The rise of Bed Bugs

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Bed bugs are on an uphill climb and they are infesting virtually every area of the United States. Some entomologists are calling the soaring number of reported bed bug cases an epidemic. New York City has been hit hard, as well as other popular cities we all like to travel to, including San Francisco and Philadelphia. Bed bugs flourish in hotels, whether they are one star dumps or five star resorts. Being clean and clutter free will help you to discover bed bugs sooner. The sooner you find them, the better. If you let things go, instead of one room in your home being infested, your entire home will be contaminated.

Bed bugs are known by the name Cimex lectularius, and receive their nourishment from the blood of humans and warm blooded animals like dogs and cats. They are active at night, which means they feast on your blood while you are sleeping. Bed bugs have no wings and are flat and egg shaped. They range in color from harvest orange to reddish brown. The young are clear to milky white in color. It is said that bed bugs are drawn to the carbon dioxide we give off while we sleep. Bed bugs typically eat every five to ten days.

What are some signs that you have bed bugs? If you wake up in the morning with little red bumps resembling those you would have if mosquitoes bit you, you may have bed bugs. The very first thing you should do is thoroughly examine your mattress, paying special attention to the seams and stitching. Another clue that you have bed bugs are brown and red stains speckled across your sheets and mattress. Bed bugs go to the bathroom too, and if you roll over them and squash them while you are sleeping, the result will be stains. The itching you will experience is very intense, more so than if the bites were from mosquitoes. Bed bugs bites run in a line following your veins, whereas mosquitoes bite you in random areas.

If you do find bed bugs in your home, how to you effectively kill them? You should remove all of your bed linens and wash them in very hot water. Dry them on the hottest setting and place them in plastic bags or containers until you kill all the bed bugs in the infested room. Vacuum and steam clean the carpets and draperies, using attachments to get into the hard to reach areas, like crevices and creases. Attachments are also great to use along the perimeter of the room and underneath the baseboards. When you are done vacuuming, burn the bag or place in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.

Cleaning is just touching the surface. You need to purchase natural bed bug spray and bed bug powder products specifically created to destroy bed bugs. Chemical pesticides are losing their potency with bed bugs because of their toxic qualities, so all natural products are the way to go. Sodium lauryl sulfate in spray form and diatomaceous earth are two natural substances that effectively kill bed bugs. If you do a search online, you will see product lines containing these “green” substances.

Remember that early detection is key in getting rid of bed bugs.

By: Bradley Skierkowski