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Blog Pest Control Bed Bugs: Then and Now
Bed Bugs: Then and Now
Pest Control
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Bed bugs were nearly completely eradicated during the 1950's. Since that time they have come roaring back and are now causing problems in many locations. Bed bug removal can be difficult, and bed bugs are easily spread from one location to another. With half a century of bed bug reprieve now over, many are forced to do battle with these creatures.
Bed bug, Cimex lectulariusAdult bed bug Cimex Lectularius
Those who live in urban areas are at the highest risk. However, bed bugs can be transferred anywhere. Researchers have attempted to determine why the problem has returned, and point to elimination of the DDT pesticide and an increase in overseas travel being two major causes. Safety concerns caused DDT to be banned in the United States in 1972. Soon after it became banned internationally.
 
The good news is that bed bugs are not known to transmit disease. Bites typically result in inflammation of the skin and skin irritation. In a small number of people, anaphylactic shock could occur. The limited health risks come as little consolation to those who are faced with a bed bug infestation.

Bed Bug Infestation Signs

Bed bugs are quite elusive and could go undetected for quite some time. There are a number of visual clues that can point to an infestation even if the bugs are not seen. These include:
  • Spots of fecal matter on surfaces
  • Small smears of blood
  • Dead bugs
  • Bed bug bites
  • Musty odor

Inspecting Your Home For Bed Bugs

  • Bed bugs prefer to live on mattresses, box springs and bed frames but can also be found within other furniture in the room.
  • When changing bed linens check for small spots of blood on the bottom sheets that could be caused by bed bugs. These may appear in a row.
  • Examine mattress seams and edges, mattress cover and box springs for signs of adult insects, nymphs and eggs. Small black spots (digested blood) similar to mold, and blood spots are signs that bed bugs may be present.

Solving the Bed Bug Problem

Homeowners are advised not to attempt to solve the bed bug problem on their own. Attempting to do so could cause the problem to worsen. Over the counter bug bombs could merely cause the bugs to spread from one location to another within the home. Many of the bed bug elimination products sold today will only kill the adults, leaving the eggs behind to hatch and keep the problem going. Pest control professionals specifically trained in bed bug elimination are your best choice.  
 
What can a homeowner do to prevent bed bug infestations?
  • Make sure that bed skirts are not floor length. Bed bugs will use skirts as a way to climb onto the bed. Even more effective would be to take the bed skirt off altogether
  • Make sure the bed is placed away from walls or furnishings. Bed bugs cannot fly, but are good climbers
  • Coat furniture legs with a product such as petroleum jelly or place the legs inside a clean tin can that has been coated with talcum powder. This will hinder their climbing ability
  • When traveling, keep your luggage on the provided luggage carrier and not on the bed or floor of your hotel room. Inspect your body prior to leaving the hotel. Should you note any bites or see any bugs on your belongings, actions will need to be taken to prevent transmission to your home. Once home, check your luggage again. Refrain from putting your luggage on your bed when returning home. Wash all clothes promptly, even the one's you might not have worn during your trip. Store luggage in a trash bag until the next use.
The cost of bed bug infestations is high. Extermination may take weeks and often required follow-up visits to your home. Furniture, clothing, rugs and more may need to be quarantined or destroyed. Vigilance is your best defense in preventing the infestation of bed bugs in the first place.

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Darin Redding
Written on Monday, 16 July 2012 00:00 by Darin Redding

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Last Updated on Sunday, 11 August 2013 13:45
 

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