With settlements dating back to the 18th century and serving as one of Baltimore’s many historic districts today, Canton is no stranger to pest infestations. It’s likely that all manner of diseases, rats and insects came ashore with the original colonists, and that includes bed bugs.
People all over the world have been battling bed bugs for millennia, but for decades, it seems that they had been eradicated in the United States. Then about ten years ago, all of a sudden, they were everywhere. Neighborhoods across the United States, including Canton, started reporting infestations and unfortunately, bed bugs are one of the toughest pests to get rid of.
True to their name, bed bugs typically nest in sheets and mattresses. They can also find their way to living in baseboards and furniture. These blood-sucking, nocturnal pests can infest any type of building from apartments or the row houses so common around Canton, to a single-family home or office building.
Most people don’t know that they have a bed bug problem until they have at least 100 of them crawling around. Female bedbugs reproduce quickly and the longer you wait, the more bites you’ll get. Cleaning or changing your mattress will not solve the problem because bed bugs can hide in the tiniest cracks and they can survive for more than a year without feeding.
How to Tell if You’re Dealing with Bed Bugs
- Check for bites. Nearly one-third of the population has no reaction to bed bug bites, but the rest of us will get inflamed, itchy bites, often in a row, that appear overnight. If you are waking up every morning with mosquito-like bites, you may have bed bugs instead.
- Spot the bugs. Take the linen off your bed and check the mattress seams for tiny black dots. If you see them, contact the Brody Brothers immediately and don’t try to get rid of the bugs yourself.
- Have Brody Brothers use third-party canine testing to check your home for bedbugs. With dogs specially trained to hone in on bed bugs, we can detect them quickly and minimize damage before an infestation gets out of hand.
The Start of the Problem
Unlike a lot of the other types of pest infestations we deal with, where your home is being invaded from the outside, people tend to unknowingly bring bed bugs into their homes themselves.
Their presence has nothing to do with how clean your home is – bed bugs are found in every state in the country and they do not discriminate based on income or cleanliness.
If you leave your home, or invite others into your home, there is a possibility that you could get bed bugs.
In Canton Row, bed bugs have even been known to travel in from the connecting walls of homes, between neighbors.
Because they are so tiny, fast moving and tend to only be active at night, people don’t notice them during the day when the bed bugs get into PJs or luggage after a hotel stay, or when you put your clothes on a chair in a store dressing room.
Bed bugs are also common in dorms, rental apartments, public transportation, movie theaters, hospitals, and in pre-owned furniture.
In positive news, contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not pass on diseases to people, so they are more of an itchy, uncomfortable nuisance than a real danger.
Our 6-Step Process to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
There may be products on the market that promise to provide a DIY fix for bed bugs, but take our advice: treatment for bed bugs should only be done by pest professionals. Once we confirm that one of our customers has a bed bug infestation, we spring into action:
- Prepare: We remove all clutter, launder and dry all washables on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
- Vacuum: We identify the location of live bugs and vacuum up as many as possible
- Treat: We treat all cracks and crevices, including the furniture
- Seal: We place bed bug-proof mattress and box spring encasements
- Repeat: We recommend two treatments to get bed bugs under control
- Secure our efforts: We treat deep in the walls with long-lasting products
Just Say “No” to Bugs
Looking for tips to avoid bed bugs in the first place?
- When staying at a hotel, hostel, dorm or rental apartment, inspect the bedding, mattress seams, nightstands, drawers and edges of the carpet before you unpack or use the bed. If you find evidence of bed bugs, request to be relocated far away from your current room.
- Upon returning from a trip, wash all the clothing in your suitcase. Vacuum the inside of the suitcase or place it in a plastic bag.
- Don’t buy used bedding or upholstered items.
- Reduce clutter to be able to spot bed bugs sooner and reduce their hiding spaces.
- If you do find you have bed bugs, avoid sleeping in a different room; this can actually cause the pests to spread farther in search of a new food source.
If you have mysterious bites or you find tiny black dots in your bed, call in the Brody Brothers. Once we go through our prescribed treatment, you’ll sleep tight again in no time.