Tag Archives: bed bug control

Bed Bugs in America Survey

From the NPMA’s Bed Bugs in America Survey:

  • One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel
  • Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are found in all 50 states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West.
  • Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing. Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels; 52 percent on public transportation; 49 percent in movie theaters; 44 percent in retail stores; 40 percent in medical facilities; 36 percent in their own homes; and 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes. The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.
  • As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation: 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.
  • Sixteen percent of survey respondents inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes; 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing and 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.
  • Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.
  • Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs. Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease. However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts; 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households, and 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes.  Bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.

Other NPMA Bed Bug Facts:

  • Bed bugs can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in a lifetime.
  • Bed bugs can survive for seveal months without eating.
  • Bed bugs can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bed bug draw blood for about five minutes before retreating to digest.
  • Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress.
  • Bed bugs can ingest seven times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average-sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid.
  • Bed bugs are found in all 50 U.S. states.
Advertisements

Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

MISSOULA, Mont. — Researchers in Montana are testing hot peppers to see if they will deter deer mice from eating grass seeds, the Helenian.com reports.

Dean Pearson, a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, is toying with ways of attaching the powder derived from the bhut jolokia pepper – one of the hottest known to man – with the seeds of native plants used in restoration work.

“I’ve done work to show that mice can have a big impact on seeds,” said Pearson. “When they put the seeds down to plant, the rodents come and eat them up. So we’re looking to use a cheap and dirty method to protect seeds from mice.”

That cheap and dirty method involves the bhut jolokia pepper, which is used in parts of India to keep elephants away. It also has been considered as a non-lethal weapon to flush criminals and terrorists from hiding places.

One man who ate a bhut jolokia pepper on a dare allegedly spent hours vomiting, sweating and hallucinating. Pearson said such reactions to the pepper pertain to mice and men alike, along with all other mammals, making it an effective deterrent.

Peterson added that he and his team have experimented with waxes and oils, each of which have shown effectiveness, but also have drawbacks.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: helenair.com

Earth’s Most Extreme Insects

Entomologists at the University of Florida scoured the literature to come up with a list of insects that were the coolest, fastest, largest, longest, loudest and brightest. They also chose more unusual champions: best imitator, least specific vertebrate bloodsucker and most spectacular mating just to name a few of them. Wired Science put together a list of 40 of their favorites, all which have their own allure to them: Earth’s Most Extreme Insects.

Bed Bug Tips for Travel

Tips for Travelers

If you stay in a hotel or motel, it is important that you take some precautions to ensure that your room is bed-bug free before you settle in. In a recent survey by the NPMA, 67% of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered bed bug infestations in hotels and motels. The NPMA recommends the following preventions tips to avoid bed bugs while traveling:
  • At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots.  If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.  If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.

The Truth About Bed Bugs & Health

The Truth About Bed Bugs & Health

– National Pest Management Association

Bed bugs and disease

The words “bed bugs” tend to evoke many unpleasant feelings and the idea of being in the proximity of these pests can often send people running. However, as bed bug infestations have become more commonplace in the past few years, it is important to know why bed bugs are drawn to us and what implications these blood-sucking pests have on human health. Here ten important bed bug facts to know:

Fact # 1: Bed bugs are attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide. So, if you are alive, warm and breathing – you are a bed bug magnet. Although bed bugs are not nocturnal, they are most active at night because that is when their human targets are sleeping and emitting a steady stream of carbon dioxide allowing for prime feeding time.

Fact #2: Just because you don’t see them, it does not mean they are not there. In fact, you have to look closely because they can be hard to see. Bed bugs love to hide in the cracks and crevices associated with mattresses, cushions, bed frames and other structures. They are rarely seen out in the open or on the resting surface of beds or chairs— with the exception of large-scale infestations. They are champions of hide-and-seek. It is not uncommon to miss bed bugs altogether, so also look for telltale signs of an infestation such as specks of blood or feces found on linens, mattresses or on walls.

Fact #3: Bed bugs have flat oval bodies, are reddish-brown in color and are sometimes described as having the size and appearance of an apple seed. Adult bed bugs range in size from 5-7 mm (<1/4 inch), while nymphs (juveniles) may be a small is 1.5 mm (1/16 of an inch). As they feed they enlarge, or engorge, with blood. The adults turn from more brown to more red in color, while the translucent nymphs may become bright red.

Fact # 4: Bed bugs typically feed at night by biting exposed areas of skin such as the face, neck, hands, legs and arms. The bite itself is painless and usually goes undetected at the time because bed bugs inject an anticoagulant (a blood thinner)  along with an anesthetic to create a numbing effect as they feed. Because feeding usually takes 5-10 minutes, this anesthetic-like compound allows the bed bugs to easily feed uninterrupted.

Fact #5: Bed bug bites can look a lot like other insect bites. Clues that can suggest the presence of bed bugs include finding red, itchy bites upon awakening – especially if the bites line up in a row on the skin (known as breakfast, lunch and dinner). However, while some people develop a bite reaction immediately, others may not see a reaction for 2-3 days — and some may not see a reaction at all. A bed bug bite can appear as a tiny puncture wound without a surrounding reaction, and can easily be missed (30 percent of individuals living in bed bug infested dwellings report a lack of bites or skin reactions). This appears to be more common amongst the elderly, as noted in the studyThe Sensitivity Spectrum: Human Reactions to Bed Bug Bites. On the other hand, other people have exuberant reactions, with large red, raised and itchy welts. This is especially true if one becomes sensitized to bed bugs bites, so that with repeated bites there may be a more exaggerated skin reaction.

Fact #6: In situations with persistent exposures to the pest, bed bug bites may appear in groups. Given bedbug bites usually take 3 to 6 weeks to heal, as long as the infestation is still present, new bites may accumulate even as the older ones disappear. Thus, people may have various bite reactions in various stages of evolution at the same time.

Fact #7: Bed bug bites do not typically require treatment. Itching is by far the most common complaint by those who experience bed bug bites. If the itching becomes severe, people will find relief with topical steroid creams or oral antihistamines. Clean the bite site(s) with soap and water and avoid scratching so as to prevent infection. If a secondary infection occurs, consult your physician so it can be managed with antibiotics as appropriate. Progressive swelling, warmth, tenderness and (albeit rare) fever may be signs of secondary infection.

Fact #8: Unlike mosquitoes and ticks, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease to humans. While some pathogens have been detected in and on bedbugs – including hepatitis B, and exotic organisms such asTrypanosoma cruzi (cause of Chagas Disease, most commonly found in Central and South America) orWolbachia species – bed bugs have not been associated with disease transmission.

Fact #9: Bed bugs do not transmit MRSA. There have been reports of persons developing methicillin resistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections (such as a boil or abscess) associated with bed bug bites, but it turns out the infections were secondary. MRSA infections associated with bed bug bites are actually an example of scratching leading to minor skin trauma and subsequent secondary bacterial infection. In these cases, people who are carriers of MRSA scratch at the bites and provide a port of entry for the MRSA (which was already present on their skin) to get in and under the skin and cause the secondary infection. The bed bug can be blamed for the itch, but not for the infection.

Fact #10: Some people experience anxiety, sleeplessness, and unease as a result of having bed bugs. Bed bug infestations are understandably significant psychosocial stressors, and some people may experience sleeplessness as they worry about bugs biting them or their family members. People have been known to self-isolate, avoiding family and friends out of concern for spreading the infestation. Additionally, some people may also be stigmatized by friends or others in the community, or find they have problems at work if their bed bug problem becomes widely known. As a result, victims of bed bug infestations may experience moderate to severe levels of stress, anxiety and depression and should seek treatment as necessary.

Finally, when it comes to controlling bedbugs this is definitely NOT a case of “do it yourself” as bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that victims of bed bug infestations contact their landlord or an experienced pest management professional.