I Spy a Bed Bug

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It is amazing to think that after World War II our country was totally free of bed bugs. They have a reputation for being a particularly pesky parasite. Things have changed today as the world has opened up to lots of us with the advances of air travel. People from all over the world and from all walks of life are traveling from place to place. Unbeknownst to them, these little parasites hide in their clothing or baggage and take a ride to a new country, laying their eggs when they get there and starting a whole new infestation in a new place. Without the help of DDT (banned for causing serious health complications), it is much harder to get rid of bed bugs.

Bed bugs are difficult to see and to recognize. Therefore, you should become familiar with their description. Young bed bugs are so small they are barely visible. When bed bugs fully develop they are about ¼ of an inch long. They appear to be flat and resemble an apple seed. Colors of bed bugs also vary. They range from white to a harvest orange color to a light tan. After the bed bugs feed on their host, their color changes and they balloon up because of the blood meal they have consumed. They may be a dark red or black color. These bugs also produce waste and when they do you may see reddish spots on the bed and these linens may become foul smelling. Other times there are no signs that these parasites are around. Nymphs are immature bed bugs. They look like the adults but they molt and afterwards are a yellowish color. It takes a nymph a month to become an adult. Pretty scary when you figure how many bed bugs are out there and how many eggs each of the female adults lay per day (up to five).

If you have a bed bug infestation, there are products, “green” products, which work effectively in the treatment of bed bugs. Diatomaceous earth and sodium lauryl sulfate have been proven to be champion fighters in the battle against bed bugs. Both are safe for the environment and for us.

By: Bradley Skierkowski