During the last half of the 20th century, the bed bug infestation dwindled to nothing. People forgot all about them. The resurgence of the little vampires has brought the problem to fever pitch today. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control have combined to publish a study on the issue. Both agencies agree there is reason for public concern. Both agencies agree that awareness, prevention, and treatment when bed bugs are found are important to stemming the tide of infestation.

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Awareness
Bed bugs are small and are expert at hiding. Most people have never seen one. Bed bugs shed their skin much like a snake, so people might notice the exoskeleton lying around. Small spots of blood about the size of an asterisk are fecal matter and will bleed onto fabrics. Also a sweet, musty smell will alert people to the presence of the bed bug.

Bed bugs have no wings, so they have to walk. They are flat. They can hide in cracks and crevices, folds of clothing, seams in luggage, mattresses, bedsprings, and pillows. They tend to gather in places where there are lots of people such as hospitals, rooming houses, apartment complexes, shelters, and hotels. Increased travel to and from the U. S. as well as imports have seen a rise in the creepy little hitchhikers in recent years. They can live for up to 18 months without a meal.

The CDC and EPA agree that bed bugs carry no diseases. All they want is a blood donation. They only come out a couple hours before dawn. They are attracted by the carbon dioxide caused when sleeping people breathe. Exposed skin is their target. They prefer the chest, shoulders, and arms but can feed on feet and legs. The bugs inject an anesthetic and an anticoagulant into their victims to prevent them from feeling the bite. Bite marks and welts can take up to 14 days to appear.

Part of awareness is knowing the consequences of the bites. Some people feel nothing. Others have an allergic reaction requiring medication. Still others lose sleep trying to detect the bugs and kill them. These constitute health alarms for victims of bed bugs and should be treated immediately to prevent more serious ills.

Prevention
Recognizing how bed bugs travel and that they hide in cracks in the walls and baseboards, furniture, rubble close to beds, and in folded clothing, people will need to close any cracks, remove clutter, and treat everything else in order to prevent bedbug infestation. Diatomaceous earth is a natural pest control method not harmful to humans. It can be spread in areas where the bed bugs hide. It consists of microscopic chips of fossilized algae and is deadly to pests. It acts like a razor blade to cut their exoskeleton, which leaves them dehydrated and ultimately dead. It is also safe to use around pets.

Treatment
Pest control companies use chemicals to kill bed bugs. Consumers wishing to do it themselves would be advised not to. If the chemical to kill them is mixed improperly, it could make the house unlivable and even make people sick. Some people have had luck with natural methods, such as using water and essential oils mixed into a mist. However, the Federal Trade Commission is investigating a company that promises its natural method works due to bogus claims of effectiveness. Stick with the professionals for the best and safest results.

 

 

This article was written by Sheldon Armstrong together with his friend Travis Guerrero, an avid health and nutrition blogger who loves sharing his knowledge so you can live a healthier life. They write this on behalf of Bain Pest Control Service, your number one choice when looking for Bed Bug Extermination services in Massachusetts. Check out their website today to see how they can help you!

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