May 14, 2013
Once thought to be eradicated from North America, the legendary little pests known as bed bugs have been making an unwelcome comeback in hotels and homes. Lest you think bed bugs are relegated to fleabag motels, they have been spotted in luxurious locales as well.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are the common name for Cimex lectularius, a reddish-brown, oval-shaped insect that can grow to a quarter of an inch long. Bed bugs are wingless and survive by sucking blood from a host animal, preferably a human.
Why Are They Called Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs commonly hide in and around mattresses, box springs, headboards, and bed frames. Although these are their most common hiding spots, bed bugs can also be found in carpets, behind peeling paint or wallpaper, and in crevices in wooden furniture. Based on their size, bed bugs are capable of hiding anywhere within a home, apartment, or hotel room, primarily in areas near where people sleep. These pests are nocturnal and typically bite people while they sleep in an infested bed. Bed bugs are usually active just before dawn.
Why Are Bed Bugs Reappearing?
Bed bugs were once all but eradicated with broad-spectrum pesticides such as DDT, which killed a wide variety of bug types. Concerns about health and the environment led to many of these pesticides being removed from the market. Today, pest control methods are more focused, designed to kill a particular species only. Bed bugs, since they are not specifically being targeted, are slipping through the cracks.
Where Did Bed Bugs Come From?
Bed bugs travel surprisingly well, and are quite comfortable stowing away in luggage and even clothing. The bugs are increasingly found hiding in beds, upholstered furniture, and behind baseboards in urban hotels in America. Since they tend to stow away and travel with humans, any place that sees a number of world travelers is susceptible. Pilots, wealthy people, and business travelers can bring bed bugs along unwittingly.
What Can You Do to Avoid Bed Bugs?
Look around. Bed bugs are large enough to see. Look particularly under the mattress and in the seams, in and around the bed frame, and along any cracks or peeling paint in the wall or picture frames. Check for bed bugs in the cracks of any wooden furniture. You can also spot droppings from bed bugs, which may be tinged with blood.
What Should You Do if You Are Bitten by Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs bite exposed skin and can leave behind small, red, itchy welts. Although their bites can result in welts or bumps, some people do not have any reaction to the bite at all. The good news is that bed bugs do not transmit any diseases. The damage is more emotional than physical. The CDC does say that bites from bed bugs can be treated with topical emollients or corticosteroids. You can also take an oral antihistamine. If you are exposed, you may consider treating your home, as well.
What Should You Do if Bed Bugs Are in Your House?
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. They hide well and can go up to a year without feeding. However, it’s important to rid your house of them as soon as possible, as they can breed and spread very quickly. Pest-Ops is equipped to handle bed bugs and would like to help you in removing these pesky pests from your home.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest-Ops to eradicate these pests and to restore your peace of mind. To schedule an appointment, click here or call Pest Ops at (865) 966-0750.