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Do You Have Bed Bugs or Fleas in South West Ontario?
As your pest control experts in Brantford and surrounding areas, Arrow Pest Control not only provides effective and lasting solutions, we also believe in educating customers. Please keep reading to learn more about bed bugs and be sure to check out our section on preparing for your bed bug treatment. If you are concerned you might have an infestation, contact the professionals at Arrow Pest Control.
Bed Bugs Have Made a Comeback
Bed bugs have reached an alarming state of infiltration throughout the world. In the past, bed bugs have taken a back role to other nasty pests and were nearly exterminated due to the widespread use of DDT. But because of international travel and more concern about pesticide use, bed bugs have made a significant comeback in our society.
Do I Have Bed Bugs?
How do you know if you have bed bugs? If you have been travelling, bed bug bites can result in excessive itching. You might find oval-shaped insect bite marks that are often mistaken for mosquito or dust mite bites. Bed bugs are small, approximately 1/5th of an inch long (about the size of a ladybug). Although they are small, they can be seen by the naked eye and may appear as little black spots on your sheets or furniture. Bed bugs are wingless, oval and flattened in appearance. They are typically rusty-red or mahogany in colour, although the nymphs (or young) are yellowish-white in colour and are a bit smaller. Newly hatched bed bugs are nearly colourless and are harder to spot. They can crawl around at a steady rate. Eggs of bed bugs are white and only about 1/31th of an inch long.
Nocturnal Critters Hiding under Your Sheets
Bed bugs are most active at night and move about to seek out human blood. The best time to see if you have bed bugs is in the middle of the night. Check your bed linens at that time to see if there is anything moving around. You may also find little spots of blood on your sheets where the bed bugs may have bitten you.
Any cracks or crevices in upholstery or bedding can serve as a refuge for bed bugs during the day. The best places to look for bed bugs are under folds in mattresses, along seams, and between bed posts and bed slats.
You may also find that bed bugs leave a distinctive, pungent odour, especially when larger numbers are present. They secrete this odour through their scent glands. You may also notice dark or reddish brown fecal spots on linens near cracks and crevices that can indicate you may have a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bugs Invade More than Your Beds
Although bed bugs are typically known to infest your bed or bedding, they can also be found in wallpaper, bed springs and even in clothing in your dresser. Other areas bed bugs can be found include upholstered pieces like couches or fabric chairs and wood. In fact, any place where a person sits or lies for extended periods of time should be checked for bed bugs.
Getting Rid of the Problem
Getting rid of bed bugs can be quite a problem. Normal methods of using household sprays that are used to kill cockroaches or mosquitoes just don’t work for bed bugs. It is much harder to get rid of bed bugs than one might think since those nasty little critters can infest so many places. Consider a single female bed bug lays about 300 eggs. After 10 days, the bed bug nymphs are hatched and ready to infest your household. An adult bed bug can live 12 months or longer without feeding. They will just stay in their hiding place until a host comes along for them to feed on.
Although it is possible to get rid of bed bugs on your own, it is best to hire professionals to deal with the problem. A professional pest control operator like Arrow Pest Control will know where to look for these awful pests and what steps to take to eradicate the problem. Services may involve everything from spraying the approved pesticides to thoroughly vacuuming and cleaning the premises
Preparing for Bed Bug Treatment
It is necessary for people to leave the treatment area and stay away for at least 6 hours after the treatment is completed. For pregnant ladies or people with respiratory problems (such as asthma), it is mandatory that they remain off-premises for at least 24 hours after the bed bug treatment.
Pets such as dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, lizards, snakes, etc., should be removed from the premises before the treatment begins and should be kept away for at least 6 hours after the treatment. Aquariums can remain in place, but the filtration and aeration systems should be turned off and the tank should be adequately covered. The filtration and aeration systems may be turned back on 6 hours after the treatment.
The following is the client’s responsibility:
- Clean well and reduce clutter by organizing and arranging household effects.
- The beds should be bare when the technician arrives. All bedding, slip covers, pillow cases, etc., must be removed before the service technician arrives.
- Clothing, blankets, comforters, pillows and pillow cases should be washed in hot water (separate from all other laundry) or put in the dryer on high heat, before or immediately after the treatment to avoid a resurgence of bed bugs.
- Clean bed sheets should be used after service.
- All clothing that has been in contact with the floor or in nearby dressers should be put in sealed bags. This clothing should be washed in hot water or put in the dryer on high heat.
- Clean clothing should remain out of the room until after treatment is complete.
- Bookshelves, nightstands or other furniture must be emptied so that the technician can spray the undersides of the furniture. Place all items in tightly sealed garbage bags which should be stored out of the room until after treatment is complete.
- Furniture and items should be moved at least 15 cm away from the walls to facilitate spraying of the baseboards.
Due to safety and regulations, only some areas and articles will be treated with insecticide. The bed bug treatment may consist of steaming, vacuuming, residual spray, contact spray and a dust-formulated pesticide. Closets, drawers, couches, chairs, bed frames, boxes, mattresses, baseboards, cracks, outlet covers and surrounding areas may be some of the places where treatment is applied.
After Your Bed Bug Treatment
It may take 3 to 5 weeks for the infestation to be eliminated. It is recommended that you schedule a follow-up treatment approximately 2 to 3 weeks from the initial treatment to ensure that the infestation levels are decreasing and that no new activity is evident.
For faster and better results from the treatment, you will be required to:
- Steam clean, wet vacuum or shampoo any carpeting, sofas and soft chairs.
- Vacuum the mattress at the crevices, handles and buttons weekly.
- Also vacuum bed frames, baseboards and objects/flooring close to the bed weekly.
- Discard the vacuum bag and place it in a tightly sealed garbage bag before disposal.
- Sanitize clothing and bedding every 2 weeks to suppress a possible resurgence of the pest.
- Mattresses and box spring covers that are impermeable to bed bugs can be purchased on request and will further aid in the successful bed bug removal treatment.
Common Facts about Fleas
Fleas are common pests many homeowners face, especially if you own a cat or a dog. However, even people who do not have pets can have a problem with fleas. If you have recently moved into a dwelling that was previously occupied by pet owners, the pet’s fleas may have been left behind. In this instance, fleas may be more noticeable because the host animal has left and the remaining fleas have nothing to feast on except you, the new resident, and your pets. If you want your flea problem treated professionally, call Arrow Pest Control.
Fleas feed off the blood of birds and animals that they infest. They spread very easily and a flea infestation should not be taken lightly. As soon as it is noticed, it should be treated.
Signs Your Pet has Fleas
If you own a pet that you fear may have fleas, there are several signs that you should look for. The most obvious sign is the constant scratching and biting at themselves. When a flea bites an animal, the flea’s saliva is left behind under the skin of the host, causing the area to become swollen and itchy. Fleas can be found on various parts of your pet’s body: the lower back, at the base of the tail, the abdomen, the flanks and the neck. To confirm if your pet has fleas, you can locate the fleas on their skin using a fine-toothed comb (pet combs can be purchased specifically for this purpose). If you find any fleas, you should drop them into soapy water to drown them. When fleas have been confirmed, you should take your pet to the vet immediately for proper treatment.
If you have multiple pets at home, it is wise to assume that if one pet has fleas, the others do as well. All pets in the home where fleas have been found should get the same medical treatment from the vet. If the fleas are abundant, it is possible that you may have been bitten as well. It is common with a flea infestation that you can suffer from bites around your ankles.
Entire House Treatment Likely Needed for Widespread Infestations
If you are experiencing a widespread flea epidemic in your home, it is wise to call professionals to deal with the situation. Although there are many home remedies available, including spraying with insecticides, these home remedies are often not enough. Treating and killing the adult fleas can be done fairly easily, but the developing fleas are harder to deal with or control. Home methods often cannot solve the whole problem, and treating your pet only works when you are able to detect the flea infestation while it is still in its early stages. When fleas are more widely spread, it is best if your entire house undergoes a complete flea control procedure while your pet is treated at the same time by the vet.
Treatment of fleas is not instantaneous. Insecticides are able to penetrate your pet’s coat where fleas hide and will eliminate the pests within several minutes. However, you still have to deal with any existing flea larvae, pupae or eggs within your house. Once these hatch, your flea problem could reoccur if not professionally treated.
The Flea Cycle
- Your pet encounters fleas from an outside source.
- A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day.
- When your pet is infested with fleas and moves around the house, the eggs can drop off.
- When the eggs hatch into larvae, the larvae hide from the light, getting into the rugs, going under furniture or between floor boards.
- The larvae develop into pupae and the adults develop inside the pupa casing.
- The adults emerge from the pupa casing when they detect CO2 (carbon dioxide) that is given off by your pet, or attracted to your pet’s body heat or any vibration or movement.
- Once the adult flea is attached to your pet and begins feeding, the cycle begins again.
The life cycle usually occurs over a 2-week period, but is subject to environmental factors such as humidity, temperature and availability of food. Therefore it is common for flea problems to begin in the spring and warmer summer months.
The best flea prevention method is to have your vet recommend a flea prevention strategy for your pets.