The resurgence of bed bugs over the past 10 or more years continues to be a major problem for many homeowners and businesses. This comes after decades of being only a rare sighting. Everyone, including researchers and entomologists alike, continue to learn more each year about these elusive and challenging insects.
How Are Bed Bugs Treated?
Bed bugs are the most difficult of all pests to control and complete elimination can often take several weeks or even months. For hotels and apartments, this can be an expensive process with costs sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars. Since bed bugs have made their comeback researchers and manufacturers have continually looked for new methods to treat bed bugs. All of these methods have their pros and cons but there remains no silver bullet to eliminating bed bugs. Many of the newer methods are used in conjunction with traditional pest control applications. Some of the newer methods include:
Heat treatments (both localized and whole structure)
Steam treatments, vacuuming, and mechanical removal
Cold treatments including freezing with pressurized CO2
Whole home tent fumigation
Traditional treatments with liquids, dusts, aerosols, etc. applied in cracks, crevices and voids where bed bugs hide
Various traps and monitors to track and confirm the presence of bed bugs
Use of a specially trained dog to detect bed bugs
Why Are Bed Bugs So Tough To Eliminate?
Bed bugs remain the toughest of all pest problems for several reasons including:
Bed bugs are difficult to detect early in an infestation due to their cryptic, secretive nature and their small, flattened bodies make it easy for them to hide. Bedbugs have painless bites that are often not noticed right away and are often misdiagnosed
Bed bug eggs are extremely difficult to find, remove, or kill and adult female bed bugs lay eggs every day. Over several weeks 200 eggs or more can be deposited in various hiding places where they are glued to surfaces
Bedbugs have built up resistance to many pesticides and the residual effect against bed bugs of many of today’s pesticides has been disappointing.
Keys To Preventing Bed Bugs In Your Home
Be careful when traveling. Do not unpack anything until you remove the mattress cover and check for bed bugs. Be sure to place your luggage away from the beds and keep luggage closed.
Do not purchase used mattresses or scavenge mattresses, box springs, or other furniture from dumpsters or along the road.
Use mattress and box spring encasements (Protect-A-Bed)
Reduce your clutter and be sure to not keep piles of clothes, boxes, shoes, toys, etc. on the floor or under the bed where bed bugs could hide.
Vacuum your bedroom often and discard the vacuum bag in another plastic bag before throwing away (be aware that vacuums can become infested too).
Pull your bed a couple inches away from the wall so that it is not touching the wall.
Inspect bed frames, mattress seams, and box springs frequently. Use solid white sheets or light colors instead of florals, patterns, or dark color sheets to make bed bugs and blood spots easier to see when inspecting.
Consider having a preventative pest control treatment perfomed by a professional to treat all cracks, crevices and voids in bedrooms.
Facts You Need To Know About Bed Bugs
Adults of the common bed bug are about 1/4 inch long, reddish to dark brown in color with flattened bodies. Although they cannot fly, they can run quickly. Eggs and newly hatched nymphs are pale and very tiny – the size of a pin head.
They spread easily by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as clothing, bedding, luggage, furniture, backpacks, and animal cages. There are several theories on why bed bugs made such a comeback including overall increases in worldwide travel and travel to underdeveloped and war-torn areas, which can have high infestation rates for bed bugs. Changes in pest management practices with an emphasis on use of baits versus residual sprays may have contributed to the rise as well.
A painless bite can leave red, welts that itch and occur mainly while sleeping (bed bugs feed mostly at night). Humans are preferred host but bed bugs can feed on other animals. Live bed bugs, dark brown or rusty spots (excrement), eggs and molted skins of bedbugs found on mattresses, bedding, clothing, and even walls and ceilings are indications of infestations.
Bed bugs feed only on one thing – blood! Although the amount of blood feeding may appear to make bed bugs a serious threat as disease vectors, up to this time it has never been documented that the bed bug transmits a single human disease.
Found most often in hotels, apartments, rooming houses, schools, private homes, homeless shelters and hostels. They also can infest hospitals, nursing homes, theaters, trains, planes, buses, cruise ships, moving vans, etc.
Due to flat bodies bed bugs can hid virtually anywhere. They hide and lay eggs in mattress seams, box springs, bedding, head boards, baseboards, wall voids, picture frames, sofas, furniture, carpeting, drapes, and any other crack the width of a business card. Although they prefer to infest wood and fabrics, they have been found in electronic devices, such as alarm clocks and radios as well as ceiling smoke alarms and light switches.
Bed Bug Control FAQS
Yes, you can see adult bed bugs, if you know what to look for but they are small. All five life stages of bed bugs can be found where bed bug activity exists. Bed bug eggs are tiny, white, and appear in clusters that are difficult to see. Bed bug nymphs need a blood meal in order to reach maturity,...Continue Reading »
A common misconception about bed bugs is that they are caused by unsanitary living conditions because bed bug infestations were once prevalent in lower-income housing, where people lived in cramped, over-crowded spaces. Eradicated in the mid-1900s, by the widespread use of DDT, bed bugs have made a...Continue Reading »
While many DIY treatments claim to get rid of bed bugs, hiring a professional pest control company, such as Pestwise is essential to actually eliminating bed bugs from your home. It is important to understand that killing bed bugs can often take several weeks or months and is a...Continue Reading »
Bed bugs are hard to get rid of for several reasons. Bed bugs are nocturnal making them difficult to detect. Hiding in the daytime in folds, creases, and tufts in mattresses, these blood-sucking pests come out at night to feast on sleeping humans’ blood, because they require blood...Continue Reading »
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