Get Rid of Bed Bugs!

First, How Do You Know You Have Bed Bugs?

Finding out you have bed bugs is a gradual realization and it can happen to anybody. Bed bugs do not discriminate! An infestation can occur anywhere from a student hostel to a 5 star resort. But because of the stigma, nobody wants to talk about them. The truth is anybody can be introduced to bed bugs anywhere and at any time. Bed Bugs are great hitchhikers and can easily be transported from one place to another. They have been known to hide in luggage, clothing, bedding, towels, furniture and many more places.

Adult and juvenile bed bugs with eggs and visible fecal spotting. | Bed Bugs hiding on a box spring.
Adult and juvenile bed bugs with eggs and visible fecal spotting (left), bed bugs hiding on a box spring (right).

If your home is infested with bed bugs, the odds are you will notice the bed bug bites before you notice the actual bugs. The bed bug bites can leave marks ranging from small red dots to large painful welts. Roughly 30% of the human population don’t actually suffer a skin reaction after being bitten. This makes the bed bug infestation all the more difficult to detect.

It is near impossible to identify bed bugs based on a skin reaction. Every person reacts slightly differently and many other insects cause a skin reaction. In addition, California state law requires a licensed technician to identify the insect before a bed bug treatment can be applied. Because of this, the first step in eradicating an infestation is to have a thorough inspection of your home.

Inspecting for Bed Bugs

Inspecting for bed bugs | a bed beg feeding | bed bugs on a coin.

There are two types of inspections to detect bed bugs: the visual inspection and a dog inspection.

  • The Visual Inspection – This inspection is when a licensed field representative inspects your home. The field representative is looking for live bugs, dead bugs, eggs, cast skin and fecal spotting. These are typically found around the mattress and couches. Depending on the level of infestation, a visual inspection may not detect active bed bugs. If nothing is found, our field representative will leave monitoring devices to assist in the detection.
  • The Dog Inspection – Just as dogs are used in other fields to detect drugs, explosives and electronics, pest management professionals now use dogs to detect bed bugs! A dog inspection has an accuracy rate of 98%. If there are bed bugs present, the dog will find them. While this method is faster and more accurate, the inspection costs is higher.
bed bug inspection dog
A trained dog inspector ready to get on the case.

Once the inspection has been performed and the infestation has been confirmed, the customer has a few options for treatment.

Treatment for Bed Bugs

Once the inspection has been performed and the infestation has been confirmed, the customer has a few options for treatment.

  • A Multi-Pronged Application – This treatment combines multiple strategies into one. Included in this treatment are a residual chemical application, dust application, heat and specially designed vacuums to remove and eliminate your bed bugs. This application is most effective when multiple rounds of treatment are applied.

    Omega technician removing bed bugs from a mattress with a special vacuum
    Omega technician removing bed bugs from a mattress with a special vacuum.
  • A Fumigation – This is the gold standard of bed bug control, and you’ve probably seen it in action. A fumigation treatment will completely eradicate your infestation. The process of fumigation includes prepping the content of your home, placing a tarp over the entire structure and injecting a fumigant under the tarp for a period of 4 days/3 nights. This means the homeowners will be displaced for that period of time.

    It is important to leave most of your of your belongings inside your home to reduce the risk of re-infestation after the treatment is complete. Also, because the fumigation requires covering the entire structure in a tarp, a home with shared walls typically can’t have it performed unless all tenants are involved.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

The multi-pronged treatment approach costs $375 per room. It is recommended to have a minimum of two treatments to properly control the bed bugs. Please note that some cities, like San Francisco, have local ordinances that require a minimum of three applications.

The cost of a fumigation depends on the size of the structure. The larger the structure the higher the cost. A house that is under 2,000 square feet typically costs between $1,800 - $3,000 to eradicate all of the bed bugs in your home. As a side benefit, this fumigation will also eradicate a wide variety of other insects which may be present.

Bed bugs and fecal spotting on skin.
Bed Bugs and fecal spotting on skin.

Strategies for Preventing Bed Bugs in the First Place

The best way to not get bed bugs is to not bring them home with you from elsewhere. Many infestations start after exposure in hotels, buses, trains, movie theatres and even in second hand furniture.

When traveling, you can always check the bed bug registry to see if your hotel is listed. If you decide to inspect your hotel room pay particular attention to the mattress, box spring and framing of the bed. You are trying to locate any live bugs, carcasses, or fecal spotting.

If you are staying in your accommodations for a limited time consider not unpacking. Using the hangers, luggage rack and dressers raises the likelihood of an infestation being transferred. Try keeping your luggage on a cool hard surface such as in the bathroom. These simple steps will reduce your risk of bringing bed bugs home substantially!

Omega, through our strong history of environmental stewardship and excellence in the pest management field, is one of only 3% of companies nationally that qualified as both QualityPro and GreenPro Certified. Being certified as QualityPro means the employees of Omega are held to a higher standard and are constantly on the cutting edge of the industry through training and education. Qualifying as GreenPro certified assures commercial and residential customers that Omega offers reduced risk, comprehensive, and effective pest control services with the environment in mind. With these certifications, customers can have the utmost confidence Omega will solve their pest problems in the most responsible manner. Click on our coupon below to take advantage of our special offer!

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Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do bed bugs have wings?

No, bed bugs do not have wings.

Do bed bugs have a smell?

Interestingly they do not have an odor humans can detect. However, our canine friends are able to detect the bed bugs based on the gases that emit from their bodies.

How do I know if a hotel has bed bugs?

That is a good question. A few years ago someone started a bed bug registry that allowed guest or patrons to enter information about bed bug experiences in hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts and even Airbnb locations. As one can image this resulted in many false reports or even lawsuits based on what was being reported. Travel advisor as well as Airbnb both address bed bugs in their reviews. It is always a good practice to inspect your hotel room as soon as you arrive. Click here for a more detailed explanation on how to inspect for bed bugs.

Do I have bed bug bites?

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation revolving around bed bug bites. It is near impossible to identify bed bugs based on a skin reaction. Every person reacts slightly differently and many other insects cause a skin reaction. In addition, California state law requires a licensed technician to identify the insect before a bed bug treatment can be applied. Because of this, the first step in eradicating an infestation is to have a thorough inspection of your home.

How much does it cost to fumigate for bed bugs?

Fumigation cost depend on the volume or cubic footage of your residence. A typical home under 2,000 square feet will cost in the range of $1,800-$3,000 to fumigate. We can provide a no charge estimate for fumigation with just some basic information.

Most of the time it is not necessary to fumigate for bed bugs. As an alternative to tarping your entire structure, you can apply a localized, multi-pronged treatment method that doesn’t displace the occupants for more than a few hours. This treatment method costs $375 per room. It is highly recommended that two rounds of treatments be applied to properly control the bed bugs.