Bed Bugs Basics & History
Bed bugs probably received their common name from their habit of feeding on humans while they sleep in their beds. Bed bugs have also been called “red coates,” “mahogany flats,” and “wall-lice.”
Bed Bug History
Bed bugs have been a household pest issue for more than 3,300 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. They were first brought to the United States by early colonists, where they thrived for many decades. However, by the 1950’s, bed bugs had been all but eradicated in the developed world, thanks to the availability of new pest control products, coupled with the widespread use of vacuums and washing machines which helped to control the spread of infestations in living spaces.
Several factors led to the resurgence of bed bugs beginning in the late 1990’s; increased international travel, more targeted pest control products and methods and a lack of public awareness about pest prevention methods.
FAQ On Bedbugs
Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the North America and how do we know?
There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations. In fact, 95 percent of pest management companies report that their company has encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25 percent of respondents had encountered a bed bug infestation. In addition, one in five North Americans now report they have had a bedbug infestation or know someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel, according to a recent NPMA survey.
Where have you been finding the bedbugs?
These pests are not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Pest control companies have been reporting the infestations everywhere including single family homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, schools and college campuses, office buildings, retail stores, movie theaters and even public transportation. Nowadays, even five-star hotels and high-end clothing stores are susceptible to infestation.
Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?
Bedbugs should not be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are very elusive, transient pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed. And they are hardy. They can live for several months without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Bedbugs can be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.
What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?
To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional. This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.
Why are bedbugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?
Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin. Adult bed bugs can live for several months without eating, making them especially hard to control. Once inside a hotel or home, bed bugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bed bugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests are may end up moving to another room.
Are bedbugs just in beds?
Bedbugs are not just in beds. They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames. In other words, they can be live pretty much anywhere.
How does one control bedbugs?
Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.
Can I get sick from bedbugs?
Bedbugs are not known to spread any diseases to humans. However, their bites can leave behind itchy, red welts which can become infected from scratching.