ASK & WE ANSWER
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently Asked Questions
When you have bed bugs in your home, apartment, or place of business it is an uncomfortable situation at best. We strive to provide you with relief with a quick and effective conscientious service. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our clients.
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It’s important to know your enemy: the bed bugs. The chart of their life cycle shows that they begin as eggs which are off white in color and roughly the size of a pin head. They hatch in approximately 10 days. They go though 5 stages of nymphs to evolve into an adult. At each stage they must eat-have a “blood meal” of human blood and molt or shed their exoskeleton. After approximately 35 days so they become an adult and can then reproduce. A bed bug will live about 7 to 12 months. The adult female will lay 5 to 10 eggs a day until she reaches approximately 500 eggs.
If you saw the insect pests from this list and had to pick out the bed bug, would you be able to do so? Probably is more difficult than you thought. If you’re confused as to which one is a bed bug you’re not alone in this thinking.
At the University of Kentucky researchers found that more than 2/3 of U.S. citizens could not identify a bed bug if they saw one isolated from other types of pests. So, now we know that most people cannot identify a bed bug, let’s take a look at the following and some images to help us identify.
- Identify: Fleas are reddish-brown, similar to bed bugs in color but smaller in size. The appear to be oval in shape. Fleas also have a higher vertical profile and can jump a distance.
- What they Eat: While both feed on blood, fleas prefer hairy animals which help them hide so you will be more likely to see them on your pets, their surrounding area like pet bedding area and on wild animals.
- Identify: Ticks are in various colors and sizes, but most are brown. Before feeding, they appear flat like bed bugs and have a similar, round body shape. Ticks have eight legs (they belong to the arachnid family) rather than six like the bed bug.
- What they Eat: Ticks can bite humans but they prefer animal hosts. They can jump but usually are found on tall grasses and plants and then drop onto the host. Ticks burrow into the host with their head to feed and can transmit disease while bed bugs are not known to carry diseases and do not burrow into the host.
- Identify: Swallow bugs are approximately the same color and size as a bed bug but are covered in longer hair.
- What they Eat: The primary hosts for swallow bugs are hole-nesting birds, such as swallows; generally closely associated on cliff swallows, but more recently reported on barn swallows and purple martins. Adults and nymphs may come indoors in large numbers in response to the removal of nearby bird nests. They may feed on human blood if their normal hosts are absent.
Carpet Beetle Adults
- Identify: Carpet beetle adults can appear small and round like bed bugs, but they are actually smaller (no larger than 1/7 of an inch) and vary in color—some are patterned with black, white and yellow. Another important difference is carpet beetles have wings and can fly, while bed bugs cannot.
- What they Eat: Carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar, but can also feed on the cast skins of bed bugs, which can cause confusion when they are seen in the same area as bed bugs. They do not bite humans, but you can get a rash if exposed to the prickly hairs on their bodies.
- Identify: Cockroach nymphs are white upon hatching, but quickly turn a reddish-brown similar to bed bugs. They have more of a cylinder shape than bed bugs.
- What they Eat: Cockroach nymphs do not feed on blood. They will eat nearly everything but are not active host feeders like bed bugs.
- Identify: Bat bugs are blood-sucking insects that feed mostly on bats hence the name. Bat bugs are closely related to bed bugs, and are so similar in appearance that they are often mistaken for bed bugs. Microscopic examination is needed to distinguish them.
- What they Eat: Bat bugs will also bite humans if given the opportunity. They are more common in the Midwestern states. Fringe hairs are the most common way to tell them apart from the bed bug.
Since it can be easy to mistake bed bugs for other pests, it’s best to have a pest management professional complete an inspection and identify the pest. Correct identification is critical because pests often require different control methods, and when a pest issue is misdiagnosed, the problem may grow and become more severe without proper treatment.
Adult bed bugs are small, usually ¼ inch in length. They have flat oval shaped bodies and are reddish-brown in color. If a bug has just had a meal it will be quite round and red on the underside. Nymph (not adult) bugs are smaller and slightly lighter in color.
Although they are great at hiding, they are not great in hiding where they have been. Bed bugs leave behind many signs.
- You will find black dots along the seams of a mattress or box spring or in folds of the sheets. This is simply bed bug feces.
- The bed bug goes through 5 nymph phases before becoming an adult. At each stage it must shed its exoskeleton. They are a light brown in color and often many at one spot.
- There may be red dots on your sheets, pillows or pajamas. These are drops of blood left behind after a blood meal on the way back to their hiding place.
So carefully check your bedding. Take off the sheets one at a time slowly. Kill the ones you see. Do the same with pillow cases turning them inside out. If you find signs or bugs rolled up sheets place them in a plastic bag and seal it. Then wash it on high heat and dry it on high heat. Check the side seams of the mattress. Check the box spring. Check underneath the mattress and box spring. Check the frame especially if it is wood. Check behind the head board. Most bed bugs are found within 8 feet of the bed.
Bed bugs normally require 2 to 3 bites to make a full blood meal. They stab you with a pointy mouth appendage called a rostrum. A bite mark normally has a small red dot in the center. If it swells a lot the red spot may not be visible. The bites may be in a straight line or in a semi-circle. Some people don’t even realize they have been bitten and others have allergic reactions and the bite itch badly.
If you find these signs, you probably have bed bugs. But let us come and give you the full picture of what you are dealing with and what needs to happen next.
Contrary to popular belief, having bed bugs does not come from having a dirty or cluttered home.
Bed bug are notorious hitch hikers. They travel on furniture, in luggage, on pets, on clothing, on people and on any pathway from one apartment to another, or one half of a building to the next. All you need to do is visit a home, movie theater, hospital or airport and one can jump on board to get a ride to your home.
So, please, do not feel ashamed or embarrassed by having bed bugs. It most likely happened unknowingly and is not your fault. We are here to end your bed bug problem.
Why You Should Act Now?
One pregnant female bed bug can lay 5 to 10 eggs a day until she has reached about 500 eggs. That will go on for 50 to 100 days. Each egg hatches in (20) days or so depending on the temperature and other factors. In 90 days you can have 300 adults and 1000 eggs. So, don’t give them any extra time to breed. It only makes exterminating them more difficult and costly. But our guarantee stands either way.
Why Use a Professional?
Although we support DIYers in many ways, it’s unlikely to work with exterminating bed bugs. You have to know all the places they like to hide. You need to know what the bed bugs look like in all phases of their life cycle. You need to know the signs that they have been in your bed, or recliner or sofa. You’ll need to avoid any repellents which simply drive them deeper into the walls, floor or ceiling. You’ll need to know if your favorite chair or mattress can be saved, which many times it can. The professional can save you money by saving your furniture. So go ahead and call us now for a free inspection and estimate to make your home bed bug free.
- Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal. Are you being bitten at night while you sleep? A bed bug bite may or may not itch. It may or may not turn red but usually has a red dot in the center. Also, generally, you will have 2 or 3 bites in a row. For them to fill up during a “blood meal” they may need 2-3 separate bites.
- Do you find small blood spots on the sheets or pillow case? After a meal they will go back into hiding and may loose droplets of blood on the way.
- Look in the creases or folds in your sheets and mattress or box spring. They love to hide. They may be on the back side of your headboard, in any small cracks, along the bed frame under the box spring, on the bottom of the box spring or between the mattress and box spring.
- They are 1 millimeter to 5 millimeters in length. The eggs are hard to find because they are a light white/gray. If there are a lot you should notice them. The bugs are a brownish red (see below). Use a good flashlight and be thorough. Or just let us come and do an inspection for you.
- You could use bed bug traps/monitors. Some monitors use a lure to bring bed bugs in. These are the best ones so check what it says on the packaging.
Your technician will arrive on time and ask you to explain the problem you are having. Then, a thorough inspection of your beds, chairs and sofas will begin. He or she will describe all findings and answer any of your questions. Afterwards, he or she will explain exactly what we can do to exterminate the bed bugs from your home. A fixed quote will be given and then discuss doing the work for you. If so, a time will be set. The quote and contract will be left behind for you to read thoroughly. A handout discussing proper preparation for our One-Day Treatment will also be left.
Technicians will arrive on time in discreet unmarked vehicles and clothing without logos or company name. They will go over the paperwork. You will need to leave until the designated finish time. The work will begin to prep the home for thoroughly gassing everywhere. Technicians will leave the home and come back when gassing is complete. This will not cause any damage to your home and belongings. Your home will have items placed back where they were and the home aired out. You will receive a call to return when work is complete and home is safe.
A Follow-Up Treatment is a part of the contract. Any other treatments can vary based on the need and are at no cost to you. This will take a few hours and you will not need to leave your home while we work.
Sleep-Tite guarantees your home will be bed bug free after the One-Day Treatment for 30 days. If for any reason you have a new bed bug problem we will treat your home at no cost to you. We will come out right away because your problem is our problem.
Bed bugs have made a comeback in recent years. They are now immune to some chemical agents that worked before. They have spread everywhere due to the high rate of travel in today’s world. New York City, New Jersey and Eastern PA are one of the locations experiencing a heavy infestation.
How do bed bugs find you?
Believe it or not they are attracted to you as you exhale carbon dioxide, they feel your warmth and detect other biological signatures. When you are sleeping you are an easy target. Your enemy takes advantage of that. A blood meal only takes 10 minutes and is rather painless.
After they bite you they go back into hiding for days or even weeks before coming back out to feed. This makes bed bug detection difficult.
Bed bugs are only found in beds? Not true. Bed bugs will go to any furniture where you will sit down and stay awhile. This includes your favorite recliner, sofa and even your computer desk.
Reaction to bed bug bites differ much between people. Some don’t even now they have been bitten and the bite does not itch. Other people – even sleeping in the same bed – will swell up and the bite will itch incredibly. Just be careful of an infection from intense scratching.
Bed bugs have not been known to spread any diseases like mosquitoes.
We only use non-toxic chemicals which are safe for pets and children. Our gas dissipates from the areas treated and doesn’t leave any residue behind. We do require that you leave the premises with all plants and pets for 6-8 hours while being treated.
In some cases, they may return or be hard to treat and remove if you have attached neighbors who are also infested or have areas which cannot be properly treated. Some examples of this are homes that are excessively cluttered, homes where people cannot be removed for the treatment period, and homes that have large amounts of human traffic. In these cases, it may take recurring or ongoing treatments, but these are the exception, rather than the norm.
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I must admit: I tried Sleep-Tite because they were so much cheaper and now am so glad I did. Several days after they serviced my house, I saw a bedbug and freaked out! I called, and they sent someone out the SAME DAY and took care of any remaining bugs for FREE!
Sleep-Tite is a Godsend! I did not have the time to do all the prep work that’s required by the other places I called. As, a working single mother of 5 small children, I was very frustrated. Rob & Larry came in and took care of everything, and I came back to a home that was cleaner than when I left!
The Sleep-Tite crew helped us out, big time! They were clean and efficient, and had the place cleaned out from the bed bugs in no time. I am so happy with their service. I highly recommend them! If anyone else comes to me with a bedbug problem, I will gladly send them to Sleep-Tite!
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