It might be hard to imagine; but the bed bugs were completely eradicated once. However; today, they are back with a vengeance and more American cities are dealing with a bed bug crisis than we care to admit. Many theaters and hotels in New York have had to be temporarily closed down due to the bed bug menace. Thus, bed bugs are causing not just psychological problems to sufferers; they are even harming the economy of great nations. Each year, millions of dollars are estimated to be spent on pest control companies for dealing with bed bug issues. Today, we will try and figure out why the bedbugs have returned.
Bed bugs have been around since centuries
Bed bugs have been around since centuries and the common adage:” don’t let the bed bugs bite” was used to wish a good night’s rest to people who invariably dealt with these pests. During the Second World War, the bed bug nuisance increased several times over thanks to cluttered and unhygienic conditions.After the War was over, pesticides like DDT were used on a large scale thanks to which the bugs disappeared temporarily. However, in the 1970s the FDA and the EPA banned these pesticides since they were considered detrimental to people’s health. Chemicals like chlordane which were also used for keeping bugs at bay were attributed to the extinction of the Bald Eagle. As a result, greener pesticides came to be used. Over time, the bed bugs developed great resistance to these. Today, more homeowners use floggers, bed bug traps and sprays and powders to control bed bugs. However; the bugs are getting smarter and, as their primary requirement is getting a blood meal, they are often not attracted to these substances. Moreover, for them to be effective, the bed bugs have to actually come in contact with these products. Since they tend to hide during the day and only feed at night, this is a difficult ask for most homeowners. Also, failure to follow other precautions invariably causes the bed bugs to come back.
Bed bugs thriving
Entomologist Coby Schal from the North Carolina University has studied female bed bugs extensively and is worried that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. A single female bed bug can lay around 500 eggs to create entire population in a single infestation.
Also, bedbugs do not necessarily hitchhike on humans- they generally only take blood meals for up to 10 minutes and leave. However, they can still get inside our luggage which means that our clothing is certainly not safe. Also, people fail to follow the right precautions when they discarding infested furniture. Many are known to leave bed bug infested mattresses, cabinets, books on the roadside or even sell them at yard sales where unsuspecting bargain hunters pick them up. This spreads the bedbugs from one place to another/
So how can we ensure that bed bugs do not come back?
If you have taken care of a bed bug infestation recently, that is naturally the first step in the right direction. However, you must not breathe easy but must continue to maintain vigilance in order to ensure that the bedbugs have truly left. You must continue to vacuum and de-clutter on a regular basis to remove hiding places for the bugs. Inspect your sleeping areas including the bed’s box springs to keep your bedrooms devoid of bed bugs.
In dark movie theaters, it is often difficult to sight bed bugs. So, if possible, carry a small flashlight to check the place you are sitting. The same is true when you travel or spend a night or two at a hotel. Keep your luggage in the bathroom as that is one area usually free of bed bugs.Next, inspect the room thoroughly. Do not forget to check behind frames, bed-headboard, pillows, corners of mattresses etc. If you spot rust colored stains, call the management and ask for another room. If needed, leave the hotel and move to another one nearby.
House guests could also bring bed bugs into your home unknowingly. Moreover, students returning home for the holidays bring bugs back from their dormitories. To avoid this, get them to leave their luggage outdoors or in the garage where you could heat treat and vacuum them. Next, wash all their clothing in hot water and seal and store them in plastic bags.
People often go into denial that they have bed bugs. So-if you are waking up with bumps and blisters on your arms, legs or back each morning, make sure you have them checked out by a doctor. Bed bug bites are often mistaken for hives, scabies, and mosquito bites etc. Naturally, there are differences and if there are other tell-tale signs of bed bug activity, you know have to start thinking of bedbug diagnosis.
Nearly 88% bedbug infestations around America come back; which means we are looking at possible insecticide resistance. Until we are able to create a better solution that kills bed bug populations without harming humans, we must continue taking the integrated pest control management approach alongside careful monitoring and inspection. That is the only way to ensure that bedbugs do not come back ever.