Category: Pest Control

Common Bed Bugs Questions

Common questions and information about bed bugs (Cimex lectularius).

What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. They are most often active at night while you are sleeping. An adult bed bug has a flat oval shaped body with a rusty red color. While adult bed bugs are large enough to be seen (about the size of an apple seed), they stay out of sight by hiding in cracks in furniture, floors and walls. The color on a bed bug becomes brighter red and their bodies swell similar to a tick when bed bugs have fed. The typical life span of a bed bug is about 12 to 18 months and it can survive for months without feeding.

How Would I Know I Have Been Bitten By Bed Bugs?

Initially bed bug bites are most often painless as the insects feed on you while you are sleeping and don’t even wake you up. But the next day you may notice a series of large flat welts or raised red bumps on your skin that are often accompanied by very intense itching.

Are Bed Bugs And Their Bites Dangerous?

While some people may have an allergic reaction to the bed bug bites and develop bed bug rash, there are no evidence to suggest that bed bugs or their bites can transmit disease.

How Do My House Get Infested With Bed Bugs?

In recent years, the in the growing bed bugs populations has been attributed to the increase in international travel. Many times bed bugs are brought into a home unknowingly in luggage, clothing, boxes, pillows or old furniture bought from a sale. In apartment buildings bed bugs can also travel through cracks between the walls and floors to infest different apartments.

How Can I Tell If There Are Bed Bugs In My House

The main indication of course would be the itchy bed bug bites. You will also notice the bugs themselves scurrying along dark shadowed areas, small bloodstains on your linens from crushed bugs and dark spot from their droppings.

As the bed bug infestations grow larger, the room may carry a distinctive and unpleasant almond-like smell.

How Can I Prevent Bed Bug Infestations?

  • Always inspect all luggage after returning from a trip and immediately launder any clothing in hot water.
  • Before bringing any old, used furniture home, inspect it and if necessary treat it with a bed bug spray.
  • Never bring home discarded bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture without first inspecting and treating it to kill off any living creatures that may have infested it.

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Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

If you’ve been trying to find out information as to whether are bed bugs contagious, the paragraphs that follow will provide you with additional information that may prove to be very important.

are bed bugs contagiousSometimes people confuse contagions with being infectious. Here we’re going to cover both aspects which will eliminate the need to search elsewhere for additional information. We’ll also uncover some important details that will pertain to the government’s lack of funding when it comes to bed bugs compared to mosquitoes. This information is being provided to give you a better understanding of what’s going on with the contagious aspect of bed bugs, as well as why the government has failed to act.

Are Bed Bugs Contagious?

Yes and no. If you’re trying to find out whether they are contagious in the sense that they will spread, the answer is yes – they will spread. The data that has been received to date by the Public Health System doesn’t show that these parasites are contagious above a level of R01 (Reproduction number). These numbers are determined by three key factors that are used to estimate whether a plague will spread on a continual basis, or simply die out over time. The three factors are:

  1. The rate in which individuals will come in contact with a specific pathogen.
  2. The time frame in which an infection will remain contagious.
  3. The actual transmissible of a specific bug type or parasite.

To be honest, in relation to the three key factors listed above, the bed bug comes in below an R0, which simply means that there is not enough data to show that this particular parasite is contagious. However, everyone knows that bed bugs are spreading, but they just haven’t reached epidemic proportions.

Okay, so how about if bed bugs are infectious? Well, bed bugs have been blamed for spreading diseases such as the bubonic plague, polio, and cholera. However, with the technology available today, there really is no medical evidence to prove that any of these accusations are true.

Is This the Reason for the Lack of Government Funding?

Quite frankly – yes! You see, unlike mosquitoes, bed bugs have not been proven to spread infectious diseases. In addition, unlike any other destructive insect such as a termite, these parasites are more of a nuisance than an actual threat. The government will only step in if there is a threat to the human population in terms of housing, health, or life-and-death. It’s also important to state that the government has performed extensive research on bed bugs in the early part of the 20th century as well as the recent part of the 21st. They have determined that bed bugs are purely a nuisance. When it comes to chemical companies coming up with an effective pesticide, they simply fold their hands because quite frankly – there isn’t an industrial demand for a product that will eliminate these pests on a grand scale that will be profitable.

With that being said, to answer the question of whether bed bugs are contagious, that will simply depend on who’s looking at the data. When it comes to government funding, that’s a whole other story that will probably unfold when bed bugs become a major epidemic.

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Effective Ways to Kill and Control Bed Bugs

If you have been noticing red bite marks when you wake up in the morning or have been finding red marks or stains on your bedding, chances are that you have an infestation of bed bugs and you need bed bug control. While these tiny bloodsuckers do not transmit any diseases or cause any major health problems, they do pose a threat to your sleep. They may also cause skin rashes and allergic reactions in some people. Naturally, they need to be killed or controlled.

Bed Bug ControlYou need to combine chemical and non-chemical treatments to do proper bed bug control. It is useless and harmful to rely on chemicals alone and other mechanical methods may not be able to remove the infestation wholly. These are not quick-fixes and you need patience and persistence if you want to remove bed bugs from your homes.

Chemical bed bug control is done by means of pesticides. These bed bug sprays are usually effective as long as you use it as per the guidelines provided. It is possible that all pesticides may not work, since bed bugs (like all other organisms) develop resistance to chemicals and poisons over a period of time. If you find that a particular insecticide does not work, try others or have a bed bug exterminator inspect your residence and provide you with some guidelines. The pesticides may have been in effective due to inappropriate usage as well.

Non-chemical bed bug control methods involve heating, freezing, and vacuuming. These are, of course, applied to garments, bedding, and carpets which cannot be subjected to pesticides (the latter being harmful to you). You could boil your garments and bedding in a water at high temperature (above 120 degree F at least). If the item like the luggage cannot be washed in heat, use steam heating or subject it to the heat from dryer for a period of time. You can also do bed bug control with a bed bug steamer. You can also remove bed bugs by vacuuming the carpets, mattresses, etc. thoroughly. Seal the contents in a bag and discard it after vacuuming.

Proper bed bug control and prevention require cleanliness and removal of clutter. Scrub the areas properly, eliminate crevices and cracks, and remove places where the bed bugs can hide. You may also use bed bug covers for your beddings and mattresses. If the infestation still persists, consider calling in professional pest control.

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Bed Bug Spray to Kill Bed Bugs

There are many ways to get rid of bed bugs, and using the best bed bug spray is definitely one of the cost effective treatment methods to eliminate and control the infestations.

In recent years, the resurgence of bed bugs infestations has been greatly attributed to an increase in international travel, as well as a restriction in the use of powerful pest-killing pesticides such as DDT that previously controlled the creepy little bloodsuckers.

bed bugs

Even with the restrictions on some pesticides, there are still a wide range of sprays and insecticides available for you to choose from.

However, the problem is with so many of the sprays claiming to be the best “bed bug killer” out there – the process to find one that will actually work effectively against these bloodsucking pests can become overwhelming.

So how do you know which spray to choose from and, what else do you need to know before you make that purchase?

First of all, an important fact that needs to be point out is that while there are many sprays that will kill those pesky bloodsuckers, there are no “ideal” sprays, insecticides or pesticides that are manufactured solely just for getting rid of bed bugs yet. And sprays are a not cure-all solution and every situation or “infestation” is different.

Nevertheless, in selecting the best spray to kill those bloodsucking pests, a good spray should at least meet the following criteria:

  • The spray should be registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (for safety and quality standards so that we know they are not using any harmful agents or chemicals.)
  • The spray must be able to kill bed bugs instantly in all stages of their life cycles (that including their eggs.)
  • The spray must be cost effective and easy to administer (meaning it should be affordable and, if possible, no mixing required to get the job done.)
  • The spray should be safe and non-toxic for use around children and pets.
  • The spray should be water-base and non-staining so that it can be use on sofas, carpets and furniture frequently and at all times. (Some sprays are oil-base and you may not be able to use them on sofa or mattress where most of the bed bugs hide. Furthermore, oil-base agents are not allowed to be carried on plane if case you needed to bring one along on your travels.)
  • If possible the spray should be non-flammable. (Some residual sprays are flammable so read the labels carefully before using them to prevent accidental fire.)

Residual vs Non-Residual Sprays

The choice to choose between a residual and non-residual spray really depends on where are the places that you would like to treat. Residual sprays are great for applying in cracks, cervices or holes however they cannot and should never be applied to mattress or furniture such as a sofa where there are frequent human contact.

Another reason that you may want to consider using non-residual spray would be the fact that residual spray may leave excess moisture that may ruin a furniture or cause molds to breed.

Keep the above ideas in mind as you consider choosing the best spray that might help you with your bed bug problems.

Need to get rid of bed bugs fast? Find out which bed bug spray is widely used at home, by hotels, pest control companies and cleaning professionals to kill bed bugs – for GUARANTEED EFFECTIVE results!!

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