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Pest Info

Why Bed Bugs Require Special Treatment

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs have been around for at least 3,000 years. Imagine living with them in an age before pest control! They are a small, almond-shaped parasite that feeds off of human blood and live to eat and breed. They hide in areas like mattress covers, headboards, and any furniture creases. And since they usually come out at night when you’re sleeping, people rarely see them until there is a real problem. Having bed bugs does not mean that your house isn’t clean or that you are messy. They’re found everywhere. From movie theaters and cruise ships, to hotels buses, and many areas where people congregate. Bed bugs used to be more of a problem in developing countries but now they have found their way to the United States. Also, Europe and Canada, where they are becoming more prevalent.
They serve no purpose in the food change or ecologically so there’s no reason they shouldn’t be eradicated. The problem is, they’ve evolved. In the Twentieth Century, they were almost eradicated. Yet, the bed bug became immune to the forms of pest control used on them and they came back with an extreme resurgence.
What makes it worse is that the bed bug is tiny and often hard to spot until there is a heavy infestation. Since some people aren’t as allergic as others, an infestation often becomes out of control before a person realizes they have one. Another issue is that even those who are allergic to the bites may have no clue what the welts on their body are or what is causing them to itch. And yes, they can feed off of our pets too but prefer humans.

As notated by the CDC:

It is hard to tell if you have a bed bug bite unless you find bed bugs or signs of infestation. When bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. The bite marks are similar to that of a mosquito or a flea — a slightly swollen and red area that may itch and be irritating.

Are They Dangerous?

For the most part, bed bugs are not dangerous. There have been incidents where a person became anemic with many bites but that is usually with an extreme infestation. In one case, a patient’s hemoglobin levels dropped from a normal 147 to 80. While this is not the norm, no one wants to take that chance.
Yet, it is a common fact for those who have lived with these pests to experience anxiety, skin problems, and insomnia. They are not pleasant and cause a lot of grief. Since they hang out where we sleep, they make getting rest difficult. Especially for those who experience itching and rashes from their bites.

What Can You Do and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

The first thing you can do is to see if you may have a bed bug problem. They hide well in the daytime so it is important to use a flashlight to check your bedding. You may also look for tiny brown spots which is a crushed bed bug or its feces. These marks look similar to a marker point. Sometimes tiny shells may be present where the bed bug has molted. And if you see live ones, then you have a problem. If you think you have bed bugs but cannot find them, a professional can do an inspection to be sure.
Bed bugs do not go away with over-the-counter methods. With DDT banned for agricultural uses worldwide by the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, regular chemicals don’t do the job. According to some, this is the reason they have made a comeback. In New York City alone, there are around 5,000 instances of bed bug infestations – and that is just one city.
Professionals have the means to get rid of the problem so you don’t have to. Many people spend hundreds (or more) of dollars trying to do it themselves and it doesn’t work. Not only does this lead to extra expenses, it allows your bed bug population to grow. You may grow more frustrated and even throw out your furniture only to find that they never left. No one should have to live like that.
What you can do is change your bedding nightly, vacuum the floors, and keep rooms free of clutter. Bed bugs usually live within 8 feet of their human host so if you have them, they are nearby. There are specific things your professional will need you to do but it’s worth it to get a good night’s sleep without those pesky bed bugs.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, call us at 352-223-3618 to schedule a free inspection or click here to contact us.