We’ve all heard the nighttime saying, “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” But in recent years, particularly in the Midwest, this saying has been proven to be the stuff of nightmares rather than sweet dreams. As bed bug rates begin to soar, frightening media reports of infestations describe the attack of millions of microscopic blood-sucking creatures occurring when we are at our most vulnerable – asleep. People who have lived with bed bugs never forget the experience, often experiencing a financial, emotional and physical toll. Bed bugs are not child’s play, so knowing the facts are your best protection.
To distinguish fact from fiction, it’s good to be aware of five common bed bug myths:
- Myth 1: Bed bugs only come out at night. False – Bed bugs are primarily active at night, but they can be active during the day as well.
- Myth 2: Bed bugs are associated with unclean, dirty homes. False – Bed bugs can invade anyone’s home, whether affluent or impoverished.
- Myth 3: You can get rid of a bed bug infestation by throwing away mattresses and furniture. False – Bed bugs are found in other areas of the home such as picture frames, floorboards, outlets and more.
- Myth 4: You can spray away bed bugs. False – Conventional methods of pest removal and DIY methods are proven ineffective in treating bed bugs, so you should always seek professional help.
- Myth 5: Bed bugs don’t transmit diseases. True – While bed bugs can have a psychological impact and minor secondary problems, they are not known to transmit diseases.
Armed with the facts, you can know what signs to look for and easily recognize the first signs of an infestation. Discovering bites is an early, obvious sign – bed bug bites are red, itchy spots that can appear on arms, hands, face, neck and other areas of the body. Other problem signs include rust-colored spots on bedding and furniture, discarded bed bug exoskeletons, and bed bugs found in the lining and folds of mattresses and sheets. While bed bugs are small, they are visible – about the size of a small apple seed.
The most important step in bed bug prevention is to minimize the risk of them entering your home in the first place. Many bed bugs are often brought home as a result of traveling. So the best way to prevent bed bugs while on a trip is to either use luggage racks instead of placing your things on the floor or leave your suitcase in the bathroom of the hotel. If you suspect you have encountered bed bugs while traveling, wash all clothing in hot water, dry for 30 minutes in a hot dryer, and place shoes and suitcases outside in plastic bags. As always, if you suspect an infestation of beg bugs, contact a professional to take care of the problem as early as possible.
Unlike other seasonal pests, bed bugs are a yearlong problem, and one that is on the rise in Midwest areas. In a recent Cincinnati Business Courier report of the worst bed bug cities in the U.S., Cincinnati was ranked 5th, Dayton came in 7th worst, and Columbus, OH, topped the list at number 3! Remember, bed bugs are not easy to get rid of, and can quickly escalate into a full-blown infestation if you try to handle the problem yourself. The best solution? Hire a professional to get the help you need so you can rest easier at night – and all day long.
Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiry, Facebook or Twitter.