August

16

2012

Ashley Mannello
Sprague Pest Solutions
Bed Bug Feature Story
7/19/12

Bed bugs: These two little words often bring great anxiety with them, particularly for those who have experienced a bed bug invasion before. However, a surprising number of people still disregard these insects and never take steps to protect their homes or businesses. It is necessary to be educated about bed bugs in order to avoid the disruption, potential anxiety and health risks that arise out of their habitation.

What are these creatures? Bed bugs are tiny ecto-parasite insects that need to feed on blood to survive. They have a five stage life cycle in which they continuously feed, shed their skin and grow larger. A full grown adult is only about the size of a pin head, making them hard to detect.

One of the greatest annoyances bed bugs bring is their ability to multiply abundantly. Unfortunately, they are also excellent at hiding. Bed bugs prefer very tiny crevices and are most active at night. 

Besides the uncomfortable thought of having them in your living space, these pests also present several health hazards. Since the bed bug resurgence, people have proven to be sensitive to them physically and emotionally. Bed bug bites, like those of any insect, may produce bumps or welts that are itchy and uncomfortable. An overabundance of bed bugs and their cast skins have also occasionally induced an asthma attack. Those who have experienced bed bugs before often have an emotional response, such as the feeling that something is crawling on them when really there is nothing there. On rare occasions, someone may experience an ailment referred to as “post bed bug stress disorder”. This is characterized by insomnia, hallucinations and anxiety. It is a fear that prevents people from sleeping soundly in their own beds and retaining a peace of mind.

How do bed bug infestations occur? Bed bugs travel mainly through contact. Someone carrying them in their coat could soon spread them to the chair, the floor and the wall’s electrical fixtures simply by setting the coat down. People spend extended amounts of time on their beds, sofas and chairs so those are the common areas the bugs will be found.

Fortunately, careful inspection and simple precautions can help prevent these problems. It is first important to recognize signs of bed bug existence. These pests leave small black flecks of fecal matter and cast skins. This can show up underneath mattresses, in corners of furniture or in cracks of bed frames. Secondly, it is important to always inspect hotel rooms before settling in, since the room’s main exposure comes from other guests. Choosing a hotel with staff trained in identifying bed bugs will help greatly. Many have proactive inspections to ensure the health and happiness of their guests. Third, keeping homes and offices free of clutter will eliminate hiding places and make bed bugs easier to detect if they are present. Last of all, any belongings that have been in contact with these pests should be put in the dryer on high heat. This will destroy both the adults and their eggs.

If bed bugs have become established in your home or business, it’s time to call in professionals. Sprague is fully experienced with several solutions created for both commercial and residential buildings. Conventional chemical and heat treatments can terminate bed bugs without damaging furnishings or personal belongings. Our bed bug inspection canine teams can locate live bed bug odors quickly and reliably or give you peace of mind that live bed bugs aren’t present. Protecting your health and reputation is important. Contact Sprague Pest Solutions for more information on bed bugs.