Think You Are Immune From Bed Bugs? Think Again!

New Jersey pest control professionals constantly encounter bed bugs on a daily basis.  Despite reports of their uprising from coast to coast, and worldwide for that matter, some people think that bed bugs will never catch up to them.  Once almost eliminated from the map in America, bed bugs are once again easy to encounter as they can be found any place that humans can be found.  Some people blame their resurgence on foreign travel, some on the lack of potent pesticides, some on the practice of using second hand furniture, some on the lack of knowledge about the nocturnal nibblers.  New Jersey pest control professionals believe that it is combination of all of the above reasons why bed bugs have been able to survive, thrive and prosper in recent years.

Bed bugs don’t eat plants, insects, sugars, liquids, or meat products.  Instead they feed off of human blood. If hungry enough, they will settle for the blood of cats, dogs, rodents, or birds, but humans are their biggest target.  Most people do not feel the bite of a bed bug as they inject a straw-like tube into their victim with an anesthetic to ensure that the bite is painless, and anticoagulant to ensure that the blood flows well.  A second tube is then injected into the skin to slurp blood out.  These creepy bugs will feast upon their host between 5 and 15 minutes before scurrying off to digest their blood meal.  You can expect them to return for more blood every five to ten days.

It is estimated that about 50% of the people who are bitten by bed bugs suffer the allergic reaction associated with the bites.  Statistics show that women are more likely than men to be bitten by bed bugs, assumedly because women’s skin is thinner than men’s skin is. Bed bug bites can cause skin rashes, blisters, and scars.  Bed bugs are known to carry 28 human pathogens, but so far health care experts don’t think that bed bugs are a health threat to humans.

Bed bug infestations are best treated by a licensed pest control professional that is trained in bed bug eradiation procedures.  For expert bed bug removal services in New York or New Jersey, contact Stern Environmental Group.

Bed Bug Questions Answered By A NYC Pest Control Professional Part 4 Of 4

Continuing from Monday…

• My neighbor has bed bugs, should I be worried? If you live in a single family home, you should be mindful of visits to a neighbor who has bed bugs.  Check your clothing and belongings for possible hitchhikers before returning to your home after visiting theirs.

If you live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse, YES, you should be concerned about bed bugs!  Bed bugs use electrical wires and plumbing to travel through the walls to get from place to place.  Because of their tiny statue, bed bugs can easily slip in and out of electrical sockets, floorboards, and cracks in the plaster.  It is not uncommon for structures with shared walls to have multiple units suffering with bed bug infestations.

• Do all bed bug bites look alike? NO.  Bed bug bites vary just as much as people do.  Some people suffer horrible reactions to bed bug bites, while others suffer mild reactions.  Some people don’t have any reaction at all.  Check out our collection of bed bug bite photographs for reference.

• What do I do if I have bed bugs?  Don’t panic!  If you think you have bed bugs, call a licensed pest control professional.  Once a thorough inspection is completed, a treatment plan will be designed to kill your bed bugs.

• Why are bed bugs so hard to kill?  Recent studies have shown that today’s bed bugs have become resistant to current pesticides that are available. Additionally, bed bugs have developed a thicker exoskeleton which makes them more difficult to kill.  It typically takes a combination of efforts by a qualified pest control professional to rid a home or business of a bed bug infestation.

• How can I prevent a bed bug infestation?  As the saying goes…”Knowledge is power.”  NYC pest control experts say that it’s best to avoid bed bug infestations by gaining as much knowledge as you can about their habits, life cycle, and the signs of infestation.

Bed Bug Questions Answered By A NYC Pest Control Professional Part 3 Of 4

Continuing from Friday…

• Something is biting me, where should I look for possible bed bugs?  Bed bugs can typically be found within 20 feet of their host.  In a bedroom, look for bed bugs signs in the bed, paying particular attention to the seams, bed frame, headboard, bedding, and box spring areas.  Look for bed bug skins, fecal matter, or actual bed bugs in dresser drawers, light fixtures, floor boards, picture frames, mirrors, electrical components, books, papers, etc.

• I think I have bed bugs, can I treat them myself?  NO!  Although over-the-counter bed bug treatment products are available, they have proven to be ineffective in the killing of bed bugs.  Some types of products (foggers) will actually spread the infestation as bed bugs detect the poison and scatter through the walls and floors to seek shelter in other rooms.  NYC pest control experts have an arsenal of treatment methods that are proven effective in killing bed bugs.

• I’ve got bed bugs; does that mean that my home is dirty? NO.  Bed bug infestations are common occurrences and are not related to sanitation issues.  Even the cleanest living conditions are subject to bed bug infestations.  Cluttered conditions however do provide ample opportunity for bed bug harborages.

• When do bed bugs eat?  Bed bugs survive solely on blood…preferably from a human but they will seek out cats, dogs, rodents and birds in the absence of human blood.

• Do bed bugs spread diseases?  NO.  Although bed bugs are known to carry a variety of pathogens, to date there is no concrete evidence that bed bugs transmit any disease to humans or pets.

• Do I need to throw all of my belongings away?  NO.  Although some people opt to dispose of bed bug infested property, The National Pest Management Association and NYC pest control experts say that this is not necessary.  Bed bug infestations can be controlled with professional treatment.  Clothing and bedding items can easily be saved by washing and drying on hot temperature settings.  Mattresses can be salvaged by using mattress encasements.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion.

Bed Bug Questions Answered By A NYC Pest Control Professional Part 2 Of 4

Continuing from Wednesday…

• What do bed bugs look like?  Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and are brown in color.  Once they receive their blood meal, they turn reddish-brown and plump up.  They are visible and easy to spot with careful inspection of your surroundings.  Baby bed bugs (nymphs) are smaller and are white-ish in color.  They are more difficult to locate depending on their size.  Once they feed, they turn red in color.  Bed bug eggs are white/translucent and are difficult to locate by the naked eye.  A bed bug sniffing dog is a good tool to use to root out all stages of bed bug infestations.

• When should I look for bed bugs?  New York City pest control experts say that because bed bugs are so prevalent in the region, you should inspect for bed bugs on a regular basis.  It is recommended that a thorough inspection be completed each week when the sheets are changed on your bedding.

• Where should I look for bed bugs?  Bed bugs are elusive critters that are known for their sneaky nighttime antics.  Bed bugs can be found anywhere that humans inhabit, and are especially prevalent in bedrooms and other furniture within a home.  Bed bugs are fast moving bugs that will travel a good distance in order to feed.  Bed bugs typically lurk within 20 feet of their food source.

• How fast can a bed bug multiply?  After feeding, a female bed bug will lay from one to twelve eggs each day.  Tiny eggs are deposited in any crack, crevice, or rough surface and are adhered with a sticky substance to make them stay put until hatching.  Bed bug eggs will hatch in 6 to 17 days depending on the room temperature.  Nymphs will begin to feed immediately as they need a blood meal to reach their next life stage.  Pest control experts believe that if necessary, the resilient bed bug can abstain from eating for up to 18 months.

Please check back on Monday for part 3.

Bed Bug Questions Answered By A NYC Pest Control Professional Part 1 Of 4

New York City pest control professionals continue to see a rise in bed bug infestation calls this summer.  With the bed bug reports in the news, it’s not surprising that many New York City residents often contact pest control companies in a panic when they begin to encounter strange bite marks on their body or discover a new type of critter lurking in the shadows or beds of their home.  As many residents are already finding out, they have picked up some unwanted traveling companions this summertime while on vacation.  Yes indeed, bed bugs have found their way home with many people, not only in New York City…but all around the United States.

Stern Environmental Group has been providing quality bed bug eradication services to New York and New Jersey residents for over ten years.  We are hoping that our vast knowledge of the bloodsucking parasites will help aid you in avoiding the creepy crawlers.

Here are some commonly asked bed bug questions…

• How did bed bugs invade my home?  Bed bugs are masters at hitching a ride via luggage, backpacks, purses, clothing, etc.  Unlike ticks or lice, bed bugs do not live on humans.  Bed bugs can be picked up at any location that people frequent.  Movie theaters, retail stores, hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, taxis, trains, airplanes, courthouses, libraries, and hospitals have all reported bed bug infestations.  You should always inspect all of your belongings for bed bugs prior to bringing them into your home.

• Do bed bug bites affect all people? NO!  It is estimated that roughly 50% of the people who are bitten by bed bugs suffer the allergic reaction to the saliva from bed bugs.  Bed bug infestations often become out-of-control because a small infestation is not noticed until it becomes a large infestation due to the lack of bite reaction.  For those that suffer from the bites, wounds can range from mild to severe.  Some people suffer secondary infections from bed bug bites and require medical treatment.
Please check back on Friday for part 2.