Archive for category Bed Bugs

Learn the Truth About Bed Bugs and Make Your Pest Control Efforts More Effective

Posted by on Wednesday, 12 February, 2014

baby bedbugUnless you’ve personally encountered their presence, you probably don’t know much about the habits of bed bugs and the proper way to exterminate them. Despite the wide outbreak of bed bug infestations in more recent years and the amount of information that has become available, there are still many misconceptions that people have about the little bloodsucking creatures that make it difficult to identify a real bed bug problem and determine how to accurately take care of it. Separating the truth from the inaccuracies will help you be more effective in your bed bug pest control prevention and elimination efforts.

Myth #1: Bed Bugs Can’t Be Seen

There’s no doubt that bed bugs are quite small, but they aren’t completely invisible. As they develop into adults and feed on blood, they grow and darken, making them easier to spot. What actually makes bed bugs hard to detect is their ability to conceal themselves in discreet places. So, don’t come to the conclusion that the critter you’re seeing can’t be a bed bug just because you’ve always thought they weren’t visible to the naked eye.

Myth #2: Exposing Bed Bugs to Extreme Temperatures is the Quickest Way to Kill Them

While it is true that bed bugs die in severe climates, those temperatures are virtually impossible for you to reach on your own. These insects are very resilient, and it would take long periods of exposure to extreme climates before they begin to perish. Simply heating or cooling your home won’t do the job and will just make it intolerable, and possible dangerous, for those in the household. Calling in a pest control professional that has experience with bed bugs is your best chance at disposing of the insects.

bedbug bagMyth #3: Bites Are the Best Way to Know if Bed Bugs Are Present

Bites can definitely be a sign that you are in the company of bed bugs, however, there is also the possibility that you’ve been bitten by a different kind of insect since there is no real distinction in markings. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone shows a physical reaction to bed bug bites, so you can’t always rely on the appearance of welts to warn you of an infestation.

Myth #4: A Bed Bug Infestation Means Everything Must Be Disposed Of

It’s common to think that once you’ve discovered bed bugs you must automatically get rid of your mattress, box spring, bedding, couch, etc., but this depends on the seriousness of the infestation and if it’s treated properly. Oftentimes, your furniture can be saved with the help of a pest control professional, but either way, throwing out your things won’t take care of the whole problem without the rest of the residence receiving treatment.

Myth #5: Bed Bugs Only Inhabit Beds and Dirty Living Spaces

Bed bugs are excellent travelers and hiders. This means that they can hitchhike by way of clothing, luggage, etc. into any dwelling, spotless or dirty. They will then proceed to tuck themselves away wherever they see fit (baseboards, carpet, light sockets, behind framed pictures and anywhere other crevice that’s dark and inviting) until it’s time to come out and feed.

Myth #6: Bug Bombs Will Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are resistant to numerous kinds of pesticides, and a DIY bug bomb treatment simply won’t be able to get rid of an infestation. Decluttering, deep cleaning and a professional pest control plan is the most efficient way to thoroughly handle a bed bug situation.

Any evidence of a bed bug problem warrants an immediate call to your pest control professional. The first line of defense against bed bugs is to know the facts about them. Don’t take your chances by trying to manage them on your own.

About the Author:  Tiffany Olson is a professional blogger from California who enjoys writing on home improvement and pest control related topics. In her off time she enjoys travel, making art, and cooking.

Experts Predict Rising Bed Bug Cases in 2014 Nationwide

Posted by on Tuesday, 14 January, 2014

Bed bugs infestations are reaching epidemic proportions with no end currently in sight. Rather than reaching their apex, bed bug numbers are increasing yearly with the rise expected to continue for 2014.

In 2013, Chicago was determined to be the number one city having bed bug problems, with cities such as Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver, Cincinnati, and Columbus following. Bed bugs mainly gain media attention when multiple-unit dwellings and other public areas are affected but infestations can be found in single family home units as well.

bedbugs invadeEarly Bed Bug Surges

While bed bug infestations began around 2004 according to experts, news stories regarding these annoying critters didn’t begin until 2010. This is the year that buildings with multiple units, such as apartment complexes, began having substantial issues with controlling bed bug populations. Since then, these little bugs have made headlines on a consistent basis due to their resilience and ability to spread quickly. Public areas such as schools, libraries, department stores, and even public transportation can experience problems with huge bed bug populations.

The 2013 the Bugs without Borders Survey, conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), had confirmed that bed bug infestations were encountered in condos or apartments by 98 percent of pest management companies, and increase from 90 percent in 2011.

While these critters had been nearly unnoticed in prior years, world wide travel has shown an increase in populations in the U.S from countries where bed bug populations had not been controlled. These tiny insects travel in personal property items, easily going from place to place via luggage, boxes, shoes, pant hems and any other little hiding place they can make their way into. Resistance to common pesticides has made bed bug populations grow and spread quickly from place to place within the U.S. Experts in Entomology and the pest control industry have voiced their opinions on the rising bed bug levels and what it means for the country as a whole.

Dini Miller, Ph. D., Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech said “Bed bugs have been a hot topic in the news during the past several years; especially when a new geographical area is infested or bed bugs are discovered in public places such as hotels or shopping centers. Unfortunately, people have become desensitized to the issue, leading them to believe the risk has decreased, but the issue is actually greater than before.”

Michael Bonds of Organic Pest Control NYC said “For the most part, bed bug levels are rising. In addition to this reality, we’ve found many of the individuals and businesses that we serve have developed a higher threshold of tolerance for these pests, which actually compounds the problem. This is a dangerous combination, as people are essentially enabling these populations to spread by feeling like there is no way to win the war against them. In cities like Chicago and New York, where residents are living more densely, this acceptance of bed bugs is becoming more common. The public needs to educate themselves on the risks of bed bugs to prevent infestations. We try to educate our customers on all fronts regarding bed bug prevention.”

bedbugUnderstanding Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are hard to control due to resilience to common pesticides, their ability to travel, and reproductive habits. Bed bugs typically reproduce several times over the course of a year, or even daily, with females laying hundreds of eggs over their lifetimes, which can be as long as 9 months time if the conditions are right. Bed bugs can travel in any item they can find a hiding place, such as luggage, boxes, shoes, used furniture, and all types of clothing. These tiny creatures can withstand a wide range of temperatures, even surviving negative degree temperatures for several days. Adult bed bugs can live for several months without feeding.

Those who have detected bed bug infestations in their homes experience a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety from the situation. The amount of work and cost associated with eradication is enough stress in and of itself. However, the added stigma that is commonly associated with those who have a bed bug infestation adds to the problem. Bed bugs are not caused by lack of cleanliness or any wrongdoing on the part of those unfortunate enough to develop a bed bug issue but rather the misfortune of bringing bed bugs from another location or living close to another infested area.

Locating Bed Bug Populations

The bite of a bed bug typically goes unnoticed so detection is not always easy. The first place to begin is areas such as mattresses, bed rails, headboards, and bedding since these resilient pests often reside near where they feed. Check in folds, seams, and creases for tiny white elongated eggs, nymphs, shed skins, adult bed bugs, tiny blood smears on sheets from bites, as well as patches of tiny dark brown to black dots of bed bug waste. However, bed bugs can travel over a large area quickly so populations may occur in nightstands, dressers, wallpaper, and other small hiding places within a room. These critters can also hide in electrical sockets and have been known to populate inside of electronics such as laptops and radios that sit near beds or couches.

If bed bugs have been detected in the home, it is important to have the population eradicated as quickly as possible to prevent further spreading. It is best to consult professional pest control services in your area in addition to home control methods. Special heat treatments and vacuuming can help eradicate these nuisance insects when combined with professional treatment methods.

It is important to be able to detect bed bugs and their presence at home and in public areas to prevent bringing them into the home in the first place. There are special products that can detect the early presence of these creatures. Use of encasements for both mattresses and box springs can go a long way in preventing bed bug infestations.

DIY Solution Probably Won’t Kill Your Bed Bugs

Posted by on Tuesday, 5 November, 2013

Bed Bug IllustrationBed bugs were an epidemic before World War II; however, a pesticide called DDT eliminated most. Things have been peaceful until recent times. Now, due to foreign travels, they have infested thousands of homes. Bed bugs are in clean environments as well as filthy environments. As long as there is a host, they are satisfied. If you suspect you have the annoying little bed bugs in your home, a do it yourself (DIY) solution probably won’t kill your bed bugs. A popular solution is having a bed bug dog inspect your home and a professional extermination company like Bed Bug Finders, LLC.

Chemical and Non-Chemical Solutions

Over the counter solutions are found ineffective on bed bugs. Consider the prior pesticide, DDT. It was banned in 1972 because of the harmful effects it had on birds and the environment. There were cases of medical and neurological disorders towards humans. So, over the counter solutions can’t contain the amount of chemical lethal dosage that is needed to kill bed bugs. You would need three to four treatments to see results, and they may not last.

Bed Bug Resistance to Pesticides

Bed bugs are thought to have been around for centuries, possibly in the eras of the caveman, feeding off them. So if they have lasted and evolved through so much, surely any chemical produced they can resist that as well. Remember, DDT eliminated, most, not all bed bugs.

Their Living Environments

First, the notion that bed bugs only live in your mattress is false. Bed bugs can live in headboards, the baseboard of your floors, picture frames, in your couch crevices, in electrical switch plates, generally if they can fit, they can hide. If you can slip your credit card through there, a bed bug can fit.

Their Nests

Another problem with DIY solutions is their babies. A female bed bug can lay one to five eggs a day, producing up to 500 eggs in their life. The outer eggshell protects the babies from pesticides. So even if you were able to kill all adults, the babies would survive and appear again. Therefore, with all these hiding places, it’s impossible for you to see every nest.

Benefits of a Professional

So with these horror stories, what can be done to find and treat your problem? To seek out bed bugs and their nests, a bed bug dog is a part of a trained canine service team. Their training is specific to hunting down bed bugs and their eggs. A bed bug dog is highly trained and can spot most of the critters with 96% accuracy. A canine service team will first inspect your home to verify if you in fact have bed bugs. Then, you will receive a treatment. The most popular treatment currently is bed bug heat treatment. This treatment heats your home between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, killing bed bugs in their tracks. The canine team will inspect your home two weeks later to verify they are gone.

Faith Stewart 

How To Survive An Invasion: 5 Pests You’d Rather Be Rid Of

Posted by on Tuesday, 3 September, 2013

After the movie Signs came out, I was obsessed with alien invasion preparation. However, over the years, I have realized that there are other invaders out there that are a little closer to home. Pest infestations are both a nuisance and a potential health hazard. That is why it is so important to be able to recognize the signs of an invasion and target those unwanted guests before they do any more damage. Below are a five pests you’d rather be rid of and the signs of their invasion. Once you can read the signs, you’ll be better able to combat these pesky bugs once and for all.

1. Cockroaches

Cockroach

Cockroaches are nocturnal, which means if you see one during the day, there are probably many more hidden in your home. They prefer dark, moist places to hide and breed, so check behind refrigerators, under floor drains, under sinks, and behind appliances. You may also find small oval egg cases in these places, as well as in other hidden places like between books.

If you have an infestation, you will find feces that resemble coffee grounds or black pepper. If the roaches are a larger size, they will be dark and cylindrical. Some types also produce smells that are, let’s just say, unpleasant to your olfactory senses. And a larger infestation will radiate a strong oil or must smell.

If you notice any of these tell-tale signs of a roach, call your nearest professional exterminator to handle the problem.

2. Bedbugs

bedbug

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite,” isn’t just a catchy bedtime phrase. If you wake up and notice little bug bites that were not there when you went to sleep, it may be a good idea to check for bedbugs. These little pests are about the size and shape of an apple seed, and brown or reddish-brown in color. They prefer small, warm places to hide and breed. And their habitat of choice? You guessed it: your bed.

Therefore, check between the fitted sheet and mattress, or between the mattress and box spring, as well as any other nearby small, dark, places. Although their name suggests they reside only among the mattresses, bedbugs can actually live in furniture, appliances, bookshelves, and even computers.

Keep an eye out for the bugs themselves, shed skins, or their small white eggs. The eggs are adhesive so be sure to check on both sides of the sheetswhere they may be attached. Other indications of a bedbug problem include their droppings. These will be small, and black or dark brown, like coffee grounds, but will smear red when wiped with a damp cloth.

Though their bites generally only cause annoying itching, in more severe cases victims may have allergic reactions or secondary infections (from scratching the wounds). The best solution to a bedbug problem is to take the Godfather’s advice and go to the mattresses—literally.

3. Ants

ants

Ants are mostly active around sundown, so that is when you want to really keep an eye out. There are three particular things you can check for when inspecting your home for ants.

First, do a little reconnaissance. Ants nest outdoors, so they enter your home primarily to find food. Therefore, they are commonly found in the kitchen area and along walls, and in cupboards. . Though a few ants does not necessarily mean an infestation, if there are a lot of ants, along with an appearance of larger worker ants, you could have a problem on your hands.

Second, after you inspect the house at the likely sources, check for frass. Frass is waste left behind by ants, which includes feces as well as small piles of sawdust or wood shavings, as well as other leftover debris. Ants do not eat wood, but they will dig tunnels and push the sawdust out. So if you see accumulations of debris, you may have uncovered an ant problem.

Finally, if you suspect an ant colony is residing in your home, tap on the area in question and listen. A disturbed colony will make a rustling noise that becomes louder the more bothered they become.

4. Termites

termites

Termites are one of the most destructive pests out there, particularly because there are often no immediate signs of damage. They love to eat dead plant matter like fallen leaves and dead trees, and while that is great in nature, when they decide to make our homes a meal it can be a big problem.

Termites are often mistaken for flying ants, so it is important to know the differences. Ants have a cinched waist, while the termite body is just a straight tube shape. Ants’ wings are two different shapes and their antennae are bent, while termites’ wings are both the same size and their antennae are straight.

Check the foundation of your home, as well as crawl spaces, for signs of termites. They will have little mud tunnels running from their underground colonies to their feeding ground.

Watch out for swarms of termites near your home, especially around springtime. If your paint suddenly starts to bubble or crack for no reason you may want to check the walls for termites. If wood sounds hollow when tapped, or you find discarded wings or termite droppings, it is time to call your local exterminator—and no, I’m not talking about Arnold. A quick search on your browser for “termite control Long Island” (or wherever you’re from) should give you a solid list of options from which to choose. The sooner you take care of a termite problem, the better. Because the longer you wait, the more damage you risk to your home and property.

5. Rodents

rodent

Rats and mice can be fun pets to have for some people, but a wild rodent in your home is a hazardous thing. Both rats and mice carry diseases and parasites, putting your food and home in danger of infection. Moreover, because they are rapid breeders, take care of a rodent problem as soon as possible to avoid a major infestation.

The most obvious sign of a rodent problem is if you see dead or living rodents in or around your home. It is also possible to hear them scurrying and squeaking through walls and floors.

Keep an eye out for droppings in dark, infrequently visited places such as behind furniture, in the back of drawers, the back corner of closets, attics, basements, and in walls and under floorboards. You will also notice damage to food and other things in your home from their constant biting and nibbling. Inspect your pantry and other food sources for signs of nibbling, and make note of any damage to property

Traps are usually the first place we go to when we learn of a rodent in our home, but for larger infestations, traps will be insufficient. Your best bet is to call your exterminator.

The last thing anyone wants is an intruder of any kind in their home. Just as you would call the police if a burglar invaded your home, you should call the exterminator for pest invaders. The sooner you catch the problem and call, the sooner you can once again feel safe and secure in your home—and the sooner you can worry about bigger problems, like aliens.

Leslie Mason is a homemaker and garden expert. Leslie enjoys writing, gardening, do-it-yourself projects, and fixing up the house.

How Bed Bug Dogs Find Bed Bugs

Posted by on Wednesday, 21 August, 2013

Bedbug Dog SniffingDogs have all sorts of jobs these days, from airport security to therapy work. One of the more popular professions for dogs with jobs is as a bed bug dog. These canines, like the dogs that work for sites like Bed Bug Finders LLC, are experts in bed bug dog detection – they can sniff out the pests even in hard to reach places.

According to MLive.com,”Bed bug-sniffing dogs are increasingly being considered the most effective way to detect if a bed bug infestation exists. However, only certain dogs have what it takes to get the job done, and there is not one specific breed that fits the ticket.”

The article says that only 1 out of 100 dogs could qualify to be a bed bug dog. Sarah Rodeheaver, who owns a bed bug dog detective agency, says that “the dog needs to have the desire to work and hunt.” She says that the dogs “need to be comfortable going into every environment and able to work.”

Bed bug dog detection can help find where the bugs are

Bed bug dogs can sniff out the pests better than humans because they have a better sense of smell than humans, and have the ability to ferret out the bugs better with their noses.  According to the article, they are a valuable tool when it comes to bug detection. “I put my money on the dog over a human any day of the week,” said Bill Welsh, a pest control expert. “Those dogs are far better than me and I’ve been doing this for 27 years.”

What you should look for when it comes to bed bug dog detection

First of all, if you think you have bed bugs, do not try to treat the infestation yourself. Not only are at-home products ineffective, they can potentially be dangerous. More than one house has literally gone up in smoke because of bed bug products gone awry.

Second, do your homework when it comes to finding a pest control agency. You want a company that specializes in bed bugs and has that as the major part of their business.

Third, if you hire a bed bug specialist – and you should – you may want to make sure that you hire one that has a bed bug dog if you are not sure whether your issue is bed bugs. That is because the dogs do find bed bugs better than humans do.

Fourth, you want to make sure that the specialist – and the bed bug dog – has been certified by at least one professional agency. You want to make sure that your bed bug dog and its handler know what they are doing.

In all, bed bug dog detection is something you need to consider if you think you have bed bugs. Good luck.

Author Bio:

Lisa Swan writes for a variety of sites, including Bed Bug Finders, LLC.

How To Keep Bed Bugs From Your Bed

Posted by on Wednesday, 3 April, 2013

bedbugBed bugs- the dreaded insect- are making an alarming comeback. A few years ago, bedbugs were simply the bugs of myth from the old nursery rhyme:

“Good night, sleep tight

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

However, the increase in international travel and a few unfortunate carry-ons, have lead to a resurgence of bed bugs in the United States and other civilized countries. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce your chances of finding the unwelcome critters in your bed, and plenty of ways to get rid of them once they arrive.

4 Ways To Prevent Bedbug Infestations

Since bed bugs are now a common pest in the United States, it is harder to prevent the spread of the insect. Luckily, there are some steps you can take that will reduce your chances of exposure. Try the following methods to reduce your chances of getting infected:

Bed casings: Many mattress stores and bed stores sell bed casings for your mattress. These casings are airtight cases, and do not allow the bugs to reach the mattress. If the bugs cannot find a home, they will not bother you.

Wash bedding: Washing your bedding frequently can deter the presence of bed bugs. Bed bugs prefer dirty bedding that allows them to live in the dark corners of the bed. If you wash your bedding and encourage exposure to the light, the bugs may never visit your room.

Install a climb-up monitor: A climb-up monitor prevents the bugs from climbing up to your mattress at all. This is a handy tool to use after you know you have been exposed to the critters.

Check your hotel room: Before you unpack your things at a hotel, pull the bedding off of the bed. Check the mattress crevices for signs of bugs or their feces. If you notice anything suspicious, demand a new room.

How To Spot An Infestation

Spotting an infestation is easy. Simply watch out for the following signs:

  • Small, unexplained bites on your arms, legs, or other sensitive areas (often in a straight line)
  • Dark spots on the mattress, bedding, or sofa cushions
  • Tiny, flat, brown bugs the size of a pin head walking around on your mattress or sofa
  • Dark spots around the seams of a mattress

Getting Rid Of Bed Bugs

Getting rid of bed bugs is not that difficult, but if you do not completely eradicate the entire colony of bugs, they will come back.

  • Remove all bedding and wash as hot as possible. Dry in direct sunlight.
  • Vacuum up all the little bugs you can find.
  • Air out the mattress for several days outdoors in direct sunlight.
  • Sleep somewhere else.
  • Hire a professional pest remover to lay poison for the bugs.
  • Lay luggage in direct sunlight for several days.

You can also prevent a bug attack by purchasing a mattress that is resistant to bed bugs. Usually these beds have a special casing to prevent bed exposure or are treated with a material that is repellant to bed bugs.

Bed bugs are not fun, but with the proper steps, you can prevent the infestation or fix it within just a few days. If you follow these steps, your bed will remain bug-free for as long as you own it.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Writer Biography

Lindsey Mcmahon suggests you have a look at beds from world market for quality beds for a great priceHer interests are education, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. 

Does Bug Repellent Work on Bed Bugs?

Posted by on Thursday, 5 May, 2011

Bed Bugs: Protecting Yourself and Your Family

Posted by on Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

When you travel across the country, you take precautions to protect yourself and your family, right? You carry only the cash you need, lock up your car doors, and keep a closer eye on your children and their whereabouts. Most people don’t think of the hidden danger that has become somewhat of an epidemic in this country though: bed bugs! These creepy, crawly, uninvited guests can be lurking anywhere and you need to take steps to protect those you love as well as yourself.

Bed bugs are nocturnal parasites. They feed off of the blood of humans and other warm-blooded creatures as a means of survival. They can cause skin rashes and other allergy symptoms, not to mention mental distress. Who can sleep thinking about bugs crawling and feeding off of them? Yuck! Once you have an infestation, these little critters are difficult to get rid of, but there are steps you can take to help diffuse the situation.

First of all, bed bugs usually live where they feed: in the bed. As an example, if you are traveling across country in an rv, you may want to check your rv mattress, particularly at the side seams for bugs or evidence of bugs. Look for shed skins, blood streaks, or droppings. if you should find evidence that these bugs have infested your rv mattress, you have two options:

1. Get rid of your current mattress and purchase a new one, one preferably made of memory foam or latex as these are less hospitable homes for the bugs.
2. Purchase a mattress cover to contain and eventually eliminate the infestation.

For most people, the second option, the mattress cover, is much more feasible. Of course, it can’t be just any mattress cover. The rv mattress should be completely encased in a tightly woven cover that is able to be zipped. The zipper teeth should be small and fit together tightly so that the little critters can’t get through.

If you simply can’t sleep with the thought of bed bugs in your rv mattress and feel you need to purchase a new one, your best option is the memory foam or latex ones, as previously stated. You may also opt for a mattress that doesn’t have side seams. Then ass the mattress cover as an added measure of protection.