the detection process of bed bugs and their eggs with a distinct glow.

Contact us today at (410) 929-3420 to schedule an inspection.

CAN YOU GET BED BUGS BY HELPING SOMEONE MOVE

It’s likely that assisting someone move will expose you to bed bugs. This could happen in a variety of ways, including:

If you put some of the person’s boxes in your car.If you put your bag or belongings on the person’s moving boxes.If you pick up a box that has a bed bug on the outside, and it transfers to you.If you’re offered and keep something belonging to your friend, as thanks for helping.

  • If you put some of the person’s boxes in your car.
  • If you put your bag or belongings on the person’s moving boxes.
  • If you pick up a box that has a bed bug on the outside, and it transfers to you.
  • If you’re offered and keep something belonging to your friend, as thanks for helping.

One of the easiest way to catch them isn’t when you’re moving boxes. It’s when you enter someone else’s home and put your belongings down. Bed bugs are fast and will try to enter your bag or clothing.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Assisting Someone with a Move

There are ways to avoid catching bed bugs while assisting someone with a move. Bed bug quarantine is an effective way to keep them from infiltrating your home. The quarantine can be implemented using the following procedures:

  • Purchase a clear plastic box. This is your quarantine container. 
  • Any outdoor clothing should be stored in sealed containers. If they are, bed bugs will be unable to enter your home through your belongings.
  • After using outdoor clothing, it should be washed. Bring the sealed container to the washing machine and empty it directly into the machine. 
  • Keep your indoor and outdoor belongings completely separate.
  • Place bed bug traps near the feet of your bed. These are known as interceptors.

Washing on high heat is a sure way to get rid of bed bugs. They die as a result of both the temperature and the water. The interceptors, on the other hand, are crucial. Bed bugs prefer to live in your mattress. It’s ideal because it’s secure, hidden, and rarely disturbed. The interceptors will keep bed bugs away from your bed. This reduces the potential size of the infestation. Not only that, but it prevents bed bugs from spreading to other areas of your room.

They need to feed on you even if they only live in your furniture. If they can’t get to you, they can’t grow, breed, or lay eggs. Interceptors are your best tool for establishing bed bug quarantine.

If you suspect you’ve brought bed bugs into your house, call us right away at (410) 929-3420 to set up an inspection and treatment.

Tips for Detecting Bed Bugs in Clothing Stores

Bed bugs are making a comeback, and they’re showing up in more places, including clothing stores. Bed bugs can easily make their way into a store with customers. In January 2020, a manager at a Walmart supermarket in Pennsylvania discovered bed bugs in a sealed pill bottle hidden inside a boy’s coat for sale.

The insects were proven to be bed bugs by a health safety company that was dispatched to the store. More bed bugs were seen crawling around a men’s dressing room by the pest controller. A second closed pill bottle containing dead bugs was also discovered in the men’s apparel area two days after the bugs were initially spotted. With this being said here are some tips to avoid bringing those little unwanted pest home.

To avoid bed bugs in stores and reduce your chances of bringing the pest home with you, follow these guidelines:

* When trying on clothes, be aware of any unusual stains. These could be blood spots left by bed bugs that have been fed.

* Before purchasing clothing, thoroughly inspect it for bed bugs. Even if you choose an item from an undisturbed pile, bed bugs may find their way onto your clothing. Pay close attention to the inside seams for any evidence of sticky white eggs, shed skins, or bugs themselves. Notify the store manager right away if you suspect the clothing has bed bugs. Before trying on clothes, check behind dressing room mirrors and any other crevices where bed bugs could hide, including wall sockets.

* To avoid bed bugs in your clothes, hang them on hooks instead of laying them across cushioned seats in dressing rooms or on the carpeted floor. These are popular and safe havens for bed bugs.

* For the trip home, keep clothing in the store bag, tied and sealed if possible. Before bringing items into the house/apartment, shake them out outside. Launder the clothing immediately in hot water or steam/dry clean delicate items.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, contact ECO Exterminators Maryland right away to schedule an inspection.

ARE BED BUGS MORE ACTIVE IN THE SUMMER?

Bed bugs are active all year round and their activity levels vary from place to place and city to city. What happens in most cases is that bed bugs take advantage of more people traveling in the warmer months. Also, bed bugs might have laid their eggs in winters but their larvae and nymphs are too small for people to notice. The infestation might have started in winter itself and one must use an integrated pest control approach all through the year to prevent the situation from getting out of hand.

What Are Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation?

The presence of bed bugs can be difficult or exceedingly simple to detect. Subtle signs include small blood stains or dark flakes of bug excrement on sheets or pillowcases. More obvious signs include bed bug exoskeleton and obvious bite marks on your skin. Bed bug bites tend to present themselves as raised, itchy, red and disturbed bumps in zigzagged clusters.

HOW DO bed bugs MAKE THEIR WAY into homes?

Bed bugs can enter into your home if your neighbors have them. This is especially seen in apartment style residential complexes where the houses are very close to each other. Picking up infested items like sofas, beds, mattresses etc. from the roadside is another surefire way of bringing bugs into your house. In fact; you can even get bed bugs home from your infested office. If you have been away for summer and stayed in infested motels, you might also inadvertently bring bed bugs into your home.

How to protect your home from bed bugs in summer?

People erroneously believe that summer is peak bed bug season, but it is best to use all-year round integrated pest management approach to ensure keeping your home bug free. Take the following steps to ensure you have a bug-free home by the end of the year:

  • Wash and launder bedding, curtains and linen. 
  • Vacuum your house thoroughly every few days. 
  • If you are staying overnight at a hotel, check the room for bed bug activity. 
  • You can see tell-tale signs like rust colored stains around the mattress edges. 
  • Store your luggage outdoors (in the garage) as bed bugs usually do not infest these.

WhEN SHOULD YOU CALL THE Professionals?

Bed bugs are exceptionally difficult to remove on your own. To successfully banish them from your home, you will need to work closely with a pest control service. The removal process isn’t a single event but a process in which follow up inspections help to ensure that your infestation doesn’t come back or experience a resurgence.

Whether you plan to travel in the summer or winter, you should be on the lookout for unwanted pests. Pay close attention to hotel conditions, overused lounge areas, and high-traffic locations. If you have an infestation and need immediate service, call ECO Exterminators Maryland today.

HOW TO INSPECT FOR BED BUGS IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM

When staying at a hotel it is supposed to be carefree but these days, you need to take measures to protect yourself and family not only from COVID but it could potentially be housing bed bugs too.

Even nice hotels can get bed bugs whether it’s a five-star hotel, complementary robes to the plush linens to the minibar stocked with goodies or roadside motel, bed bugs don’t discriminate.

Bed bugs can definitely tend to be a bigger issue in some of the roadside hotels and motels where you have a higher incidence of extended-stay residents compared to some of your higher-end hotels, but it can all vary dramatically from property to property.

If you’ve ever dealt with a bed bug infestation, you know it’s not an experience you’d wish on your worst enemy. So it’s worth it to be mindful while traveling.

Never put your luggage on your bed before checking for bed bugs. Bed bugs are most commonly transported to new places via luggage.

Instead of putting your luggage on the bed temporarily place your luggage in the bath or shower as soon as you enter your hotel room. Bed bugs cannot climb smooth surfaces and you’d easily spot a bed bug in a light-colored bath. Another option is to place your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover. This can be done during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.

Inspect the bed

Bed bugs, which are small and brown in color, prefer to hide in close proximity to their hosts so they can sneak out at night and draw a blood meal without being noticed so that’s the first place you should check.

The obvious areas such as the edges of the mattress and box spring as well as any area you can see on the headboard without moving everything around.  In addition to the visible mattress seams and box spring, you can also inspect the pillows, sheets and comforter for telltale stains or spots.  There may also be blood stains on the sheets from previous bites of earlier guests or you may be able to spot bed bug eggs. They are pearly white and found in clusters that are about a millimeter long

Bed bugs can also hide in other places besides the bed.  You should also be checking for bed bugs beside cabinets, in dressers, around picture frames, and on furniture, especially any that is fabric-covered.  As well as inspecting the edge of the carpet along the wall of your room.

Change rooms if needed

If you discover a bed bug while inspecting, try your best to carefully capture the insect, and take pictures and video of what you’ve found.  Contact management immediately as this documentation will assists you and the hotel management with choosing the next best step for your stay.

If you decide to change rooms within the same establishment, make sure you don’t move to a room that is adjacent or directly above or below the suspected infestation.

Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets.  If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.

Can certain luggage attract or deter bed bugs

Seemingly, the color of the bags you choose could play a part in that. According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, bed bugs prefer red or black shelters, while they are repelled by the colors yellow and green. This is likely because darker colors provide better hiding spots, the researchers note.

Having dirty laundry in your luggage can also attract bed bugs. A 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that these pests are twice as likely to cluster onto bags containing dirty clothes than ones with only clean clothes inside. According to the researchers, they may be attracted to the scent of dirty laundry, so you’ll want to keep clothes you’ve worn in a sealed bag to hold in the smell.

Inspect and clean your belongings at home

The bed bug prevention process doesn’t end when you leave the hotel. Whether or not you observed evidence of bed bugs, you can still take precautions when you return home.

Remember: Bed bugs travel by hitching rides. After your trip, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house.    Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. You can also use a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.

Drying all of the clothes from your luggage on high heat for at least 30-45 minutes on high heat can kill all life stages of bed bugs and any eggs that may have wound up in the bags.  And if you do suspect an infestation in your home, seek professional help.

Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, as they are the one of the most difficult pests to control. Homeowners should immediately dry bedding, linens, curtains and clothing on the hottest dryer setting, as well as vacuum the area infested. From there, homeowners should seek assistance from a licensed pest control professional who can properly inspect and treat the home.

Are Landlords in Maryland Responsible For Bed Bugs?

Many tenants in Maryland are curious about the answer to the question, “Are Landlords Responsible For Bed Bugs?” The answer is frequently YES; landlords are liable for pests in the apartments they own and manage.

Before renting or leasing a structure, Maryland law specifies that landlords are responsible for eradication. When you move into a single-occupancy unit, such as a single family house, YOU are responsible for the eradication for the duration of your stay. The property owner is responsible for eradication in multi-occupancy units, such as apartments.

If you find yourself in this situation in a multi-occupancy unit there are bed bug lawyers that can help you.

The first step is to get an inspection to determine if your dealing with a bed bug situation. Most complex have their own general pest control company that usually don’t specialize in bed bugs. Here at ECO Bed Bug Maryland we specialize in bed bug detection and eradication.

GOOD night sleep tight don’t let the bed bugs bite

Bed bugs are just not found in beds. You can find bed bugs in other areas of the home not just the bed.

If a home is heavily infested, bed bugs can be found in many different areas. The bedroom is the most common place to find bed bugs, but there is a bevy of other sites in the home they can hide, including:

• Edges of carpeting
• In cracks of wooden flooring
• In between furniture cushions
• In drawer joints
• Behind wallpaper and wall hangings
• In or behind clocks
• In window treatments
• In woodwork joints
• In screwheads

Bed bugs like to live in areas where humans like to rest or sleep. Their narrow bodies and ability to survive for months and sometimes up to a year without feeding make them excellent hiders. They have the potential to hide in mattresses and furniture for months before they’re seen. This is why it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for bed bugs and inspect bedding and furniture regularly.

Keep in mind that even the cleanest homes can have bed bugs. Vacuuming often will help pick up any bed bugs that may have hitched a ride into your home. If you use a bagless vacuum, cleaning the dust container and filters in hot water will get rid of bed bugs, larvae, and eggs. Sealing crevices and cracks in walls, woodwork, around outlets, floorboards, windows, and doors will discourage any bed bugs from traveling within the walls of your home.

Dirty laundry can also attract bed bugs. Worn clothing and slept-on sheets hold our sweat, oils, and scent—which can also draw in bed bugs. Dirty laundry serves a dual purpose for smelling like a meal and providing a hiding place for bed bugs. If there is no human host near, bed bugs like to live in dirty laundry until they can feed on human blood.
This is an excellent motivator to clean up all the piles and baskets of laundry and wash clothes and bedding on a regular basis. If you use a shared laundry facility, transport your clothing in sealed plastic bags. If you have an active infestation at home, be sure to dispose of the original bag and use a new one to transport the clean items home. When removing items from the dryer, put them directly into the bag and fold them at home. Washing clothing and bedding in hot water and drying them on the highest dryer setting will help kill bed bugs, larvae, and eggs. Eliminating clutter in the home will reduce the potential hiding places for bed bugs.

If you discover bed bugs in your home contact us to schedule an inspection at (410) 929-3420.

SPRING BREAK AND BED BUGS

After spring break many people like to bring home reminders of the vacation, such as personalized gifts, seashells, keychains, and souvenirs. One thing people don’t want to return home with is bed bugs. 

Notorious for hitchhiking, bed bugs are opportunistic pests, taking advantage of any and all circumstances that will allow them to thrive; and spring break never fails to deliver. Unsuspecting warm bodies, numerous hiding places (e.g. luggage, purses, duffel bags, piles of clothes and bedding) and ample hitchhiking opportunities—it’s a bed bug’s dream come true!

Although you can’t safeguard your child against bed bugs all of the time, there are steps you can take to help minimize the chances of them bringing bed bugs into your home. Whether your child is traveling home from spring break, visiting for the weekend, or just popping in to do some laundry, bed bugs may be tagging along.

HOW TO PREVENT BED BUGS FROM INFESTING YOUR HOME 

Once you get home from your travels, keep your luggage outside or in the garage so you can do a final inspection.   

Inspect suitcases, bags or purses and boxes for signs of bed bugs prior to removal, especially if they were used for spring break travel.

Do not place items in your suitcase, duffle bag or backpack back in your drawer or closets. 

Clothing items should be laundered immediately using high temp water and dryer settings. Duffle bags or backpacks can be put in a dryer for 45 minutes on high heat as this will kill any eggs or bed bugs that could have made it back.

Vacuum any luggage, purses, backpacks and bags that were used as well as the areas surrounding them.  Discard the vacuum contents in the trash and take it out immediately. 

Wipe down hard-surfaced items such as laptops and cases.

Bedrooms should be inspected prior to unpacking to avoid any possibilities of cross-contamination. A quick look at the mattress as well as any other furniture in the room can help reduce the likelihood of any hideaways.

If you don’t have one already, it’s a good idea to purchase a mattress and box spring encasement. While encasements can’t prevent bed bugs from entering dorm rooms, they can prevent bed bugs from burrowing deep into the seams of the mattress and box spring. An encasement that has a bug-proof zipper is best.

I think I have bed bugs! What do I do?

If you do spot any dark spots of fecal matter, light brown colored skins, or live bugs themselves, you are going to want to contact the professionals at ECO Bed Bug Exterminators Baltimore. Bed bugs are not a fix it yourself solution since they are really good at hiding and multiplying. These pests are not good company to have and you may find yourself in a nightmare if you try to take care of matters on your own. Hopefully, with enough education and understanding of how bed bugs can affect you, you will not have to worry about them coming back with you on your next trip.