Bed Bugs What To Do
I have been in the pest control industry for over twenty years, I have seen a lot of things in those twenty years but what we are going to talk about now is something everyone should be concerned about. In the past ten years we have been seeing a huge rise in the bed bug population. Prior to ten years ago I had never seen a bed bug and I thought they had been extinct.
Most people of this generation have never seen a bed bug in their life, but that is about to change with the ever increasing population of these tiny little creatures.
What does a bed bug look like?
So what are bed bugs? This is the question I hear when I get called out to a home or an apartment that thinks they have bed bugs. Usually someone in the dwelling will have several bites on their body, but they never see any bugs.
So let’s look at what a bed bug looks like. Bed bugs are small, roundish, and brownish in color and they live on blood from a host, usually a human or animal. The adult bed bug has a flat body that resembles an apple seed. After they get done feeding on the host their body will swell and the color of them will turn reddish. The young bed bugs which are called nymphs are usually smaller in size, a translucent or whitish color and if they have not eaten yet they will be almost invisible to the naked eye.
Bed bugs do not fly, but they do move quickly up walls, across your mattress or pillow, across the floor or through the drawers in dresser.
Although they are a nuisance and they do bite and do feed on your blood and cause itching for the person getting bit. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest. However, unlike most public health pests, bed bugs are not known to transmit or spread disease.
Do you know what to look for when searching for bed bugs.
Why are bed bugs back here?
Bed bug infestations were common here in the United States prior to World War II. But with the use of DDT during the 1940s and the 1950s and the improvements of hygiene the bed bugs vanished. The problem was that the insects were and are still prevalent in others parts of the world even though they were not here. But in recent years the bed bugs are coming back and coming back in force here in the U.S. With changes in the pest control industry and less effective pest control products we are allowed to use and other factors like more and more tourist coming to the U.S. from other parts of the world where bed bugs are prevalent we are finding these little creatures in many place where we sleep, eat, and entertain.
When do bed bugs feed and bite?
Bed bugs are nocturnal which means that they are active mainly at night when we are sleeping. This is when they come out to play and eat. How they eat is by piercing the host skin and withdrawing blood through an elongated beak. The bug will feed for several minutes usually up to ten minutes until they become engorged.
Many people will think they have flea bites or mosquito bites on them, until they start noticing that the bites are happening while they sleep. Many people will wake up in the morning to blood spots on their pillow or sheets and don’t know why. Bed bug will bite any area of the skin that is exposed while sleeping, Bed bug bites are painless at first but then they turn itchy and will cause welts to raise.
People will usually don’t know they have bed bugs until they go and change the bedding and they start noticing these little bugs crawling around on their bed.
Bed Bugs Article
- BBC - Future - Will we ever… get rid of bed bugs?
Many countries have seen a surge in infestations of the bloodsucking pest over the past decade, leaving few able to fully tackle the re-emerging threat.
What to look for to see if you have an infestation.
Infestations are hard to find at first and many people will not know they have one until it is too late. One cannot go by the bite on the host. Some people depending on their chemical makeup will not react to bed bug bites.
To find an infestation take a close look at your bedding, pillow, mattress, box spring, bed frame, night stand, and dressers for any of the little tiny insects. Also look in all these same areas for rusty or reddish stains, especially on the sheets and pillows. Also look for eggs and eggshells and look for dark spots which are bed bug poop or excrement.
What I recommend is after the room is pitch black for about an hour go into the room with a good led light and start looking for movement, especially around the head of the bed. This is when the adults will come and look for their host for food.
How to find bed bugs.
Prepare to clean.
Preparing for control is very important whether you are considering hiring a professional or planning to do it yourself.
So now what do I do if I have an infestation? The first thing you should do is call a reputable pest control company. Do not hire one just because they say they can get rid of the bugs and they are the cheapest. Do your homework and ask questions.
Getting rid of bed bugs is a two part process, the first part has to be done by the tenant or homeowner. First thing is first, clean, clean, and clean again. Clean all bedding, linens, curtains, and clothing in hot water and then put in a dryer for at least thirty minutes on high heat. Any items that cannot be washed must be put in the dryer on high heat and run for thirty plus minutes. Second you need to brush and scrub all the seams of the mattress and box spring to remove all bedbugs, eggs, nymphs, and excrement. Third vacuum your bed, the floors, the walls, the closets, the drapes, and the inside of all your night stands and dressers. After vacuuming remove the vacuum bad out of the building and place in an outside garbage container. Now purchase a bed bug mattress cover that encases the mattress to keep bed bugs from entering or escaping.
This is beginning of getting rid of bed bugs. Again I highly recommend hiring a good reputable professional exterminator to help you get rid of these nasty insects. All this cleaning needs to be done before the exterminator can do his work if you want get rid of these pest.
Bed bugs are very hard to get rid of and depending on the type of treatments you choose, it can take many treatments and patients on the homeowner to get rid of the bugs.
Bed Bug Information
- Bed Bug Management Guidelines--UC IPM
UC home and landscape guidelines for control of Bed bugs.
- Bedbugs: Get the Facts on Symptoms and Bites
Learn about getting rid of bedbugs (or bed bugs), bedbugs in hotels, treatment of bites, infestation signs, and see bedbug pictures.
- Bed Bugs | US EPA
- Bedbugs: Infestations, Bedbug Bites, and Getting Rid of Bedbugs
WebMD discusses what bedbugs are, signs you have a bedbug infestation, and how to exterminate them.
Bed Bug Update
It is now 2015 and the bed bug pest control service is exploding for us here in central Florida. Like I mentioned before I have been in this industry for over 20 years and up to a few years ago I had never been in contact with these little creatures. Then about 3 years ago we started to get a few phone calls for doing service to get rid of these insects out of peoples homes. Now it is May of 2015 and we are running from home to home daily doing services for people with these nasty insects. These bugs do not discriminate who they go to bed with, you could be the cleanest person on earth of the filthiest they do not care. I was at a home today that is so immaculate and clean that I would eat off the kitchen floor and they had a bedroom that was full of bed bugs. They have idea where they got them from or how they got into their home, but they sure did have an infestation that sprung up overnight.
Bed bugs are getting to be a real serious issue, thankfully chemical companies and entomology departments at universities are working around the clock trying to figure out ways that we can eradicate these little creatures off the face of the earth.