Blood Sucking Bed Bugs

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There’s been a lot of talk of bed bugs on the rise in the United States, so I went about doing some research.  Not a lot of people have come across bed bugs, but if you haven’t, it’s not pleasant being bitten.  They’re sometimes mistaken for baby cockroaches or ticks.  Bed bugs have a flat body and are between 1.5mm (juvenile) to 7mm (adult).  Since they feed on your blood, their backs turn darker red when feed, brighter for juveniles.

The reason we haven’t had problems in the past is because an insecticide called dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT for short, was used between 1940s – 1950s to exterminate them.  DDT had been used up to 1972 until the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of the toxic chemical.  Since then, bed bugs have developed resistance to DDT replacements.  They’ve come back and infested many cities throughout the U.S.

Many complaints have come from travel lodges and few in residential homes.  Customers reported have been bitten or seen these tiny blood suckers.  Bed bugs generally are found on beds in crevices, between mattresses, carpet, curtains, and other upholstered furniture.  When travelling, before unpacking, do room inspection.  If you can’t see them, look for their waste, which looks like coffee grounds.  Their eggs are white with a red spot.

When bitten by bed bugs, the feeling is much like a mosquito bite.  Irritating and itching can be better soothed with Benadryl or calamine lotion.  One way of knowing is looking at the bite to notice if you have two tiny punctures next to each other.

If you know you’ve got bed bugs, don’t move from one bed to another or to a relative’s house.   Doing so will spread them to another area.  Call a professional exterminator and they’ll be able to eradicate them after a couple treatments.  They generally use EPA approved chemicals, and I’ve hear they heat your house up to 140 degrees.  Bed bugs will die in 140+ degree temperatures.

As a word of caution, inspection your home or hotel room for any signs of bed bugs.  If you’re occupying an infested area, do not move elsewhere to prevent spreading them.  Do not treat the area yourself, call a professional pest control service.  By the way, if you don’t see them doesn’t mean they’re gone, they can live a couple months without feeding.

These are the top 10 cities infested by Bed Bugs, reported by Orkin.

Cincinnati, OH
Chicago, IL
Columbus, OH
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Washington, DC
New York, NY
Dayton, OH
Baltimore, MD


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