Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Bedbugs?

Bed bugs are flat, wingless, blood-sucking insects less than ¼” long. They range in color from light brown to reddish-brown. Bed bugs lay up to 540 eggs in a lifetime, and each baby can be ready to ready to reproduce in only 21 days. Bed bugs are a nuisance pest only and are not known to spread disease.

 
Where Do Bed Bugs Hide?
  • Flooring: inside floor cracks; under carpets; or under baseboards

  • Walls: behind loose wallpaper; in plaster cracks; in or under mounted light fixtures; and in or under pictures/posters/shelves or other hung items

  • Wall Voids: (the area between the walls) behind electric sockets and light switch coverings; behind phone and cable jacks; behind service panels; and inside wall penetrations for electrical, plumbing, and ventilation

  • Beds: in tufts, seams and mattress folds; inside box springs; in or on bed covers, linens, pillowcases and pillowcase covers; in bed frame seams; underneath bed frame legs; behind headboards; and pet in bedding

  • Other Furniture: in seams of furniture; underneath furniture legs; under drawer linings and in drawer tracts; behind furniture backs; underneath or inside cushions and cushion covers; and inside upholstery where it is stapled to the frame

  • Clothing: attached to linings and folds of clothing in hampers and other laundry placement areas

  • Other: in or under home furnishings (radios, clocks, lamps, phones, etc.); in or under personal electronics (computers, stereos, TVs, etc.); and any other item that provides a dark, undisturbed hiding spot

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department

 
How Do I Control Bed Bugs?
  • If you have bed bugs, do not panic. Bed bugs can be contained and eliminated from your home with the proper course of action. 

    What You Should Do

    1. Because bed bugs do not move long distances by themselves, a population can be contained if they are not moved by other means. Do not move new items into the infested room or take items from this room. When items must be removed, they should be stored in trash bags and washed immediately or thrown away outside away from the structure. All items should be taken off the walls, and all furnishings should be moved to the center of the room. This reduces many potential hiding areas and maximizes the distance between the furniture and the walls. If bed bugs do not make it to the insides of the walls, they are more quickly controlled. 
       

    2. All laundry and linens, such as bed clothes, mattress covers, pillowcases, curtains, dust-ruffles, throw rugs, and tablecloths need to be removed (in trash bags) and washed immediately. Items should be washed with a strong detergent in the hottest temperature setting possible and stored away from the infested room until the bed bugs are controlled. 
       

    3. Old mattresses with holes in them should be thrown away. If mattresses are new or in good condition, they can be vacuumed, placed into direct sunlight for a few hours on a warm day, and then zipped inside a plastic mattress cover. Tape should then be placed over the zipper, so that bedbugs cannot crawl through.

    Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department.

 
How do I know if my home is infested?

A heavily infested home would have an offensive, sweet, musty scent. This odor is released by bed bugs' through their scent glands. Another symptom to look out for is fecal or excrement stains, egg cases, and shed skins of bed bug nymphs in crevices, cracks or holes on the bed or near it. Furniture near the bed should be checked also. Bedroom wallpapers, bed springs and clothings in your dresser, should be examined for these reddish brown excrement stains. Your living room couch should be checked for these stains, especially if you or any member of your family get bed bugs symptoms such as swollen bites after sitting from your couch. Every place in your house where a person stays more than 30 minutes must be checked for bed bugs. 

Bed Bugs Alert - Know the Bed Bugs Symptoms By Roger Mitchell

How does an infestation start?

It often seems that bed bugs arise from nowhere. The bugs are efficient hitchhikers and are usually transported in on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture, and other items. This is a particular problem for hotels, motels and apartments, where turnover of occupants is constant. Bed bugs are small, cryptic and agile, escaping detection after crawling into suitcases, boxes and belongings. The eggs are especially tiny and are usually overlooked. Acquiring secondhand beds, couches and furniture is another way that the bugs are transported into previously non-infested dwellings. Bed bugs also can be carried in on a person's clothing or shoes, resulting in an infestation. 

Once bed bugs are introduced, they often spread throughout a building. The bugs can travel from room to room or floor to floor either by crawling or via a person. Unlike cockroaches that feed on filth, the level of cleanliness has little to do with most bed bug infestations. Pristine homes, hotels and apartments have plenty of hiding places and an abundance of warm-blooded hosts. Thus, they are almost as vulnerable to infestation as are places of squalor.

 

When bed bug-like insects are found, it's important to consider whether bats, swallows, chimney swifts, pigeons or other wild hosts are involved. Although similar in appearance, species of bed bugs that normally feed on bats and birds can be differentiated from those that prefer humans. Entomologists and knowledgeable pest control firms can make this determination. BED BUGS by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Do bed bugs transmit disease?

A common concern with bed bugs is whether they transmit diseases. Although bed bugs can harbor pathogens in and on their bodies, transmission to humans is considered unlikely. Their medical significance is chiefly limited to the itching and inflammation from their bites. Antihistamines and corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce allergic reactions, and antiseptic or antibiotic ointments to prevent infection. Though not known to carry diseases, bed bugs can severely reduce quality of life by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and embarrassment.

Conventional insect repellents, like those used to deter ticks and mosquitoes, do not appear to be effective against bed bugs. Attempting to avoid being bitten by applying insect repellent at bedtime is not recommended. Sleeping with the lights on is not likely to deter hungry bed bugs either.

BED BUGS by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist - University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Do I Have to Throw Out the Bed?

Eliminating bed bugs from beds can be challenging. If there are holes or tears in the fabric, the bugs and eggs may be inside, as well as outside. There also are restrictions on how beds can be treated with pesticides. For these reasons, companies sometimes recommend that beds be discarded, especially when heavily infested or in poor condition. Another option is to encase both the mattress and box spring in a protective cover like those used for allergy relief. Bedding & Mattress Encasement specifically designed to help protect against bed bugs are available through retail outlets or pest control firms. Once the cover is installed and zipped shut, any bugs which happen to be inside are entombed and eventually will die. Encasements also help protect newly purchased beds, and make it easier to spot and destroy any bugs residing on the outer surface during subsequent examination. Encasements will not, however, keep bed bugs from crawling onto a bed and biting a sleeping person.

 

Bed bugs are frequently found on the undersides of box springs.


Some companies treat seams, tufts, and crevices of bed components with insecticides, but they usually will not spray the entire mattress surface. They also should not spray bed sheets, blankets or clothing, which should be laundered. Vacuuming and steaming further help to eliminate bugs and eggs from beds, but afford no residual protection and may not kill bed bugs hidden inside the box spring or mattress. Fumigation is another way to de-infest beds and hard-to-treat items, but the procedure is not always available. In extreme cases, entire buildings have been fumigated for bed bugs. 

BED BUGS by Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist - University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Information regarding Bed bug bite signs?

So what are the signs of bed bugs in terms of actual physical biting? Well one definite sign is the classic bed bug rash. This type of rash will show up after a prolonged period of feasting. You will have many bites in one localized area and some people have a mild reaction to the bed bugs bites to cause this. Do not worry, however, as bed bugs do not carry disease or harmful bacteria. But if left unchecked and continuous biting occurs, you may experience a bed bug rash that can become severely inflamed, red, swollen, and thus risk infection.

Why is my regular exterminator, after numerous visits, not able to rid my residence of the bedbug infestation and what is the comprehensive approach?

Bedbug911's experience has shown that exterminators with their limited range of resources, ie pesticides, are in most cases not able to eradicate bedbug infestations by extermination alone. Our philosophy and method of eradication is to take a comprehensive approach. What differentiates us from all the other bedbug extermination companies is that we are a bedbug treatment company, we clean the infested premises thoroughly before we start the extermination process. NO OTHER COMPANY DOES WHAT WE DO. Preparing the premises is a very big part of the job, we then exterminate, prevent and follow through. Our Bed Bug Solutions can in no way be compared to extermination because in order to succeed in eradication, our bed bug extermination must be used.

What are some misconceptions about bed bugs?

Bed bugs are not the result of poor hygiene - bed bugs can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime. Bed bugs are not transferred by sexual contact - bed bugs move about on their own accord. Bed bugs do not transfer AIDS, herpes or scabies - bed bugs have not been associated with any disease transmission. Bed bugs do not live on their host - bed bugs feed on blood from their host, but do not live on the host. Bed bugs do not live in human hair and are not similar to body and pubic lice - bed bugs are not lice.

State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation - Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

Who should deal with the infestation?

It is recommended to hire a pest management company to locate all bed bug hiding areas and apply a treatment that will effectively eliminate the population. 

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department.

How Bed Bugs Spread Through Your House?

Bed bugs may originate in furniture brought from other locations. Bed bugs may crawl through walls and enter new rooms.Lines indicate where people may transfer bed bugs to other locations of their house.

Bed bugs are moved either by transferring them on their person or by moving them around in other items, such as laundry. Note: A laundry room in a different part of the house, could become a prime transfer location, as clothing from an infested room comes into contact with clothing going to other rooms.

Bedbugs are “lazy” insects. They do not run, travel long distances on their own, or fly. In fact, they may stay in the same location without food for up to one year! 

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

Decades ago bed bugs were eliminated in the United States by certain pesticides, such as DDT, which have since been banned by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Recently, with increased traveling, domestic and international, bed bug activity also began to resurge in this country as people moved around more.

Although more environmental-friendly pesticides are on the market, some bed bug populations are becoming resistant to these chemicals. Until an effective pest management strategy can be developed, bed bugs are on the rise. 

Bed bugs may be crawl into or attach themselves to clothing, luggage, furniture, or any other item a person leaves in an infested area. Wherever this newly infested item is moved, bed bugs can make a new home and stay. 

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department

How Do You Know You Have Bed Bugs?
  • A person wakes up with multiple red, itchy bite marks on the body

  • Tiny blood stains or smears appear on the sheets

  • Bed bugs are seen clinging to furniture, mattresses, or any other hiding spot

  • A large amount of red-black fecal material is found anywhere bed bugs live

  • The infested room has a sweet, musty odor that cannot be explained

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department.

Fact or Fiction?

Fact: Bed bugs are on the rise! They can be found any time, anywhere, and when you least expect them. You just don't know what other people bring with them.

Myth:Bed bugs are associated with filth. Truthfully, it does not matter to a bedbug how clean your house is. They are bloodsucking insects and are not attracted to food products. 

Fact:Bed bugs do not carry disease. To date, there has been no proof that bedbugs carry disease pathogens or are able to transmit blood related disorders. 

Myth:Bed bugs chew their way into your mattress or bore their way into your furniture. Truthfully, bedbugs cannot chew at all. They have mouthparts much like that of a mosquito. Therefore, they will only be found on the outside of your mattress, provided there are no holes already there. They also can crawl in between furniture seams, where two pieces are nailed together, but don't create new holes in furniture. 

Fact: Bed bugs are nocturnal, meaning they are active (and bite) only at night. Bed bugs do hide during daylight hours and shy away from direct sunlight. 

Community Health and Safety Division of the Fairfax County Health Department.

Using the Green method as compared to pesticides?

Bedbug911 has a number of methods at it's disposal when it comes to the extermination part of the "comprehensive bedbug treatment method". The green method is sometimes requested as a matter of a philosophical outlook or for medical reasons, as there are pets or someone in the house suffering from asthma or any number of other diseases. We accommodate these requests and use environmentally safe and non-toxic products, when requested. Our comprehensive method in general, is probably one of the safest methods available since we clean the residence before we even start the extermination part of the job.

Why is Bed911's Specialized Bedbug Laundry Service a recommended part of the Comprehensive Bedbug Eradication Method?

When bedbugs infest an environment and have started spreading further then the mattress and bed frame, there is a tendency to find them in closets and dressers, living and hatching eggs in the bedding, linen and in the folds of clothing. As part of the comprehensive approach, it is necessary to clean and launder all the clothing in the apt., this needs to be done in a manner that kills the adults and eggs, without leaving a trace of even one left alive, as that will cause the infestation to continue and spread. Bedbug911 has a Bed bug laundry cleaning service that insures that bedbugs do not survive the process, we use special soaps and high temperatures in the washing and drying cycles to accomplish this task"> When bedbugs infest an environment and have started spreading further then the mattress and bed frame, there is a tendency to find them in closets and dressers, living and hatching eggs in the bedding, linen and in the folds of clothing. As part of the comprehensive approach, it is necessary to clean and launder all the clothing in the apt., this needs to be done in a manner that kills the adults and eggs, without leaving a trace of even one left alive, as that will cause the infestation to continue and spread. Bedbug911 has a laundering method that insures that bedbugs do not survive the process, we use special soaps and high temperatures in the washing and drying cycles to accomplish this task.

OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE

BedBug911 has been serving NYC with the best bed bug treatment for over two decades. Our bed bug exterminators have the experience necessary to develop a comprehensive solution to get rid of bed bugs fast - and make sure they're gone!

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