I thought bed bugs lived only in filthy squalid conditions.
This is simply untrue. Bed Bugs are slowly becoming a major issue in the United States.
They are regularly spread via the luggage compartments and seats of Planes, Trains & Busses. They are found in movie theaters, rental cars and office buildings regularly. Hospitals are even having issues with infestations.
Why have they suddenly become an issue?
Suddenly is perhaps the wrong word. They have existed since the dawn of time and are mentioned in writings from the time of Aristotle. Although it is true that they had pretty much vanished in the United States since the 1950’s. However, the absence of insecticides like DDT and the reduction of insecticide use, has allowed them to make a comeback.
What other factors have increased their presence?
Primarily international travel. Bed Bugs are very common in other less affluent countries. So when foreigners visit this country they can bring them with them. Their luggage is infested, they thereby spread to cabs, hotel rooms, city or tour busses etc. Subsequently, when Americans visit other countries, they get in their luggage and bring them home. Another issue is the large number of immigrants entering the country along the southern border. Often times these individuals attain employment as domestic servants and spread the bed bugs to the home or hotel where they are employed.
On a side note, there is a research paper funded by the University of Mississippi (http://msucares.com/pubs/infosheets/is1945.pdf) discussing the overwhelming number of bedbugs found in poultry houses. These bugs feed on both the chickens and agricultural workers and are spread as these employees change jobs.
In short, Bed Bugs will continue to grow and become a major problem. In fact many pest control companies are dedicating themselves solely to bed bug control.
Do Bed Bugs Spread Diseases?
At this time, there is no evidence that they do. Recent evidence has scientists concerned that they may be able to spread Chagas. Currently this disease is spread by triatomines or kissing bugs – a close relative of bed bugs. This can be a debilitating disease, it currently affects millions of people in Mexico, Central and South America.
What does a Bed Bug Treatment consist of?
The short answer is a lot of time. A very thorough and dilligent inspection and treatment is needed. Bed Bug treatments are a specialized area of expertise within the extermination field.
- Clothing will need to be gathered and placed in plastic bags. They will need be laundered or dry cleaned. It is imperative that they be dried at a temperature that exceeds 122 degrees. If taken to a drycleaner the store owner should be notified so that they can keep your clothes separate.
- Other items like VHS tapes, photo albums etc. may need to be placed in a plastic bag and an insecticidal vapor released in order to ensure eradication.
- Wooden furniture will have to be emptied and every single crack and crevice will need to be treated with insecticide. Bed Bugs like wood as a harborage area.
- Couches and Mattresses are usually able to be saved. These items are treated with a combination approach of insecticide, vacuum, and dry vapor steam.
- We include and recommend the use of a bed bug proof mattress and box spring enclosure.
Do I have to leave the house? No
How long will it take?
A couple of hours per room depending on furnishings.
Will there be a follow up treatment?
Usually not, but we do perform a follow up inspection to ensure eradication. This inspection is usually around two weeks after the treatment and is at no additional charge. We will leave monitoring devices during the interim.
How common is this?
Bed Bugs are still relatively uncommon in this area. We only perform a few services a month.
If they are so rare, how can I be sure you can kill them?
We at Horne’s have addressed this issue head on and consider ourselves to be experts. We regard this as a specialty line of work and as such have a small group of tenured technicians we have dedicated to do these specialty treatments. The technicians we assign to bed bug control have attained hours and hours of classroom training as well as real world experience. Generally speaking we send in a two, three or four man team. The team leader will have well over a decade of experience and multiple schools and each team member will have over 5 years of experience and also attended multiple schools.