2024 Pest Trends: Rise of the Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are on the rise again! Recently, there have been several news reports of significant issues in Paris, Las Vegas, and around the world! These traveling pests have rebounded from the COVID days and insecticide-resistant bed bugs are becoming more common.
In this article, we will review signs of bed bugs, how to protect yourself when you travel, and how to ensure your home is free of them in 2024 and beyond.
Bed bug signs
Here are some telltale indications of a bed bug infestation and things to look out for:
- Search for their molted skin. It’s a light brown color much like the bugs themselves.
- Watch for small spots of blood on sheets and mattress covers. Since many of the bites occur on the back, many people may not even be aware of the punctures.
- Be on the lookout for a sweet, foul odor around areas that are infested.
- Itchy patches of skin are also an indication.
Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers. They can travel from anywhere in the country back to your home by attaching themselves to your clothing and luggage. The lack of cleanliness of a room isn’t necessarily the reason for their presence. They are simply hitching a ride from one location to another in hopes of finding a meal.
When you arrive at your destination, inspect the bed, and pull back the sheets to get a good look at the mattress and cracks of the bedframe. What are you looking for? Live bugs, eggs, shed skins and fecal stains. If you see any of these signs, don’t put your luggage on the floor when you first enter the room. Consider placing it in the bathroom area until you complete your initial inspection.
Another suggestion is to bring along a large plastic bag you can store your suitcase in once you unpack. Keep your empty luggage protected during your entire stay. Then, when you are packing to go home, use that same bag to store your soiled clothing and shoes before packing the suitcase for traveling. As an extra precaution when you arrive back home, unpack your suitcase outside and toss those soiled clothes right from the plastic bag into the wash.
How does a professional treat for bed bugs?
Locating bed bugs and treating them takes time, persistence, and monitoring. Because of this, most homeowners prefer to call in an expert like Massey Services. Massey’s Pest Control Technicians will eliminate bed bugs at all stages of life.
After the initial inspection and assessment, our technician will work with the homeowner to prepare the room for treatment. This process often involves removing all items from the drawers and closets and placing them in airtight containers. It may also be advised to wash all clothes, fabric goods and bedding to be stored away from the room during treatment.
Removing pictures from the walls and disassembling the bed frame may also be recommended to allow for the most effective treatment process.
Next, our pest control professional will work with the homeowner to develop a customized treatment plan. This plan could include both chemical and non-chemical treatments. The insecticides used are approved for bed bug control and are applied to targeted areas where the bed bugs are most likely residing. The non-chemical treatment methods may include heat treatments, steam, vacuuming or freezing to target the bed bugs and their eggs.
Once the treatment has been completed, our technician will return for a follow up visit to make sure all the bugs have been eliminated. A second treatment may be required, so make plans to utilize other areas of the home while the process is completed.
What does the future hold?
Electronic technology in pest control is starting to gain momentum. There are many options for monitoring pest activity and research focusing on insects is being done. Massey Services is involved with BASF testing. One day a smart house will brew your coffee, monitor power consumption, and monitor insect activity.
Manufacturers are looking to the future to develop new application tools and products. Much of this effort is focused on being effective, efficient, and more environmentally responsible.
Taking precaution when traveling is the best way to keep bed bugs from invading your home, but if they do find their way in, take immediate action. Bed bugs can live up to 12 months. The treatment process can involve between 2 and 4 treatment sessions over a period of 3-6 weeks. Calling a professional immediately for an inspection and recommendation is by far the best way to minimize the inconvenience.