The number of reported bed bug infestations in North America has risen steadily since a point in around about 1995 when these creatures, which had been considered all but a thing of the past since the forties, began to make a comeback. They are small reddish brown bugs that like to live inside houses and tend to house themselves and their very small, sticky eggs in things like sofas, beds, cushions and even soft toys. There are different species, some of which prefer to feed on certain animals (for example ‘bat bugs’) and one in particular which considers human blood its favorite food. These are the ones you are most likely to have a problem with in your own house.
Don’t Only People with Dirty Houses Get Bed Bugs?
It is a common misconception that bed bugs are only found in dirty places. It is blood that they feed on, and nothing else, so they don’t prefer to live in dusty or dirty places like some other insects – as long as there are people to bite, the bugs are happy enough. The idea that they are more common in dirty places is probably more down to the fact that in places that aren’t clean or well maintained it is unlikely that anything will be done about the bug infestation too quickly, so it could be from places like these (for example seats in old movie theaters or even on subway trains) that people end up picking up bugs on their clothes. Once the bugs make their way into your clothes or luggage, they can set up home in your nice clean house. This means that if you do discover that you’ve got bed bugs, this isn’t a comment on the hygiene of you or your house.
Are They Dangerous?
Bed bugs are more a nuisance than they are dangerous. They are not known to be able to pass any diseases on to people, and their bites, though they can leave blisters, are no worse than mosquito bites. Of course, the idea that in your sleep there are insects crawling around sucking your blood is not a pleasant one, and nobody wants bed bugs sharing their homes, but it is not a cause for panic if you do find them. It is however very important to have them exterminated as soon as you possibly can by a professional pest control company, because otherwise you are going to continue to suffer from the bites and the infestation will only get bigger.
You are also of course risking passing on the bed bugs to other people, which isn’t very nice! A pest control specialist will be able to rid you of your bugs safely and quickly using pesticides and also in some cases using techniques where the bugs living in items are sealed up in plastic so that the insects all suffocate (this can be a good way to kill bugs hiding in things like teddy bears). You should not attempt to fight the bugs yourself as it is really a job for professionals who have the right equipment and poisons.
Author Bio: Frank Coleman is a car enthusiast, but considers his wife and three children to be the most important thing in his life. He works as an exterminator in Toronto at Home Hardware Pest Control, providers of complete pest control services.