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BED BUGS

Bedbug 5“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” We’ve heard this rhyme; but the truth is, Bed Bugs have caused sleepless nights for over 3,000 years dating back to 1336 B.C. in Ancient Egypt. Since then, they have literally hitchhiked across the world. Between 2004 and 2007, Bed Bugs increased 500% in the U.S. alone. This resurgence is due to: a rise in international tourism and public unfamiliarity with the insect due to a lack of education.

Bed Bugs are brown to reddish-brown insects, measuring approximately 3/16 of an inch long, with a flat, ovular shape. Immature Bed Bugs, also called Nymphs, are even smaller (1.3- 4.5 millimeters; the thickness of a nickel!), translucent or whitish-yellow in color; and if not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye. Their overall appearance is the same as the adults. Bed Bugs are elusive, which is why people who have them may not even know it. Bed Bugs seek refuge from daylight, preferring to hunt during the night when victims are still. They also prefer to make their homes where they can be the most hidden: mattress seams, gaps in headboards and bed frames and the folds of couches. Like any good hunter, Bed Bugs like to stalk their prey close to where they rest and will rarely (although they will in large infestations) make their way far from the bedroom or living room. Attracted to the Carbon Dioxide we exhale, Bed Bugs will pounce when least expected, first numbing the area and then feeding on their victim’s blood. If a Bed Bug infestation goes unnoticed, it can get out of control quickly. Females can lay up to 5 eggs a day. One unnoticed, pregnant Bed Bug can easily turn into over 30,000 in 6 months! Bed Bugs make themselves difficult to notice for another reason: their bites don’t always leave a mark. Only about 50% of humans will show any reaction to bites. Sometimes, a person can appear to have been eaten alive while someone sleeping next to them won’t show any signs at all but they’ve both probably been bitten the same number of times! Bed Bug bites are also impossible to identify (even by doctors) because they look exactly the same as the bites of many different insects.

Bed Bugs can be found in movie theaters, churches, hotels, hospitals and on public transportation, etc. You can even bring them into your home by visiting a friend’s house or bringing home second-hand furniture. The outlook may look bleak, but don’t fret; there are things you can do. First, be very wary of second-hand furniture. There’s no way of knowing the condition of the home it came from; and when it comes to Bed Bugs, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Next, be cautious when staying at hotels. Don’t think that because it’s a nice hotel they don’t have Bed Bugs. Before you put your luggage down, flip the mattress and box spring over and check along all of the seams. Also, take off the headboard if you can and look at the back of it, being sure to check every seam and screw hole. Headboards are the number one offender for Bed Bugs in hotels. Lastly, take precautions in your own home by periodically checking your own furniture. In a recent study, Bed Bugs were found most likely to infest the box spring (35%), sofas and recliners (23%), mattresses (22%), bed frames and headboards (13%), and other areas like coffee tables, nightstands, and baseboards (7%). Be sure to check these areas thoroughly with a good flashlight if you’re worried about Bed Bugs.

If you see Bed Bugs in your home, don’t panic and don’t play Rambo. Bed Bugs are very difficult to kill and most store-bought Bed Bug treatments simply don’t work. Call Accurate Termite & Pest Control immediately and let us take care of this pest! Then get to work reducing any clutter in your home. Clutter is a Bed Bug magnet, so the less there is, the better.

Next, take all of your clothes (because you may have a few hitchhikers) and put them through a dryer on the HIGH heat cycle. Constant heat at 140 degrees for 10 minutes will kill all stages of Bed Bugs. Once your clothes have gone through a dryer, seal them tightly in a trash bag and keep them there until your infestation has been eliminated. The last thing you want to do is reintroduce Bed Bugs onto your clothing. Finally, once your home has been treated the first time, you should go to the store and buy Bed Bug-approved fabric encasements for all of your mattresses and box springs. Fabric encasements are more expensive than plastic, but they are much more durable and do not rip easily saving your wallet in the long run. These encasements will cover the majority of your infestation and eventually, the Bed Bugs trapped on your mattress and box spring will starve to death. Finding a bed bug in your home can feel like a death sentence; but if you call Accurate Termite & Pest Control immediately, it doesn’t have to be.

 

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