Sunday, August 27, 2017

Where To Find Bed Bugs In Your Home

"Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!" That was how many of us were tucked into bed. Unfortunately, for many, this has become a reality.

Bed bugs have been infesting homes and feeding on humans for centuries. In the early 1900's families used extreme measures to control these pests. Stories from our parents and/or grandparents of using kerosene to "wash" the springs and mattresses to kill them were common. These remedies were replaced when chemical solutions became more available to the public. In the late 1980's the reports of infestations began to rise in developed countries throughout the world. Resistance to chemicals and ease of travel seem to be the primary factors, however, the change in available chemicals resulting from the environmental movement may also be a factor. Some schools of thought are that bed bugs were accidentally controlled by application of these materials that are no longer in production and banned by the EPA.

Bed bugs can sometimes be difficult to detect. What may present as large, red bumps on some and chicken pox looking pustules on others, might not affect some people at all. Reactions to bites may take time to appear until multiple bites have occurred. Tell-tale signs of blood sucking critters can also include small blood stains on bedding as well as actual sightings of them. Most people want to know how they got the problem in the first place. Common questions to ask are: Have you traveled out of the country? Have you slept in a hotel? Have you bought or acquired used furniture? Have you had guests in your home who may have introduced them? Do you have a student living away from home in a dorm or apartment with roommates? Are you an in home caregiver? Do you work or volunteer at a shelter? Infestations are not confined to the indigent, unkempt of society. They cross all social and economic lines. It is important to identify and act appropriately to any suspected infestations.

Bed bugs live not only in mattresses and box springs, but will infest bed frames, wooden furniture, (I.e. night stands, chest of drawers, dressers) behind baseboards, door and window frames, behind pictures on walls, in draperies, luggage, etc. In recent detailed studies of their behavior at the University of Kentucky, bed bugs were noted to infest an average perimeter from the bed as far as 16' away. In some cases, bed bugs were noted up 30' away in adjacent rooms. It is common to find infestations on beds and other upholstered furniture throughout a dwelling. Occasional sightings of individual bugs on ceilings have been reported.

Control and elimination is difficult and best left to the professionals.

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