Is bed bug pest control even necessary? Individuals thought bed bugs were eradicated during the 1940s and 1950s, yet the country is seeing a resurgence of this unwanted pest. This is due in part to international travel, as individuals unintentionally bring the critters home as a souvenir in their bags. In addition to being found in private homes, bed bugs are becoming a problem in multi-unit residences and hotels.
Thus individuals who have never traveled outside the United States may also find they have a problem with bed bugs in Virginia. Moreover, these creatures are becoming resistant to available pesticides, and many individuals aren’t even aware they are an issue. What does every person need to know about bed bugs?
The Health Dangers Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs cannot transmit infectious diseases to people. Thus they aren’t a health threat in that respect. They do bite humans, however, and the bites can lead to skin sores that itch and may be painful. Each sore may remain for a week, or longer and infection is a risk, especially when a person scratches the sore until it becomes an open wound. The bugs are most active during the night hours and feed on a human’s blood, as they need blood to survive. People attract the pests when they emit CO2 while they sleep, and the bugs like the heat produced by the human body. They only need to feed once a week at most but remain close to the host to make this task easy.
Not all individuals react to a bite from a bed bug. Some people tend to show signs of a bed bug infestation, yet other family members aren’t affected. This doesn’t mean they aren’t in the home. Furthermore, some people experience an immediate reaction, and other won’t notice any reaction for a few days. Don’t assume that only one person in the home being affected means that the pests haven’t moved in.
Detecting Bed Bugs
Humans cannot see bed bugs without really looking. The eggs are only about the size of a pin head, nymphs reach the sesame seed size, and adults grow to be approximately the same size as an apple seed. They hide in cracks and crevices during the daytime, often in a human’s bed. The person doesn’t know they are present until they begin noticing the sores on their body. Once they do, they may then see blood smears on their sheets, molted skins hidden in mattress seams, or black fecal matter. Also, these signs may be found on baseboards, couches, and any place where a human spends a significant amount of time. Loose wallpaper may be a sign these pests have invaded the home, and black fecal matter may also be witnessed along the edge of a carpet, in the corner of a room, or in and around outlet covers.
Where They May Be Found
People often assume a clean home won’t have bed bugs, but nothing is further from the truth. The pests are attracted to human body heat, blood, and carbon dioxide, thus anywhere a person is a bed bug may be found. They aren’t attracted to a home because it is dirty and grimy. One thing to remember, however, is homes that are cluttered do provide more hiding places for the pests. Thus an uncluttered home will make it easier to detect the bed bugs if they do decide to invade the residence.
As mentioned previously, bed bugs may be found anywhere humans are. This means public transportation, movie theaters, a friend’s home, or any place may have a bed bug infestation, often without the owners even being aware of it. No home is safe from this type of pest. Thus any sign of bed bugs requires a professional be called in.
How The Problem Spreads
Bed bugs make use of numerous items to travel between locations. Often, they ride in a person’s suitcase when they return from a trip, but they may also be brought into the home with the help of a bag from another place, used furniture, or any item in which they can hide. Once they have been introduced into a location, they quickly spread. The bugs remain dormant for extended periods of time when there isn’t a blood source available also, making it even harder to get rid of them once they move to a place.
Treating The Issue
Throwing away the bed and mattress where the bed bugs were found isn’t enough to resolve the problem. In fact, taking this step often makes the problem worse, as the bugs are then spread throughout the home. The pests are still present in cracks and crevices also, and it often makes it harder for a professional to detect the bed bugs when measures such as this are taken.
Freezing temperatures have been shown to kill bed bugs, but the problem is the low temperature must be maintained for an extended period to eradicate the problem. These low temperatures aren’t seen in Virginia sufficient to kill the pests. Although there may be short periods during the winter months where this solution would be viable, knowing when they are can be difficult, thus it’s best to have the home treated immediately.