Bed bugs have existed for thousands of years and their population has been on the rise in the United States since the 1980s. While a definite cause for the increase hasn’t been positively identified, it is often attributed to increased international travel and trade, as well as the banning of strong pesticides like DDT. Despite this increase, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the parasite and how to deal with an infestation. Separating fact from fiction can help those dealing with a bed bug infestation take the most effective steps to eliminate it.
Bed Bug Myths
Keeping a clean house will prevent bedbug infestation. This simply isn’t true. Any household can get bed bugs, clean or messy, rich or poor. While unsanitary conditions are not the cause of an infestation, eliminating clutter will provide fewer places for bed bugs to hide.
Bed bugs only come out at night. Though they do tend to be more active after dark, you can be bitten by bed bugs at any time.
Bed bugs are only found in bed. Despite their name, bed bugs can be found on furniture throughout the house, typically where people sleep, sit or relax.
Bed bug infested furniture and clothing need to be thrown away. Clothing can be laundered to get rid of bed bugs. The heat of the dryer is especially effective in killing them. Unless the infestation is extreme, furniture can typically be successfully treated.
Bed bugs can’t be seen with the naked eye. Although they are very small, bed bugs can still be seen with the naked eye. A mature bed bug is about the same size as a shelled sunflower seed and the younger parasites are significantly smaller.
Bite marks are a sure sign of bed bugs. Bites from other types of bugs can look similar to bed bug bites. Also, peoples reactions to bug bites can vary. The best way to confirm that there is an infestation is to observe the presence of bed bugs or their eggs.
Plastic mattress and box spring covers will prevent future infestations. While encasing your mattress and box spring may help prevent them from becoming a breeding ground for the parasites, they can still find a way to get on the bed and bite. If unable to take up residence in your bed, they will find somewhere else to live, usually another piece of furniture. Plastic covers can’t hurt but they aren’t a solution for bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Facts
Bed bugs are not known to cause or spread diseases. There is no scientific evidence that bed bugs are the source of or transmit disease, although some people may experience a reaction to bites. This can lead to excessive itching and scratching possibly resulting in secondary infections. Other people don’t have a reaction and are unaware there are bed bugs in their house until they actually see them.
Bed bugs can’t fly or jump. Because they have no wings, bed bugs can’t fly and unlike most wingless insects, they aren’t capable of hopping or jumping long distances. They typically travel by crawling or as a passenger either on your person or in your belongings.
Bed Bugs can go a long time without feeding. Bedbugs normally feed every three to seven days but they can survive without feeding much longer than that. Mature bed bugs can normally live up to five months without feeding. In cooler climates, their metabolism will slow, extending their lifespan and enabling them to live up to a year without feeding. A newly hatched bed bug, commonly known as a nymph, can even survive 2-3 weeks without feeding.
Over-the-counter insect foggers aren’t an effective bed bug solution. Over-the-counter foggers provide very little control when it comes to bed bugs. They may even cause the bed bug population to disperse, making control and elimination more difficult.
Are Bed Bugs Making You Crazy? Call the Professionals!
Bed bugs are not a do-it-yourself pest. In fact, according to the National Pest Management Association bed bugs are THE most difficult pest to control. Controlling bed bugs often requires heat treatment and pesticides, neither of which an untrained homeowner should attempt to handle on their own.
Amco Pest Solutions has over 50 years of experience in both residential and commercial pest control. Our technicians and staff meet and exceed the recommendation of the Quality Pro and National Pest Management Association standards If you are struggling with bed bugs or any other pest issue, contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 888-593-4948.