Category Archives: Bed Bugs

Bed bugs wreak havoc in Indiana and Kentucky

Residents of the Asheville Housing Authority complex in Aston Park, Indiana, are troubled by a lingering bed bug problem, reports local ABC affiliate WLOS. After dealing with a large bed bug infestation in 2011, authority officials have told the station the problem hasn't worsened and is under control and that they've only received one complaint recently. However, bed bugs remain an ongoing concern for residents.

Occupants of public housing complexes in New Albany, Kentucky, are facing the the same problem, states local news station WHAS 11. The housing authority has recently brought in pest management professionals to search more than 1,000 homes.

Bed bugs have become a  major issue for homeowners and communities across the country, notably in the Midwest and the South. City officials in a Louisville, Kentucky suburb met earlier this week to discuss recent infestation reports, according to WDRB, which covers news for areas of Kentucky and Indiana.

The suburb of Shelbyville code enforcement officer Darryl Williams said bed bug cases in the area are mostly sporadic and occur in apartment complexes. He conducts building inspections weekly.

"We started having problems with mattresses sitting on the side of the roads. We had couches, chairs sitting on the side of the road," Williams told the news service.

Bed bugs are particularly troublesome because they bite and they populate quickly. Many Shelbyville residents are realizing how difficult getting rid of them is without professional help.

"It has to be a professional pesticide company that comes in and does it," said Williams. "It just can't be an individual."

City officials are holding a meeting on Thursday night to discuss pest management and property owner education initiatives.

Because bed bugs infestations are among the most troublesome pest problems, homeowners and landlords should take precautionary measures to catch them early on. It's important to call a pest management professional promptly upon seeing bed bugs, bites or pepper-like flakes of shedded skin on furniture and in fabric or carpeting.

Seek pest control early to avoid costly bed bug infestations

Of all the pests that frequent American households, bed bugs may be the most troublesome. In addition to biting, these critters multiple rapidly and a large population can become impossible to manage very quickly. In addition, if not treated early, an infestation can become very costly and emotionally draining for residents. Homeowners should confront bed bugs upon first notice by hiring an exterminator.

According to the National Pest Management Association, 99 percent of pest control professionals encountered bed bugs in 2011 and 80 percent said bed bug cases have increased. The organization also states bed bugs can hatch one to five eggs per day, or an average of 540 in a lifetime, making it easy for the number of insects to skyrocket in just a matter of weeks.

These pests nest inside mattresses, box springs, pillows, sofas and other places that provide hideouts, such as tight cracks or crevices. If a population is not dealt with early, homeowners may have to replace all the infested furnishings, which can cost thousand of dollars.

While bed bugs can be killed in a laundry machine on high heat, any affected furniture a homeowner decides to keep must be professionally cleaned, which is also costly. It is possible to avoid this route by hiring a pest control professional who can eliminate the bugs quickly and prevent them from spreading to any expensive furniture.

These bugs aren't extremely dangerous, but their bites can cause an allergic reaction or anemia in some instances. As bites are itchy, excessive scratching can lead to a skin infection, which can amount to hefty treatment costs.

Bed bugs can be hard to notice at first, but after just one sighting, homeowners should call an exterminator to handle the situation. Waiting several days or weeks will only result in the problem worsening and becoming a costly nightmare. Seeking help immediately can help prevent residents from incurring excessive expenses.

Bed bugs aren’t just bed bugs

While many often associate bed bug dwelling habits with hotels, motels, hostels and inns, there's a reason they can show up in places like movie theaters, dressings rooms and schools, according to the University of Florida News.

Pests can live with minimal food
Bed bugs can not only survive, but thrive on much less human blood than previously believed necessary, according to a University of Florida study, which also found that in just 11 weeks, a pair of the blood-sucking parasites can spawn a large enough population to cause harmful blood loss to a baby. Populations only need four more weeks to significantly affect adults. According to the source, it takes only 3,500 feeding bed bugs to harm a baby and 25,000 to cause problems in an adult.

"By harmful, we mean it’s not killing you, but your body would be stressed," said Roberto Pereira, a research associate scientist of entomology to University of Florida News. "And when your body is stressed, all sorts of things can go wrong. Your blood volume would be low, your iron levels might be too low or you might become anemic."

Pereira and his colleagues tested how the bugs thrived depending on the availability of blood sources, and found that populations grew even when they experienced a limited food supply.

“Basically what we found is that they can live on a diet of weekly snacks,” Pereira said.

The researchers also found that uncontrolled, large bed bug populations can grow four times faster than previously thought in just 11 to 15 weeks.

A growing problem
Bed bug population in the U.S.have surged in the past decade, suspected to be caused by international travel, an increased resistance to pesticides and limited public health programs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The growing number of bed bug reports have prompted some federal, state and local government action. According to CBS News San Francisco, the city recently approved legislation that mandates property owners disclose bed bug history. This move comes as a result of many bed bug reports and complaints from residents.

Homeowners dealing with bed bug problems shouldn't try to tackle the issue on their own. According to the University of Florida study, pest control efforts that fail to kill more than 80 percent of a population are likely to be ineffective in ridding an area of bed bugs, making it extremely important for individuals experiencing an infestation to seek professional intervention from an exterminator.

Bed bugs not just a problem in hotels

Many students feel a bit anxious when back-to-school season comes around and it's time to move into their college dormitories. Parents are likely stressed as well, trying to ensure their kids have everything they need before packing the car and driving off to campus. After moving furniture and boxes and making last-minute runs to the store, pupils and their parents may not be prepared to handle yet another problem – dorm-dwelling bed bugs.

Many people used to assume bed bugs were only active in hotels, but that's far from the truth. Bed bugs can live anywhere and spread quite easily, making it hard to prevent unknowingly picking up the pests and bringing them home. College students across the country are finding the unwelcome insects in their new dorm rooms

Pests make their way to campuses
Several students attending the University of Maryland at College Park have discovered bed bugs in their dorm rooms after noticing itchy welts on their skin. Some of the pupils reported the problems immediately, but were dismayed to find that the school took days to respond to requests for assistance removing the bugs, according to the school's newspaper The Diamondback.

This isn't the first time the university has struggled with bed bug problems. The Diamondback reported that some dormitories have had problems with infestations for years. To help combat the issue, school officials added a bed bug clause to their housing contracts in 2011 – students must now prove their rooms are free of pests upon moving out.

While some schools have had ongoing battles with the bugs, some colleges are discovering new issues just weeks after students moved into their buildings. William Paterson University, located in Wayne, New Jersey, has recently discovered an infestation, after a student discovered the pests in her room at the beginning of the semester. The school has taken steps to prevent the spread of the problem, but students have still been advised to wash their bedding and clothing, while also keeping an eye out for any bugs.

It's not just dorm rooms that are at risk – bed bugs can also be found in classrooms and other university buildings. Maryland's Carroll Community College recently discovered some pests on classroom chairs and simulation tables. The school quickly closed the infested classrooms and will reopen them once they are bug free.

Bed bugs can be difficult to eliminate, and those who fear an infestation should always contact pest control professionals. Without the help of an experienced exterminator, the bugs may spread and cause emotional and psychological distress for those dealing with the problem.

How to protect yourself from bed bugs while traveling

Summer vacation season may be winding down, but fall weekend getaways and holiday travel are right around the corner. While most people consider a vacation a relaxing, refreshing break, a trip can turn into a nightmare if you return home to discover you've brought bed bugs back with you. It's easy to pick up these unwanted souvenirs, and they are notoriously difficult to get rid of without help from professional exterminators. Remember that it is important to take precautionary steps to ensure your next trip doesn't leave you with bed bug bites or an infested house!

Check your room
If you're staying at a hotel, it's imperative to check your room for any signs of bed bugs as soon as you arrive. The pests have many different hiding places, but as their name suggests, they are often found around beds. Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress, and don't forget to examine the corners and seams, where it's easy for bed bugs to hide.

Don't stop after checking just the mattress – there are plenty of other places bed bugs like to lurk. Look over the box spring, headboard and even the nightstand. Don't forget to check the sofa bed if your room has one. The bugs can also live in carpeting, so scan the floor for bugs as well. Did you bring a flashlight? Use it to help you inspect the room. If you don't have one, you can use a flashlight app on a family member's smartphone.

What are you looking for?
You can examine the entire hotel room closely, but that won't really help you if you aren't sure of exactly what you're looking for. When checking the room, look for the pests themselves, which are flat and brown. Young bed bugs may be harder to spot, since they are nearly colorless and blend into white sheets and mattresses.

Search for more than just living bugs. You'll also want to examine the hotel room for other evidence of the insects. Look for cast skins, which the young bugs shed as they grow. Do you notice any small stains on the mattress or near the bed? It may be blood from bites or bed bug fecal matter. If you find any live bugs or evidence of an infestation, it's important to request a room change or find a new hotel before a pest finds its way into your luggage!

Keeping your luggage pest free
While it's crucial to inspect a room for signs of bed bugs, it isn't always a guaranteed way to ensure there are no pests present in the room. These insects are adept at hiding, and they can be easy to miss.

It may be tempting to drop your luggage on the floor or bed after a long plane ride or exhausting car trip, but avoid putting suitcases and bags in those two spots at all costs. Pests can easily crawl into your luggage if it's placed on the bed or carpeting. Instead, put your bags on luggage racks, on a table or even in the bathroom, where bed bugs rarely hide. Some experts even advise covering luggage with a trash bag so no pests are able to crawl inside.

Bed bugs can hide in clothes, and spread throughout your bags, so travelers are advised to keep clothing they have worn inside the hotel in sealed plastic bags before stowing it in their suitcases. Because they come into direct contact with the bed, vacationers should be especially careful about ensuring their pajamas are sealed before being packed up.

Avoid bringing home bugs
Even if you've taken every precaution to avoid bed bugs, sometimes they can still sneak into your luggage or clothing unnoticed. Keep your house pest free by unpacking your luggage in the garage when you return home – this will ensure the critters have nothing to grab and prevent them from spreading.

Closely examine each piece of clothing and your suitcase for any bugs that may have hitchhiked back to your home. Even if everything looks pest free, it's a good idea to wash and dry all items you brought with you. This will kill any bugs that you may have missed. When you've finished unpacking, don't store that suitcase in your closet. Leave it in the garage just in case any pests are still hiding in the seams. Missing just a bug or two could result in the pests spreading throughout your home.

Taking precautionary measures is the first step in preventing a bed bug infestation. Unfortunately, it is still possible to wind up with a pest problem after returning home from a trip. In this instance, a pest control professional can recommend the best treatment to rid your home of bed bugs.

Professional pest control companies the best at handling bed bugs

The Federal Trade Commission recently charged several companies with deceptive advertising. These companies marketed products that supposedly prevent and clear up bed bug infestations with natural ingredients, like cedar oil, lemongrass and cinnamon. The pest-killing claims were not supported with any evidence.

The FTC sued the companies in federal court, and one of them has agreed to cease marketing their product as a way to prevent bed bug infestations.

Bed bugs affect areas throughout the country and can be extremely difficult to eradicate. They can access the tiniest of spaces, where they are often not spotted until an infestation becomes severe. Mattress seams, behind headboards and behind wallpaper are common places for the pests to hide. Although their tiny size makes them hard to eliminate, their ability to live up to a year without eating also contributes to their resilience.

Homeowners facing bed bug problems are often embarrassed about the issue and try to treat the problem themselves instead of turning to insect control professionals. However, a bed bug infestation is nothing to be embarrassed about, as it has little to do with cleanliness. They can be picked up while traveling, visiting friends or even by bringing used clothing or furniture into your house. It's easy for these unwelcome creatures to sneak into your home undetected.

To prevent inadvertently bringing home the bugs, it's important to take caution when traveling. Check beds in hotels for signs of an infestation, and set suitcases on a luggage rack rather than letting them sit on the bed or carpet. Upon returning home, inspect all clothing and luggage, and wash everything, even items that weren't worn during your trip. Traveling isn't the only time you may encounter bed bugs – buying used clothing and furniture can also contribute to an unexpected infestation. Examine all purchases to ensure there aren't any bugs hiding in the items, and wash used clothing before stowing it in your closet.

Because these pests are difficult to get rid of, professional assistance is usually necessary. Don't risk using products that won't eliminate an infestation. If you've discovered signs of these insects, it's important to act quickly before the problem worsens. Calling a pest control company immediately is the first step to take in your battle against bed bugs. Professionals can confirm that the insects really are bed bugs, and they can recommend the best form of treatment based on your situation.

Do you have a bed bug infestation?

Bed bugs have become increasingly common over the last few years, and it seems that no one is immune to an infestation. While the pests were fairly common in the past, they were nearly eradicated after World War II. Unfortunately, some colonies survived and have spread all over the world.

The pests have been found in hotels, public buildings and college dorm rooms. If they haven't found their way into your home yet, it may just be a matter of time before the bed bugs start biting. It is important for a homeowner to know what to look for when a bed bug infestation is suspected, so pest control experts can take the appropriate actions immediately.

Examine your skin
One of the first bed bugs signs some people notice is red, itchy welts on their bodies. Bed bugs feed on human blood and their saliva often causes an allergic reaction in humans. This causes the bitten area to swell and itch. The pests are usually active at night, and the welts may not be noticeable for a day or more. If anyone in your home has such symptoms, it is important to quickly determine if the cause of the bumps is bed bugs.

Even though their bites leave irritating welts, bed bug bites cannot transmit disease. However, their presence may cause emotional distress for a homeowner dealing with an infestation.

Check your furniture
Bed bugs are often found in mattresses. If an infestation is suspected, a homeowner should first examine mattresses and box springs. Signs of bed bugs often include dark spots on a mattress, molted skin or even the insects themselves. Since the bugs tend to hide during the day, it is important to check in cracks and seams when looking for signs of the pests. Bed bug eggs are tiny and light-colored, making them hard to spot, but they may be visible on darker surfaces.

Mattresses are not the only places bed bugs like to call home. They also can infest headboards, bed frames and other pieces of furniture. Closely examine all furniture, especially pieces with creases, folds and seams since the pests tend to hide in these areas.

Call in a professional
It is impossible for a homeowner to successfully eliminate a bed bug issue on their own. The pests are notoriously difficult to get rid of, but professional exterminators can rid a structure of the blood-sucking bugs.

How to prevent a bed bug infestation this fall

If you're preparing for a last-minute summer vacation, the back-to-school season or a new job, you should be aware of a notoriously pesky insect: the bed bug. These pests are difficult to get rid of and can be picked up anywhere. It is important to know what precautions to take to avoid bed bugs whether you're staying at a hotel or moving into a college dormitory. Knowledge and preventative pest control measures are the most important thing you can do to prevent a bed bug infestation.

Colleges
Young people on a budget will often purchase second-hand pieces to furnish their college dorms or apartments. It is critical to inspect used furniture to ensure it is not infested with bed bugs, as they can spread. Checking small cracks and creases thoroughly for insects, eggs and stains is key to preventing an infestation from used furniture. College students living in school dormitories should be instructed by their parents to inspect mattresses and headboards to ensure the room is not crawling with the pests.

Elementary and high schools
College dorms, apartments and fraternity houses aren't the only place a student can pick up bed bugs. More and more elementary and high schools are reporting problems with the pests, and it is entirely possible for younger kids to pick them up unknowingly and bring them home. Teaching children to keep an eye out for pests and inspecting their belongings regularly is key to preventing an infestation, especially if your child's school stores students' belongings in close quarters.

Hotels and meeting rooms
It is equally important to check beds at a hotel when traveling. Bed bug infestations are not exclusive to unclean hotels, and luxury accommodations are just as likely to have an infestation as a budget room. These pests are hitchhikers and can crawl into luggage and clothing, making it possible to bring the infestation home when your vacation is over. Prevent a stowaway by making sure you place your suitcase on the luggage rack in your room, rather than on a bed or on the carpet. Upon arriving home, it is important to wash everything in your suitcase to kill any bed bugs that may have gotten in.

Seek assistance
If bed bugs, eggs or other suspicious signs of the pests are found, it is important to call a professional exterminator as soon as possible to handle the problem. Waiting may cause the infestation to worsen, and bed bugs are notoriously difficult for homeowners to treat on their own. An insect control company can recommend the best form of treatment for the pests.

Arizona family suffered with bed bugs for entire year

An infestation of bed bugs caused some major headaches for an Arizona household.

According to Phoenix-area independent news station KTVK, when an Arizona woman and her husband first discovered the bed bugs in their home, they did not know how to properly handle the problem. They tried getting rid of the pests on their own, but the infestation only grew, spreading to every room in their house. The couple began sleeping on chairs in the living room to avoid getting bites from the bugs in their beds.

Because the couple were embarrassed to ask for assistance to eliminate their pest problem, they learned to live with the bed bugs for more than a year.

Finally, the woman's daughter decided it was time to seek treatment for the insects that continued to plague the household. She arranged for insect control professionals to take care of the problem.

Severe bed bug infestations are a challenge to get rid of and often require professional assistance.

A local pest control expert told the source that the pests are notoriously hard to treat because even leaving one tiny egg behind means the bed bug population will continue to grow.

Exterminators spent hours in the home, utilizing treatments known to be effective against bed bugs. After the treatments were finished, the crew stuck bed bug-attracting traps on the walls. The traps determine if there are still bed bugs in a residence after it is treated.

Several weeks after the bed bug treatment, the couple did not find any bed bugs in the traps, meaning their home may finally be completely free of the pests.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that while the presence of bed bugs is irritating, an infestation has nothing to do with the cleanliness of a home. The cleanest of residences can succumb to a pest invasion, which is usually noticed when itchy bites occur while sleeping. Even though these bites cannot spread disease, scratching the welts excessively has the potential to increase the chance that a secondary skin infection will develop around the area.

Bed bug control is a difficult task for homeowners to undertake on their own, and those experiencing an infestation should contact an pest control professional for advice and effective treatment before the problem spreads to other areas of the house.