Bed Bugs

Bed bugs do not discriminate where they take up residence. They choose places such as movie theaters, warehouses, offices, hotels, apartments, kennels, schools, dormitories and healthcare facilities in urban and rural areas from coast to coast.
Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to avoid them from the start.
What People Are Doing To Avoid Bed Bugs
Many people admit to altering their behavior in and outside the home in response to reports about recent bed bug infestations. A recent survey* found that:
22% have started checking their beds, furniture, clothes and rugs for evidence of bed bugs on a regular basis
21% have started washing their clothes and bed linens in extremely hot water and drying them on super high-heat in an attempt to kill bugs that may or may not be there
16% are avoiding establishments because they’re afraid of picking up bed bugs and bringing them home
13% have stopped traveling to hotels and cities with known bed bug problems
12% are avoiding people they know who have had a bed bug problem
Common Bed Bug Myths
Myth: You can’t see a bedbug.
Reality: You should be able to see adult bed bugs and eggs with the naked eye.
Myth: Bed bugs live in dirty places.
Reality: Bed bugs are not attracted to dirt and grime; they are attracted to warmth, blood and carbon dioxide. However, clutter, not dirt, offers more hiding places.
Myth: Bed bugs transmit diseases.
Reality: There are no cases that indicate bed bugs pass diseases from one host to another. Lab tests have shown that it is unlikely that the insect is capable of infecting its host.
Myth: Bed bugs won’t come out if the room is brightly lit.
Reality: While bedbugs prefer darkness, keeping the light on at night won’t deter these pests from biting you.
Solving the Bed Bug Problem
Effective actions can be taken to stave off infestations, such as hiring a professional exterminator, blasting area with super-high heat, covering upholstered furniture with plastic slip covers and using bed bug sprays.
The U.S. EPA provides some useful information (http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/bedbugs/ ) for identifying and controlling bed bugs:
Correctly identify the pest
Inspect infested areas, plus surrounding spaces
Check for bed bugs on luggage and clothes when returning home from a trip
Look for bed bugs or signs of infestation on secondhand items before transporting them
Keep records, including dates when and locations where bed bugs were identified
Clean all items within a bed bug infested living area
Reduce clutter where bed bugs can hide
Physically remove bed bugs through cleaning
Use pesticides carefully according to the label directions
Follow up with routine inspections and possible treatments
Raise awareness through education on prevention of bed bugs
Wash and dry bedding and clothing at high temperatures to kill bed bugs
Heat infested articles and/or areas through to at least 113 degrees F for 1 hour The higher the temperature the shorter time needed to kill bed bugs in all life stages
Be aware that cold treatments below 0 degrees F for at least 4 days can eliminate some infestations. The cooler the temperature the less time needed to kill bed bugs
Use mattress, box spring and pillow encasements to trap bed bugs and help detect infestations
Bed bug control can be maintained through a comprehensive treatment strategy that incorporates a variety of techniques and vigilant monitoring.
*Survey conducted by Infogroup/ORC on behalf of Enforcer® Brand.
www.enforcer.com/infocenter/pdf/Bedbug_survey.pdf
Article courtesy of Zep, Inc.