It’s bed bug awareness week | And if you’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!
Q: What are some of the most common places to get bed bugs??
A: Well bed bugs can come from anywhere. But some of the most common places they are found are (but not limited to):
Q: Are bed bugs more attracted to dirty homes?
A: No. This is a common and incorrect stigma. Sanitary conditions DO NOT affect the ability to get bed bugs or add any kind of attractive factor when it comes to them. Anyone can get them, regardless of sanitation.
Q: Years ago I rarely ever heard about bed bugs, why does it seem like they’re everywhere now?
A: There are a lot of factors that play a role in bed bug population, but a lot of it has to do with the increase of travel. Years ago people weren’t as likely to just hop on a plane and head overseas for vacation or across the country hitting up a hotel after hotel. Also there has been a significant increase in college education. Now more teenagers pack up their stuff and head into dorm rooms and study abroad programs all over the world.
To add to the interaction between people and places, the bed bugs themselves have become adaptive to many pest control products. The University of Kentucky released a study on bed bugs proving that their genes have developed a resistance to pesticides alone…
The Scientific American reported, “The high number of resistance genes in all populations examined by Palli and his colleagues is ‘horrifying,’ says Rajeev Vaidyanathan, an associate director of vector biology in the Center for Immunology and Infectious Disease at SRI International, who was not involved in the study. That the bugs have multiple ways of undermining the effects of pesticides is ‘devastating,’ he adds.”
Q: I did my research and the internet has a lot of “do it yourself” ways to get rid of bed bugs, do any of them work?
A: This is not a pin it on Pinterest kind of ordeal… if you have bed bugs, you have a serious problem. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation is going to get. We’ve heard it all…dryer sheets, rubbing alcohol, garlic, kerosene heaters, over the counter sprays, and even complete clean outs. The truth is, the only proven and effective way to remove bed bugs is by a professional who offers heat treatment. There are certain steps you could do to help your situation: wash clothing and linens in hot water and dry on high in your dryer, use a steam cleaner or hairdryer for shoes and other non-washable items to stop from spreading the eggs, and stay out/off infested areas within your home. Bed bugs, like stated before, are resistant to certain professional products, but heating a facility with the proper equipment and at the right temperature is the most proven method to remove and rid your home of these pests. This is not a DIY project; this is a call a professional matter.
Q: My couch has bed bugs, should I just throw it out? Will it get rid of my problem?
A: No. We realize that everyone’s first instinct would be to remove the item that is infested. It seems simple: remove the couch and then the bed bugs go with it. However, doing that has the opposite effect. When you take that couch or mattress through your home to throw it out, those bed bugs go everywhere but ‘out’. By doing that you are now spreading them and their eggs throughout your home. They could now be on the carpeting, the walls, the stairs, the legs of your pants and the bottoms of your shoes. Keep the item in your home, heat treatments now allow us to kill the bed bugs without removing all your belongings.
Q: My husband has bites but I don’t. How are these marks from bed bugs when we both sleep in the same bed?
A: This is a common occurrence and is often a misdiagnosis when it comes to bed bugs. In these situations the bit marks are actually misconstrued for a rash. The truth is that two people can sleep in a bed with bedbugs and only one will be visually bitten. Those who are visually bitten are actually having an allergic reaction to the anesthetic injected by the bed bug. You see, when bed bugs bite, they inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant (blood clotting deterrent) that prevents a person from realizing they are being bitten. Most people do not realize they have been bitten until bite marks appear anywhere from one to several days after the initial bite. Some people never develop any sign of being bitten at all.
Q:I have pets, can they get bit?
A: Bed bugs prefer to bite people and will not seek out animals unless a human host cannot be found. Pet bedding and fur can carry bed bugs, but they will travel to humans to actually feed.
Q: Can bed bugs carry diseases?
A:Bed bugs should not be considered as a medical or public health hazard. Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep along with allergic reactions.