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A few things you should know about bed bugs…

Bed bugs aren’t microscopic. You can see even the smallest ones with your naked eye, but you generally don’t, because…

Bed bugs hide from human activity. If you’re moving, they’re hiding. If you see one, there are a lot more.

Only a quarter of us even react to bed bug bites. You may not even know if you’ve been bitten.

The easiest way to identify bed bugs is from the signs they leave behind.

Check out our tips for differentiating bed bugs from other bugs here.

26 %
of samples submitted for identification are not bed bugs.

Don’t transfer your bed bugs with you.

Bed bugs are talented hitchhikers – in fact, that’s usually how they move around the world, attaching themselves to humans as they move from place to place.

It’s important, while you’re treating an infestation, to ensure you don’t bring them along if you flee to a friend’s spare bed or a hotel room.

Make sure you read our travel guide if you’ve had bed bugs and need to get away – and bring one of our TravelGuard Bite Barriers with you, just in case.

So you do have bed bugs. How do you get rid of them?

One of the reasons we started Bed Bug Advisor: there’s more than a few treatment options for bed bugs, all of which vary quite a bit in efficacy and cost. And that’s just the professional pest control treatments; don’t get us started on the DIY ones.

Check your email for our guide, as it should be there soon. We tested the three most-often used treatment options  – and wrote up our results. Knowing what treatment works best for your particular home and level of infestation is the most efficient way to ensure you win your fight against bed bugs in a cheap and timely manner.

You can learn more about the extermination options and what might be best suited for you here

Bed bugs can affect your mental health.

We’ve talked to a lot of bed bug victims. One long term effect they didn’t expect was something a lot like PTSD – a persistent fear that stays with them for months after the infestation was cleared up, trouble sleeping, and a constant anxiety.

It’s very common to feel like you’re getting phantom bites, or to have more trouble getting to sleep. Several victims we talked to felt like they needed to burn everything they owned (you don’t, but we understand the impulse) and you can end up feeling disoriented, unsafe, and paranoid.

Do I have bed bugs?
What do I do about it?

THE BED BUG ADVISER
CURRENT INFESTATION GUIDE

Think you might have bed bugs?

We’re here to help. Our guide for dealing with a current infestation will help you identify your pest, treat an infestation, and keep your health and sanity intact.

At The Bed Bug Adviser, our independent team of experts has tested every treatment option, read all the research, and interviewed academic experts to get you the best possible advice.

Fill in your email below to receive our guide and reveal even more helpful content on this page.

26 %
of people are not able to properly identify a bed bug based on samples submitted

Read our Bed Bug Home Prevention Guide to staying sane and healthy during the growing threat of bed bugs…

We will email you the guide and provide you with a more comprehensive approach on this very page!

Bed Bug Current Infestation Guide 3

How to tell (for sure) if you have bed bugs…

You might wake up with a suspicious, itchy set of bites; you might have caught a brief glimpse of something retreating into the darkness. Or you think you already know, and you’ve fled your bed and tried not to dream of bugs from your couch or hotel. (Hope you didn’t bring them with you!)

But are the bugs you saw really bed bugs? If you don’t have bites at all, or haven’t seen any bugs long enough to look closely, what evidence might tell you that your gut instinct is right?

It’s easy to mistake bed bugs – or bed bug bites – for a different pest.

Know your bed bug life cycle and rate of growth.

Before you set out to get rid of your bed bug guests, know that just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. Bed bugs can live anywhere between 12 and 16 months without a meal – these little vampires don’t need to eat your blood every day, and they’re so good at hiding it can be hard for even experts to spot them. And even worse, if they get access to regular meals they double in size every 10 days. 2 bugs can grow to over a thousand in just 100 days! Once you’ve seen definitive signs of bed bugs moving in, it’s time to find a treatment option.

We’re here to help. Our guide for dealing with a current infestation will help you identify your pest, treat an infestation, and keep your health and sanity intact.

At The Bed Bug Adviser, our independent team of experts has tested every treatment option, read all the research, and interviewed academic experts to get you the best possible advice.

Fill in your email below to receive our guide and reveal even more helpful content on this page.

You’re not alone.

Bed bugs don’t carry disease, but they are very good at getting to your mind. They love to hide in your bed, your safe space. Let me tell you, nothing is worse for a good night’s sleep than knowing there’s bed bugs about.

But that doesn’t mean it’s yours to handle alone. Bed bugs are notorious pests but you don’t have to let them take over your life. The bed bug adviser is here to help you get your life back to normalcy.

Let’s recap…

Don’t assume you have bed bugs. Make sure you know how to identify a bed bug – even if you don’t have bites and haven’t actually seen any bugs, you may still have them if you can spot the telltale signs.

Bed bugs are tough, resourceful parasites. They can live 12-16 months – and they’re experts at avoiding you and your attempts to eradicate them. Call a professional – but read our treatment guide which was emailed to you first.

Be careful if you’re traveling. Bed bugs are talented hitchhikers. If you’re going to a hotel, or a friend’s guest room, you can bring them with you without even realizing it. (We recommend bringing our TravelGuard Bite Barrier, just in case.)

Bed bugs often affect your mental health. Don’t underestimate your own health needs; take a few steps to protect yourself with our health recommendations.

We founded the Bed Bug Adviser to give bed bug victims with the best, most up-to-date information. If there’s a question we haven’t answered in this guide, please let us know below.

Until then, we hope this helps you sleep tight tonight.

Bed Bug Current Infestation Guide 3

The Bed Bug Home Prevention Guide is on its way! Check your email. For now enjoy these useful tidbits of information

You’re not alone. 

Bed bugs don’t carry disease, but they are very good at getting to your mind. They love to hide in your bed, your safe space. Let me tell you, nothing is worse for a good night’s sleep than knowing there’s bed bugs about.

How do you get bed bugs?

Most often, they hitch a ride on an unsuspecting human; that human might just have stayed in a hotel that had bed bugs, or might have them in their own home and not realize it. Contrary to popular myth, bed bugs aren’t just found in dirty cheap motels – a quick glance at bedbugregistry.org will show you just how widespread the problem is.

If you own a vacation rental and frequently rent it out on Airbnb or other sites, your risk is magnified. More guests = more risk, especially when they may be coming from a hotel or another vacation rental.

There’s a lot of myths about bed bugs that you should know. Read our guide to the most common ones we encountered during our research…

The best way to avoid bed bugs forever…

Bed bugs, true to their name, are most commonly found in or around beds. So naturally, home prevention starts with your bed. The EPA recommends that you use a mattress encasement (good) or a bite barrier (better) to ensure bed bugs don’t hide in your mattress.

But you should also look for other hiding places. Cracks, crevices, even clutter in your home can be a hiding place for bed bugs. Seal off as many small cracks and crevices as possible.

Should you use sprays or traps to kill your bed bugs?

Short answer: No.

Sprays are only effective if you can actually find the bugs, which is the real problem. Bed bugs are so good at hiding that sprays which kill on contact will only be able to get rid of, at most, 10% of an infestation. Not only that but many sprays – including rubbing alcohol – are actually really dangerous to humans.

Traps don’t present a danger, but they aren’t very effective. As traps get dirty over time with dust, pet hair, human hair, or whatever else may be in your bedroom, the bugs become able to overcome the traps. You’d have to clean them every day to make them even somewhat effective. And even then, there’s no guarantee of safety. Bed bugs can still transfer to your sleeping area by hitching a ride on your clothes, your pet, a pillow that fell off the side of the bed, or the comforter that touches the ground at night.

Protect your sleeping area first, and work outward. And don’t forget to protect your health – dealing with bed bugs can give you something akin to PTSD.

How to protect your bed…

For the best protection for your mattress and the people sleeping on it, try our HomeGuard Bite Barrier, designed to protect any size bed. Once it’s installed under your standard bed linens, it’s invisible – and easily machine washable, which will kill any bed bugs trapped inside.

It’s not just there to protect your mattress – it also keeps bed bugs from biting you.

You can see the rest of our recommended products here.

If you have had bed bugs, they can affect your mental health.

If you’ve already dealt with an infestation, you know this already.

At Bed Bug Adviser, victims tell us about PTSD-like symptoms all the time. Often, they’re surprised and embarrassed that a little bug can cause paranoia and make you feel unsafe.

It’s very common to feel like you’re getting phantom bites, or to have more trouble getting to sleep. Several victims we talked to felt like they needed to burn everything they owned (you don’t, but we understand the impulse) and you can end up feeling disoriented, unsafe, and paranoid.

Let’s recap…

It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bed bugs – especially if you’re the owner of a vacation rental or Airbnb. You don’t want your guests going through that.

Don’t use sprays or traps. They’re mostly ineffective and a waste of money.

Protect beds & guests with a mattress encasement or a bite barrier. We made the best bite barrier on the market, which will not only protect your mattress but also keep the bed’s occupants from getting bitten.

Bed bugs often affect your mental health. Don’t underestimate your own health needs; take a few steps to protect yourself with our health recommendations.

We founded the Bed Bug Adviser to provide the best, most up-to-date information about bed bug prevention and treatment. If there’s a question we haven’t answered in this guide, please let us know below.

Until then, we hope this helps you sleep tight tonight.

If you own and rent out an Airbnb or any vacation rental property, protecting your space is even more important. Check out our short term rental guide to protecting your investment http://www.bedbugadviser.org/short-term-rental-guide

Already been exposed to bed bugs?

Get free access to our Bed Bug Victim Guide to learn the best next steps.

“It would be weird for you not to be freaked out! If you have bed bugs, and if you don’t care, that’s not a normal reaction. You should be worried. I would consider it a normal reaction to a stressor.”

-Stéphane Perron, University of Montreal

What are our customers saying about our products?

  • I was on an Airbnb Facebook group reading over the different posts where hosts share their different problems or questions and I kept seeing the bed bug issue come up, and one person said 'I don't know what to do, this is a disaster' and nothing I was reading in the comments was satisfying. It was pretty jarring and I thought as we're scaling this up I really need to do something preventative there and I just didn't know what to do. But then I met Brian the Bed Bug Adviser and learned a lot about how to deal with them and protect myself.

    Caroline Y.
    Caroline Y. Airbnb Property Manager and Traveler
  • What I like about the TravelGuard is that it's literally just a sheet, it's not bulky or anything like that, it's as easy to pack as a sheet, you can roll it, you can fold it down. There are more times than you think that you end up needing something like the TravelGuard.

    Caroline Y.
    Caroline Y. Airbnb Manager and Traveler

HomeGuard Bite Barrier

Your best first line of defense to protect your home and family from Bed Bugs.

Bed Bug Current Infestation Guide 5

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Questions about fighting bed bugs?

The Bed Bug Adviser answers a new question a week over at our FAQ – check it out here and submit YOUR question below.

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