Bedtime should be a calming, serene part of the day, a time for relaxation and quiet. But it’s hard to feel relaxed and cozy if you’re sharing your sleeping space with bed bugs. Americans spent an estimated $70 million in 2004 to get rid of bed bugs. That number jumped to a whopping $446 million in 2013, according to leading pest control reports.
Atlanta’s Sizable Bed Bug Problem
Atlanta is a city rich in culture and history. Its unique beauty has served as a backdrop for some of the most important events in American history, including the Civil War. However, now Georgia is fighting another kind of war: bed bug infestations. According to data, Atlanta ranks at No. 25 among the top U.S. cities struggling with bed bugs. A 2014 survey revealed that almost 40% of renters listed bed bugs as the critter they’d most hate to have in their home – and with good reason. In the last five years, Georgia has continued to receive high rankings on bed bug infestation lists. Bed bugs are invading Georgia hotel rooms as well. According to the Bed Bug Registry, there were over 500 reported incidents of Georgia hotels with bed bug issues (http://www.bedbugregistry.com/location/GA).
No Southern Hospitality for Bed Bugs
While bed bugs don’t necessarily cause disease, that’s no reason to show them southern hospitality! Bed bugs can cause a host of extreme issues for the Atlanta residents, including anemia, stress, infections, and, of course, itchy and red welt-like bites. Female bed bugs can lay hundreds of eggs in one lifetime, so preventing or stopping an infestation is crucial.
Getting Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs often leave a trail of blood spots or fecal matter around the bed or mattress. They sometimes hide inside plush toys or furniture. They can also be found in small crevices or cracks in the surrounding room. Bed bugs are tiny and hard to see, so call our licensed Truly Nolen Atlanta professionals to help you identify them.
If you have identified the bed bugs, there are some actions you can take. Heat will kill bed bugs, so wash bedding in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Put the items that can’t be washed, such as shoes or stuffed animals, in the dryer on the highest heat setting for at least a half hour. Bed Bugs can hide in clothing or even in stacks of paper, so reduce the clutter around your bed. While bed bugs are attracted to clutter, they aren’t attracted to dirt or unsanitary living conditions. They’re attracted to blood, warmth, darkness, and carbon dioxide.
Vacuum your mattress and bedroom thoroughly and be careful to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed plastic bag before throwing it away. What if your mattress is infested? Either get rid of it entirely or invest in a zippered, fully sealed mattress cover. If the cover is left on for over a year, it will successfully contain and kill any remaining bed bugs.
Bed Bugs on the Go
Bed bugs may enjoy hitching a ride back from a family vacation or entering your home by way of second hand padded furniture. If you find evidence of bed bugs while traveling, inform a hotel staff member right away. To protect your home against a possible bed bug invasion, vacuum your travel bags and wash all clothing from the trip in hot water. Keep your suitcases off the carpeted floor, wooden luggage racks, or bed when in hotel rooms: bed bugs often hide in these areas.
Be Vigilant Against Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are more than just a pesky nuisance – they pose a unique threat to Atlanta’s population, contributing to many health issues such as anemia, infections, and possible allergies, which, in turn, may cause anaphylaxis. Finding one bed bug means that there may be thousands more where it came from. Take proactive steps to prevent these tiny critters from taking over your bed, your wallet, and your life.
Truly Nolen Atlanta has been exterminating pests in the Atlanta metro area for over a decade and nationally for over 75 years. Call us at 678-561-2847 to set up a home inspection and get the kind of deep sleep you deserve.