We’ve all heard the news in recent years that bed bugs have made a comeback in a big way. Once relegated to the less desirable annals of history, alongside eradicated diseases, today, we must be vigilant in our houses, friends’ houses, hotels, and pretty much anywhere we plan to sleep.

 What happened, and is there anything you can do about bed bugs? We explain the problem and how to get rid of bed bugs once and for all.

What Are Bed Bugs?  

Bed bugs are tiny, reddish-brown, parasitic bloodsuckers that bite our skin while we sleep. They hide in many places in your house, including:

  • Drawer joints

  • Electric appliances and outlets

  • In corners where walls meet ceilings

  • The heads of screws

  • In the seams on upholstered furniture, curtain folds, mattresses, box springs, and between cushions

How Do They Get Indoors?  

Like fleas, bed bugs are excellent at hitching rides to new places. They can hide in your luggage and your clothing, along with boxes and even your furniture. Because of that, you can bring them into your home without realizing it.

 You’re more likely to bring them in from other places with existing infestations. Things like increased overseas and domestic travel have exacerbated the problem by helping to transport bed bugs worldwide.

Why Bed Bugs Have Made a Comeback  

For 60 years, we’d pretty much eliminated the problem of bed bugs here in the U.S. because of the pesticide DDT. However, it wasn’t only banning DDT that caused the resurgence. Much like antibiotic-resistant bacteria, bed bugs began developing resistance to DDT (and other pesticides) before we banned it.

 Nobody knows where the pesticide-resistant bed bugs originated; some say Eastern Europe while others believe it happened somewhere in Africa. Regardless, neither DDT nor today’s pesticides really work for bed bug removal.

 Inventing new pesticides to combat them gets increasingly difficult because finding chemicals to which bed bugs are vulnerable, but that aren’t harmful to people, pets, and the environment, is challenging.

 We have the added problem of wanting to take extreme care when using chemicals in our bedrooms and bed linens. Most of us are very reluctant to use anything that could cause irritation, allergic reactions, or worse, in our beds, and for good reason.

 Furthermore, they can go for a long time without feeding, so they don’t starve to death very quickly, which allows them to breed out of control extremely fast.

Why Bed Bugs Aren’t Safe  

Many pests are just nuisances. Even if they bite, they’re just annoying and unsightly, and they make us feel like our homes are dirty somehow.

 While bed bugs don’t spread diseases that we know of, their bites do cause other problems, which is why bed bugs aren’t safe.

How to Identify Bed Bug Bites  

Unfortunately, bed bug bites resemble many other insect bites and rashes. They’re often small red dots that might have a darker red spot in the center, and they appear in clusters or lines around your hands, neck, face, and arms, although you might also see them on your legs and feet.

 Like most insect bites, they can itch. If you’re allergic to them, the tiny red dots will quickly become large, red, intensely itchy welts. Occasionally, people with bed bug allergies will experience blistering, too.

Health Risks  

Although bed bugs don’t transmit disease, they’re still a public health problem because their bites can lead to secondary infections and reactions, including:

  • Impetigo (bacterial skin infection)

  • Lymphangitis (inflammation of the lymphatic system)

  • Ecthyma (infected skin ulcers)

People also suffer from mental health problems with bed bug infestations, like:

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

Economic Effects  

Besides the public health risks, bed bugs can affect economies, especially those that rely heavily on tourism. They place burdens on healthcare systems, work productivity, and more.

Also, because bed bug infestations are so hard to eliminate, it costs significantly more to get rid of them than it does other pests.

What Are the Signs of Bed Bugs?  

If you’re worried about bed bugs, there are specific signs you can look for:

  • Reddish or rust-colored stains on sheets and mattresses

  • Dark spots about the size of a period on fabrics

  • Tiny eggshells and the shells of shed exoskeletons

  • Musty odor

  • Bed bugs themselves:

    • In your linens and clothing

    • Around window and door frames

    • Near and around electrical outlet covers

    • In corners of drawers

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs  

So if all the regular pesticides don’t work, what can you do to get rid of bed bugs?

We’ve developed a method for helping you get rid of bed bugs in your home or commercial property. It doesn’t matter how they got there. The point is that you have them, and you need to get rid of them. Our techniques are safe for you, your children, and your pets and eliminate all traces of bed bugs.

Bed Bug Prevention  

Despite our treatments, the best remedy for bed bugs is prevention. Bed bug prevention involves vacuuming your house frequently and steam cleaning your carpets periodically.

There are monitoring devices you can buy that alert you to their presence as well.

You can put bedding and clothing in the dryer on its highest setting for up to 15 minutes, especially early on when you’re trying to address an infestation.

You can spread diatomaceous earth in places where you’ve noticed bed bugs in your house, too.

You can also buy a bedbug-proof cover for your mattress since that’s one of the primary places bed bugs like to hide. Mattress covers are white, making it easy to spot evidence of bed bugs in your bed. Bed-bug proof covers encase your entire mattress and have zippers on them. Just be certain you put the zipper at the foot of your mattress.

Final Thoughts  

If you have bed bugs, you’re probably upset, irritated, and frustrated that you can’t seem to get rid of them. Fortunately, while ridding your house or commercial property of bed bugs is challenging, it is possible.

There are also bed bug prevention methods you can use to keep them from coming back so you can live in peace knowing you, your family, and your pets are safe from bed bug bites and all their associated problems.

Call us for an evaluation if you think you have bed bugs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *