Just when you thought you had rid your home of common pests such as cockroaches, rats or mosquitoes, there is a smaller, yet more annoying, kind of insect that may have also infested your household.
This insect is known as a bedbug, and it breeds mostly within the confines of the bedroom. However, they can also be found in other parts of the home such as living rooms and closets.
They terrorize all types of homes and apartment complexes regardless of how clean the areas may be. They also infest motels, hotels, college dorm rooms, and other dwellings.
How Long Have They Been Around?
They have caused problems for humans for thousands of years. As time passed by, humans could not bear the annoyance they encountered with these small insects and they tried many ways to control and exterminate the pests. Different methodologies were suggested such as the use of alcohol, oil, plants with microscopic hooks, woven baskets, pesticides and dust.
But no matter how hard you tried to contain the problem, they would always come back, even more so as the weather became warmer. This has been a dilemma until recent years, when more methods to get rid of them have emerged onto the market.
Have Bed Bug Problems?
Why the Resurgence in Populations?
A lot of people are wondering why they are suddenly making the news again and becoming a common problem for many households. It is unclear how exactly they appear in your homes; however, it is believed that frequent traveling, obtaining second-hand furniture from a different home, and a resistance to pesticides contribute to the resurgence of these species.
There are several reasons why they are once again growing in numbers. One reason is that they were not totally exterminated in the first place. In fact, the people with infestations had performed treatments in the past that never worked. Their method in the past to treat infestations was by throwing away any furniture that was infested with bugs or eggs.
The mistake here is that people just throw the furniture away, without killing any eggs that might hatch in the furniture and crawl back into the house.
Throwing out bug-infested furniture also results in community infestations, because people searching for free furniture on the side of the road may see a perfectly good couch and want to take it home with them. Because they are not aware of a pest problem that is lurking silently in the furniture, they will probably end up with bugs in their house too as soon as the eggs hatch.
Bugs Are Wittier Than We Think
Another reason why they are becoming a recurrent problem is that quite a few people who have them in the past have only treated certain parts of their house that they thought were infested.
The mistake here is that people underestimate their wits. These bugs hide in safe places where the extermination methods cannot reach them, and they move fast that they can easily scatter to a different part of the house where treatment is not being applied, therefore surviving the extermination process.
Though it seems like a never-ending battle to get rid of them, there is hope! This article will help you learn how to identify them, how to treat the bites, and how to battle and prevent the spread inside your home and outside of your home with modern methods that have been proven to be successful.
What Do They Look Like?
They are small, oval-shaped, wingless, six-legged parasitic insects related to aphids. Their body is crinkled and it looks like an accordion.
The common bedbug that has been identified as the bug that bites humans is the Cimex lectularius. Sometimes they can be mistaken to be fleas or tiny cockroaches, but unlike fleas, they do not jump and they are fast walkers.
They are bloodsuckers and they feed on both animals and humans alike, thriving off the host?s blood and they prefer to stay in places where their prey sleeps or rests. Unlike body lice, they do not want to be disturbed and they don?t cling to their host for a long time.
Mature bugs are mahogany in color and they have a distinct unpleasant odor that is caused by the oil they carry in their body. Their body sizes may vary. Some can be as small as a poppy seed, while others may be as big as apple seeds when they mature. Males can be distinguished by a sharp ended abdomen, while the female bug can be identified with a round ended abdomen.
The adult grow up to 5mm long. They start out with a flat oval shape, but after dining on a bloody meal, their bodies become red due to consumption of blood and their shape looks more like small footballs.
How Do They Breed?
Warm and humid conditions support their breeding and survival. The life cycle from egg to adult can take four to five weeks. Cooler conditions haven been known to shorten the life cycle, but then again, some of these insects may adapt to the cold temperature to survive even longer.
Breeding is a harsh process for the female. The male slashes or pierces the abdomen of the female to inject his sperm. Fertilization occurs at the ovaries of the female and after the introduction of the sperm, the female leaves the scene to avoid further injuries. This process is called traumatic insemination.
Males will also attempt to mate with other male and slash the abdomen to inject its sperm. They cannot distinguish males from females because they only base attraction on body size. Males ward off other males that are trying to pierce their abdomen by producing alarm pheromones.
How Do They Develop?
There are three stages of development: eggs, nymphs, and adults. The female lays three to five speck-like eggs a day, reaching an astonishing two hundred eggs during its lifetime. Without magnification, these tiny eggs are very difficult to identify.
A sticky residue enables the egg to adhere to surfaces, and the eggs will mature there undisturbed. The eggs are commonly “cemented” by this sticky residue on wood, paper, cardboard or fabric, and they sometimes look like a yellow white bean with a lid.
Eggs are laid in clusters and the females will stop laying the eggs after 11 days, or possibly more if they decide to rest and feed.
It takes six to ten days for the eggs to develop and when they hatch they produce one-millimeter nymphs. These nymphs resemble the adult, but they have lighter color. Nymphs, upon reaching maturity, molt or shed their skin around five times before becoming an adult. It begins to look for a victim to feed on as soon as it gets out of its egg.
The nymphs can survive up to 3 months without a meal and the adults can live from six to eleven months without feeding on blood. They are most active during the night and they prefer to hide close to their hosts during the day.
What are Some of the Most Common Sources?
Furniture that is made of fabric and wood are most likely to be the breeding grounds for these bugs. This is why mattresses are the most common source. These parasitic organisms are so small that you can hardly see them with your naked eye.
They are also very good at hiding because they have adapted to squeezing themselves into crevices and spaces so that they will not be easily disturbed. Small dark spots are usual hiding places.
Because of their ability to get into cracks and crevices to hide from the pesticides or treatments, many problems are not completely eradicated during an extermination process. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly check in any cracks, holes, and crevices and apply treatments in other places as needed.
It seems to be the trend nowadays to buy secondhand furniture due to the rising costs of buying new furniture. However tempting buying used furniture may be, and even if you think they can still be repaired, you have to make sure that you inspect it very closely. Secondhand furniture may have hundreds of eggs and bugs that are waiting to find their next victim.
You could decide to choose to buy secondhand metal or plastic furniture, but if you really want that wooden or cushioned furniture, you should have it steamed thoroughly or sprayed with chemicals before moving the furniture into your house.
You can get them from just about anywhere. These small bugs are opportunists, and they patiently wait as long as they need to until a victim comes along that they can hitch a ride to their next destination where they can breed and feed. They can survive over a year while waiting for their next meal.
Students coming home from college may bring these insects with them. Airplanes, buses, and other public transportation methods are also not exempt from these insects. Even five-star hotels are not spared from infestations. If a person stays in a hotel, they may be unknowingly carried to the next destination on the person or their belongings.
They can be transported on many different items such as furniture, clothing, shoes, hats, and other belongings. Pets can also carry them on their fur and into your home. Animals such as bats, rodents, raccoons, or birds roosting on the roof of the house may also contribute to an infestation.
Moving to a New Home
If you are in the real estate market and looking to buy a home, it is important to know that houses that have been unoccupied for more than a year have a lower risk for the presence because they can only last about 18 months without feeding.
If the house that you?re thinking of buying has recently had people living in it that most likely did not properly take care of the home, you should consider fumigating the house just in case.
How Do You Know You Have Bedbugs?
Although there are no massive nests, you will know when you have them. These insects have aggregation pheromones and kairomones to help them communicate, congregate, breed, and stay in a small group. Sometimes you can see a large number of them during the middle of the night if you turn on the lights. They are kind of like cockroaches in the sense that once the lights turn on, they scatter.
If you have mysterious bites on your body after sleeping in your bed, or on a couch, this is probably due to bed bugs. Exposed areas of the skin are vulnerable to attacks.
What to Look For
The arms, legs, hands, face and neck are the most commonly observed parts of the body that are the favorite feeding spots of these pests. As soon as they hit the accessible capillary that they are looking for, they will bite you in groups of threes, and sometimes even more throughout their meal.
Itching, blisters, lesions, or pustule will be evident on the skin. A secondary infection to the skin due to the bites may be inevitable for the victim. In severe cases when the infestation in a household is too overwhelming, it may even cause the host to have anemia if he or she has been repeatedly attacked.
Groups of Three
Most bites come in threes. They are referred to as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These are bites that were made by a bug who has been disturbed while drinking your blood.
As your body shifts, they get disturbed and move around one inch away from the first area that they were feeding on. If the body shifts again, they go through the same process, and that is why we can see bite marks in groups of threes.
Fear and Anxiety from Bites
Aside from having painful attacks and lesions, the victim may feel a lot of anxiety and fatigue, and may also experience financial and mental stress. People do not want to sleep on their bed through the night because they have a feeling that they are constantly being bitten.
The fear and anxiety may cause the person to have imaginary itches, and the anticipation of being bitten may be overwhelming for a host even if they have rid themselves of them. The only way for them to confirm that they have resolved their dilemma is when they are not bitten at all throughout the night.
How Do They Feed on Their Victims?
They feed by piercing the skin of their hosts with their elongated beaks. They inject anti-coagulants and analgesic into the area where they suck the blood out, making it painless and unnoticeable when they take their meal.
It takes around five to ten minutes for mature bugs to drink their victim?s blood, and the nymphs take a shorter period of time around 3 minutes.
The saliva produces an inflammatory reaction to the skin similar to mosquito bites, but the reactions to the bites may vary and the time that the bite stays on the body may last for several days. They can drink blood that weighs up to six times their own weight. They will look like walking blood drops when they are fully fed.
What are Some Ways to Treat Bites?
You will definitely see huge red spots on your body when you are bitten by bedbugs. Bites can cause itching, mild allergic reactions, rashes, and inflammations that are more irritable than mosquito bites and therefore, most people seek out ways to treat their bites so that they heal quickly.
To provide immediate relief to the area, you will need to combine baking soda and water to form into a thick paste to place it on the bite. Just allow it to dry in order to take away the pain and itching.
Before you do that, you will need to wash the affected area with soap and water first. Few victims let the baking soda paste stay for more than an hour, but it all depends on how severe the bites are.
After the application has done its job by providing you with relief, you will need to gently wash the area with water, and wipe it with a clean, dry cloth.
Taking antihistamines, applying steroid creams, calamine lotion, cortisone cream or using hydrocortisone cream can help calm allergic reactions and itching caused by bites.
You can also use over-the-counter medications such as any topical anesthetic containing pramoxine, or you can use Benadryl (dipehnhydramine) to block the antihistamines. For swelling, use naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
Another way to reduce swelling is to crush up an aspirin and mix it with water to form a paste to use on your inflamed area in order to bring the swelling down.
There is no need to be alarmed. They don?t carry any kind of disease that we know of. Typically bites will heal on their own in just a few days.
How Can You Check if You Have Them?
Small bumps or stains on fabric or wood may indicate that you have them. When you remove your bedding, you need to check the seams of the mattress. If you see skin shedding, empty or full egg cases, dark stains, and live bugs, it?s time to start thinking of ways to exterminate them.
Dark stains are the fecal matter or digested blood that they have left behind. Try to get some rubbing alcohol and scrub the dark stains away. If it bleeds out and produces a brownish color, it is a good indicator of their presence.
Inspecting the Bed
To inspect your home, the best place to start is your bed and then you can work your way outwards from there. Since the insects need to stay close to the host, they choose to settle somewhere near their food supply which, in most cases, is the area that you sleep.
Inspect the linens, pillow cases, mattress seams, pillows, the bed frame, and the head board. They love wood because it has a lot of crevices and areas where they can hide, and they do not move around much.
The box spring for your bed is a likely congregation point. There are a lot of cracks and crevices that they can use to hide and breed. Even plastic covered box springs are vulnerable and it is wise to check the stapled areas where the fabric is connected to or in other places where holes exist in the plastic.
After inspecting your bed, check the cabinets or drawers beside it. Take the drawers out, turn them upside down, and check if there are bugs inside and under it. Table frames, bedroom furniture, the television, remote controls, clocks, paintings, any other possible hiding places you can think of must also be thoroughly inspected. If the room is carpeted, look along the edges and check the base moldings. They can literally be anywhere.
Living room furniture does not escape infestation. Look closely at the sofa, its coverings, and its pillows. Be sure to check every space, even under the couch. Some can even land on books, toys, and other types of things.
What are the Basic Tools to Help Check for Bugs?
Simple & common inspection tools already located in most homes can help you determine if you have an infestation.
A flashlight will be needed to view dark areas that house lights cannot illuminate. Using a flashlight will make it easier to detect movement of these tiny creatures.
You will need a magnifying glass to view very small bugs that are hiding within the seams or crevices of your mattress, couch, or other area that is infested.
Tweezers are helpful to pick up bugs or eggs.
Container or Ziplock Bags
Having something to put the unwanted insects or eggs in is a good idea, so that they don?t just climb out of your garbage and back into your bed.
Knife or Thin Plastic Card
Something thin like a knife will be handy to insert in crevices and check the possibility of a bug infestation.
Use a screwdriver to remove wall sockets to see if they are hiding in there.
This will be helpful to flush out the bugs if ever they are found in hard-to-reach places.
Having a paint brush will make it easier to sweep away the insects into a container that you can dispose of.
What are Some Ways to Check for an Infestation?
Bed bugs are named as such because they are primarily found on beds. To check your beds for evidence, remove all bedding and mattress encasements until the mattress is the only thing that is left. The mattress is the most common place where they will hide.
Usually, mattresses also have box springs and wooden frames. These can be also breeding grounds so it is imperative that you look at them closely.
You may need to ask someone for assistance so that you can lift up your mattress to expose the whole underlying part. The darkness that the mattress and box spring provide is a perfect breeding spot and it could be teeming with bugs.
Most mattresses have creviced designs that seem to be deeper than the rest of the bed, so it is important to check these crevices for any bugs.
Don?t Forget Your Tools!
Because these bugs are extremely small, you might want to grab your tools from the list above. When inspecting a mattress or box spring, having a flashlight and a magnifying glass are handy tools for identifying them. It is of the utmost importance that you check all the crevices, seams, and edges of the mattress thoroughly for any eggs or live bugs.
It is also essential to check all furniture in your house as well, especially those made of wood, fabrics, and foams. If you notice any sign, it is important to be able to plan a total extermination immediately before the problem gets any worse.
What are Some Ways to Prevent Getting Bugs?
Education and Awareness
The growing instances of attacks are occurring more frequently around the world and the best way to stop this is to have the necessary knowledge of prevention. Education and public awareness must be supported by the community and the government.
Being involved in prevention and suppression starts at home and it must involve members of the community to assure a pest-free environment.
Cleanliness is a Non-Factor
There are many methods and techniques used by people and pest control professionals to prevent an infestation. Cleanliness is not even a factor for preventing or getting rid of bugs. In fact, they don?t care how dirty or how clean an environment is as long as there are people they can bite and suck their blood.
You might as well stop scrubbing your house from the walls to the floors. No matter how often you clean your house, they are able to survive.
The most practical ways to prevent infestations are not very hard to follow. Here are some simple tips:
- Do not pick up items such as furniture and mattresses that have been discarded on the curbs of streets. They may have been thrown away because of an infestation. Outdoor exposure will not only attract them, but it will also attract other insects such as roaches and fleas.
- Items that have been exposed to moisture also have the chance of growing bold and bacteria on them, which may cause health problems. Bringing these items into your home will have its consequences, whether it brings pests or a mold problem.
- Avoid buying used furniture, used mattresses, or any refurbished furniture from thrift shops, garage sales, secondhand furniture stores, and the like. Although these things will save you money from having to buy new things, it?s better to always stay on the safe side and prevent costly infestations to protect yourself and your family.
- Regular cleaning and vacuuming of furniture and mattresses is vital to decrease the possibility of an infestation. Throwing away all items that have bedbugs or eggs on them is not a sensible solution because you can actually save these items.
- For example, clothes or textiles can be heat-treated to kill eggs and bugs, and wooden furniture can be treated and washed to get rid of the eggs and bugs. And most furniture pieces can be fumigated to kill the bugs. In severe cases of an infestation, it is your option to throw them away.
What are Some Effective Ways to Exterminate Them?
In order to get rid of them, we must rely on the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that are founded on common-sense methods of treating pests. These principles are meant to prevent and eradicate pests without harming human health and the environment.
There are actually several methods on how to get rid of them. Some methods may be branded as very effective, but these critters are known to be extremely difficult to get rid of completely because they are very small and thin enough to hide in small cracks, crevices and holes. When they hide in tiny cracks, it is difficult to kill the entire infestation.
Bedbugs Can Detect Chemicals
When you hire an exterminator, they may use chemical pesticides in your home in order to get rid of them. These pesticides can last three or more months before they disappear and lose their effectiveness.
Since they can live for a year or more without getting a blood meal, they have the capability to starve themselves and wait until the chemicals lose their effectiveness. It makes you sit back in amazement at how bugs know to stay away from the chemicals.
Scientists are also surprised at how smart they are at avoiding extermination by avoiding chemicals. They can easily detect chemical agents, so they can change their routes of access to your flesh. They want your blood and will travel as far as they have to in order to get a fresh drink of blood.
Are Bugs Evolving to Resist Pesticides?
There is also news from entomologists that bugs are somewhat resistant to certain pesticides that they are exposed to and this is quite a discovery if these bugs are evolving right before our very own eyes to become resistant to pesticides.
Scientists are conducting research studies to determine if bugs are really mutating into a super pesticide-resistant bug. If this is true, that will mean that we will need to find different methods or eradicating them if the methods that we are using won?t work on them anymore. So far, the studies are still being worked on and the results are quite limited at this time.
Some of the common-sense treatment methods include do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments and hired professional treatments.
Powder is an environmentally safe and natural substance that kills bedbugs. It is harmless to humans and pets, and it is similar to talcum powder. But to bedbugs, these are tiny razor blades. The powder is made of diatomaceous earth, or Kieselguhr. It is recommended to apply it around each bedpost, and in seams and crevices of the mattress.
The diatomaceous earth comes from tiny sea algae that have been fossilized for millions of years. These tony sea fossils are nearly as strong as a diamond, and each microscopic piece has been crushed into even tinier pieces.
When you look at this under a microscope, the diatomaceous earth looks like a type of cylindrical Chex cereal that is broken into sharp shards. These sharp microscopic pieces land on the insects and cause lesions on their exoskeletons, which will eventually cause them to die of dehydration within a day or two.
After a week, it is best to vacuum up all of the powder and then reapply with another round of powder. And just to be on the safe side, you should repeat this process again within a month just to be sure that you?ve gotten rid of the bugs that were hiding in their tiny cracks and finally decided to come out to look for a blood meal.
Powder is even a more effective remedy than common liquid sprays because it doesn?t dry up after few hours of application like liquid does. Bedbug powder usually costs between $6 and $15 per 8-ounce bottle.
Mattress and Box Spring Encasements
Special bed encasements such as mattress covers, box spring covers, and pillow covers are offered by companies that will prevent them from setting up camp in your bedding. They assure the consumer that once the mattress has been sealed, the bed is 100% safe.
Access to go in and out of the seams and crevices is put to a halt, and any insect caught within the encasement will die in time because they will not have food to keep themselves alive.
These mattress covers and pillow cases are similar to most other kinds of bedding. They are comfortable, soft, and washable. There is no special way to wash these bed protectors. In fact, you can just do your normal laundry and linen changing routines like you did before. You do not have to worry if the sheets were dipped into any chemicals that might harm your health.
The only difference between these protection covers and regular mattress covers is that the fibers in the protective covers are so closely intact that it completely encases the mattress and the pillows, thus, making it hard for them to pass through the fibers.
Effectiveness of Encasements
So far, there has been a lot of positive feedback with regards to its effectiveness. You should also keep your bed as far away from the wall as possible in order to prevent bugs that are in the walls from reaching the bed mattress and pillows.
It is important for people to know that these bed covers and pillow cases do not get rid of them immediately. As mentioned earlier, they have the capability to go for more than a year without blood.
Due to the hunger strikes of up to a year, it is recommended to leave the mattress covers wrapped around the mattress for well over a year. This will cause the them to be trapped. Eventually these bed covers will be able to get rid of them completely and thoroughly by sealing them in the mattress until they die of starvation.
By covering your mattress with these protective covers, you prevent the them from reaching you or anyone who lies down on the bed.
These products may be quite expensive, but they are worth the full investment. It costs about $50 for a box spring encasement and $80 for a mattress encasement. Not being bitten every time you close your eyes, and getting rid of them altogether are reasons enough to shell out the extra bucks.
An encasement is even an easier and less harmful method of getting rid of infestations compared to using chemical extermination techniques. Besides, mattress covers cost less than a new mattress.
Traps can also be used, serving as as lure or bait & once they have entered the bit, they will be sprayed. The traps usually cost around $20-$50 per unit.
Insect Growth Regulators
The growth of bedbugs must also be regulated to ensure that they will not be able to multiply. This can be done by killing or drying the eggs before they have even reached their maturity. A 16-ounce insect growth regulator usually costs around $20.
If the home treatments that you have tried in your home do seem to work, you will need to call a professional exterminator to eradicate these pests. It is easy to look for these companies as they are found online and in the Yellow Pages of your phone book.
What to Expect For an Inspection
When you have chosen an exterminator, they will advise you to pile your furniture together and remove light switch plates as these are breeding grounds for bedbugs. Wood cracks and wall crevices are also possible areas where these bugs hide. You will also need to toss your mattresses to find these insects.
You also need to strip off your beddings from the mattresses as these may contain bugs. Your clothes may possibly be infested with bugs, so you also need to wash these with water at a very high temperature and let it dry underneath a blistering sun.
Once done, exterminators will try to extinguish these pests with chemicals or other treatments such as steamers, freezing, heating, and chemicals in every corner of the house. They may even come back for more visits to ensure that no bugs have survived from the treatment.
Cost to Hire an Exterminator
If you are hiring the services of professional exterminators, you must expect to pay around $250-$2,000 or more for their service. The cost will depend on the extent of infestation.
Professional exterminators often use steamers when killing them because they are safe for our health since the steamer contains only hot water. It does not contain any chemicals, yet it has the capability to kill them because of the high temperature.
Steamers can reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit and they cannot survive in this heat. In fact, with temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit, they already begin to dry out.
However, when using a steamer, ensure that you are wearing a respirator to prevent any discomfort brought about by the vaporized chemicals when they are steamed. Also, electrical outlets must be covered and not be steamed.
A steam cleaning method is offered by exterminators around $300 for a treatment. You can use the steam method with insecticidal dust to get into the places that the steam could not reach for a more effective solution.
Freezing is the newest and most effective treatment to kill bugs. This is a non-toxic pest control treatment that has been extensively used in Europe and Australia, and it was first introduced to America by a pest control company. It is a method to kill pesticide-resistant bugs and other pests through rapid freezing.
A cryonite machine will spray CO2 snow at -110 degrees Fahrenheit, which leaves no gummy or wet residues. Professional exterminators usually leave the infested place in a cold frozen temperature for at least two weeks. These are not poisonous substances. However, the exterminator must be careful enough so he does not freeze the electronic items found in the house, or he might get electrocuted.
Exterminators also use heating process. The residential dryer is highly effective, and it must be turned on to its highest heat setting for 15 minutes in the infested area.
Once that is complete, you should seal the item for 24 hours and it should not be sent to Laundromats to prevent further infestation. A heating system can cost $800 to $2,000 per unit.
You may want to use insecticides to kill bedbugs. Isopropyl rubbing alcohol can be one chemical to kill the bugs when mixed with water. Or you may want to use other insecticides that come in a dust or spray form such as the propoxur, permethrin, cyfluthrin, chlorpyrifos, resmethrin, and fencalerate.
Some people choose to use hydroprene, though it takes more time to eradicate the bugs as it sterilizes adult bugs. Insecticides are effective in killing them; however, some bugs have become resistant to insecticides and pesticides.
A gallon of pesticides usually costs around $40-$70 depending on the type of pesticide that you purchase.
Some insecticides can be used such as dichlorvos, malathion or pyretheroids, but they are limited in efficacy depending on the bug?s chemical tolerance.
Pyrethroids are man-made pesticides that have similar effects as pythrethrum, which are natural pesticides produced by chrysanthemums. They help kill insects and exposure to this chemical does not pose a threat to human health.
Some pyrethroids are also used to treat lice and are used for repellants for other insects, and can be applied to clothes.
Dichlorvos comes in an aerosol or concentrated form. It is used to protect crops from pests, kill bedbugs, and it is also used in pet collars to help eliminate bug infestation. When consumed by insects, it acts as poison in the stomach.
Malathion is primarily used to kill insects that damage fruits and vegetables. But it is also a pesticide for parasites, bed bugs, flies, mosquitoes and lice.
Contact a Professional for the Most Effective Treatment
Now you have a better idea of what they are, where they come from, how to prevent them, and how to treat bites. But most importantly, you know how to get rid of them. Overall, the best way to eradicate them is to call a professional exterminator. They have many years of experience and are the most knowledgeable experts that can help you with your pest problem.