Bed bugs are a nuisance and dangerous to have in the home. It is important to keep an eye out for them because if you have an infestation, you want to ensure you get rid of them immediately. Bed bugs bite humans and will spread throughout the home quickly. They live in various areas of the home but can bed bugs live on top of wood floors? Yes, they can hide from sunlight and can get to food sources. They are also found under couches, mattresses, and bedding.
Let’s take a look.
What are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, oval in shape, and brownish in color. They are a pest that loves the blood of humans and animals.
Bed bugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live in the blood of animals or humans. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish color. Over a lifetime, a female bed bug can lay hundreds of eggs. These eggs are small in size, like dust, so they are very hard to see without a magnifying glass.
Additionally, nymphs are immature bed bugs and they can fully develop within a month if they have good feeding conditions. They can also lay eggs several times a year.
How Bed Bug Infestations Happen
An infestation happens when a female bed bug comes into the home. She will find a place in the home that is dark and hidden and will stay there while she is safe. Once the female has a partner and mates, she can lay eggs for weeks in the home. The female will like wood flooring as she can get close to the warmth of the human body and the Co2 you breathe out when you sleep. Almost sounds like a horror movie right?
When the female feeds, she will look for places that have hidden cracks. This is a place she can lay eggs. Many times bed bugs prefer the bottom of the mattress, but can also be on the wooden floorboards in between the cracks. Also, when the infestation is severe, it is a higher chance that the wooden floor will be infested.
Why Bed Bugs Like Hardwood Flooring
Bed bugs can live in or on wood floors because they know that they need to hide in the cracks. Wood flooring has joints, knot holes, and imperfections that allow them to hide.
Let’s look at the reasons.
- Proximity to Humans – These bugs like to be within six feet of where humans sleep. This is because they are easy to access at night. The wood floors bed bugs live on to allow them to be in range. However, if you have carpet, this is more difficult for bed bugs to crawl to get to the host.
- Dark spaces – Bed bugs like the dark spaces so they can hide and when they have cracks in hardwood flooring, they know they have a safe place.
- Hiding Spots – Bed bugs don’t like light and will disperse quickly when they see it. The cracks in the wood floor allow for a quick escape back to a dark place.
In addition to the mattresses and wood flooring, bed bugs like to hide in wooden furniture. This is also because it is close to humans and bed bugs can easily get in the cracks and grooves for hiding. Really, any piece of furniture – even metal, can provide a good hiding place. Additionally, be careful of second-hand furniture as it can bring in a bed bug problem. It doesn’t matter if it is wood or cloth or metal, it can still be a host for these critters.
Signs of Bed Bugs Living on Wood Floors
There are some signs you can look for to see if you have bed bugs that live in or on wood floors.
- Ink spots – Bed bugs’ fecal matter looks like small black ink spots.
- Casings of Bed Bugs – They will shed their exoskeletons and these are brown, oval small, and somewhat transparent.
- Eggs – You will see tiny eggs and eggshells
- Live bugs – Seeing the live bugs on furniture or on the floor is a good sign.
- Blotches on the skin- You may have bed bugs not just on wood floors, but also in your bedroom if you find blotches on your skin.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Now that you have noticed that you have bed bugs living on wood floors or in your home, it is time to get rid of them. Additionally, you will need to call a pest control company, but while you wait, here are some ideas.
- Wash in hot water – Bedding, clothing, and curtains should be washed in hot water and then dried on the hottest setting in the dryer. The hot temperatures will kill the bed bugs. If you have shoes and stuffed animals that are infested, put them in the dryer for 30 minutes on high.
- Stiff brush – Using a stiff brush, scrub the mattress. This is to get rid of the bed bugs and the eggs before you vacuum.
- Vacuum – Next, vacuum the bed and the areas that surround it. Check while you are vacuuming to make sure you are removing the bed bugs and their eggs. When you finish, take the vacuum cleaner bag and put it in a plastic bag inside a garbage can that is outside and away from the home.
- Zipper cover – Get a zipper cover that will encase the mattress and box springs. This will keep bed bugs from escaping and new ones from getting on the mattress. Keep it on the mattress for at least a year as bed bugs can live up to a year without feeding on a human or animal.
- Repair Cracks – Look for cracks in plaster and fix them. If you have wallpaper, glue down any that might be peeling so the bed bugs don’t have a place to hide.
- Clean up clutter – This is a great time to clean up clutter in the bedroom and home. Maybe telling your teen about bed bugs may help them realize how important it is to stay clean.
Check out this video about where bed bugs hide.
Now that you know about bed bugs, let’s take a look at other areas for maintenance. One of those is finding bed bugs during the day. Using a magnifying glass or flashlight, you can look for them in the daylight hours. As mentioned above, you also know you may have bed bugs if you find blotching or red-like spots on your skin.
Another area is roaches in the kitchen cabinets. Unfortunately, roaches carry diseases and like the kitchen cabinets because of food sources. Keeping the kitchen clean, wiping down cabinets, and not leaving dirty dishes in the sink are good ideas to avoid them and keep them out of the kitchen cabinets. Also, check for water leaks and cracks and take care of those as they allow pests to come in.
Lastly, no one wants termites in their home. Many of us shudder to think that the queen can live 30 years! Some ways to keep them away are to have downspouts on the house to carry water away and also store firewood away from the home.
When to Call a Professional
Bed bugs in the home will be a bad situation so it is best to get rid of them right away. It will take the homeowner days to get rid of bed bugs and using poison in the home will also affect humans and pets. Hiring a professional pest company that provides a service of getting rid of bed bugs is a good idea as it will save you a lot of time but also it will be done correctly and they will get rid of your problem safely.
Your family will be uncomfortable with bites from bed bugs, plus your home will be infested along with many hours of cleaning and trying to kill the pests. Additionally, if you aren’t sure what to do, call on your local pest control company. They can provide you with recommendations for preventative maintenance for bed bugs. Call on Gray Pest Control for all your pest control needs in Jacksonville, FL, and surrounding areas.