Nothing takes the joy out of a vacation like finding bed bugs in your hotel room. An otherwise lovely looking hotel room may be crawling with the little blood suckers who won’t make their presence known until you crawl between the sheets at night and find yourself hosting a late-night buffet — with you as the main course!
Bed bugs are turning up with increasing frequency at U.S. hotels, motels and resorts. Adept hitchhikers, the little devils ride in on one guest and ride home with the next guest. In the meantime, they make themselves at home in and near the bed, waiting for the next guest and their next meal. It can take some time until their presence is discovered by an itchy guest. During that time they multiply and spread like crazy, moving into nearby rooms through vents and wall voids and crawling onto clothing and into luggage.
As they say, “An ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure.” Before you book your next hotel room, you may want to check several of the websites now dedicated to sharing reports of bed bug activity to see if your destination is on the list. Some websites to check: BedbugRegistry.com, HotelChatter.com and TripAdvisor.com.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield is the proud sponsor of the Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2008. In a press release he states that bed bugs are all over the country. Oh my! His bill offers money to states to create inspection, prevention as well as eradication programs. I hope it’s more than three dollars.
To be eligible for the money, state officials must make sure that at least 20% of all the state’s hotel rooms are inspected. That seems a little silly. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 80 PERCENT. On a personal note, I prefer Capitals to yelling. A traveler from Asia unknowingly transporting bed bugs in her hat may just stay at one hotel room in New York City. What are the chances her room will be inspected? Oh my! I don’t have the details regarding how often an inspection must occur. I have my doubts it will be sufficient.
Some lobbyist for a company which offers the expensive services of distracted, untrained bed bug sniffing poodles will probably acquire the bulk of the funds. Congress typically funds such things as 28 innovative techniques for successfully microwaving legumes but the funding for bed bugs probably won’t occur.
Perhaps Cryonite for bed bug elimination should be suggested to the congressman.
Insects are at their most active during the spring and summer. Warmer winters have contributed to an even bigger bug population than usual, meaning more bugs to bedevil you this summer. You may need the expertise of a pest control company to fight back.
Here’s what to look for when hiring a pest control company:
- Ask to see their license. Find out how their technicians are trained and screened. Ask how long the firm has been in the community. Check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for references from customers. When hiring a pest control company look for an honest firm you can trust. Their staff will be coming into your home, opening drawers and looking under the beds in their search for pests. You don’t want to give just anyone that kind of access to your home, family and possessions.
- Discuss the company’s approach to pest control. Look for a firm that practices Integrated Pest Management which uses an analytical approach to minimize the use of pesticides. Determining entry points and sealing them up so that pests can’t return is as important as killing the pests currently crawling around.
- Find out what is included in the services. Some pest problems can be cleared up with a single application; others require follow-up treatment. In many instances, pest management services — periodic inspections and applications — will best serve your needs.
Recently a woman died and a man is seriously ill due to receiving kidney transplants from a donor who carried the LCMV virus. The virus was responsible for the death of three other kidney transplant patients on the east coast in 2005.
The donor was a homeless man. Experts suggest he received the virus from rodents, pets or wild animal droppings. Typically the virus causes symptoms similar to the flu.
The virus is not easily passed from human to human. The only known way the virus is acquired from another human is from mother to fetus.
Due to the small supply of available organs, recipients will often take an organ from someone at high risk of disease and health problems.
It does not seem to be a major problem with pregnant women, but avoiding animal droppings is another issue that pregnant women need to be concerned about more than most people.
Throughout history rodents have always been a problem or a nuisance for people all over the world. Professional rodent control services in New York City and New Jersey can be quite helpful if you have not been able to get rid of rats and other unwanted critters. Be sure to avoid their droppings.
How do you know when to hire a pest control company? Some pests can present a health threat or property damage risk that demands the immediate attention of a pest control professional. It helps if you can identify the cause of the problem.
If you hear scurrying across the ceiling at night or hear scratching or high pitched cries coming from the attic, chances are squirrels or a raccoon have moved into your attic. Little black pellets on the floor or shelves of your garage or basement are likely to be mouse or rat droppings. The sight of a trail of ants across the kitchen floor, a cockroach scurrying under the stove, a beetle or two on the carpet are all signs of a potential infestation.
Sometimes a problem is first noticed by the effects the insect’s presence. If you wake up with itchy welts on your body, bed bugs could be the culprit. If you discover round holes in the fascia of your house, be on the lookout for carpenter bees. If you find dirt tunnels on the side of your home, it’s time for a termite inspection. The discovery of mounds of sawdust along your foundation could indicate carpenter ants.
If you see signs of a pest problem, contact a pest control professional. He can tell you what your treatment options are and take care of the problem before more damage occurs.