Bed Bugs- making a comeback

Bed Bugs are making a comeback-

Bed Bugs have been in the news lately, articles about Bed Bugs in New York, Seattle, and many other cities and towns across the United States are becoming common.  The team at We Know Mattresses wants to keep you, the consumer and user of beds, informed about what’s happening in current mattress and bed events.  Thus, we have done some digging in to the Bed Bug issue to see what we can tell you and offer as advice.  Bed Bugs are small parasitic insects thet feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals.  The most common type is Cimex lectularius. Common health effects occurring due to Bed Bug infestation include skin rashes, allergic reactions and psychological effects.

Bed Bugs- a brief history

Bed Bugs in America, and the developed world, were essentially eradicated in the 1940’s.  However, since the mid 1990’s there has been a resurgence in their numbers.  Possible reasons for this include: more travel to underdeveloped nations, greater exchanging of second hand beds and bedding, greater resistance to pesticides on the Bed Bugs part and a general focus on other pests rather than the Bed Bug.

bed bugs

A Bed bug- small but annoying

Bed Bugs are called as such due to their habitat preference of human homes and especially beds and areas where people sleep.  Bed Bugs are active mainly at night and their bites may go unnoticed by their hosts.  An adult bed bug is typically 4 to 5 millimeters long and 1.5 mm’s wide- not large but certainly big enough to see with the human eye.  Bed Bug nymphs and translucent when hatched but grow browner as they mature.  Bed Bugs may live from 5 months to a year depending on conditions and how active they are.

Bed Bugs can be difficult to spot as they often hide in crevices and creases in the bed or bedding and their eggs are often hidden in bedding or the material that the mattress is made from.  Bed bugs may be found singly but most often congregate in groups.  Bed bugs have a characteristic smell of almonds or over ripe raspberries.  Interestingly enough, dogs are often used in finding bed bug infestations, as they seem to have the nose for it and have been successful as much as 97.5 of the time in lab conditions.


Bed Bugs- getting rid of them

So what do you do once you have Bed Bugs?  Getting rid of Bed Bugs is not an easy process, and very often will require professional help.  Eradicating bed bugs often requires a combination of pesticide and non pesticide approaches.  Resistance to pesticides and concern over their long term effects has led to other strategies such as vacuuming them up and heat treatment.  Part of the recent New York City infestations is that the NY Bed Bugs were found to be about 260 times more resistant to deltamethrin (a pesticide used in eradication of Bed Bugs), than Florida bed bugs.  A variety of low-odor sprays, dusts, and aerosol insecticides can be used to eradicate bed bugs. These must be applied to all areas where the bugs are observed as well as spaces where they may crawl or hide. A pest-control professional can help you determine if the mattress can be disinfected or needs to be tossed out.  Since beds cannot readily be treated with insecticides, it’s often necessary to discard infested mattresses and beds.

The pest-control experts, such as Orkin, may recommend certain forms of deep-cleaning such as scrubbing infested surfaces with a stiff brush to remove eggs, dismantling bed frames and furniture, filling cracks in floors, walls, and moldings, encasing mattresses within special bags, or using a powerful vacuum on cracks and crevices.  It can be time consuming and expensive.