Bed bugs are big business. Apple seed-sized insects that creep into our beds to feed on our blood, bed bugs incite fear well out of proportion to their small size. And there are plenty of folks who want to cash in on that fear. Since bed bugs resurfaced in the U.S., bed bug killing products have flooded the marketplace. Some live up to their promises, but many do not.
Stern offers a wide range of useful products designed to fight bed bugs, but there are three products we consider standouts:
1. Protect-A-Bed bed bug proof mattress covers and box spring encasements are designed by pest control experts. Bed bugs cannot bite through or penetrate these specialized mattress and bed spring enclosures, providing a permanent barrier between you and bed bugs.
Bed bugs that have developed a resistance to the chemicals used to exterminate them are on the rise in concentrated metropolitan areas such as New York City. Professional bed bug exterminators are seeing more bed bug infestations that do not respond adequately to the professional pesticides used by most pest control companies.
This chemical resistance is a nationwide problem that was first noticed a couple of years ago in heavily-infested cities like NYC. At first the phenomenon was considered relatively rare, but incidents of pesticide-resistant bed bugs have been multiplying and are now fairly common.
Bed bugs have proven to be highly adaptable. Use of the powerful pesticide DDT effectively rid the U.S. of bed bugs in the 1950s. Decades later when these pests started returning to the U.S. in the luggage of international travelers, scientists discovered that new bed bug populations had developed an immunity to now-banned DDT. The same cycle is repeating with today’s pesticides, making them increasingly less effective on bed bugs.
Fortunately, pest control professionals have other options that are even more effectively than chemicals at killing bed bugs. Bed bugs are temperature sensitive and perish when exposed to extreme cold or heat. Heat chambers are effective in killing bed bugs hiding in clothing and possessions but take time to exterminate household infestations. Cryonite, on the other hand, kills bed bugs instantly with a blast of sub-zero “snow.” Find out more about Cryonite on our website.
Five Ohio families got an unwelcome “bonus gift” when they rented or purchased furniture from a local Rent-A-Center. Furniture rental stores do a brisk business over the holidays when people need extra beds for visiting friends and family members. In hot demand are rollaway beds, cribs, highchairs, booster seats, car seats and other baby paraphernalia that is too bulky to be carried aboard a plane. Rental stores also take advantage of holiday shopping to sell off old or excess stock.
Buying used is a time-honored strategy for keeping expenses down, but the resurgence of bed bugs in the U.S. over the past decade has added an unwelcome element of risk to the practice. The chance of brining home a bed bug-infested couch or bunk beds has made people more circumspect about used furniture.
In most cities today, people are warned not to take home furniture, especially mattresses, placed at the curb for trash pick up and to closely inspect thrift store furniture before purchase. But rental centers can pose an even bigger threat. Furniture that travels from home to home simply stands a better chance of coming into contact with bed bugs. If you happened to rent furniture over the holidays, there’s a chance your home could already be infested.
Don’t start the New Year losing sleep over bed bugs. Call Stern Environmental to schedule fast, discrete bed bug extermination.
The discovery of bed bugs at Princeton University gives credence to bed bugs’ reputation as equal opportunity pests. These small blood-sucking pests cross social, economic and cultural barriers. They are as likely to be found in tony Princeton dorm rooms as homeless shelters. The discovery of bed bug infestations in two Princeton University dorm rooms reported by NJ.com earlier this month merely proves the point.
Unlike many other insects, bed bugs are not attracted by filth or food scraps. When bed bugs are found, the common denominator is human blood. Bed bugs feed on human blood, typically at night when their meal ticket (you!) is fast asleep. When bed bugs latch on, they may feed for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Like ticks, bed bugs grow in size as they feed; their color becoming redder and darker as blood fills their bodies.
Most people don’t wake up when bitten by a bed bug because these insects inject a numbing agent as they insert their proboscis. The intense itching associated with their mosquito-like bites doesn’t usually start until the victim wakes up in the morning. However, because only 50% of victims react to bed bug bites, you could be on the menu and never know it!
Getting rid of bed bugs is a job for licensed pest control professionals that have significant experience in bed bug extermination.
The start of every school year brings a rash of reports that bed bugs have been found crawling on students’ backpacks or across classroom floors. Teachers trained to be on the lookout for these blood-sucking insects and fast action by school districts when bed bugs are discovered often prevents full-blown infestations at school. But it’s a different story when children inadvertently bring bed bugs home in their backpacks.
Bed bugs are rampant in the New York City and northern New Jersey area. Should bed bugs ride home with their child’s homework, parents can minimize the risk of home infestation by following these tips:
Educate yourself about bed bugs and their behavior. Know what to look for. You’ll find helpful information and photos of bed bugs and their bites on the Stern Environmental website.
Inspect your child’s backpack, lunch box and coat when he gets home.
Do not let your children take items that travel back and forth to school to their bedrooms.
Purchase a large plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid for each child and keep it near the door for storing book bags, coats and other school items.