The Bed Bug Epidemic
Until a decade ago, it was assumed that bed bug problems were a thing of the past in the United States. This has all changed, however. From every region of the country reports are constantly coming out on increased bed bug activity; this activity is even reaching epidemic levels in some major cities. This bed bug explosion can be attributed to three main causes:
Globalization, which, has led to an increase in international travel. Persons coming into or returning to the U.S. often unwittingly brought the pest with them, leading to the reintroduction of bed bugs into America.
Greater mobility within the country as people continue to relocate in search of better employment opportunities. Movement of people generally means movement of bed bugs, since the bed bugs nest in furniture and household decor items.
Finally, a general reduction in pest control expenses. During the recession many hotels, property managers and landlords cut back expenses on pest control measures, which in turn has given the bed bugs more opportunity for expansion.
In Colorado and Wyoming, bed bugs are on the rise in larger cities; bed bugs in Boulder have been a particular problem as there are a lot of college kids coming and going; bed bugs in Fort Collins, Cheyenne and Laramie are also concerns, and many of these municipalities have invested in educating the public on bed bug identification and bed bug removal. However, smaller municipalities can also be effected, especially small motels that accommodate travelers from out of the area.
About Bed Bugs
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is a small, parasitic insect that feeds off the blood of humans, though they will also feed on certain domestic animals. They have oval-shaped bodies and are extremely small (adults only grow to 4-5 millimeters) and usually have a rusty brown coloration, though they may appear red if they have been feeding recently. Bed bugs normally have a flattened body, but it becomes bloated and slightly elongated after they have been feeding.
As their name suggests, beds are common hiding place for bed bugs. Their flattened body enables them to hide in any crack, crevice or fold. Mattresses, bed clothes, box springs, bed frames, cracks and crevices in walls or hard wood flooring are all potential hiding places. Bed bugs are also known to hide behind wall paper and in picture frames on the walls, as well as inside dresser drawers. Almost anything can be used as a nest, and bed bugs will always try to nest as close to their food source as possible.
Bed bugs will generally feed every five to ten days, although they have been known to survive for up to a year without feeding. They are attracted to their hosts by carbon dioxide emitted from breathing, but also by body heat. Bed bugs feed nocturnally, coming out of their nest for a blood feeding that usually lasts about five minutes. When a bed bug bites a human, it injects anticoagulants and anesthetics that both numb the area around the bite and prevent the blood from clotting. Most people subject to bed bug bites sleep through the feeding and do not realize they have been bitten until later.
Signs of Bed Bugs
How do you know if you have bed bugs? The most common indicator is unexplained bites on the body, usually on the arms or legs, although it must be stressed that this alone is not enough to rule other possible causes. A more certain sign of a bed bug problem is tiny blood trails found on the sheets or around the seams of the mattress. After bed bugs feed, they tend to drip blood and fecal matter as they return from the feeding site to their nest.
Large bed bug infestations are often accompanied by a distinctive odor, as well. The odor is generally musty and sweet-smelling; this unique smell has been described as resembling raspberries, moldy shoes, or almonds.
Bed Bug Treatment
Creature Control is committed to providing the “best solution” for each client. Our bed bug treatment plan is unique in the products we use and how we perform the treatment process. Creature Control’s pest technicians utilize a variety of treatments and habitat modifications to remove bed bug populations and help you get the peace of mind you deserve. We eliminate unnecessary steam cleaning of carpeting through the application of a natural agent that is deadly to bed bugs, and destroys their eggs, but is harmless to you. We keep you informed throughout the progress of the treatment, making suggestions depending on the level of the infestation. Also, all our services are kept completely confidential!
Bed bug removal is possible, though it needs to be done properly in order to be effective and permanent. If you suspect you have a bed bug issue, call the bed bug experts at 844-774-3284.
Some ways not to get rid of bed bugs
Many people errantly believe they can get rid of bed bugs by turning the heat up in their home. This is will not be practical, as the thermal death point for bed bugs is 115º F. Treatments relying on heat or also CO2 cannot reach all of the locations where bed bugs hide.
Landlords will often try to get rid of bed bugs in a unit by leaving it vacant for an extended period of time, thinking thereby to starve the bed bugs by depriving them of human hosts. Since bed bugs can go for over a year without feeding, this is a lengthy, inefficient (and costly) way to deal with the problem. Furthermore, bed bugs allowed to remain dormant in a vacant apartment long enough will eventually migrate to another unit.
There is no easy way to get rid of bed bugs on your own. It is important to note that specific chemical and non-chemical procedures must be used in proper sequence to end infestations. Bed bug removal requires professional treatment and experience. We want you to to get the most for your money, but most importantly, the most out of your sleep.