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Bed Bug Family Ties: Unraveling The Mystery Of Their Resiliency

One of the reasons that people fear bed bug infestations is because the little pests are so hard to eliminate. Researchers from North Carolina State University may have discovered a new clue in the battle against bed bugs: they are able to successfully inbreed. This is important because it means that bed bugs can replicate quickly, even when there are just a few bugs living in a given space.

What is the Research Based On?

The study examined a total of three apartment buildings on the east coast, both in the north and south of the country. Researchers determined that the bed bug infestations in all of the apartments were similar in one important way: the bed bugs were all closely related to one another.

What Does it Mean?

The research helps experts understand why it is so hard to get rid of a bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are hitchhikers; if an individual brings home a pregnant female, an infestation can quickly take hold. Once that female gives birth, the babies will begin to mate, both with their siblings and with their mother. Treatment for bed bugs is expensive, and because the pests like to hide in cracks and crevices, it is hard to get rid of the entire infestation even when a professional is involved. And, because of inbreeding, one or two survivors could mean a fresh infestation not too far down the road.

Why are Bed Bugs a Problem?

While they do not carry disease, which is a relief, there is a negative stigma attached to bed bugs. In addition, the treatment is very expensive compared to traditional pest control, due in part to how much work goes into eradicating the bugs. Finally, bed bugs do bite. The bites can be quite itchy and may even resemble a rash on some people, leading to discomfort and agitation in the affected individual.

What Can be Done to Prevent Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs can be transported from one place to another via the human body. However, that actually does not happen as often as people think. If a bed bug attaches to you, it generally can’t stay on for longer than ten minutes. Instead, most people carry the bugs home either through secondhand furniture or through their luggage after traveling.

To avoid bed bugs, make sure you carefully examine any furniture that you bring into the house. Put bed bug covers on your bed, and when you return from a trip, make sure that your dirty laundry and bedding goes directly into the washing machine and the dryer. While there are no guarantees, taking these steps should help.

Bed bugs are tricky pests to eliminate. Although new research is helping us understand these bugs a little better, it is still very difficult to treat an infestation when one occurs. Keep in mind, however, that while bed bugs may bite, they will not harm you or your family members in any other way. Try and prevent an infestation as much as possible, but make sure to keep a cool head if one occurs.

Morgan is a blogger for Excel Termite & Pest Control, an extermination company located in New Jersey. When Morgan isn’t writing, she enjoys reading and traveling with her family.

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How Serious A Problem Is A Bed Bug Infestation?

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.

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October 7, 2013 - 4:04 PM No Comments

What Does a Bed Bugs Specialist Look For, and Why You Should Hire One

Bedbug Waste

Bedbug Waste

Bed bug infestations are in the news a lot these days.  Travelers seeing the world this summer have to worry that they are going to inadvertently bring home some unwanted guests – bed bugs who hitch a ride with the travelers! And people have literally burned their homes down accidentally in misguided attempts to get rid of the bugs.

So we are hearing more about bed bugs these days because they are a real-life problem again in the United States, after being originally known to many people as only being part of the “Good night/sleep tight/don’t let the bed bugs bite” saying.

If you have bed bugs, or think you have bed bugs, here’s what you need to know about the pests, and why you should have a bed bugs specialist take care of the situation:

What are bed bugs?

 

Here is a definition from the University of Minnesota Extension: “Bed bugs are parasites that feed on the blood of people, using these blood meals to grow and reproduce. They do not distinguish between dirty or clean homes and all people are vulnerable to infestations in their homes. Bed bugs are also capable of feeding on animals, including dogs, cats, and other pets.”

Fortunately, bed bugs do not carry disease. Unfortunately, they do bite. And as the definition notes, you can have a clean home, and still find bed bugs there.

How do bed bugs get into people’s homes?

 

First of all, people travel a lot more these days, and bed bugs can, as previously noted, hitch a ride with travelers and end up in another city, state or country without even having a passport!

Second, bed bugs are not just in beds. They are in movie theaters, restaurants, department stores, and even libraries. Basically, anywhere that there are multiple people coming and going, there can be bed bugs. That is a little frightening, isn’t it?

What should I do if I think I might have bed bugs?

 

You need to contact a bed bug specialist. According to Bed Bug Finders, LLC,  you may be wrong in your thinking that you have bed bugs. For example, if you have itchy skin, and welts, you may very well have bed bugs. Or you might have other bugs in your home that have been biting you. Or your issue could be as simple as an allergy to laundry detergent – believe it or not, sometimes such an allergy could look like a bed bug infestation!

So that is why you need to contact a bed bug specialist. The expert can help determine whether you have bed bugs, and where they are. Many of them use a bed bug dog to ferret out the pests. The specialist can also help you determine a course of action to eliminate the insects from your life if you do have them. They can give you a safe and effective method of treatment to do so, and you may not even have to get rid of any furniture or bedding, depending upon your situation. Good luck.

Author Bio:

 Lisa Swan writes for a variety of sites, including Bed Bug Finders, LLC.

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August 21, 2013 - 6:19 PM No Comments

Where Are Bed Bugs Concentrated In Your Home?

Don’t let the bed bugs bite, as the expression goes. But if you don’t want to let the bed bugs bite, you also need to know where it is likely that bed bugs could be in your apartment or house.

Bed Bugs Detection: Where Are The Bugs?

According to research by Dr. Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky, the name ”bed bugs” actually does indicate where the insects may most likely be located. Around 70% of all bed bugs in homes are found in beds. That is not surprising, given that the bugs feed off of human blood, and often go after their unwitting victims in the middle of the night, when they are asleep.  So that means that in order to reach their prey, the bed bugs go to where the people are, which in this case can mean beds.

However, that is not the only place where bed bugs have been found. In 23% of the cases, bed bugs are found in couches and chairs. That can be in your home, or in businesses, like at a movie theater, restaurant, or library. Again, bed bugs go to where the people are, and that includes all sorts of businesses and places you may not expect bed bugs to be.

In addition, bed bugs can travel and hitch a ride on people and their stuff, whether they are leaving their home, or coming back to their home. One example where you might find bed bugs is when you travel, and stay in a hotel room that has the unwanted pests. All it takes is one critter or two to jump into your suitcase from the hotel bed (note: never put your luggage on that bed) and you could have a bed bugs problem when you return. And because female bed bugs can lay eggs as frequently as every five days, it could be a massive problem for you in no time.

Bed Bugs Detection: Other Places The Bugs Are Found

According to the University of Kentucky study, 7% of bed bugs are found in other places besides beds, couches, and chairs. These can include: dressers and nightstands, as well as on walls, ceilings, and house moldings. In addition, here is a scary thought: like roaches, bed bugs can burrow inside things, including books, clocks, coffee makers, radios, telephones, and televisions. Basically, bed bugs can potentially be any place where humans are, and that humans touch. Yikes!

If you think you might have bed bugs in your home, click here to find out what to do next.

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Lisa Swan writes for sites like Bed Bug Finders LLC.

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March 22, 2013 - 3:17 PM No Comments

Sleep Tight and Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite

When I was growing up my mother would tuck me into bed every night and whisper, “goodnight… sleep tight… don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Until recently, I always thought that the saying was just an endearing bedtime phrase that didn’t mean anything. Well, those days are over. After nearly sixty years of living mostly bedbug-free, the US is facing a national infestation. Bedbug infestations have risen 500% in the last few years alone, and they’re not just in dirty hotels – they’re at the 5-star ones as well. They are closing down businesses and can be found at your local movie theaters, airports, and retail stores as they inch closer and closer to your home. They are quite easy to bring home if you have been near them.

The occurrence of these tiny, blood-sucking pests has been reported in every kind of neighborhood, in every state across the country including Oklahoma. What it means is that you’re at risk right now. Here’s a beautiful infographic that illustrates the rise of bedbugs, the most infected cities, the difficulty of controlling them, and what to do about them:

 

If you suspect that you may have a bedbug problem in your home, contact a Tulsa pest control professional today!

 

Bulwark Exterminating
507 S Main St # 201
Tulsa, OK 74103
(918) 582-2629
bulwarkpestcontrol.com

Mosquito Defense Systems LLC
4136 S 70th East Ave
Tulsa, OK 74145
(918) 622-6844
mosquitodefense.net

Orkin
6550 East 40th Street
Tulsa, OK 74145
(918) 622-0800
orkin.com

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September 10, 2012 - 8:10 PM Comment (1)

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