It’s that time of year when people are going to be traveling more, which means everyone needs to be careful to avoid picking up. Understanding the habits and habitats of these tiny pests is the first step in keeping them at bay which is why the National Pest Management Alliance has chosen June 4-10, 2017, as National Bed Bug Awareness Week! The myths about bed bugs abound, and some of that misinformation can actually make you more susceptible to an infestation. You will be hearing a lot about bed bugs this week in a concerted effort to educate you on the facts about bed bugs, how they live, and how they move from place to place.
While bed bugs have been around for a really long time, the U.S. had a reprieve from these pests for several decades; however, in the past ten years they have been rapidly increasing in number and the occurrence of infestations throughout the country are soaring. Part of the reason that they can spread so rapidly is because many people still believe the myth that bed bugs only live in beds and typically don’t give these pests a thought unless they are going to be staying in a hotel; but the truth is that bed bugs can live anywhere that people frequent; and infestations in public places like buses, trains, airports, hotels, theaters, and libraries are becoming more prevalent.
You can play taxi to bed bugs whenever you are in public. One or two bugs can discreetly take a ride on your shoes, clothing, luggage, and other items that you have with you; and you can unknowingly take them with you wherever you go – even back to your own home. It can sometimes take several months for you to discover that bed bugs have invaded since it takes a while for them to reproduce enough for you to notice and since they can go several months without feeding, but an infestation is sure to follow along with the stress and cost that will inevitably occur.
So, because you have always associated bed bugs with beds, you may be asking yourself, “Why are these pests found in places other than beds?” This is a great question, and the answer has everything to do with their stomachs! These tiny pests are parasites that make their meals from the blood of mammals, and human blood is their favorite source. They do not care about cleanliness or the lack thereof, and they do not just hang out in beds. They will hang out anywhere that people frequent in the hopes of finding a new food source. It’s that simple.
Usually, the first sign that bed bugs leave are the small, red, itchy welts on your skin; but many will attribute these wounds to mosquitoes, at first. You may then begin to notice small black specs in seams of mattresses and furniture and tiny blood spots on sheets and pillowcases. There may also be small brown fecal smears on mattresses and other furniture. Of course, discovering the bugs themselves or their shed casings is another sign of an infestation.
Knowing what bed bugs look like is crucial for early detection. Bed bugs are flat, oval, and reddish brown, similar in size and shape to an apple seed. They can range up to 1/4 inch long as adults. They are small but adult bed bugs can usually be seen if areas are closely inspected. The nymphs are just smaller versions of the adults; and the eggs are tiny, opaque to white and are barely visible to the naked eye.
Since bed bugs are very difficult to find and get rid of yourself, you will need to call pest control technician that is experienced in bed bug eradication, using the most effective and efficient processes and treatments.
If you find signs of an infestation in your home or business, you will want to act immediately. If you live in New York, you can call on professionals at Parkway Pest Services to get rid of any bed bug infestations in your home or business. We know how to eradicate bed bugs and have been treating bed bugs in Brooklyn and the New York metro since 1932.
We use a variety of effective methods for finding out where bed bugs are residing, including our K-9 bed bug inspections, mattress encasements, conventional and steam treatments and year-round control and monitoring. We will make an assessment of your property and recommend a treatment plan to suit your needs.