Posted on April 7, 2018
Hotbed for Bedbugs
The spring season has arrived and the summer months are in plain sight. Since warmer days are ahead, there is a little critter that will rear its head more and more…the bedbug.
Bedbugs are flat and small in size, allowing them to hide easily from view during the day when they are not active. They hide in mattresses, bed frames, bedding, furniture, carpets, baseboards and bedroom clutter. They are also commonly found in the seams of mattresses or inside box springs.
Though bedbugs can be a problem for homes and some types of businesses throughout the year, they become increasingly problematic as the months get warmer; this is mainly because of the increase in activities where there is more travel going on like vacations (Spring Break, Summer vacations), kids moving back home from their college dorms, etc.
Unfortunately, South-Central Indiana is in between two “hotbeds” of activity for bedbugs. In a recent article on CBSNews.com, both Indianapolis and Louisville made the list of the top 15 cities hit worst by bedbugs. With the university here in Bloomington, the fact that there are so many different types of people traveling from around the globe allows for a perfect breeding spot for these pests.
Don’t let the Bedbugs bite
These critters are extremely shy insects, drawn to the human body at night for feeding. They live to feed on human blood and to breed – that’s about it. With that, there can some potential health risks. Not to mention, when your living quarters become infested, your entire life can turn upside down.
Bedbugs’ mouths secrete the bugs’ saliva into the human, and the other mouth part feeds off of blood. To most humans, bites aren’t too dangerous. The saliva left behind on the skin can usually cause severe itching and irritation, which is then followed by a raised appearance of the contacted area. Some people react by having welts and hives all over the body.
It’s possible that bedbugs could be carriers of Chagas disease. There have been instances of bed-Acute-phase symptoms of Chagas disease. Those include swelling and/or redness at the skin infection site (termed chagoma), rash, swollen lymph nodes, fever, head and body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea, liver and/or spleen enlargement, and the Romaña sign.
Adverse bodily reactions and potential illnesses are not the only issues with bedbugs though.
When experiencing an infestation, your routines and rituals get interrupted. You may be required to move out of your home during a treatment period. In addition, depending upon how well your pest control professional is able to contain the problem, you also may have to destroy your furniture, get rid of your bedding, wash and dry your clothing on a high heat setting (likely more than once) or get rid of some of your clothing altogether.
In addition, there have been reported instances of humans putting themselves in harms’ way when trying to take care of a bedbug problem on their own. For instance, people have gotten sick from using pesticides improperly; also, using improper equipment like a space heater, a hair dryer, and a heat gun sparked a house fire.
Interesting Fact: Though it’s very rare and unlikely, bed bugs could kill you. One elderly woman in Pennsylvania died of sepsis (blood infection) due to a Bedbug infestation.
Use an integrated Pest Management Approach
When it comes to getting rid of bedbugs permanently, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You need to be ever vigilant and use multiple approaches to solve the problem. For example, you can opt to get your carpets and sofas cleaned by professional cleaners using steam vacuum cleaners. Also, vacuuming and the washing of clothes in hot water are an important step in bedbug removal. In addition, drying the washed clothes on high more than once or twice helps kill the bugs and their eggs.
A method that has proven to be effective is using high heat treatments.
Heat penetrates into small crevices that cannot be inspected. Lethal temperatures for bedbugs range from 113 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 F. The walls of hot boxes reach a higher temperature than the suggested lethal range in order to permeate belongings placed within, killing all bedbugs in all their stages. Whole room heat treatments involve a Pest Management Professional like Allman Brothers Termite & Pest Control, bringing in specially designed equipment to raise the temperature in your home to kill the bed bugs. Bedbugs and eggs die within 90 minutes at 113°F (48°C) or immediately at 122°F (50°C). The reason that this works is simply that the bedbugs cannot live at extreme temperatures. At 70°F, they will live and even flourish. They will lay eggs and spread. When the temperature gets up near 140°F though, they cannot survive.
They will either have to flee your home, if they can find a way out, or they will die. It is as simple as that. There is no way that they can experience such high heat for such an extended period of time and live.
Interesting Fact: Bedbugs are smart and elusive. They know to stay out of view during the daytime. But at nighttime, the carbon dioxide we exhale often tempts them out of their hiding spots.
What to do if you think you have a Bedbug problem
The reality is, no homes are safe from a bed bug infestation, nor are hotels, apartments, or dormitories. Bedbugs DO NOT discriminate. Their sole purpose is to feed on human blood.
If you suspect that you have a bedbug “problem”, please give Allman Brothers a call at (812) 322-1927. You can also reach us through our contact page at https://allmanpestcontrol.com/contact/.