Bed bugs are most active at night and feed on many different hosts including humans and pets. Females lay one to five eggs a day, and the eggs are sticky (unlike the flea) so they stick to different surfaces. Eggs hatch in six to 10 days. Bed bugs travel up to 20 feet to feed, so they hide all over a room.
They will hide in mattresses, head boards, night stands, lamps by the bed, box springs, drawers, clothes, computers, stereos, speakers, books, cell phones, IPods, clutter, behind mirrors, ceiling fans, heating and air vents, light switches, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, picture frames, behind wall paper, crown molding and the list goes on.
Once you have done a complete inspection (flashlights help), decide what you can treat or what you should throw away.
If you decide to throw items away, be careful not to spread the Bed Bugs to other areas of the house as you remove the infested items. If you throw the items in your garage until trash day, you might want to treat this area as well.
Since bed bugs in the USA have a social stigma associated with them, if you throw out a mattress or recliner, you should spray paint in big red letters BED BUG INFESTED on the items, so no one will pick them up to use in their home and your friends and neighbors will know you have bed bugs. Just kidding - maybe just cut them up or destroy them so no one will be tempted to use them.
Vacuuming the area of all visible bed bugs is an effective non-chemical treatment to begin the control of bed bugs (as with fleas be sure to treat the vacuum bag, so the bed bugs do not re-invest the house). Encasing the mattress and box springs after treatment, if they are not too infested, is another effective non-chemical control.
At Possum's we sell too many products that will aid in the control of bed bugs to mention in this article. We have organic aerosols, organic dusts, organic concentrates, non-organic aerosols, concentrates and dusts, growth regulators, strips, traps, bed post barriers, literature to read and more. If you want to do it yourself, plan to start high along the ceiling and treat down to the floor. Since eggs hatch in six to 10 days, re-inspect in a week to two weeks to see if you have any new guests. If this does not sound fun to you, consider hiring a Pest Management Professional.
Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.
(Bill Lamson-Scribner can be reached during the week at Possum's Landscape and Pest Control Supply at 481 Long Point Rd. in Mount Pleasant (971-9601). Visit PossumSupply.com. The Horticulture Hotline is available 24 / 7 at possumsupply.com.)