Did You Bring Bed Bugs Home From The Holidays?

Did You Bring Bed Bugs Home From The Holidays?

With the holidays behind us, you might be worrying about all kinds of things: sending the kids back to school, taking down decorations, and sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. But are you worried about bed bugs? These nuisance pests can invade your home undetected. You might have brought them home without even realizing it!

A bed bug infestation takes a lot of work to get rid of when it happens, so it is important to learn how to prevent bed bugs from getting inside in the first place and what to do if they invade your home.

How Bed Bugs Get Into Your Home

Bed bugs travel by clinging onto various objects. They don’t fly or jump. They use tiny claws to grip onto fabric, and then wait for people to transport them to wherever they need to go. They can hold onto furniture, clothes, backpacks, shoes, hair, furniture, and even fur. Once a bed bug enters your home, it can multiply and then soon there will be a whole family of bed bugs feeding on your family. The worst part is that these infestations can spread very quickly as the bed bugs travel from your home to other locations and vice-versa.

Bed Bug Infestation Signs And Prevention

There are several signs that indicate a bed bug infestation. The most obvious one is seeing the bugs themselves around your bed or on your mattress. However, since bed bugs are nocturnal and incredibly tiny, you might struggle to spot them. Look instead for the things they leave behind: molted skins, blood stains, droppings, bite marks, and eggs. All these signs indicate that you may have a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug bites are the easiest way to identify whether they’re the pest infesting your home. Their bites are small and red with a clear center. There are usually multiples of them in a line or zig-zag pattern. If you spot these marks on yourself, your children, or your family members, there are probably bed bugs in the vicinity. If you spot them on others while at their home, that means that bed bugs could be coming home with you.

Preventing bed bugs is quite difficult but not impossible. They die at extreme temperatures, so washing and drying your clothes on the hottest settings can kill them before they have a chance to spread. Vacuuming your carpets and steaming your furniture also helps to get rid of them. When vacuuming, make sure to empty the bag outside away from the home.

When traveling, make sure to keep your luggage off and away from the bed, and always inspect your room for bugs before settling in. After returning home, immediately empty your luggage and wash all clothes and fabric items on the hottest washer and dryer settings. Vacuuming your luggage is also a good idea.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Home

Even if you put in a lot of effort to prevent bed bugs from getting into your home, it can still happen. Once they’re inside, getting rid of them, using DIY methods, is nearly impossible. People can spend years fighting bed bugs and they still won’t go away. Some DIY solutions can do more harm to your family than the bed bugs themselves, and there’s no guarantee they’ll work.

Instead of wasting your money on ineffective and possibly harmful DIY solutions, call Russell’s Pest Control to get help with your bed bug infestation. We’ll make sure that your home is completely bed bug free with our comprehensive inspections, treatments, and follow-ups. Our friendly trained technicians will give you the best customer service and best treatment coverage you can ask for.

Putting The Heat On Bed Bugs In Knoxville

Putting The Heat On Bed Bugs In Knoxville

Knoxville is home to pests of all shapes and sizes. Among those pests are bed bugs. These small, flat, blood-feeding insects are some of the most problematic pests around. Not only are bed bugs difficult to prevent, but they’re often difficult to identify as well. 


Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Bed bugs are elusive insects. As a type of hitchhiking pest, bed bugs travel from place to place by crawling onto clothing, bags, or belongings. However, this means that bed bugs can only invade your property if you or someone you know brings them inside. Once they’ve entered your Knoxville home, there are a few signs you can look for that indicate that your home is infested.

  • Rows or clusters of small red bite marks on your skin

  • Spots of excrement on bed covers

  • Bloodstains on bedclothes, sheets, or pillowcases

  • Molted bed bug skins

  • Tiny white eggs the size of a pinhead

  • A strong, unpleasant musty odor, which usually indicates a larger infestation


Problems Bed Bugs Cause

What harm could one tiny bed bug do, right? Unfortunately, a lot. A single female bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime. If even one or two bed bugs are brought into your Knoxville property, you could have a severe infestation in less than 4 months. Early detection of a bed bug infestation is the best way to avoid most of the problems these tiny pests cause. Some problems bed bugs cause include sleeplessness, restlessness, and recurring bite marks. Many infestations aren’t discovered until after they have had time to become severe. Prolonged bed bug infestations can lead to health conditions such as anemia. (This disease is when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells being circulated to muscle and body tissues.) The best way to avoid these problems is with professional bed bug treatment services.


Why You Need Bed Bug Heat Treatments

Bed bugs are resilient insects that often become resistant to chemical treatment methods. Also, these tiny pests are able to survive without a blood meal for up to five months. The most effective and efficient way to eliminate a bed bug infestation is with heat treatment services from Russell’s Pest Control.

Our bed bug heat remediation services use industrial heaters that are effective against even the largest bed bug infestations. These heaters radiate heat into areas where bed bugs like to hide, such as inside mattresses, electrical outlets, furniture, walls, and box springs. The bed bug heat treatments here at Russell’s Pest Control are eco-friendly and ensure the full elimination of your bed bug problems. For more information about our bed bug heat remediation services, or to ask us about any other pest problem, reach out to Russell’s Pest Control today. 

Did You Know Bed Bugs Are Most Active In Fall?

Did You Know Bed Bugs Are Most Active In Fall?

By now, you’ve probably heard that bed bugs are a growing problem in the United States. Over the last two decades, they’ve returned to America in force. But, being a relatively new pest threat, there are still many things people don’t know about these bugs, such as the fact that they live almost exclusively with humans. Without this knowledge, your home is at greater risk of a bed bug infestation, especially this time of year. Let’s take a look at why bed bug infestations are common in fall and talk about what you can do to prevent an infestation.

While bed bugs are a year-round pest problem, infestations can ramp up in the fall. There are two big reasons for this. The first is that kids have spent the summer on vacation, which often involves taking trips, and taking trips usually goes hand-in-hand with staying overnight somewhere. This can allow bed bugs to get picked up and brought home. So by the time fall rolls around, a bed bug infestation can start to become noticeable. This is when we start getting calls.

The second reason infestations ramp up in fall has to do with what kids do in the fall. Going back to school means kids are in close contact with each other. They leave their clothing and bags near each other. Daycare kids lie down for nap time near each other. Kids have sleepovers. These are some of the many ways bed bugs can hitchhike from one home to another during the fall.

Whether you already have an infestation or you’re working to prevent one, it is important to recognize the warning signs of a bed bug infestation. Catching bed bugs early is super important. It can help you keep them from getting into your home and help you take care of them before they can torment you and your family.

Your greatest tools in the war on bed bugs is awareness of your surroundings and the power of a hot drier. Make sure you and your kids are always on the lookout for bed bugs and signs of bed bugs. Don’t let these bugs sneak up on you. If you see bed bug eggs or bed bugs in a bag, suitcase, pocketbook, clothing or some other object that can be put in the drier, put it in for 30 minutes on the hottest setting. This will kill bed bugs in all stages of development.

If you ever get a bed bug infestation in your home, seek professional assistance immediately. Trying to get rid of bed bugs is a nightmare.

For assistance with bed bugs in the Greater Knoxville area, trust the experts here at Russell’s Pest Control to resolve your problem. We have the credentials and experience to get the job done right… the first time.

Don’t Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Summer

Don't Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Summer

Do you know the warning signs of a bed bug infestation? If you do, you may be able to prevent a bed bug infestation and prevent these blood-eating pest from ruining your summer. Detection is key to prevention because bed bugs don’t come into your home from your yard; they hitchhike into your home. Here are some things you should know about bed bugs and how to detect them.

Keep these 5 Bed Bug Facts In Mind

  1. Bed bugs can be picked up in many places, not just hotels and motels. You can even get them from the home of a friend or relative.
    Bed bugs don’t live in dirty homes. They can be in any home. They’re not drawn to filth; they’re drawn to blood.
  2. Bed bugs don’t just spread at night. You can get them in the daytime. These insects have an aversion to the light but they will come out when they are in a dark environment.
  3. Bed bugs don’t just get carried into your home on your belongings, they can be in furniture and electronics.
  4. Bed bugs don’t just live in beds. They can live in furniture, under rugs, behind baseboards, inside outlets, in the cracks of crown molding, in wall voids, and more.

When looking for warning signs, pay close attention no matter where you are, no matter what time of day, and look in more than just beds for these signs.

  • Bed bugs leave shed insects skins as they develop through their 5 instars. These will be littered about in areas of infestation and you can find them sticking to fabrics.
  • Bed bug eggs are 1mm in length and pale in coloration. You may find individual eggs or you may see a bunch of eggs clinging together. Keep in mind that you can fit dozens of eggs on your thumbnail.
  • Bed bugs leave brown stains on fabrics. This isn’t urine. It is dried blood. So these stains can range from red to light tan in color.
  • Bed bugs excrete black feces. You may see small dots of black or you may see a patch of black staining due to many bed bugs in one location. If you see a black stain but no bed bugs, they may be on the inside of the item you are inspecting.
  • If bed bugs are infesting a location, you may see them. They range in size from 1 to 4.5 millimeters in length. They may be pale in color, tan, or rusty brown. In certain light, they may appear black. They are insects, so they have 6 legs and two antennae.

If you find bed bugs in your home and you live in our Greater Knoxville service area, we can help you eliminate those bugs. We offer comprehensive bed bugs services for all types of infestation. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.

Why A Heat Treatment Could Be The Perfect Solution To Your Bed Bug Problem

Why A Heat Treatment Could Be The Perfect Solution To Your Bed Bug Problem

If you’ve ever had a bed bug infestation or you have one on your hands right now, you know exactly how frustrating they can be! Bed bugs aren’t just a nuisance, they bite and leave clusters of itchy welts. They’re parasitic pests that require blood to live. This means they need us to survive. If you have bed bugs, you’ll notice small stains of blood on your sheets from their feeding sessions during the night. They’ll also leave fecal stains on sheets and furniture as well. These little bugs are about 3/8th of an inch long and oval-shaped. If any of these signs sound familiar, you could be dealing with a bed bug infestation! The best way to handle this is with professional pest control. DIY treatments require time, patience, money, and can’t effectively eliminate all the bed bugs of an infestation. This is why people turn to professional bed bug treatments to get the job done.

Heat treatments for bed bugs have many benefits compared to other treatments. Bed bugs are an extremely resilient pest. If you’ve experienced an infestation, you’ve likely learned just how resilient they really are. Heat remediation is one of the few methods that can actually wipe out all the bed bugs in your home at once. It works! And it’s fast. In a single day, your bed bug infestation can disappear. That’s music to the ears of many homeowners. The other good news is that you won’t have to throw out any infested furniture. It can be tempting to just throw out a mattress that bed bugs have invaded, but there’s no need. Heat treatments can penetrate a house and through the furniture, reaching past where chemicals can get to. It’s a win-win. Nothing in your house gets harmed and the bed bugs are eliminated.

So how does it work? Heat remediation is a process of raising the temperature inside a house to 120 degrees. This is done through the use of controlled heaters, temperature sensors, and industrial-strength fans. The professionals at Russell’s Pest Control are trained to perform the job safely and efficiently. Russell’s Pest adheres to the best management practices set forth for bed bugs by the National Pest Management Association. Rather than attempting to eradicate bed bugs on your own, let professionals do the job right the first time.

If you’re dealing with bed bugs, a heat treatment could be the perfect solution for you. The worst part about bed bugs is that they’re a year-round pest. If you find yourself with a bed bug infestation at any point in the year, you can turn to Russell’s Pest Control to take care of it! Schedule your free in-home pest evaluation today!

What To Do If Bed Bugs Have Stayed In Your Home After The Holidays

What To Do If Bed Bugs Have Stayed In Your Home After The Holidays

After a busy season, the holidays have finally wrapped up. You’ve exchanged all the gifts that weren’t quite right, put your decorations away, and sent your guests back to their homes with promises to get together again soon. But have all your house guests left? It’s possible that some uninvited bed bugs have stayed in your home after the holidays.

How Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

Bed bugs are year-round pests that don’t take a season off. Although they are most active in the summer when the weather is hot and vacationing is at its peak, they remain active throughout the entire year. After the activity of summer, fall often sees an uptick in bed bug infestations as the bugs make themselves comfortable in their new homes. When the holidays roll around and traveling picks up again, bed bugs return to their active lifestyle.

These pests don’t just walk into your house from outdoors. Instead, they travel around with people. They might hitch a ride on someone’s clothing, a purse, bag, or backpack, or in someone’s luggage. When they have a chance they will crawl off of whatever they were riding on, and start to make themselves at home in a new location.

If you had guests over the holidays, it’s possible they inadvertently brought a bed bug or two along with them into your house. It’s unlikely that they took those bed bugs with them when they returned to their own home. If those bed bugs remained in your home, they will end up settling in and eventually reproducing, making the small problem of just a few bed bugs quickly become a much larger problem.

What to Do if Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

If you end up with bed bugs in your home, the sooner you treat the problem, the better. A female bed bug can lay between 1 and 5 eggs per day, and it takes about 10 days for an egg to hatch. That means that, even if you only have a few bed bugs in your home, their population can grow rapidly.

Unfortunately, regardless of the number of bed bugs in your home, they are notoriously difficult to treat. They are fantastic at hiding. Many have become pesticide-resistant, making many DIY chemical treatments ineffective, not to mention a health hazard for your family.

Get Help from the Professionals

The best thing you can do in the event that you discover any signs of bed bugs, is to call a professional pest management company like Russell’s Pest Control.

Russell’s offers bed bug treatments that involve three steps.

  • A thorough inspection to make sure your bed bug problem is actually a bed bug problem and not the result of another pest.
  • A review of our findings to discuss available treatment options based on what we discovered.
  • Appropriate heat remediation treatment to eliminate every bed bug in every stage of development, from the eggs right on up to the adults.

If you think you have bed bugs in your home, contact us immediately. The sooner we can take care of the problem, the easier and cheaper it will be!

Bed Bugs: A Christmas Gift That Nobody Wants

Bed Bugs: A Christmas Gift That Nobody Wants

Christmas is a time of year when many of you look forward to seeing family members that you may not get to visit with often. You daydream about the holiday feast, giving and receiving the best gifts, and making new memories with those you love most. Traveling back to the place where you grew up is sometimes a part of the holiday season, and you wax nostalgic about times past. 
It’s a safe bet to say that no one dreams of ending the holidays with a bed bug infestation, but that is exactly what some of you will end up with before all the traveling is over. Now you may be wondering, how bed bugs get into homes during the holidays anyway? 

How Bed Bugs Get into Your Home

Bed bugs are notorious little hitchhikers. Their favorite way to travel is in or on your luggage, tote bags, purses, coats, and backpacks. As you travel over the holidays you often stay in hotels, fly across the country, wait in public places – and all of these are places where bed bugs can be found. People unknowingly bring bed bugs with them from their homes, hotels, or other public places, and then share the wealth so-to-speak with the rest of humanity.

It’s simple for bed bugs to crawl right into your bag when you set it down at the airline ticket counter, or to climb into a pocket when you leave your coat lying on a hotel floor. Once in your belongings, they simply travel along with you wherever you go. They may decide to offload at any point along the way, beginning a new life in someone else’s home, or possibly even in yours. 

Identifying Bed Bugs 

It’s important to be able to identify bed bugs in the event that you ever encounter them. Whether you’re in a hotel, a family member or friend’s home, or even in your own home, knowing the signs of bed bugs will allow you to stop a full-blown infestation in its tracks. At a minimum, this knowledge will help you to avoid taking these annoying pests home with you.

Here are a few things to look for:

  • Pink or red bite marks on your skin that may itch.
  • Pets scratching themselves more than usual.
  • Seeing an actual bed bug in your home –  in your bedding, on furniture, on your pets, buried in carpets and rugs, etc.).
  • The shed skins of bed bug nymphs.
  • Blood stains on your sheets, pillowcases, or blankets
  • Bed bug eggs anywhere on your bed, in nooks and crannies of furniture, or in the carpet.
  • Bed bug excrement – dark spots or streaks – on your sheets or blankets.

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

Though you cannot be certain to always keep bed bugs out with your prevention methods, there are a few things you can do to try and help prevent their access to you and your home:

Whenever you stay overnight anywhere besides your own home, be sure to check the room where you will be sleeping for signs of bed bugs. It’s a good idea to inspect the furniture, carpeting, and the bed. If you see any evidence that bed bugs are present, ask to be placed in a different room (and conduct a re-check there) or move on to a new place to stay.

You should do periodic checks of your own bed at home to ensure you stay safe from these irritating pests.

When you travel, never set your baggage, purse, or jacket on the bed or the floor in your room. Instead, place all of your travel items on top of a dresser or chair to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride.

As you return to your home, wash all clothing on a high heat setting before putting them away. You may also wish to wash your bags in the same way. If you are unable to ash them, be sure to wipe them down and inspect them carefully for signs of bed bugs before storing them anywhere in your home.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs

If you think you have a bed bug problem, your best bet is to contact a professional. If bed bugs are left untreated, their numbers will grow to a large population in a short amount of time. The professionals at Russell’s Pest Control can get rid of your bed bug infestation quickly. You may be unsure of the kind of pest you’re dealing with. There is no need to worry – we can inspect your home to determine which pests have infiltrated your home.

At Russell’s Pest Control we offer services for both homes and businesses. We easily eliminate any size infestation. Contact us to learn more about bed bug removal and to get started right away! 

Bed Bug Prevention For The 2018 Holiday Season

Bed Bug Prevention For The 2018 Holiday Season

Do you plan on traveling this holiday season? How many of your family members are traveling with you? Three? Four? Five? What if we told you that your vehicle, which is probably large enough to seat four to ten people, could actually fit hundreds? Of bed bugs, that is. That’s right. If you are not careful, this holiday season you may bring home more than some leftover Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham, you could bring home bed bugs. And even if you bring home only one bed bug, it could start an infestation, and bringing home a bed bug infestation is not a good way to end your pleasant vacation.

Traveling Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are most commonly referred to as hitchhiking pests. This means they will use items such as articles of clothing, or perhaps a newly purchased used piece of furniture, to invade your home. Inspecting these items before bringing them inside is a great first step in preventing bed bugs. If you plan on traveling this holiday season, and you find yourself staying a night in a hotel room, inspect the room thoroughly for signs of bed bugs, mainly around bedding. On sheets, look for things like small dots of blood, droppings, or even live bed bugs crawling about. These are all good indicators that it may be time to change rooms, or even hotels altogether. These same steps also apply if you are staying with relatives. Sometimes, due to their incredibly small size, bed bugs can be difficult to spot. For this reason, it is wise to take extra precautions while traveling. You can do this by storing clothing in airtight plastic bags, then when you get home, throw them in the washer and dryer on high heat. This will kill any hitchhiking bed bugs you may have not spotted.

What To  Do If They Invade

Keeping bed bugs out of your home is a lot easier than getting them out once they have invaded. If your home has fallen siege to bed bugs, the absolute best thing you can do is call a professional. Here at Russell’s, we have the top-of-the-line equipment used to handle even the most invasive of infestations. In addition, our staff of pest control professionals is highly trained to find and eliminate every last blood-sucking bed bug. If you want more information on our methods, or you would like to schedule an inspection, contact Russell’s Pest Control today! We work hard, so you can sleep well!

Why Bed Bug Infestations Are So Common In The Fall

Why Bed Bug Infestations Are So Common In The Fall

In fall, bed bug infestations are a problem for families in our Tennessee service area. This is the time of year when kids head back to school because summer vacation has come to an end. If your kids did any summer traveling, you may start to see signs of bugs in your home. It takes a few weeks for a bed bug infestation to become unmistakable. Here are a few things you should know.

How To Tell If You Got Bed Bugs This Summer

These are hitchhiking insects. If you or your kids brought them into the house this summer, some of those bed bugs may still be in the item they traveled in on. Look in the seams of luggage, the stitching of sleeping bags, the corners and cracks of boxes, and any other tight, hidden location within carriables. If you see tiny white eggs, shed insect casings, or tiny black droppings, it may be time to call a pest control professional.

Look For Bed Bugs

It stands to reason, if you see bed bugs in your home, you probably have bed bugs. But many people don’t know what bed bugs look like. These insects go through 5 development stages. When they first hatch, they are pale white, but as they develop, they become tan, and then brownish-red. Bed bugs have six legs, two antennae, and skin you can see through.

Bed Bugs And School

If you don’t have bed bugs in your home, other families may, and those bed bugs can transfer from their kids to yours when they go to school. It is important to be educated about bed bugs and schools. One of the most important tips we can give is to encourage you to do routine checks of backpacks, jackets, and clothing for the signs of bed bugs. If you find tiny white eggs sticking to your kid’s clothing, throw the item in the wash and set the temperature to the hottest setting. That hot water will kill those bed bugs.

Once bed bugs infest a home, it is vital to reach out to a pest control professional. These are pernicious pests that will hide in more places than just your bed. If you live in our Tennessee service area, let Russell’s Pest Control help. We offer a free in-home pest evaluation to get you started. Give us a call today to learn more about our bed bug control options

Why Professional Bed Bug Treatment Is Worth It

Why Professional Bed Bug Treatment Is Worth It

Let’s face it, the thought of a bed bug infestation can be very intimidating. Bed bugs are not just annoying little nuisance pests, but can actually cause serious stress and anxiety for homeowners; not only that, they can bite without notice, spread throughout your home quickly, and they are one of the most difficult pests to get rid of.

While you sleep, bed bugs will usually leave a line of itchy red bites on your skin. Though some people only experience mild symptoms after being bitten by a bed bug, other people experience serious allergic reactions that can require medical attention. If these bites become irritated and the skin is broken, it could allow bacteria and germs to get inside, these bites can turn into a secondary infection.

Can bed bugs themselves can carry serious diseases? Actually, it has been recently discovered, that much like their cousins the “kissing” bug, bed bugs can transmit the same Trypanosoma cruzi parasite through their feces! Although it is rare in North America, if a bed bug is a carrier of the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite and deposits its feces on or near their host and those feces come in contact with mucous membranes or are accidentally ingested, it can cause Chagas disease. The symptoms of Chagas disease can last for a long period of time and include swelling, fever, fatigue, rash, aches, and loss of appetite. This disease is an infectious inflammatory disease that, if left untreated, can cause digestive and heart problems that can potentially be fatal.

Bed bugs are incredibly hardy pests that can withstand both cold and hot temperatures, as well as go without a blood meal for months, not to mention that they are also resistant to many chemical treatments. If you rely on DIY methods alone, you will have a very difficult time eliminating an entire infestation of bed bugs. If you suspect that you have a bed bug problem, it is important to enlist the help of a pest control expert to inspect your home for bed bugs and develop a plan for removal if they are found.

Professional eco-friendly heat remediation is the answer to all bed bug problems, both big and small! Unlike DIY methods, our heat treatment can eliminate all the bed bugs that are hiding inside your home effectively and efficiently. Russell’s Pest Control in Eastern Tennessee is equipped and ready to perform a detailed inspection of your home and guide you through the heat treatment process as well as safeguard your home and personal items. We are QualityPro-Certified by the National Pest Management Association, meaning you can rest assured that will

You can rest assured as we are QualityPro-Certified by the National Pest Management Association and guarantee our results.

Contact us today at Russell’s Pest Control in Eastern Tennessee for more information about our state-of-the-art bed bug heat remediation today.