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Why have bed bugs become a national epidemic?
One of the fastest growing concerns amongst homeowners is bed bugs. A recent report shows that bed bug infestations have increased 500% in the U.S. Bed bugs have made a worldwide comeback and unfortunately, they are turning up in many surprising places, such as fancy hotels, hospitals, college residence halls, offices, laboratories, airports, and maybe even your home. Why? Many experts consider globalization a major culprit. People and goods are traveling more widely and in greater numbers than ever before, plus most people do not think of bed bugs nor have any idea what they look like. Bed bugs are small, easily overlooked, often nocturnal, and can live for months without eating, making them perfect stowaways in luggage, backpacks, and shipping crates.
How will I know if I have bed bugs in my home?
The first step is identification. Bed bugs are difficult to spot with the naked eye. Before they eat, they look like small tan specks of rice. After feasting on blood, they turn dark reddish brown in color and are easier to see. Bed bugs are long, flat and oval in shape and approximately 3/16 inch, which is smaller than an apple seed. They are often confused with a tick.
Bed Bugs feed on the blood of humans, birds and rodents. Bite marks on the skin are another indication that you may have an infestation. At the site of a bite, a large oval shaped inflammation or swelling of the skin may occur followed by severe itching. Bed bugs often leave bite marks in a straight line one after another. Their bite is often times undetectable because proteins in their saliva cause a numbing sensation to the host as they bite. One alarming reality is that as bedbugs bite, they excrete blood from the previous victim on to your skin.
Bed bugs do not just leave their mark on your skin. Another sign that you may have bed bugs is rusty red blood stains and dark spots from fecal matter on walls, mattresses, bedding, sheets and
pillow cases. Bed bugs give off a sweet musty odor, which is another sign that you may have an infestation.
Treatment by a Trained Bed Bug Professional
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control. Effective treatment requires a pest control professional. When choosing a company, it is important to consider their experience in dealing with bed bugs and whether or not they will come back after the initial treatment to ensure the infestation is gone. If the entire bed bug population is not destroyed, your infestation will come back. If you have any questions or think your home may be infested with bed bugs, please call 1-800-81-HERON for immediate assistance. We will send out a manager to perform a thorough bed bug inspection at no charge to you.
Why are Bed Bugs Difficult to Control?
Bed Bugs are difficult to control for a number of reasons:
Nocturnal behavior makes detection difficult:
Bed bugs are nocturnal, meaning they only come out at night while you are sleeping. During the day, they hide in the tightest of spaces including cracks and crevices in the walls, bed frames, behind baseboards and mattress seams. This is why bed bugs often go undetected until a severe infestation has occurred.
Ability to hibernate and go without food for long periods of time:
Another reason that bed bugs are difficult to control and often go undetected is because they can hibernate for months at a time going dormant and resurfacing months later. They are extremely
resilient and can survive up to one year without food! During these long hibernation periods, unreported bites give a false sense of control.
Ease of mobility and rapid reproduction:
Another reason that bed bugs are difficult to control is that they travel easily. They hitch a ride on backpacks, luggage and clothing from one place to the next. Once inside a home, bed bugs can travel through wall voids spreading the infestation from room to room making control extremely difficult. They also reproduce rapidly. A female lays 10-50 eggs at a time laying up to 500 in her lifetime, which creates an infestation rapidly.