Bed bugs are small, oval, reddish insects that normally grow up to 5 mm long and feed only on blood. However, they can survive without blood for up to a year. They are most active during the night when most people go to sleep. You will find bed bugs in cracks and crevices of household furniture, mattresses, and electrical outlets.
Females lay anywhere from one to five eggs a day and can live for more than 300 days. Worse still, they are notoriously difficult to eliminate. Most people rely on pest control companies to get rid of them. Here is how such companies typically eliminate these insects.
Identifying the Extent of an Infestation
To start with, a pest control company will carry out an inspection to determine the extent of bed bug infestation. This generally involves a visual inspection carried out by a trained and qualified exterminator. Additionally, some pest control companies use specially trained dogs to pinpoint the exact location of these bugs. It is probably worth noting that the latter method tends to be more efficient. While some companies charge a fee for such an inspection, others do not charge for the service.
Clearing the Menace
After determining that bed bugs are present in your home, a pest control company will then proceed to clear them. To start with, it is necessary to remove clutter where the bugs might hide such as unopened presents, magazines, books, and even clothing. The rule of thumb is to remove and discard all unnecessary clutter from your home.
Secondly, an exterminator may use pesticides, steam heat treatment, or a combination of both methods to kill these insects. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pest control companies can use any of the more than 300 approved pesticides to get rid of these insects.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology found that pesticides that contain ingredients such as bifenthrin, carbaryl, fipronil, dichlorvos, permethrin, and diazinon are quite effective in clearing bed bug infestations.
In general, a pest control company must use a pesticide that makes direct contact with these bugs. This means that you should avoid companies that use foggers or bug bombs. A report published by the New York Times states that such bed bug extermination efforts do not work.
Follow Up Visits
A study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that only 6.1% of pest control companies can eliminate these insects during the first visit. This means that you are likely to use the services of a pest control service more than once.
Although clearing bed bugs is not easy, it is not an impossible task either. Professional exterminators, such as the Radar Pest Control, typically use either steam heat or pesticides to kill these insects.