Ever think that bed bugs were simply another fantasy creature created by our parents? Think again! Bed bugs are making a startling comeback and we aren’t prepared to eradicate them. Bed bugs were a common problem in the pre-DDT era, but were nearly completely eradicated in
during the 1940s and 50s. Following the banning of DDT and related products, combating bed bugs as well as various other insects now has no definite solution. The pest control business is just starting to catch up with the recent resurgence in the number of bed bug infestations which are occurring.
How they Infest
Bedbugs are small insects which typically feed on warm human blood. If none is present, they will seek out other mammals to feed upon until a better food source is found. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs during her lifetime, amounting to a fast growing bed bug problem which can become out of control before you know your house has even become infested. Bed bugs run most rampant at hotels, motels, dorms, and other high traffic dwellings due to their large numbers of travelers. Home infestations typically result due to the transfer of bed bugs from such a location in luggage or other personal items.
Size of Infestation
Finding bedbugs can be a difficult task due to their small size as well as their dislike for sunlight, causing them to hide during the daytime hours. The size of their infestation can vary depending upon environmental conditions as well as the amount of time that elapses between the initial invasion and detection of the pests. The bed bug’s bites often come in groups, and despite not being known to carry any diseases, the bites can lead to infection and scarring due to prolonged scratching.
Detecting an Infestation
Finding out you have an infestation of bed bugs is most easily done by looking for one of two things. The first thing to look for is dark stains left by the bed bugs fecal matter. Another common sign is that of red stains on bed sheets, a sign that a bed bug has been accidentally crushed. All to often though, the detecting of a bed bug infestation must be left up to pest control specialists.
Increase of Infestations
Since the outlawing of DDT, bed bug infestations have been steadily rising year after year. One of the main causes of this increase is linked to the use of a gel to combat cockroach infestations as compared to a spray which often killed all insects present, including bed bugs. Today’s gels are unable to be eaten by bed bugs and are therefore ineffective to eradicate them from your home. Another factor contributing to the so called “increase” in cases is the heightened media coverage of bed bugs.
Bed bugs can be killed off of a bed by the use of steam. The inability of the bedbug to jump also leads to other possible solutions such as wrapping each leg of the bed in double sided tape, or placing the legs in pans of water. Although self-treatment is possible, it is best to consult a local pest control specialist as to what steps are appropriate to take.
Even after a pesticide treatment is completed several bed bugs may continue to live. Keep a close eye on their reproduction to ensure the pests do not return. Resist vacuuming for a period of time to allow the pesticides to work and eradicate the vermin. Allow not a serious health threat, bed bug infestations should be taken care of in a timely manner while they are still manageable.