“Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” No one wants to imagine the possibility of dealing with a bed bug infestation. Just the thought makes a person squeamish! Once a thing of the past, bed bugs are making a resurgence in the United States. You might be thinking that bed bugs are the result of poor housekeeping. This is not true. Bed bugs are particularly difficult to remove from a home and there have been several key issues in their reentry into the pest control world.
First, we are traveling more than ever before. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, and with more people traveling for both business and pleasure, infected hotel rooms have the possibility of spreading bed bugs all over the globe. In fact, the earliest infestations came precisely from hotel rooms. On top of this, many hotels changed their pest management policy to more targeted application for particular pests, such as cockroaches, rather than routine treatment of rooms for a variety of bugs. This allowed bed bugs to gain a critical foothold and start building back their nasty little numbers.
Add to this the very nature of the bugs themselves. They are very hardy and traditional bug treatments home owners can use do not usually affect them. They can infest a person’s belongings even from only one night of contact. They have even been known to come into homes via furniture from another location! This makes the rate of infestation among buildings that deal with large groups of people particularly at risk (such as college dorms or senior centers).
But perhaps the biggest factor in the resurgence of bed bugs is lack of public awareness. Most of the bites are not noticeable. The bugs prefer to feed and then scurry back to their hiding places. Few people will even notice they have been bitten until the bites become itchy (and some bites never do). Few people inspect used furniture or other items brought into their homes regularly.
Not many will check their hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs, unless those signs are extremely obvious at first glance. Some people do not believe that bed bugs even exist, or hold onto the myth that infestation is the result of poor housekeeping.
Know the signs of bed bug infestation. Bed bugs love to stay near the beds, so check your sheets and mattresses for signs of small blood stains from crushed insects and black dots, the fecal matter bed bugs put out. Don’t forget the headboard, side tables and the alarm clock. Bed bugs often like to live in the cracks and crevices of things.
If you are traveling, keep your luggage away from the bed. Bed bugs are most active at night and they do not stray too far away from the bed. Wash all bedding. Hot, soapy water will remove most bugs and their eggs. If your clothes are already clean, simply run them in the dryer for a while to eliminate the possibility of pests.
If you think you have bed bugs in your home, contact Hopper Environmental Services for a compete bed bug inspection.