Americans have struggled with bed bugs since the Mayflower. Then, in 1939, the pesticide DDT was discovered which proved a very effective solution to the beg bug problem. The chemical worked by coating surfaces that the bug travelled over and could stay on the surface for months or even a year before loosing its effectiveness. The chemical was so good that in the 1970s it was banned because of the risk to wildlife. This, along with the emergence of a strain of bedbugs that are resistant to DDT, have lead to a recent resurgence of the bed bug. Since 2009, there have been over 11,000 cases reported in New York City alone!
Detecting Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are very good at hiding and can often go undetected for long periods of time. The bugs only come out at night when humans are sleeping and, once fed, quickly retreat into their hiding places such as cracks or a mattress. The easiest way to detect beg bugs is to look at clues such as:
- Shed Exoskeletons
- Fecal Stains on Your Mattress or Bedding
- Blood Stains on Your Sheets or Pajamas
The bed bug bite is not always noticeable if an individual is not allergic but the bite can present as:
- Raised, red welts
- Burning and itching
- Bed bug bite rash across a localized area
- Straight lines of multiple bites
Bed Bug Treatment
One, extremely effective method for removing bed bugs is using a Heat Treatment. This method involves increasing the temperature of the infested area to a temperature that is too hot for the bug to live. The benefits of this treatment method are:
- Extremely Effective
- Bed Bugs Cannot Develop a Resistance
- Kills both eggs and bugs
- No Chemicals Involved
There are risks involved, including burning down the infested structure so this treatment should only be used be an experienced professional.
Humans often spread Bed Bugs as we travel. There are a few methods to employ to limit the risk of helping spread these tiny bloodsuckers:
- Check Travel Reviews Before Visiting a Hotel. Hotels with multiple reports of infestations should be avoided.
- When arriving in a new hotel room, check the mattress, headboard, bed frame and pictures for any signs of bed bugs.
- Keep your luggage on the luggage rack instead of on the floor or bed.
- Avoid storing clothes in dressers and hang clothes that can be hung.