Today, It’s A Different Story
In the 1950s, during what is now referred to as the Golden Age of Pesticides, a product called DDT all but wiped out bed bugs in the United States, resulting in decades of freedom from these blood-eating pests. But, this freedom came with a price. DDT was found to be toxic to humans and eventually was removed from widespread use. This ban on DDT, combined with an increase in worldwide travel, allowed for a resurgence of bed bugs in the late 1990s. Today, they can be found in all 50 states, including Alaska.
The bed bug facts
According to a biannual survey called Bugs Without Borders, conducted by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, bed bug infestations have increased at an alarming rate in the last 30 years. In 2015, it was found that 99.6 percent of all pest professionals polled reported that they had treated a bed bug infestation in the prior year. In 2000, only 25% reported dealing with these pests. That is a startling contrast, but the news isn’t all bad. In 2013, 76% of businesses regarded bed bugsas the most difficult pest they have to treat. In the 2015 survey, only 68% reported this to be the case. This shows that the industry as a whole has a greater understanding of how to effectively combat these bugs.
The Bugs Without Borders survey also showed that 95 percent of all pest professionals surveyed found bed bugs in apartments and condominiums, 93 percent of all surveyed found them in single-family homes, and 75 percent found them in hotels and motels. Of all bed bug infestations reported, these are the three places they were found most, but these pests are popping up in more places all over. They can be found in nursing homes, college dorms, offices, schools, daycare centers, hospitals, and on all forms of public transportation.
How does a bed bug infestation start?
These are hitchhiking bugs that infest homes and businesses in the same way. They hitch a ride inside bags, luggage, boxes, electronics, and other portable objects. They are also known to leave their eggs in clothing, luggage seams, and other hidden places. Since, bed bug eggs do not need the mother to hatch, all it takes is a single batch of eggs for an infestation to begin.
Bed bug infestations are more likely:
- When kids return home from college.
- After returning home from a vacation or holiday.
- After bringing home a piece of used furniture or a used mattress.
- When people come to stay the night.
- If you travel on public transportation frequently. Bed bugs have been found in taxis, buses, and subways.
- If you borrow books from the library. Books are often left by the bed and this makes them susceptible to picking up bed bug larvae or having eggs deposited in them.
- If you go out often. Bed bugs have been found in movie theaters, police stations, and other public places.
How are bed bugs detected?
Whether you are a homeowner, apartment renter or a business owner, bed bug detection is the same.
- Know what bed bugs look like. Adult bed bugs are oval in shape and rust colored.
- Understand that bed bug larvae can be as small as the tip of a pen.
- Look for black smear marks on sheets, pillowcases, headboards, baseboards, walls, and on outlet covers.
- Look for black fecal deposits in the pores, seams, and corners of mattresses.
- Look for black fecal deposits in the stitching of upholstered furniture.
- Inspect sheets and pillowcases for dried brown blood stains, shed insect casings, or brownish tan urine stains.
- Be aware that bed bug bites are usually found in a cluster or row because bed bugs feed multiple times. These bites are usually accompanied by a rash. This helps to distinguish these bites from mosquito bites.
The best way to detect bed bugs is to have routine inspections by a pest control professional.
What to do when you find bed bugs.
These blood-eating pests are hard to control, it is not wise to attempt to treat for these bugs on your own. Contact an experienced pest control company for bed bug control services. And, when you seek the help of a professional to solve your bed bug problem, make sure they offer some form of guarantee.
If you live in New Jersey, give us a call. At ChemTec Pest Control, we have over 80 years of experience protecting homes and businesses from pests. Plus, we offer a 6-month bed bug guarantee, so you can know for sure that you are protected.
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