As one of the most commonly misidentified pests, it’s not unusual for homeowners to mistake bed bugs for carpet beetles or even adolescent cockroaches. But, with small, flat, oval-shaped bodies that don’t grow bigger than an apple seed and reddish-brown coloring, bed bugs have a more distinct appearance than you might assume. As far as pests go, these critters often get referred to as “parasitical hitchhikers,” and for good reason. Not only do they rely on humans for travel, but their favorite meal is human blood.
Unfortunately, bed bugs can be a problem for Phoenix homeowners. Here’s what you should know about the health concerns that come with these pests, how hard they are to control once you have them, and what to do at the first sign of a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Health Concerns In Phoenix, AZ
While bed bugs do bite, but they’re not known to transmit diseases as cockroaches do. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t without health concerns. From insomnia to secondary infections, bed bug infestations are detrimental to your health:
Secondary infections: While they don’t directly cause infections, the itchy, red welts left by bed bugs can develop secondary skin infections from repeated scratching. Common infections include ecthyma, lymphangitis, and impetigo.
Insomnia: Once homeowners become aware that they’ve got bed bugs living in their home and that they’re being bitten during sleep, many people start to develop insomnia. It’s often difficult to get a good night’s sleep when you know bed bugs are waiting to feast on your blood, which can lead to anxiety.
Allergies: Although it’s common for people to have mild allergic reactions to bed bugs, a small percentage of people can have severe, whole-body reactions to bed bug bites.
Anemia: While this is uncommon, bed bug infestations that grow large enough and go untreated for long enough can cause symptoms of anemia in the people they’re biting.
Even if they don’t directly transmit disease, the health concerns of a bed bug problem are still dangerous. Having an infestation in your home can mean waking up covered in bug bites, battling insomnia, or even developing anemia if it’s left untreated for long periods of time.
How Hard Are Bed Bugs To Control In Phoenix, AZ?
With some pests, like cockroaches, rodents, or even ants, these critters may end up in your home because leftover food or excess moisture has attracted them. Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t attracted to your home like most pests, making them significantly harder to prevent.
As mentioned, bed bugs get around by hitchhiking, and they’re not picky about the homes they infest. Unsanitary, grimy homes are just as likely to have a bed bug problem as immaculate ones.
Many people get bed bugs because they’ve traveled to a place where there’s already an existing bed bug infestation – like hotel rooms, airports, or even a friend’s house. These parasites latch onto your luggage and personal belongings and then hop off once you’ve brought them inside your home.
Once they’re inside, getting rid of bed bugs isn’t an easy feat either. These pests are small enough to remain unseen in the tiniest cracks and crevices. In the right conditions, they can even go without a blood meal for up to 400 days. Even if you use over-the-counter bed bug treatments, it’s almost impossible to kill every single bug and egg on your own.
What To Do If You’re Spotting Signs Of A Bed Bug Infestation In Phoenix, AZ
Finding dark stains on sheets and pillowcases, waking up to itchy, red welts on your body, or even finding discarded skins, are all signs of a bed bug problem. While your first instinct may be to try and eradicate these critters on your own, over-the-counter treatments are rarely effective – and only give the infestation more time to grow and reproduce.
With a stubborn pest like bed bugs, it’s best to leave the job up to the professionals – like those of us at Green Home Pest Control. With thirty years of service under our belts, we’ve been eliminating bed bugs from Phoenix homes for decades. If you’re noticing the signs listed above or even spotting live bed bugs, there’s no time to waste. Call us at Green Home Pest Control today for a free estimate or to schedule an inspection of your home.