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Archive for the ‘Bed Bugs’ Category

Are Bed Bug Infestation Rates In The US Increasing Or Decreasing With Time, And How Are Louisiana Lawmakers Combatting The Pests?

Last year the National Pest Management Association conducted a nationwide survey of pest control professionals in order to determine the prevalence of bed bug pest issues within homes and buildings in the US. According to the results, 97 percent of pest control professionals surveyed claimed to have managed bed bug infestations during 2018, and 70 percent claimed that bed bug infestations had become more common during this time. That same year, 91 percent of pest control professionals managed bed bug infestations within single family homes; 89 percent managed the pests in apartments and condominiums, and 68 percent managed infestations in hotels and motels.

According to the results of a 2011 nationwide survey that asked American homeowners about their experiences with bed bugs, 20 percent claimed to have fallen victim to a bed bug infestation within their home, or they know someone who has encountered bed bugs within their home or within a hotel or motel. This survey also revealed that bed bugs had established a sizable population in all 50 states only 10 to 15 years after the pests reemerged in the country. More specifically, 17 percent of respondents living in the northeast claimed to have encountered bed bugs, while 19 percent of western respondents reported bed bug encounters, and 20 percent of respondents in both midwestern and southern regions claimed to have encountered the pests.

Not long after it became clear that bed bugs were going to reestablish a sizable population in the US, pest control professionals, urban entomologists, and public health officials launched a bed bug awareness campaign that aimed to educate Americans about bed bug control tactics. This campaign worked, as a subsequent series of surveys conducted throughout the country a little more than a decade ago revealed that nearly ⅓ of all Americans began to practice bed bug control tactics after hearing the warnings. The most common bed bug control tactic involved the inspection and laundering of all potentially infested articles of clothing that had been taken into hotels during vacations. New Orleans consistently appears on professionally compiled lists of the most bed bug-infested cities in the US, and unfortunately, bed bug infestations are only becoming more common in every area of the US, particularly in Louisiana where bed bug infestations are epidemic. However, Louisiana state lawmakers have been aggressive about combating bed bugs in the state and the rest of the country, as they established the Louisiana Bed Bug Task Force which works with other state and federal entities to develop area-wide bed bug control programs.

Have you managed to avoid bed bug pest issues within your home?

Researchers Believe That Bed Bugs May Trigger Respiratory Difficulties, And Living Within Infested Conditions May Contribute To The Development Of Asthma

Several studies have clearly demonstrated that certain arthropods that thrive within human settings contribute to the development of allergic conditions, particularly asthma. These medically important arthropod pests include cockroaches, dust mites, and carpet beetles, and now experts believe that bed bugs may also induce allergic conditions in people living within infested homes. This would not be surprising, as all arthropods are associated with allergens, and bed bugs usually maintain an abundant presence around beds and furniture where humans frequently make contact with their feces, shed skins, body fragments, and other forms of bed bug debris. Although more research on this topic is needed, numerous studies carried out all over the world have shown that people living in bed bug infested conditions for prolonged periods of time develop rashes and respiratory problems not unlike the allergy symptoms associated with cockroaches and dust mites.

One medical case study described how a patient’s frequent asthma attacks ceased only after a bed bug control program was initiated within his home. Pest control professionals and residents who undertake DIY bed bug control measures within homes can increase their exposure to bed bug allergens in the air by disturbing bed bug harborages. For example, using a vacuum for bed bug removal and post-infestation cleaning can cause both live and dead bed bugs, as well as their feces and shed skins, to disperse through the air where they are likely to be inhaled. When operating within infested homes, pest control professionals often wear a face mask and use vacuum cleaners with a HEPA filter in order to protect themselves from exposure to airborne arthropod allergens. It is also important to note that arthropod allergens remain within homes long after infestations have been eradicated, which is why homes must be thoroughly sanitized following the completion of successful pest control programs. While sanitizing homes, residents should take measures to avoid inhaling airborne particles that may contain arthropod allergens, such as shed skins, excrement, dead eggs, and body fragments in the air.

Have you ever experienced breathing problems or skin irritation while cleaning homes where insect pests were once active?

Illicit And Dangerous Bed Bug Control Methods Residents Must Avoid

Nobody is happy to learn that their home has become infested with insect pests, and this is particularly true when it comes to dreaded bed bug infestations. When bed bugs first emerged after their 50 year absence from homes in the US, pest control professionals were ill-equipped to eradicate the bloodsucking pests. Luckily, the advent of heat treatments, desiccants, and other extermination methods allow modern pest control professionals to reliably control bed bug pests. However, many homeowners assume that these pests remain just as difficult to eliminate from homes as they ever have been. Due to this common misconception, it is not uncommon for homeowners to resort to do-it-yourself bed bug eradication tactics after learning that their property has become infested. Unfortunately, of the more than 300 bed bug eradication methods approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, very few are available to consumers who lack a license to handle insecticides and operate bed bug eradication devices. Because of this, many homeowners attempt to eradicate bed bug infestations on their own with wildly unsuccessful results.

With or without realizing it, many homeowners adopt bed bug control methods that are technically illegal and/or dangerous. For example, the use of illegal forms of diatomaceous earth among homeowners has been well documented, and some residents have been so bold as to gain access to and use insecticides that require a license to handle. Many forms of diatomaceous earth, which are dust desiccants, are not approved by the EPA, and therefore, are illegal to use even by pest control professionals, let alone unlicensed consumers. Diatomaceous earth, boric acid and other dessicates are applied as a powder to cracks, crevices and other tiny indoor harborages where bed bugs commonly hide. This can be dangerous, as legal diatomaceous earth has been formulated to prevent its inhalation by humans, while all other forms of the dust are labeled as carcinogens that are believed to contribute to lung cancer. Many homeowners have even applied rubbing alcohol to bed bug-infested mattresses and furniture, which has led to house fires. While bed bugs are highly unlikely to be eliminated from homes without professional intervention, those who insist on DYI treatments should refer to the EPA website’s list of bed bug treatments that are approved for consumer use.

Have you ever attempted a DYI bed bug eradication tactic?

When Can The Eradication Of All Bed Bugs Within A Home Be Declared A Success Following A Pest Control Treatment?

When people’s homes are infested with bed bugs, the relief that comes with the pest control professionals finishing their eradication and telling them that the hellish infestation is finally over can make even the surliest person smile and feel like the luckiest son of a gun in the world. But, how can you be certain the infestation is truly gone, never to darken your doorway again, that every last bed bug and bed bug egg has been destroyed? If you can find no more evidence of their presence, do you assume all is clear until it proves otherwise? That is a much more complicated and difficult question to answer than you might think.

The ability to completely eliminate bed bugs from someone’s home depends largely on the level of infestation and the building or site being treated. Thankfully, one of the few kinds of sites that have a fairly good chance of being completely eliminated of bed bugs are single-family homes. In an isolated building that has the same people residing in it at all times, rather than an apartment complex that has to deal with new tenants coming in regularly and living in spaces that allow bed bugs to easily move from one apartment to another, the ability to detect and eliminate all the bed bugs and their eggs infesting it is significantly easier. There is still no way to be completely certain a pest control treatment was 100 percent effective at removing a home’s bed bugs, with structural fumigation perhaps being the only exception. Even if all of the live bed bugs were eliminated, there may still be eggs hidden away in the tiniest of cracks that will hatch and your bed bug problems could resume in just a few weeks. The best way we have at this point to conclude that a bed bug infestation is gone and over is to see if you don’t come across any visible evidence of live bed bugs over a certain period of time using the proper detection methods. Having pest control professionals come back for service visits and check for bed bugs during the weeks following their elimination of the pests is the best way to ensure your home is bed bug-free.

Have you ever had a bed bug infestation that returned after getting it treated, and had to deal with getting rid of them yet again? What is the longest running bed bug infestation that you know of, and did it happen to you or a friend or family member?


Can Bed Bugs Be Prevented From Infesting Hotels?

Bed bugs are an increasing problem in the hospitality industry, as hotels, motels and B and Bs are being sued by guests who have fallen victim to bed bug bites within infested rooms. While bed bugs do not transmit disease, they are not necessarily harmless, as bed bug bites sometimes produce allergic reactions, and people in inhabiting infested conditions can lose sleep due to constant bites sustained during the night, leading to psychological distress. It is no surprise that hotels, motels and B and Bs become infested with bed bugs frequently, as the insects spread to new areas by hitchhiking on people’s clothing and within luggage. Naturally, bed bugs are most frequent spotted within hotels located within big cities that appeal to tourists, as these cities see the greatest amount of lodgers from nearly all regions of the world. Surprisingly, it is also not uncommon for hotel deliveries and hotel staff workers to inadvertently transport bed bugs into lodging establishments. While the hospitality industry is quite profitable, hotel owners are beginning to lose millions over lawsuits relating to injurious and nuisance bed bug infestations within their establishments.

The presence of bed bugs within a hotel room can give guests the impression that the room may be unsanitary and contaminated with bacteria, this is especially the case when clusters of bed bugs are discovered on bed mattresses and within bedding. However, even the wealthiest people sustain bed bug bites while staying within luxurious hotels where rooms are expensive and thoroughly cleaned. A lodging establishement’s internal conditions never serve as an indication of a bed bug infestation, as bed bug pests, unlike roach and fly pests, are not attracted to filth or bacteria; instead, the bugs are attracted solely to the blood of various warm-blooded animals, such as rodents, bats, cats, dogs, and even birds, but they seem to have a particular taste for human blood-meals. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep bed bugs from infesting hotels, but due to the increasingly expensive bed bug issues within lodging establishments, managers, housekeepers, and other hotel staff are now being trained to detect bed bugs within rooms before they become inhabited by guests. Hopefully, this recently initiated practice will make staying at a hotel less risky for travelers.

Have you ever found bed bugs in any public or private building?

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