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  Bed Bugs | Hoban Services Inc

In the past decade bed bug populations have rose nearly 5000% across the United States since their initial decline in the late 60’s early 70’s. This rise comes from the elimination of the ability to use certain pesticides in homes that had prevented bed bugs from populating and spreading.

Pest Control companies everywhere were forced to rethink strategies for control and prevention. Several possible solutions have been employed over the past several years such as:

  • Flash Freezing
  • Steam Heat
  • Heat
  • Site Application
  • Cleaning and Sanitation

While each method has its positives and negatives, we at Hoban Pest Control use a combination of the methods (IPM) for the control and elimination of bed bugs in homes.
Our treatment breakdown is listed below

Inspection

Our technicians perform a thorough inspection of your home by beginning in the area of infestation, then working out to other rooms with adjacent walls. We inspect all bedding, furniture, decorative items, molding and any other possible harborage areas. After this inspection is complete we are able to determine the size of the infestation and creative a personalized treatment plan.  

If you have found bites, bedbugs, or evidence that you think you may have bedbugs it is extremely important to contact a professional. Some mistakes people immediately make:

 

  • Identification
    With hysteria about bud bugs as high as it is, often times people over-react out of fear, worry, or stress. It is always important to keep a sample of the bug (dead or alive) to compare with either online resources or a professional technician. Generally a bed bug infestation can be recognized by blood stains from crushed bugs or by rusty (sometimes dark) spots of excrement on sheets, mattresses, walls, and surrounding molding. Fecal spots, eggshells, and shed skins may be found in the vicinity of their hiding places.
  • Carrying mattresses and furniture outside the home to discard
    Often when this is done bed bugs are scattered across the home, especially when mattresses are dragged along walls, doors, and other furniture.
  • Changing your sleeping arrangement
    The first thing people do when they discover they have bed bugs is move themselves to a couch or another bed to sleep. This creates a severely high risk of carrying the infestation to other furniture. Bed Bugs live in and around mattresses because that is where you sleep, which is when they feed. If you remove yourself from the infested area, chances are the bed bugs will move to a new place to feed.

Preparation

Preparation: One bed bugs have been confirmed to be living in your home we highly suggest taking the following measures. 

  • Purchasing Mattress Covers
    Mattress Covers are effective in both keeping bed bugs from infesting mattresses and keeping them from moving out. Once a mattress has been fitted with a cover, it should be left on for about a year to make sure to kill any existing bedbugs inside the mattress. We also suggest purchasing a mattress cover for beds in bedrooms with adjoining walls or heavy foot traffic between rooms.

Bed bug mattress covers range in price from 30 USD to 180 USD. All can be just as effective against bed bugs however differ drastically in durability. Cheaper covers tend to tear far easier. More expensive covers work better against allergens and dust mites. It is important to be careful not to let the cover tear or get punctured in any way. If this happens the bed bugs will move out and the problem will reoccur.

  • Washing Sheets/Clothing
    Any bed bugs found in clothes and sheets are best killed by washing with hot water, then drying with high heat. It is very important to bring a garbage bag to the room and carefully fill it there. Then seal the bag, take it to the laundry room and carefully begin washing the sheets first, then clothes

Treatment

After thoroughly inspecting and identifying the presence of bed bugs, we begin treating by steaming mattresses, box springs, couches and any other harborage areas that allow for bedbugs to hide. The direct application of high heat to bed bugs and their eggs kills them instantly, giving instant relief to areas we are able to treat in this manner. Then we use residual insecticides around the perimeter of the home, with special attention to bedrooms or living rooms where bedbugs are most active. We also make site applications to any furniture that surrounds infested areas, such as bedside tables, picture frames, coffee tables, light sockets, and bed frames. The residual works as a precaution to eliminate any bedbugs that may be hiding around beds or couches and stops them from attempting to move outwards in the future. In extreme cases where bed bugs are found in electronics or areas we are unable to treat, we use aerosols to drop kill any activity. After all treatment is complete we re-inspect to make sure no areas were missed and no activity is found.

Step Four: Follow-Ups

A bed bug service includes 2 services (one initial and one follow-up) to ensure a bed bug free environment. The follow-up service is normally two weeks after the initial and involves retreatment to necessary areas as well as monitoring of the glue boards for recent activity. One these treatments have been completed your home will be bed bug free and sleep will come easy again.
*Instances with heavy infestation may require additional treatments.

History and Biology

Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. If people aren't available, they instead will feed on other warm-blooded animals, including birds, rodents, bats, and pets.

Bed bugs have been documented as pests since the 17th century. They were introduced into our country by the early colonists. Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.

In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States, although they are not considered to be a major pest. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated in their return. Bed bugs are blood feeders that do not feed on ant and cockroach baits. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the spread of these insect hitchhikers, because eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, hostels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, tenements, and prisons. Such infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping.

Distribution

Bed bugs are fairly cosmopolitan. Cimex lectularius is most frequently found in the northern temperate climates of North America, Europe, and Central Asia, although it occurs sporadically in southern temperate regions. The tropical bed bug, C. hemipterus, is adapted for semitropical to tropical climates and is widespread in the warmer areas of Africa, Asia, and the tropics of North America and South America. In the United States, C. hemipterus occurs in Florida.

Life Cycle

Female bed bugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day, and the eggs are deposited on rough surfaces or in crack and crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so they adhere to the substrate. Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days, and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. They require a blood meal in order to molt. Bed bugs reach maturity after five molts. Developmental time (egg to adult) is affected by temperature and takes about 21 days at 86° F to 120 days at 65° F. The nymphal period is greatly prolonged when food is scarce. Nymphs and adults can live for several months without food. The adult's lifespan may encompass 12-18 months. Three or more generations can occur each year.

Habits

Bed bugs are fast moving insects that are nocturnal blood-feeders. They feed mostly at night when their host is asleep. After using their sharp beak to pierce the skin of a host, they inject a salivary fluid containing an anticoagulant that helps them obtain blood. Nymphs may become engorged with blood within three minutes, whereas a full-grown bed bug usually feeds for ten to fifteen minutes. They then crawl away to a hiding place to digest the meal. When hungry, bed bugs again search for a host.

Bed bugs hide during the day in dark, protected sites. They seem to prefer fabric, wood, and paper surfaces. They usually occur in fairly close proximity to the host, although they can travel far distances. Bed bugs initially can be found about tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses, later spreading to crevices in the bedstead. In heavier infestations, they also may occupy hiding places farther from the bed. They may hide in window and door frames, electrical boxes, floor cracks, baseboards, furniture, and under the tack board of wall-to-wall carpeting. Bed bugs often crawl upward to hide in pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings.

Injury

The bite is painless. The salivary fluid injected by bed bugs typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite. This is accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected. The amount of blood loss due to bed bug feeding typically does not adversely affect the host.
Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of bed bugs. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites.
Some individuals respond to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease.
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2105.html

Home Remedies

  • Use the Environment
    In dealing with an infestation during the cold winter months it is possible to take furniture and mattresses outside to freeze kill the bed bugs and their eggs. Make sure it is below 32°F outside and leave items at least five days to ensure a thorough kill. Again, it is very important to be very careful when moving items. It is often best to contact a professional when planning a move involving bed bugs.

Prevention

  • The best thing people can do about preventing bed bugs is monitor for any unusual staining on sheets, mattresses, box springs, and bedding. 
  • Doing laundry consistantly (including bed skirts) is very helpful in eliminating early infestations and helps get bed bug populations under control.
  • When inspecting you should be inspecting seams in mattresses and wood joints in boxsprings. Check where fabric is stapled to wood and under the plastic corner pieces on box springs.
  • Check crevices in bed frames as well as sourrounding furnishings and decorations.
  • If you are unsure whether activity is present you can always send us a picture for identification here
  • If you suspect activity in your home we encourage you to contact our office so that we may offer answers to your questions and concerns.

 

For more information we suggest the following sites:

The Ohio State University Extension

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2105.html

Bed Bug Central

http://www.bedbugcentral.com/

Hoban Services Inc