Bed Bugs

bed-bug

Ten years ago most pest control companies were not even training their technicians in how to control bedbugs; here at Pinpoint, we handled only one or two jobs a year. Now it is not unusual to get that many calls a week! The National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) attributes the increase in bedbugs to the influx of immigrants from around the world and to the fact that bedbugs have become largely immune to most insecticides.

These amazing pictures are of an immature bedbug feeding on a human arm. Nymphs, like this one, will feed and then drop off of their host to molt and grow into their next stage of growth. The adult female (below) will feed on her host until she is fully engorged so that she can develop and lay hundreds of eggs.

If you are suffering from bug bites you should not rule out bedbugs but if you cannot see what is biting, you would be well advised to check for bird mites, fleas, or mosquitoes also. All of these blood suckers have bites that can be very side pic of bedbugannoying; they blemish the skin, and they often get infected. Bedbugs have not been shown to be disease vectors, but they leave stains on bedding, furniture, walls and flooring. Those stains are one of the evidences that you might have bedbugs. Other evidence would be droppings, molting castoffs, eggs, and the bugs themselves (if you can find them).

Harvard has some interesting insights into bedbug management and control, you might check out this website http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/bedbugs for more information.

As you can see, bedbugs are not easy to bring under control. They are often resistant to common pesticides so Pinpoint recommends many different approaches in order to completely eradicate these persistent parasites. The first requirement is to be very thorough in monitoring and inspecting to determine the extent of the infestation and to find out if there are any other biting insects involved. The next thing is to isolate the beds with mattress and box spring encasements like those from www.protectabed.com. This will keep bedbugs and mites from lurking in the mattress ticking. A good inspection tool is a hair dryer set on high. Heat up the joints and seams in the frame of the bed; this will cause the bugs to come hustling out to get away from the heat. Collect a few for positive identification before you plan on any treatments.

If you are doing your own pest control, you can use a series of treatments that are directed toward the places that bedbugs like to hang out between feedings; this includes bed frames, dressers, tables, chairs, molding, window frames, and any other place near the bed that may have become a bedbug hideout.

bed-bugs

Bedbugs are very tough and resilient and have developed a resistance to most pesticide treatments. To overcome the problem of chemical resistance we utilize a selection of flushing agents, insect growth regulators (IGRs), and a variety of materials that we use during two or even three visits in order to completely eliminate the bedbugs. There is no effective treatment that does not include pesticide sprays; be wary about claims to control bedbugs with electronic devices. Folk remedies, like eucalyptus oil, salt, citrus peels, mint, cloves, brewer’s yeast, or any number of extracts have never been effective against bedbugs, but they can certainly stink up the place and stain your floors and furnishings.

If you live in San Diego’s North County, Pinpoint would be glad to supply you with a sticky board to place under your bed that will capture and hold the villains for identification. Contact us if you would like advice or help!