Bed Bugs can Live Anywhere!
Bed bugs don’t care if your house is dirty or clean, large or small. They don’t care don’t care if you are wealthy or low-income. Bed bug infestations occur in the most expensive hotels, multi-million-dollar estates, homeless shelters and everything in between. It is easy to spread a bed bug problem to a new location. Some examples include having guests visit who bring bed bugs and their eggs with them in their clothing, luggage or bedding; purchasing an item or accepting delivery of an item that has bugs or eggs on it; and staying in a hotel that is infested with bed bugs and bringing the bugs home with you in your luggage.
Bed Bug Prevention: They are Impressive Hitchhikers
Bed bug prevention is a lot easier than eliminating an existing infestation. According to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders survey, bed bugs remain the most difficult pest to treat – more difficult than cockroaches, termites and ants!
Vigilance is the key to bed bug prevention. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers. They can move from an infested site to a new home by traveling on furniture, bedding, luggage, boxes, and clothing. When out in public – whether at a hotel, store, movie theater or work place – it is important to be conscientious of all surroundings.
Bed Bug Identification
- Eggs are tiny, white, and glued to surfaces.
- Nymphs are light colored, from 1/16th”.
- Adults are rusty red, apple seed sized, 3/8”. Six legs, oval, flattened from top to bottom.
- Do not jump or fly, but are good runners.
- They tend to congregate together.
- They can live several months without a blood meal.
- Important: Capture several examples of the pest and have them identified by a qualified expert before taking any further actions.
Signs of Bed Bugs:
- Small, whitish shed skins and rusty spots on bed linens which are droppings and blood stains from crushed bugs.
- Live bed bugs of any size.
- Eggs and casings among droppings or in crevices where adults hide.
- An offensive, sweet, musty odor from the bed bugs when infestations are severe.
- You may have red, itchy welts or rashes from bites; however, bite marks are not a reliable indication of a bed bug infestation.
Where do Bed Bugs Hide?
- Mattresses, box springs, bed frames and head boards.
- Along seams, under handles and labels.
- Under the thin dust cloth on bottom of box spring.
- Seams and fabric folds in curtains and under furniture, including chairs and sofas.
- Under wall-to-wall carpeting and padding.
- Anywhere there are cracks or crevices in walls, under wood moldings and baseboards.
- Under loose wallpaper and seams, and where ceiling and wall meet.
- In and behind picture frames and mirrors.
- Clothing and clutter stored in closets, under beds and elsewhere.
- Inside switch plates, electrical outlets, clocks, computers, televisions and smoke detectors.
- On and in recently used luggage, backpacks and bags.
Day to Day Prevention
- Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Change and wash bedding regularly.
- Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
- Use a protective cover that encases the mattresses and box spring to eliminate many hiding spots.
- Check your sheets for tell-tale blood spots.
- Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers.
- Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities.
If you live in a multi-family home or apartment, try to isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
On and Off Island Travel
- Consider bringing a large plastic trash-bag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
- Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
- Inspect hotel mattress and headboard with flashlight.
- Keep bags, luggage, and backpacks off the bed. Inspect and then use a luggage rack.
- Never place clothes, or jackets, on bed or couch. Do not store clothes in dresser.
- If you are concerned about exposure, after travel, seal all items in plastic bags until time for washing or treatment.
- Unpack clothes directly into washer and dryer.
Do bed bugs spread disease?
Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.
What health risks do bed bugs pose?
A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.
Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation. Notify your building, landlord, property manager, guests, or tenants if bed bugs are found in a unit so a unified effort can be made to eradicate them. For additional information please call us at 808-236-BUGS(2847).
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