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Posted on July 16, 2012 with No Comments
Bed Bugs were thought to be killed off over 50 years ago, how ever with the increase in mass transit & airplanes to other countries just a few hours away, they have come back in large numbers. A lot of New York State residents are starting to see bed bugs in their homes. We compiled a Q & A to what we in the industry feel are the most commonly asked questions about bed bugs.
What do they feed off of?
Bed bugs find their main food source off blood, most commonly human blood. If there is no human blood available they can feed off any other warm blooded animals. Bed bugs can live for about a year and a half without a food source.
What Do They Look Like?
Bed bugs are very small, adults measuring in at 4-5 millimeters long. They seem flattened, with an oval shape. Bed bugs are red in color, depending on the time of their last feeding.
How Do They Breed?
Female bed bugs can lay 5 eggs in one day. These eggs are nearly impossible to spot by the naked eye. 5 eggs in one day averages to hundreds of eggs a year.
How can I get rid of them?
Many people think that by simply throwing out their mattresses and washing their sheets they will be fine. Bed bugs do not only harbor in and on the mattress, they scatter all over the room when the sun rises. They can even end up in your electrical sockets. Most pest control companies use their discretion when it comes to throwing out mattresses. If the infestation is not out of control, the mattress might be able to be saved, with a mattress cover put on it. If the infestation is out of control, the pest control professional will recommend that me mattress be disposed of properly. Bed bugs are nearly impossible to treat on your own, epically in New York where pesticides are heavily regulated. Heat and freezing methods are terms that are thrown around by the industry. Currently, to our research, freezing and heating are very hard to successfully exterminate bed bugs. Heating the infested rooms must be kept at very high temperatures for long periods of time, which consumes a lot of energy and time, limiting the usage of the room.
I just bought a new mattress, how can I possibly have contracted them?
Think of this, someone across town had bed bugs, and bought new mattresses. The old, infested mattress was put in the truck, right next to your new ones. Yes, it would not take very long for your new mattress to get some bed bugs. Always check with your mattress company that they have a policy when it comes to dealing with old mattresses.
Where can I find bed bugs?
Bed Bugs thrive in high population areas, like large cities. New York City has been known as a popular transfer point of bed bugs. This is because of the amount of international travelers that pass through the city on a daily basis. Many hotels are used by people from many different countries which is believed to be the main reason for the resurgence. Bed bugs can be found in hotels, motels, homes, dorms, barracks and many other areas where people spend the night.
Where do they hide?
Bed bugs are nocturnal, and they are found to be most active just before the sun rises. During the day, bed bugs hid everywhere in a bed room, from in mattresses, in cracks of your bed, headboards, drawers, cracks of furniture, lamp shades and many other places of a bed room. During the day bed bugs are hard to spot.
Why are bed bugs reappearing?
Integrated Pest Management techniques with spot-treatment for pesticides have also made it possible for bed bugs to survive. If a pest control technician is responsible, and follows industry standards, pesticides will only be used for the direct problem. There are different treatment methods for a cockroach as an ant. Therefore, an ant treatment will have no effect on a bed bug infestation. 50 years ago, DDT was a commonly used chemical in the pest control industry. Further investigation into this chemical shows that it could cause harm to humans. DDT was effective with nearly all pests, and was used it large amounts. Today, because of the ban on DDT, treatment methods are limited, and heavily regulated. Bed bugs are now able to survive a majority of pesticides.
I am Staying in a 5 star hotel; there is no chance I will get them
Wrong. It does not matter if you are staying in the classiest of classy hotels, or the cheapest motel you can find, you have the same change of contracting bed bugs. Unlike most pests, sanitation is not an issue with bed bugs. When you are staying at a hotel or motel, inquire with them if they have a notification method in place to prevent its guests from contracting bed bugs.
Pests such at cockroaches, fleas, ants and many pantry pests can be present because of a sanitation issue.
What are Hotels and Motels Doing About This Problem?
Just because you stay in a hotel, it does not mean you automatically will encounter bed bugs. Many hotels have agreements with pest control companies where the rooms are inspected on a weekly basis. This was done in the past with human inspectors, which was time consuming. New to the industry is K-9 bed bug inspecting dogs. These dogs are more efficient, cheaper and accurate then an inspection performed by a pest control technician. The average room can be inspected in just 3-5 minutes while human inspections take 20-40 minutes.
How are they harmful and why should I be worried about them?
Though bed bugs are blood feeding pests, they do not transfer diseases like mosquitoes or ticks. They are a problem because of the bit marks they leave on people. Some people even have allergic reactions to the bites. Bits looks kind of like mosquito bites, but are close together, leaving reddish marks over someone’s skin. If you think bed bugs are present in your house, inspect the person that is sleeping in the room for bites. Most bits will be located on arms and legs.
What do I do if I think I have bed bugs.
Don’t panic. First, we recommend calling a pest control company. Many pest control companies offer free inspections. If the company cannot find bed bug activity, and you are still insistent that you have them, a K-9 inspection might be worth it. They are more accurate then a human inspection, but it comes a small fee. If it is determined that you have bed bugs, and go with the service, there are many steps that must be done to ensure that the treatment is done effectively.