Bed bugs – such a dreaded little creature. I can’t think of anything I would want to invade my home less than bed bugs! Well, maybe I can think of a few other things but still I itch at the thought of them! These biting insects have the stigma of living in filthy, squalid conditions when, in fact, cleanliness has nothing to do with infestations. They just take up residence wherever they can find their favorite food source – human blood! That means that even your home is at risk to harbor these unpleasant little insects.
After almost 50 years of relative peace from these creatures, they have seemed to find new fame as their numbers and occurrences of bed bugs have been soaring in the past 10 years. In fact, New York City alone currently has almost 4500 reports of infestation on the bed bug registry. Pest control companies have been reporting calls of 1 or 2 per week on average, as opposed to the 1 or 2 per year they were used to. So why the increase? Many experts think that their resilience is partly due to their ability to quickly build up immunity to the insecticides we use to kill them and because the increase in domestic and foreign travel.
So what are bed bugs anyway? Well, they have 3 stages: eggs, nymph, and adult. The eggs and nymphs are both white in color and so small that you cannot see them with your eyes. The adults are reddish/brown in color and small – about the size of an apple seed, except with legs! They are nocturnal insects that feed at night and scamper quickly away at the first signs of light. They do not have wings and appear to be “banded” across their bodies. One thing to realize is that though they don't have a ‘season’, bed bug calls do seem to increase in the summer as more people travel. That said, they can thrive anywhere, anytime and they are awesome hiders. Contrary to their name, they don’t just inhabit your bed! They can hide in nooks and crannies in any room and particularly love to hide in electronics – like stereo systems, game systems,TV's and the like. They can go for weeks without feeding making them nearly impossible to eradicate without the help of a professional.
Bed bugs are easy to miss. Sometimes the only way you even know that you have been invaded by these little insects is to wake up with itchy bites on exposed areas like hands, face, neck or arms, small blood spots on your sheets, or small groups of brown fecal spots on your mattress. Yuck! Once you have them, the best way to rid yourself of these pesky, unwanted guests is to call on a professional like Parkway Pest Services. Parkway Pest offers K9 inspection services which save time and money for you, and gives an accurate ‘reading’ of bed bug infestation. These special dogs can actually smell the bugs and lead the technicians to their hiding places! They are amazing! Parkway Pest also offers comprehensive bed bug treatments, mattress and box spring encasements, and year-round monitoring plans. We have been fighting this battle in Westchester County and throughout the New York City metro since 1932 – so we have plenty of experience dealing with pests! So if you need help in your struggle with bed bugs – or any other pests for that matter – partner with the pest control professionals at Parkway Pest Solutions and rest easy tonight!