Summer Vacations bring travel and unfortunately travel can bring bed bugs who love to hitch a ride.
Bed bugs only feed on blood. Under cool conditions, bed bugs have been able to survive up to a year without a meal. Bedbugs prefer to be more active at night when the host is asleep.Bed bugs are found in cracks and crevices, including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, Bed bugs can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage or other personal belongings such as purses and briefcases.
The first part of any bed bug control program is a thorough inspection. This includes not only areas that are infested, but also adjoining areas. The inspection can be time consuming, based upon amount of furnishings and size of infested area as well as the adjoining areas.
Bed bugs don’t discriminate hitching a ride to homes multiplying in a short period of time to an infestation.The critters will infiltrate apartments, condos, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories and cruise ships.Bedbugs cause a lot of stress. The pests,in the last ten years or so, have successfully re surged. The bed bugs increasingly become a huge problem in homes, apartments, condos, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories and cruise ships.
Adult bedbugs are wingless, reddish brown, flattened, oval, 4-5 mm long. It changes color to a deep red-brown after feeding off of a blood meal. The bed bugs are flat from top to bottom and will swell up like a balloon when filled with blood. The younger bed bugs are called “nymphs” and look like adults only smaller. The nymphs go through 5 stages while going through growth spurts to mature bed bugs. Each baby stage the bed bugs need a blood meal to grow to the next level. Entire development from nymph to adult requires 6-8 weeks. Adults can live an average of up to 1 year. Eggs are very difficult to see as they are cream colored and only 1mm in length. Bed bugs have a piercing sucking mouth. The pests when attacking inject an anti-coagulant then withdraw blood until full. Mature bedbugs feed every 5 to 10 days.
Bedbugs are associated with filth but this is not the case. The pests are attracted to exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat and feed on blood, not dirt or waste. Having a clean environment does not affect bedbugs. It is not known that bed bugs transmit disease to people. However, if the bed bug continues feeding on the same human cause an allergic reaction to the bedbug saliva. The reaction is much like the reaction to a mosquito bite.
Bedbugs can infest by hopping a ride as stowaways on luggage, clothing, used furniture, bed frames, mattresses and don’t forget backpacks. The critters can stick to clothing and move easily from one room to another. Once inside bedbugs can travel from room to adjacent rooms in the home or other areas like a dormitory. Or the bed bugs remain close to the food source. The pests are most likely to be in the bedroom in the bed frame, box spring, mattress, in the carpet, in the dressers, closets, behind baseboards, in picture frames and drapes. Bottom line is that the bedbugs can be found anywhere in the infested home or other locations.
In the last few years bed bugs have made the news due to a rise in infestations. Often people may jump to conclusions that the unidentified bumps showing up on the body are indeed bed bugs. Bed bugs have sure made a comeback, but first let’s identify if there is a bed bug problem. The easiest way to check for bed bugs is to check the following areas. A large percentage of bed bugs are located within 5 feet of the bed. It is recommended to take off all bedding, such as sheets, blankets, etc. and inspecting thoroughly. It’s crucial to do a very thorough inspection of the mattress and box spring. Look carefully at all seams and especially on the bottom-side of the mattress. Seeing any live bed bugs or dark spots indicates there are bed bugs. Many times on an inspection it’s a possibility to not find any live bed bugs, but we’ll see the black spots left behind. Another common place to find evidence of bed bugs is on the bed itself, usually under the box spring. Again, look for live bed bugs or black spots. Other locations to search for bed bugs include couches, bookshelves, and electronic items close to the bed. Because everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites, identifying the bed bugs is crucial.
To completely rid of bed bugs, hiring a professional exterminator is recommended. Be sure to ask how long the pest control service company has been in business and experience dealing with a bed bug infestation. Experience with ants, termites or beetles isn’t the same , bed bugs present a unique challenge for any exterminator.
Also, look for a company that uses the integrated pest management (IPM) approach. Instead of relying entirely on pesticides or chemicals, IPM uses a combination of chemical measures, preventive measures, and sanitation to improve efficacy and limit environmental impact.
Don’t be shy about asking questions as they move through the home. Reputable contractors should be willing and able to explain what they’re doing, why they’re doing it and are going to treat the problem. Some also offer or refer dog services, employing specially trained dogs to sniff out evidence of bugs.
Professional pest control companies may offer several treatments to meet the needs. Spray pesticides are still common the Environmental Protection Agency lists more than 300 products for mattress, room and whole-home elimination.
Some companies also use a more high-tech version of heat treatment, which involves specialized equipment used to heat the home above 120 degrees and kill bugs everywhere .
As a side benefit, other harmful bacteria and mold can also be eliminated using this treatment. Although you will have to leave the house during the heat procedure, it will not cause damage to the property or possessions.
Choosing fumigation, make sure to pick a company that is licensed to use these highly volatile chemicals. And have very specific handling and use requirements.
Getting rid of bed bugs is challenging. But with the right treatment plan in the hands of an experienced professional, the home can be thoroughly cleaned and protected against further infestation.
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