Remember when you were tucked in at night and told, “don’t let the bed bugs bite” and you thought it was just a cute saying as a child? Well, as we all know now, bed bugs are real and making a huge comeback.
Here are 10 facts about bed bugs that might help you avoid letting the bed bugs bite.
They are real, they are back, and they are not going anywhere soon.
With changes in pesticide regulations and a rise in domestic and international travel, bed bugs have made a steady increase in numbers since the 1990’s. It’s a sobering fact but you must consider bed bugs every time you travel, no matter where you go.
Learn how to do a bed bug check in a hotel room prior to bringing your belongings in (if possible, if not put your bags in the bathtub until you are done with the inspection).
Bed bugs do not discriminate.
Many infestations are wrongly identified with poor living conditions, and bed bugs are in that category. However, the data says differently. It doesn’t matter where you live, how up or low scale it may be, you could have bed bugs. No matter what you paid for that room in that fancy hotel, that doesn’t ensure they do not have bed bugs.
Bed bugs are like little hitchhikers that can be transported unknowingly, so any place is susceptible to having them. They’ve been found in libraries, movie theaters, schools, homes, apartments, hotels and motels just to name a few.
Bed bugs are hardy.
Did you know that they’re survival temperature range is from freezing to 122 degrees? If that wasn’t astounding enough, they can go for a year or more without a blood feeding. Gross but those are pretty amazing survival skills.
Bed bugs are elusive and smart.
They are not easily detected and can hide in the tiniest of places. Behind baseboards, headboards, mattress creases and seams, lampshades, and many other crevices that go undetected. They don’t just bite at night either (although they are generally nocturnal). If you are a night worker and day sleeper they will adjust their pattern to your schedule in order to survive.
Bed bugs can cause psychological issues.
More than physical harm (we’ll get to that in the next point), bed bugs can cause real psychological harm to some individuals. Paranoia, anxiety, and depression are all real concerns for those dealing with an infestation.
Why? Bed bugs attack you in your most intimate and vulnerable spot, while you are sleeping. It’s more normal to be a little freaked out by bed bugs than it is to not care. We encounter people all the time who are a little freaked out with a baggie in their hands. The concern is always the same, and only about half the time is it actually bed bugs. But that reaction and fear alone is a great example of how bed bugs can cause us to feel and react.
Bed bugs do not carry or spread disease.
Really? …you might be asking. And the answer is yes. Research has never confirmed that bed bugs can carry or spread any blood born diseases. Though they may cause you to have some mental angst, they will not spread any disease to you unknowingly.
You can have bed bugs and not even know it.
In the bed bugs saliva, there is a little anesthetic that allows them to bite you unknowingly while you are sleeping. 30% of people never have a reaction or get a bump from the bite so it’s possible for them to be living with you undetected. Most will get a little reaction to the bites and begin to wonder what it eating at them. While a small percentage will react to the bites with more pronounced reactions.
Though bites might be a sign, a doctor looking at your bites cannot “diagnose” you with bed bugs. They may or may not leave a pattern, and have very general areas they attack. Overall, bed bugs have no rhyme or reason to where they bite you. Even those that have told us, their doctor said “I have bed bugs”, later learned it was actually something different.
Get a professional to do an inspection.
Pest management professionals are trained to do a thorough search to find bed bugs in an area. There are also dogs that are trained to sniff out the critters in a less obtrusive way. If bed bugs are discovered they can develop a method to help you eradicate them from your dwelling.
They have a cousin.
Another reason to hire a professional to diagnose a potential infestation is the fact that bed bugs have a very close cousin … the bat bug. They are essentially the same but have different feeding preferences. As you might suspect, bat bugs prefer to feed on the bat and can be found anywhere bats are found.
Why is this important? The methods used to eradicate bed bugs will not work on bat bugs. The way to eradicate them is to eradicate the bats from the dwelling. At first, and even the twentieth glance they look extremely similar and only under a microscope can you really tell the difference. It could be that you have a bat problem and not bed bugs, call a professional to help.
Don’t try DIY bed bug treatments.
The Internet is full of DIY bed bug treatments that promise complete eradication. You can find everything from ultrasonic devices, bombs, to other powders and concoctions. The reality is they do not work and only those professionally trained can help you with your problem.
Not only are some of these methods not safe, they are unhealthy as well, and you could be doing more to spread them then get rid of them. Some of these methods cause bed bugs to scatter which will force them to other areas of the dwelling that they previously weren’t.
Whether you own a home or a business, early detection of bed bugs is critical but it’s only the beginning. A trained professional can help you with your issue so you, your business, your family, and your belongings can be spared in the bed bug war.
Give Modern Pest Services a call for Bed Bug treatment, so you can “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”.