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Article Archive >> Community

Dabugman Says: Bed Bugs

Dabugman Says
Bed Bugs

"Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite." Wow my grandma and my mom used to say that to me as I lay down to sleep each night. We would laugh about that funny little saying but I didn't know why I was laughing I never knew what a bed bug was.
It was about eight years ago when I came across these creatures in an apartment complex - nasty little bugs. The tenants brought them in from another country. At a new pest service I attended, the speaker, a woman from Sweden, knew exactly what they were. They were transported from Florida when on vacation. The bed bugs were feeding off of her but not the husband, they even switched sides of the bed and so did the bugs.
Bed bugs continue to be a serious issue for everyone in the United States. This infestation will continue to rise over the next four to five years. These blood-sucking creatures not only dwell in homes, but also in hotels, motels, apartments, dormitories, condominiums, and cruise ships.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are flat, light tan to brown and oval-shaped until after they feed; then they fill out and turn a reddish color. The adult is approximately the size of an apple seed. Adult bed bugs can live for more than one year without feeding and can sustain extreme temperatures, making them difficult to kill.
Where do bed bugs live?
Bed bugs tend to settle in close proximity to their food source - you! During the day these nocturnal (night) insects disappear in mattresses, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, pictures, and even torn wallpaper. At night, they come out to feed, attracted by breath and body heat.
Why are bed bugs a problem?
Bed bugs are a nuisance. When they feed, they can leave itchy, bloody welts (similar to hives) on skin. However, because bites are usually painless, many victims do not even realize that they have a problem until the infestation is large. Also, bed bugs are great hitchhikers. Once indoors, they can spread from room to room, hitchhiking on clothing, personal belongings and even vacuum cleaners. They are difficult to control and require the help of a professional.
How do I know if my home or hotel room is infested?
Bed bugs leave behind brown or red spots on sheets. A large infestation of bed bugs can create a musty, sweet odor, like soda pop syrup. Bed bug bites can leave itchy, bloody welts on the skin. Check for these signs of infestations when traveling, or if you suspect you may have brought the insect into your home.
What do I do if I suspect a bed bug problem?
Because bed bugs are so difficult to kill, treating for them requires the use of a licensed pest management professional with specific experience treating for these pests.
"Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite," Dabugman Says.

Mark Dieter is a certified inspector in Maryland and Pennsylvania with Enviro-Tech Pest Services, which he is an owner and operator. mark@envirotechpestservices.com

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