April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Bed bugs no longer just a nursery rhyme

By From Paige Langenderfer-

You may remember Grandma tucking you in with a version of "Nite Nite, Sleep Tight, Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite!"

Well it's 2016 and never been more true. Thought to be all but wiped out bed bugs have made a HUGE comeback and are showing up throughout the area. Not only hotels, homes and apartments, but schools, banks, libraries, buses and offices are noticing these parasites.

Why the comeback? Well, some of the reasons are increased travel (both nationally and globally), bans on some pesticides, lack of public awareness that bed bugs even exist and how to properly identify them.

What do bed bugs look like? Adult bed bugs are ΒΌ" long, brownish in color and most closely resemble a tick in body shape. Bed bugs do not have wings so they can't fly but are very adept crawlers and "hitchhikers". Although they feed exclusively on blood, bed bugs have yet to be implicated as disease transmitters! Actually fleas, mosquitoes and ticks are FAR WORSE from a physical standpoint but the mental anguish associated with bed bugs is tremendous and heart wrenching. Besides live insects, a few other things to look for are blood spots and/or black specks (fecal spots) on bedding or bed frames as well as couches, recliners or curtains. Bite symptoms can vary on individuals but tend to be clustered and in rows.

Why me? How could I have bed bugs? Bed bugs don't just happen! They are introduced into homes or businesses in a variety of ways. Staying in an infested home or room, guests and visitors can bring them in or purchasing anything used or second hand! Certainly do not pick up discarded furniture or mattresses from road sides or dumpsters.

May sound obvious but it happens every day!!

What now? If you do find evidence of bed bugs or suspect them here are some tips:

  • Don't panic or be embarrassed (even millionaires get bed bugs).

  • Don't start throwing out furniture.

  • Don't set off foggers (bombs).

  • Don't scatter pesticide dusts or sprays all over floors or furniture (esp. beds).

  • Don't store items under the bed.

  • Do eliminate clutter. (No. 1 cause of treatment failure

  • Do launder (hot water) any bedding, clothes or curtains that may be infested.

  • Do vacuum carpet, baseboard areas and furniture.

  • Do consider installing encasements on mattresses and box springs.

  • Do consult with a pest professional for a thorough evaluation. (Bed bugs are one of the few insects you will need help with.)

    Researchers and scientists don't expect bed bugs to go away anytime soon and no one can guarantee they won't show up where least expected. However, through education and vigilance we can teach people to minimize their opportunities.

    Something else Grandma used to say " An ounce of prevention ... !"[[In-content Ad]]
  • HOPE