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Good Night, Sleep Tight, Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Posted by Briana Smith on Oct 4, 2012 8:20:00 AM
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“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.
And if they do,
then take your shoe,
And knock ‘em ‘til,
they’re black & blue!”

Bed BugIt’s too bad that getting rid of bed bugs really isn’t as easy as this version of the Good Night, Sleep Tight poem. In fact, they are a major hassle to deal with and your business can suffer as a result. The resurgence of these nasty little bugs is not exactly known as bed bug populations had dramatically declined during the mid-20th century, but it is thought that perhaps it is due to the “increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides, greater international and domestic travel, lack of knowledge regarding control of bed bugs due to their prolonged absence, and the continuing decline or elimination of effective vector/pest control programs at state and local public health agencies” that have contributed to the problem. (1)

 

Quick facts about bed bugs:

  • Reddish-brown color, wingless, range in size from 1-7 millimeters
  • Can live for months without feeding
  • Tend to come out at night, hide during the day
  • Like to hide in crevices, furniture, mattresses, luggage, bedding, clothes, etc.
  • Easily transported from one place to another
  • Dislike extreme heat or cold

 

CDC Bed Bugs Link   Bed Bug Tips for Travelers


What to look for:Bedside CU

  • Irritating & itchy red bite marks, similar to fleas & mosquitoes, mostly on your extremities (arms, legs, hands, etc.) and perhaps other body parts
  • Rust-colored blood spots on mattress (pull the sheets up to get a good look)
  • Exoskeletons of molted bed bugs
  • Check crevices, like bedside tables, furniture drawers, baseboards, etc.
  • If traveling, it’s preferable to check your hotel room first before bringing in luggage, if you have your luggage do NOT place it on the floor, but place it atop a large piece of furniture; don’t forget to inspect your luggage seams, etc. right before you check out

 

Inspect BuildingPreventative steps you can take:

  • Inspect rooms often, be proactive
  • Mattress & box spring encasements prevent bed bugs from accessing if there are no tears and they are installed properly
  • Bed bugs prefer paper & wood over metal & plastic (2)
  • Frequently wash & heat dry bed linens, clothing, etc. as bed bugs can’t survive extreme heat

 

 

Best way to get rid of bed bugs - use an integrated pest management approach (1, 4):

  • Bug Off IIInspect infested areas, make sure that they are in fact bed bugs and not another type of insect
  • Remove clutter where bed bugs can hide
  • Heat treatment
  • Vacuuming using a sealed bag (versus a dirt cup) & a HEPA filter, which has been effective in removing live bed bugs, but not necessarily the eggs; don’t forget to properly dispose of the vacuum bag after every use when treating beg bugs (3, 4)
  • Steam cleaning
  • Sealing cracks & crevices
  • Effective use of pesticides, such as WAXIE’s Bug Off II Dual Spray Residual Insecticide (#470090)
  • Follow up and re-inspect often!

 

No Bed BugsIf you suspect you have bed bugs, contact a local pest control company. They can help you with creating the best treatment process for your facility or home.


References:

  1. Joint Statement on Bed Bug Control in the United States from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/publications/bed_bugs_cdc-epa_statement.htm
  2. Preventing a Bed Bug Infestation [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/publications/bb_guidelines/
  3. Bradley, J. (2012). Treating Bed Bugs. Housekeeping Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article/Treating-Bed-Bugs--14632
  4. Best Management Practices for Controlling Bed Bugs: An Integrated Pest Management Approach [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/publications/bb_guidelines/

Topics: vacuum, bed bugs, treatment, Bug Off, encasements, HEPA, mattress

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