Above you will see pictures of what bed bugs look like, but do you know how to identify one hidden away in your home or personal belongings? As their name implies, bed bugs are commonly associated with areas where we sleep or relax. Bed bugs are not just in beds and can be found in dressers, chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, in folds of draperies, clocks, phones, shoes, cracks and crevices, under carpet tacks, around baseboards, picture frames, under the bed, in books, door hinges, light fixtures, in wheelchairs and in or under any clutter or objects near a bed or lounging area.
You must be extremely thorough during the inspection process and be sure not to rush through. BE CAREFUL NOT TO REMOVE anything from the premise you are inspecting. If anything is removed, it must be bagged and sealed correctly. During inspection avoid sitting, leaning or placing anything on beds or couches or chairs. Bed bugs may be in different stages during your investigation. Don’t be discouraged, in a short period you will be trained to look for sure telltale signs that improve your due diligence.
Tools that can make your search easier include a flashlight, a magnifying glass, a screwdriver (for disassembling items) and sealable plastics bags in several sizes.
Where to Search
Look on your bedspread, blanket, duvet, throw pillows (don’t forget teddy bears or any other stuffed animals or toys), or any other coverage you may have on your bed. Examine your sheets and pillowcases, too. Pull the bed out and away from the wall and remove the headboard. Carefully examine the headboard front and back for any signs of bed bugs.
MATTRESS AND BOX SPRINGS
Carefully examine the surfaces paying close attention to folds and depressions. Then move on to the piping (both upper and lower sides) around the edges of the mattress using the flashlight. If the mattress has buttons, examine them for any signs. Flip the mattress and examine the same on the other side. Sometimes they crawl into the mattress through grommets or tears and cuts.
Examine the box springs. On the back of the box spring is a fabric stapled in place that has to be removed. Bed bugs love to crawl inside the box spring between the staples. Carefully check for bed bugs where the material is folded under around the edges. Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the back material, then carefully examine the inside wood frame as well as outside using your flashlight.
Using the LED light and magnifying glass to look close in closets and dresser drawers, couches, loveseats, pullout beds, recliners and easy chairs, all other non-washable items, curtain, shutters and blinds, electrical items and outlets, animal bedding.
Don’t stop there; bed bugs can be found in nightstands, dressers, pictures on the wall, hanging lamps, bed trunks, bookcases, easy chairs, and clocks. You get the picture.
Once a person has to do a thorough inspection for bed bugs they soon realize that cleaning up clutter BEFORE you get bed bugs is the smart thing to do!
If you should discover bed bugs; plan on spending a lot of time doing laundry for all clothing and fabrics. You must be careful while transporting anything out from the infected room(s). Wash and dry these items on HOT and place them into sealed bags or sealed storage bins and set aside. Do not bring these back into the room you are treating. (You can use a garage, porch or basement). It isn’t necessary to wash all items. Items that are clean can be placed directly into a hot dryer for 40-55 minutes, bagged and set aside.
DON’T OVER PACK CLOTHING IN TUB OR DRYER – LOOSELY FIT SO ALL ITEMS GET HOT
In most cases, it is not necessary to dispose of furniture, before treatment. Depending on the size of the infestation, the condition, and age of the furniture, most infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. If you must discard anything, don’t do it without wrapping and marking it. In many cases, the money spent on replacing furniture might be better spent on professional treatment.
Whenever discarding items are sure to wrap, seal and mark items (Bed Bug Infested), before disposal. Someone’s trash is another’s treasure and can fall into the hands of someone who now brings bed bugs into their home spreading the infestation throughout the community.
ADDING NEW FURNITURE
If you decided to discard any furniture items and need replacement – do not replace anything until your treatment is 100% successful. You risk infesting your new furniture and having to start treatment all over again.
So you’re pretty sure you’ve got bed bugs? Why not kill those bugs yourself? Shop our DIY store or rent bed bug heaters from one of our certified bed bug heater rental professionals!
As you may be aware, bed bugs can affect anyone. Although they may not be picky insects, there are a few ways that you can prevent them from coming home with you. The experts at IBBRA have compiled the list below to help you prevent a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER!
Bed bugs are experts at hiding and finding them can present quite a challenge. Heavily cluttered dwellings create a million and one places for bed bugs to hide. If you have piles of boxes, newspapers, magazines, clothes, or just “stuff,” it’s time you clean it up. Doing this will make it easier to find them if you should ever get them.
BEDS AND LOUNGING AREAS
Change your bed linens regularly; check piping on mattresses and box springs for early signs. Vacuum couches, chairs and carpets regularly.
MAKING HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS
Take away as many possible harborages for bed bugs; Separations between baseboards, grout, seams of wallpaper, crown molding, door jams. Clear silicone fills these areas so bed bugs cannot enter. Consider replacing worn carpeting with tile; and because bed bugs travel along routes created by pipes, cables and electrical conduits, seal any openings where pipes, wires or other utilities come into your home.
BEST FURNITURE DESIGNS FOR BED BUGS
Consider modern clean-lined furniture which is less hospitable to bed bugs. The smoother and harder the furniture, the less likely that a bed bug would find a place to hide. Take into consideration the ease of decontamination should you get bed bugs. Would the finish stand up to treatments like hot steaming or scrubbing? Can cushions be removed or put through the dryer? This step is especially important for the hospitality industry.
MISCELLANEOUS PREVENTION POINTERS
- Avoid shopping at thrift stores, pawn shops, and Craig’s list. Be mindful of anything borrowed or given to you or discarded furniture or mattresses found at the curbside. Any of these items should be thoroughly inspected for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
- Use a large plastic self-locking bag to contain items like computer bags, purses, jackets, backpacks, and lunch boxes when transporting them back and forth from work, school or places visited.
- Be sure to inspect all items a visitor may bring into your home or workplace. These include any out of town guest, maintenance and service people, delivery people, salesman, and social workers.
Need help getting rid of bed bugs? Contact one of our certified providers today!
Staying in The Bed Bug Game Long Enough to Succeed
Staying in The Bed Bug Game Long Enough to Succeed takes a well-planned out strategy.
People attempt bed bug removals using anything they can get their hands on.
After months of spraying, copious amounts of DE dusting, taping, CO2 traps, monitors, essential oils and throwing things out, they finally give up.
They’ve tried it all.
Unfortunately, by this time, new breeding grounds have grown and they’ve spread throughout their homes.
Insane failure rates!
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
But that’s what people do every day with bed bugs.
It’s common that people assume a simple spraying and dusting here and there will get rid of bed bugs, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Throw it All Away and Add it Up
What’s really sad, is tossing perfectly good furniture and items thinking they are getting rid of the problem with it.
I spoke to a young father yesterday who is working just to keep food on the table for his family; who out of sheer failure and frustration tossed all their beds and living room furniture.
He was almost in tears because he can’t financially replace any of those items and his family is now sleeping on the floor.
Because of limited funds, he had gone online and read about a bed bug spray and diatomaceous earth (DE).
For months, he reapplied the spray creating layers upon layers of toxins throughout his home and had piles of DE everywhere!
Each week he would find more bed bugs in different rooms until every room has signs of them.
It was then, out of sheer desperation he threw all their furniture out.
When the difficulty level of bed bugs becomes higher than expected, we tend to want to throw in the towel.
And guess what?
He is still dealing with bed bugs even after copious amounts of bed bug sprays and dusts.
What did he do wrong?
Do Your Homework and Make a Plan First
Suppose you were taking a road trip.
You wouldn’t just jump in the car and take off without knowing where you’re going or how to get there, would you?
Same thing goes for bed bugs.
You need a plan of attack.
Not just any plan, a plan that works.
Take a couple of hours to learn about the nature of this bug your ready to conquer.
Understanding your risks and where they hide will be the best thing you can do up front.
Set Yourself Some Clear Expectations
Whatever the reason you insist on doing this yourself, (money, principals, ego, whatever), you’d better figure out what you are willing to do and how long you are willing to do it for.
Because you might find yourself down a worm hole in a short time.
For those who can’t weather the storm, you’re better off leaving it to a professional upfront.
By reading articles online, you may not think this could be easy, but you certainly don’t know it can be extremely difficult if you don’t have facts.
You first need to evaluate the extent of bed bugs residing in your dwelling, how long they’ve been around and if you are subject to high risk situations.
Most Vulnerable Dwellings
Most at risk and vulnerable to bed bug infestations spreading are multi-unit properties and you may be reaping the bed bug freebies of someone else’s problems that shares a wall with you.
An occupant/renter should contact their landlord or property manager as soon as a bed bugs are suspected.
Bed bug infestations don’t just happen overnight.
Of course, unless you brought an infested item into your dwelling.
But normally, they take months to build.
Depending on the size of the infestation, when the amount of bed bugs exceeds available blood meals, they will travel to adjoining areas in search of blood.
This is especially true if a person that occupies an infested unit moves.
They begin to forage for a blood meal.
Early stage introductions of bed bugs are small and relatively simple to eliminate.
But as bed bug populations increase, the spread and control become more labor intensive, complex and more expensive.
Treatment in one unit with infested surrounding units will be fruitless in the long run as the bed bugs travel between the wall voids.
So, it is important that you speak to those in units around you and the landlord or property manager for complete organized elimination.
A popular problem today is landlords that either want to do it themselves or ask their renter not to talk to anyone else about it.
This is ridicules.
Hiding the fact that bed bugs are present (in life), is the number one BIGGEST mistake landlords do.
STOP HIDING and talk about them.
Educate your tenants, put policies and procedures in place, inspect on a regular basis.
Get them to come to you should they suspect a problem so you can handle it quickly.
This will help to avoid structure “infestations” in your building.
Reality Check – What Happens
Many times, landlords will treat only the one unit while hiding the fact that there are bed bugs in the building to other tenants.
The big problem here is that they just might be coming in from an adjacent unit and will be back in a short time.
Then, they BLAME the tenant which unit they just had treated if they should complain again.
And in essence they never really got rid of them to begin with, they just knocked them down in the unit and drove them into the walls.
Another problem is, they don’t want to pay for a complete inspection of surrounding units.
This next one is the biggie!
Attempting to hold tenants financially responsible.
Before long, the word will get out and tenants will not tell you they have them.
When doing so, a common reaction of the tenant is to run to their local store or online to find something so they can eliminate them.
Now they spread to surrounding units faster.
So, if you’re planning on doing any of these things, you might want to figure out how to stay in the game long enough to get rid of your problem.
The IBBRA has been helping property owners and managers for years combat bed bugs without stress and extreme spreading.
Reach out to any of our service providers by putting your zip code into our service map on our site at www.ibbra.org
They will show you a way you can combat your bed bug problems without draining your ROI and keep your buildings safe from infestations!
Photo Courtesy of Agnieszka Boeske
Are you a Hero or a Victim of Bed Bugs?
The Story of Bed Bugs Is Being Written as We Speak.
A bug that was once was remiss of our times, has come back with a vengeance.
People are finally beginning to realize that they are not immune to bed bugs.
Who gets to write the story?
Do you want to remain a bed bug victim or be your own hero?
The choice is up to you.
Our job is to communicate the truth about bed bugs in a way that makes sense to people.
Communicate in a way that resonates with you and to help you find solutions that work for them.
That means listening to your “story” and asking lots of questions.
Sometimes, it’s many months before you will reach out for help.
By this time, bed bugs have spread into most rooms of your house or apartment.
Now, you feel defeated, tired and don’t have the energy to do anything.
It Doesn’t Need to Be That Hard
We all know that finding bed bugs early on will lead to a much higher success rate, faster.
But, when you go it alone and try anything you find on the market, bed bugs silently take over.
Eliminating bed bugs is a well thought out strategy.
Experience Does Matter
If you get the ego out, most people don’t know it all.
If you don’t ask enough valid questions, sometimes you’ll never know what’s really going on.
Uneducated landlords are still treating single units while ignoring surrounding units.
Or, they are going online and buying a pesticide and doing it themselves.
We have operators who are discovering something new about the bed bug with each service they do.
Each environment has different levels of infestations.
Things that make a difference is furniture designs, building restrictions, the amount of clutter and more.
And with each environment, things change.
Bed Bugs Have an Agenda
With about 7 billion people worldwide, bed bugs don’t care where you’re from.
- They will take a plane ride with you, ride in your car, or jump a bus with you.
- You can have a bed bug traveler with you anytime of the day or night.
- They’ll even go to school or work with you no matter how boring your job is.
- These bugs don’t care if you clean or pick up around your house or live in a tent.
- They don’t mind of you are a male or female, a child, adult or senior.
- Bed bugs are not prone to any particular race, creed or color.
- They’ll bite whether you have thin or thick skin.
- A bed bug can find you across the room, down the hall or behind a wall.
- Not very social nor do they hang out.
Their only need is our blood.
Human Bed Bug Tolerance
Affording a professional isn’t an option for many people.
With limited funds, people can only buy dusts and sprays and bombs.
Some people will do a little bit here and there in order to knock down levels, but never go at it enough to get rid of them.
A few months later they are looking for a magic solution.
Those who listen and do what is required, get rid of them.
And then those who don’t, wind up with bed bugs for a long time.
It’s takes thoroughness, focus and repeated treatments for a do-it-yourself method.
Be Your Own Hero
We’ve been helping people with low incomes get rid of bed bugs for many years.
There isn’t a secret, but there are certain processes that need attentiveness.
You can’t stop until every last bed bug is gone!
Read step by step instructions “How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”
Those who follow the Instructions and do what is required, get rid of them.
And then those who don’t, wind up with bed bugs for a long time.
It’s takes thoroughness and focus and repeated treatments if you are using a do-it-yourself method.
We’re always here to help! 888-966-2332 www.ibbra.org
A Minefield of Bed Bug Misinformation
Photo courtesy of Warren Wong
We’re twenty years post bed bugs resurgence.
Yet the amount of large infestations is increasing.
Bed bugs have become a fast-growing segment of the professional and over-the-counter pest control industry.
And we’re living the consequences of a minefield of bed bug misinformation.
We’re just not getting rid of bed bugs early enough to save from massive infestations building.
Bed Bug Stakes are High
There are certain things that have a significant impact on all living human beings.
Bed bugs are one of them.
We have over 7 billion people worldwide.
These hitchhikers only survival is blood and every one of us are at risk.
After twenty years of their existence, so many people still have no clue bed bugs exist.
Or, that they were somehow immune.
Even the economically challenged have cell phones and televisions.
And since bed bugs have made the news over again throughout the years.
It makes me wonder where they’ve been for the past twenty years.
Some of the stories I hear are so off that I am at a loss for words.
With such ignorance, we are looking at another twenty years of learning and education.
Separating Fact from Fiction
Based on calls we receive these are common bed bug questions and statements.
#1. I recently brought bed bugs home from a vacation and was told I have to throw all my furniture out.
This depends upon the extent of the infestation and condition of the furniture. Unless the furniture is old, broken and totally infested, there is no need to arbitrarily throw it out. There are ways to treat furniture including steaming, dusts, fumigation and heat.
#2. Bed bugs will jump on you, crawl in your hair, and cling to your skin.
First, bed bugs do not jump or fly. The likelihood of bed bugs being in your hair is slim and here’s why: Bed bugs are flattened dorsally like a flat disk. They also have two cat-like claws on the end of their legs which make it hard to navigate through hair. (exceptions would be tight curled hair or dreadlocks that they may get caught in). Same goes for dogs and cats.
#3. They only come out at night.
So not true. It’s just that the majority of people make themselves available for bed bugs in the wee hours of the night and early mornings. Suppose you work from 10 pm to 6 am in the morning and sleep during the day. The bed bug will adjust their life to yours. All they want is a blood meal. So, it doesn’t matter what time it is.
#4. Spraying my body with Raid, Hotshot or essential oils will keep them from biting me.
Sorry folks, this isn’t proven and pest products are poisons. Remember your skin will absorb those toxins! Even certain essential oils need to be applied using a carrier oil. Please be kind to yourself.
#5. But it says for bed bugs on the label why wouldn’t it work?
This is so very common. When people attempt do-it-yourself, they scan shelves in their local stores for anything with bed bugs on the label.
I always tell people, “If you can see a bed bug, you can kill a bed bug”. Your thumb can squish them or dirty dishwater can drown them. The problem is they are cryptic in nature and are difficult to find.
Aside from resistance issues, most of these are “contact kill” and you need to use these products as stated in the directions, directly sprayed on the bug.
#6. Sticky traps and monitors will detect whether or not you have bed bugs.
Sorry again, this is another misnomer. There are no proven products to detect low levels yet. The best monitor is you! Regular inspections of your beds and other resting places is better. Change sheets weekly, check piping and seams. Flip your mattress, vacuum box springs, steam frames and examine often.
It’s been known that people who spray pesticides or ignore them for great periods cause bed bugs to take up residence in ceilings. Bed bugs have been known to crawl across ceilings and drop down on beds.
Aside from people’s lack of knowledge, chemical resistance issues are increasing.
On a plane ride, in a matter of hours, a resistant strain from New York can make it to California.
The offspring of these resistant strains are not affected by chemical pesticides.
And, chemicals don’t kill the egg stage so more chemicals are used.
And so on, and so on.
Meanwhile, they keep spreading throughout whole neighborhoods.
Ranking as one of the largest problems is affordability for professional pest control.
From our last two years demographics, over 63% of the nation cannot afford a professional.
These people scan the internet or visit their local hardware store for a solution.
Without proper understanding and training, people overuse and misuse these chemicals.
Thus, causing yet more resistance issues and toxic environments.
It’s a catch 22.
The Deck’s Stacked Against Us
Whether we like it or not, the deck’s stacked against us.
Bed bugs will continue to infiltrate for many years to come.
We all need to do regular inspections for bed bugs.
Read “ How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”, to learn what does and doesn’t work before you attempt any treatment for bed bugs.
Your bed bug problem might be bigger than you think!
Learn if you can do-it-yourself or if you need a professional.
It Isn’t Your Fault – But Time is of The Essence
Know that it’s not your fault, but it’s still your responsibility to avoid bringing them into your homes.
The International Bed Bug Resource Authority has been a trusted resource for close to a decade.
We are here to help you understand what you are up against and direct you to powerful solutions as well as trusted professionals.
What Products Can You Trust?
In this minefield of bed bug misinformation, navigating the product world can be quite a challenge.
Do your homework!
Some products only work under controlled conditions in labs.
Remember, just because it worked under controlled conditions that don’t mean it is going to work in the real world.
Some companies downright lie about the effectiveness of their products.
With bold promises and savvy advertising they suggest that if you buy their stuff, you can get rid of bed bugs.
Through fear, they know exactly how to press your buy buttons.
Don’t lose your precious time following methods and ideas who will never work.
If you want to stay on top of the latest research and know what works and what doesn’t, reach out to us with a phone call or visit our site at www.ibbra.org
Photo Courtesy of Nathan Dumlao
Are Bed Bug Proof Couch Encasements Worth the Investment?
Bed bugs can be found anywhere in a home; however, the most likely places bed bugs are found are in mattresses, box springs, bed frames and couches.
The living room or den is the place where families and friends congregate.
Since we spend so much time on our couches, a blood meal is always available for a bed bug.
Today, it’s not unlikely that bed bugs are often found in our couches.
And since bed bugs don’t want to travel too far to get a blood meal, they will stay in the couch until no one sits there and when hungry will search for a meal.
They smell the CO2 you breathe and come running.
That is how they get from the couch to the bed -or- from the bed to the couch.
Bed bugs will crawl to find you or cling to your clothes and “hitchhike” from room to room.
Throwing Away Furniture is Not the Answer!
One of the biggest regrets people have when finding bed bugs, is throwing their furniture away.
Especially when they don’t have an infestation but only a few bed bugs.
Replacement costs for a couch can range from $600 to $800 dollars or more!
And if you do replace it without getting rid of all bed bugs, it too will get re-infested in a short time.
So yes, investing in a bed bug proof couch encasement sure beats having to throw out expensive furniture!
Determine the Extent of Your Infestation
An introduction of a bed bug from a visitor or a recent trip is not an infestation.
But, if you don’t eliminate the bed bugs quickly, and correctly, in a few months you could have many.
Can bed bugs climb walls?
If your seeing bed bugs climbing walls in or around your couch, easy chair or bed, either you’ve been spraying a pesticide or you have something more serious going on.
Time is of the essence here.
If you live in a shared wall environment like apartment or condominium, check with your neighbors to see if they have something going on in their unit.
Bed bugs spread easily in these environments and if you suspect a bed bug infestation, a proper bed bug inspection must be done.
Call your landlord or a bed bug exterminator and find out what you’re dealing with first.
Don’t reach for a bed bug killer and take it on yourself.
Dealing with bed bugs can be like taking a trip without a map, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there!
Save from Throwing Out Furniture!
A lot of times, a pest control company will request that you throw out certain pieces of furniture.
Not always is this necessary, especially if you can’t afford to replace it.
So, let’s learn the difference between items that can potentially save your furniture from being tossed.
Couch Encasements – Bed Bug Couch Cover – Bed Bug Sofa Cover – Couch Slipcovers
What’s the difference?
Basically, they were all designed to serve the purpose of protection.
Whether you call it a sofa or couch, they are made to protect the fabric from spills, stains and a multitude of other things.
What Is A Couch, Sofa or Slipcover?
Couch Sofa SlipCover
These are covers that go over the couch and sides but end at the legs. 
The elastic on the bottom holds it in place.
They are easily taken off and replaced when they need to be washed.
NOT a good bed bug couch cover.
What Is A Bed Bug Couch Encasement?
A couch encasement is like furniture bags for bed bugs that encases and seals the whole couch so things can’t get in.
And in the case of bed bugs, they can’t get out.
What Does A Couch Encasement Do?
First, it protects your couch from allergens, micro toxins, dust mites, drink spills, food stains, bugs, diaper changes, dog and cat hair and other things.  Even ants!
It works much like bed bug bed covers  or a bed bug mattress cover  would.
Nothing can get in or on your furniture or on you.
- Provides instant relief against bed bug bite symptoms, adult bed bug bites and baby bed bugs!
- They lock in any existing allergens, bed bugs and bed bug eggs while preventing new infestations.
- Will keep furniture clean and protects against infestations if you store it.
- Takes away bed bug hiding and breeding areas by covering seams, cushions, piping, pillows and any crack or crevice.
- Saves you from throwing out your furniture providing financial relief for you.
- Since chemical resistance is now an issue and bed bug eggs may still remain, the bed bug sofa cover locks them in until they die.
Bed bugs can be extremely difficult and costly to remove from upholstered furniture, they are often suggested by a bed bug exterminator after a bed bug treatment.
When you have bed bugs, they are used to seal them in so they can’t get out and eventually die.
What Don’t They Do?
It doesn’t stop you from introducing bed bugs.
Anyone can get bed bugs at any time.
But if you notice a bed bug and are concerned you have more, it will lock them in and they will starve to death.
This helps so they don’t spread to other parts of the room or environment.
You Have Bed Bugs in Your Couch – What Now?
Grab yourself a Bed Bug & Allergen Blocking Sofa Encasement !
They are easy to install and bedbugs can’t get in or out!
To speed up the process: It’s not ABC pest control. You have to pay attention to what you are doing.
Getting to all those “hiding places” with spray chemicals is not healthy to even try.
Purchasing the book, “How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”  will walk you through each step of elimination the safe way.
If you have a more serious infestation and can’t afford a bed bug pest control company, you can place Nuvan Strips  inside the encasement to fumigate the bed bugs dead. (always follow manufacturer’s safety directions).
Or, you can use Cimexa  inside the frame under the couch and under cushions in the corners. When bed bugs crawl over the dust, it desiccates or dries them out within a short time.
Cimexa, used by many professionals, is also used in electrical outlets, baseboards and other cracks and crevices in furniture, window frames and carpet edges. It provides a protective barrier for any bug that may find its way into your home through wall voids, foundation openings or cracks in and around windows and door frames.
I hope this has helped you and even though we always recommend using a professional to eliminate bed bugs, but not always can people afford to do so.
So, we are here to help you do the best elimination without the risks of toxic chemicals. We say, “Leave the CHEMICALS to the Pros!”
I wish you the best in your bed bug endeavor and always know, you can reach out to us for any bedbug related questions, education, tips and suggestions. 888-966-2332