""Earlier this year, Houston was ranked as one of the worst cities for bed bugs. It should come as no surprise to the fourth-largest city in the nation though, because where there are people, there are bed bugs. Residents and business owners alike should be on the lookout for these pests and contact a pest specialist if they suspect an issue.

Here’s a little more information about the habits of bed bugs and how they are best eliminated.

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Signs of Bed Bugs

Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, making them visible to the naked eye. The most common place to find them is in and around beds, particularly on the mattress and box spring. Where that is often where an inspection starts, don’t forget furniture like couches, office chairs, and other places where people spend an extended period of time. Outside of adult bed bugs, look for cast skins, shed by growing adolescent bugs, and bed bug feces, which looks like black ink. Finally, some people will react to bed bug bites and get red welts on the skin. Bites alone should not raise concern about the presence of bed bugs, but it may be a contributing factor.

How do you get bed bugs?

Unfortunately, it’s not hard to get bed bugs. They are hitchhikers, so the more people and personal belongings that come in contact, the easier it is for bed bugs to crawl from one host to the next (also why they are more common in big cities). While most people think of hotels as the main threat for picking up bed bugs, they are also found in offices, stores, airplanes, homes and even gyms.

Are bed bugs dangerous?

While bed bugs can become a nuisance pest and populate rapidly, they are not known to transmit any diseases to people. However, their bite can cause various reactions. For some, the bite never seems to become obvious. Others may experience itching, red welts and swelling. For the most part, they are just a nuisance and can hurt a business’s reputation.

Bed Bug Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are many types of bed bug treatments that are both economical and effective. At Holder’s Pest Solutions, we use a variety of conventional treatments such as vacuuming, steaming, crack/crevice treatments and mattress encasements. One of the most effective bed bug removal methods that Holder’s offers is thermal radiation, or heat treatment, which subjects bed bugs to room temperatures above 135°F. Unlike conventional bed bug removal, heat treatment kills off eggs and nymphs in addition to adults, and can eliminate bed bugs in hard to reach areas.

Although you can get rid of bed bugs, there is very little you can do to prevent them from returning except for being aware of the risks. Make sure you are also diligent in inspecting hotel rooms while traveling, and luggage and other personal belongings before returning home. If you are need of bed bug control or an inspection visit, contact Holder’s or give us a call!