There are a lot of things you could have picked up during the holidays. You probably picked up a few presents, and also the wrapping paper those presents left behind. You may have picked someone up and brought them to a holiday gathering. Or, you could have picked up a tip or two about making the perfect Christmas cookie. We hope so. These are all great things to pick up at Christmas time. But there is one thing we hope you did not pick up. Bed bugs.

Tis the season for getting tiny, oval-shaped insects that hide in our homes and feed on our blood, because bed bugs are hitchhiking pests that climb into our belongings and come home with us from holiday visits. If you traveled somewhere to spend time with a friend or relative, there is a chance you could have picked these bugs up.

Bed bug infestations don’t immediately make themselves known. It can take months before you realize you’re home is being invaded. Inspections are vital for stopping an infestation before it becomes a traumatic experience. Take few minutes to do the following once every two weeks.

  • Look for droppings and streaks. Bed bugs leave their pitch black excrement in a wide range of places. Look for it in mattress seams (top and bottom) in all of your rooms (not just the guest room) and examine sheets, pillowcases, baseboards, outlet covers, and the floor below baseboards.
  • Be on the lookout for blood stains. If you have an active infestation of bed bugs, you’re likely to start seeing blood stains on sheets and pillowcases.
  • Bed bugs go through 5 instars (development stages) as they grow from larvae to adult. When they pass from one instar to the next, they shed their cuticle (skin) and leave it behind. These skins can be found anywhere bed bugs travel, but they are most often found stuck to objects bed bugs are living inside, such as mattresses and upholstered furniture. Look in seams and around stitching.

Along with inspections, it is important to be aware of what bed bugs, and their bites, look like.

  • When bed bugs hatch, they have transparent skins and are only about 1mm in size. As they grow, they look more and more like adult bed bugs, which are rust-colored, oval insects with six legs, two antennae, and slightly transparent skin that allows for their black coated insides to be seen.
  • Bed bug bites look like mosquito bites but are not random on the skin. Since a single bed bug can bite multiple times, bites will appear in a line or cluster. These bites may also come with a significant rash.

If you see signs of bed bugs, give ChemTec a call. These are extremely difficult pests to get rid of if you don’t have an education in this insect’s entomology, and the professional grade equipment necessary to safely deal with this type of infestation.
Don’t let the holiday bed bugs bite. Get fast relief with a little help from the friendly bed bug specialists here at ChemTec.