Tuesday, October 05, 2010

5:00 News

5:00 news came on with a story about bed bugs and now I can't stop itching and scratching!!!!!  Stupid power of suggestion!!  So consider this my Public Service Announcement for the week.  (Truthfully? I hate to itch alone! But the PSA makes me sound so much nicer!!)  It also doesn't help that hotel/motels are the prime place to pick up bed bugs and I leave for Vegas tomorrow.  UGHHHHH!!! Anyone have some anti-itch cream they want to share? 

Proper Prevention Techniques And Descriptions

Bedbug FactsBedbugs are small, brownish flat bugs that feed only on the blood of humans and animals.  They are roughly the size of a ladybug, with small eyes and a large antennae.  They can not fly, but move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces. 
The most common type of bedbug that bites human is the Cimex Lectularius.  It is found in North America, Europe and Central Asia.  They are not known to transmit any diseases to humans.
Bedbugs infestations were common in the United States before WWII.  As cleanliness improved, and with the use of DDT in the 1940's and 1950's, the bugs almost disappeared.
The presence of bedbugs has recently started to rise throughout the United States, but they are still very rare.
Bedbug BitesBedbugs usually bite people at night while they sleep.  They will feed anywhere on the body where the skin is exposed. They feed by biting through the skin with a long beak that they use to draw the blood.  It takes about ten minutes for the bugs to swell up. Some people develop an itchy welt from bedbug bites.
Where They Come FromAlthough it seems as though bedbugs have come out of nowhere, they are usually brought into the home on luggage, clothing, used beds and used furniture.  Traveling to different areas of the world, such as places in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean or Central and South America are often a common source.
High Risk PlacesHotels, motels and apartments are the most likely places to encounter bedbugs because of their high turnover rate.   Once bedbugs are introduced, they spread from room to room.  The cleanliness of the building is not always a factor.  
When staying in a hotel, check for bedbugs in between the mattress and the box spring.

Bedbugs move quickly and it does not take long before they get into your luggage.  Keep your luggage off of the floor.
Signs of Bedbug ActivityBedbugs are most active at night.  They hide during the day where humans tend to sleep, like beds or couches.  Their flat bodies help them fit into tiny areas.  Their favorites places to hide are in mattresses, (especially around the seams) box springs, bed frames and behind head boards. 
An easy way to tell if you have bedbugs is by seeing dark spotting and staining on your mattress.  It is caused by their droppings.  Also, you might see the eggs and eggshells, molted skins of aging nymphs and the bugs themselves.
If you have a large number of bedbugs, there may be a sweetish odor, although this is not always easy to smell.  Bedbugs normally start off in the bed, but they will spread around the house and hide in small crevices.
Bedbug Prevention
In order to reduce bedbugs in the home, follow the following steps:
  • Reduce clutter around the home
  • Seal cracks and crevices 
  • Check all second hand beds, bedding and furniture
  • Examine the bed and headboard area for signs of bedbugs when traveling
  • Wash, dry or freeze an clothing bought at a garage sale or second hand stores right away
  • Bedbug Control The only way to remove bedbugs from your home is by using insecticides.  Household surface sprays containing Malathion or Pyrethrum can be somewhat effective, but they may not remove the full infestation. It is recommended that you contact a licensed pest control company for the treatment of bedbugs.
Bed Bug Life Cycle
Female bedbugs can lay from 1-12 eggs each day. The eggs are dropped on rough surfaces or in cracks and crevices. Their eggs are coated with sticky glue and hatch in anywhere from 6-17 days. Then they turn into nymphs where they have different stages each needing a blood meal. They reach adulthood between 5 weeks to 4 months depending on how much food they have had and temperature. They can live around 12-18 months and over three generations can occur in one year.

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