Protocol in Arizona

Every state most likely has guidelines and policies in place for controlling infestations and other nuisances.  As residents of Arizona, are you aware of the policies our state holds up?  Check out the article below to learn about what you should do if you see bed bugs where you live.

Arizona law outlines bed-bug protocol

Bed bugs are a growing presence in all 50 fifty states, and once they have infested an apartment, it’s important to address the problem immediately. (Photo: The Arizona Republic)

Scoring a great deal from a buddy who is moving, or “rescuing” a recliner from the alley can make furnishing an apartment cheap and easy.

However, free mattresses and couches can bring unexpected guests with them. Bed bugs (and their eggs!), can live on these items, and once you bring them home, they will move in permanently unless you do something about it.

Bed bugs are a growing presence in all 50 fifty states, and once they have infested an apartment, it’s important to address the problem immediately. Bed bugs don’t typically don’t spread disease, but it’s important that you get rid of these bugs. Arizona is one of the few states with in the nation which has passed laws about how to address this problem.

Sometimes you may not even see an actual bed bug, but you may see small blood spots that they leave behind (bed bug poop?), a tell-tale sign that you have bed bugs. Small, itchy bites on the skin are also another sign that you have bed bugs. They feed on humans, and their bites can cause small skin irritations on the skin. They hide in lots of places where people tend to be, couches and beds //in// particular. When they are not active, you might be able to spot them hiding in the seams or in the folds of curtains or cushions, or along the baseboards of in the carpet.

It’s important to work with your apartment management company or owner when you think you have bed bugs, and there are very specific “bed bug rules” under Arizona law which both the landlord and tenant must follow. They say infestations may have already spread to more than one apartment, and your managers must bring in a licensed professional to assess and treat the problem.

Residents shouldn’t try to treat a bed-bug problem on their own. Over-the-counter treatments may make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.

Here’s what to do if you think you have bed bugs:

1. Notify your apartment manager or owner immediately. They will brief you on their specific bed-bug protocol for addressing bed bugs.

2. Do not try to treat these bugs yourself! Do not buy any hardware//-//store pesticide and spray them. Over-the-counter treatments may worsen make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.

3. Ask your apartment manager or owner what they recommend about your personal items like clothes and furniture. They will typically recommend washing clothing and sheets in hot water.

Arizona’s bed-bug law applies only to apartments (single//-//family homes are exempt), and the law states that you have three business days to notify your landlord in writing that you suspect that you have bed bugs. The landlord must have a a licensed pest-control professional inspect your unit with//in// seven days of after receiving your written notice. They will have an inspection done by a licensed pest-control professional. Bed bugs move fast, so they will likely also inspect units near yours to see whether if other apartments have been infested, too. Your management company will work with you to treat your unit. In addition, your apartment manager will likely have protocols for you to follow to clean your personal items to ensure that all of the bed bugs are gone. This could include washing clothing and sheets in hot water. If you don’t follow these protocols, and the issue continues, your management company may be able to charge you for the full cost of treating your unit and other affected apartments.

Tom Simplot is president and CEO, of the Arizona Multihousing Association, which represents ethical rental housing providers in legislative, legal and regulatory matters.

Article sourced from: http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/2014/03/14/arizona-law-outlines-bed-bug-protocol/6436249/

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Bed Bug Rash

If you have been bitten by bed bugs and notice a rash start to form there are ways you can combat it at home.  Understanding how bed bugs bite and other signs of rash is important so you can effectively check for and remove the pests, too.  Check out the article below from BedBugs.org and follow the link at the bottom for even more information.

How to Treat a Bed Bug Rash

How Does an Individual Get a Bed Bug Bite Rash?

Bed bugs commonly infest summer cabins, especially at camps, hiking trail shelters and parks. Many times, when they are found in an urban home they can be traced back to a visit to one of these facilities.

These parasites are attracted to warmth, which is why they bite us as we sleep. They are also attracted to carbon dioxide, which is what is exhaled by oxygen breathing species.

They reside in dark areas and crevices near the host. Their only food is the blood they obtain from the host. Hosts for this bug are many different species of vertebrates including canaries, poultry, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, mice, bats and unfortunately, man.

How They Feed

These bugs feed on the host while the host sleeps, generally just before dawn. They will usually not be seen during the daylight hours unless the infestation is severe.

This bug will secure itself to the host’s skin using its claws and then inserts it ‘beak’ into the skin of the host. The ‘beak’ consists of two tubes (stylets); one sucks up the host’s blood while the other injects saliva (venom) in the wound.

This saliva assists in preventing the host’s blood from coagulating to keep it flowing. It also has an anesthetic to numb the feeding area on the host. This saliva is what causes the itching sensation on the host’s skin.

Feeding Based on Age

Nymphs (adolescents) feed for approximately three minutes while an adult may continue to feed on the blood of the host for ten to fifteen minutes.

Amazingly, they can survive 18 months without any oxygen and as much as a year without any blood. The bites cause burning, itching and swelling. The degree of symptoms depends upon the host’s susceptibility.

How Common are These Rashes?

The National Pest Management Association has stated that prior to the year 2000, as few as 25% of the pest control companies in the United States had encountered an infestation of these nasty bugs. Currently that number has risen to 95%.

At this point in time 76% of the United States pest control professionals think that this bug is the most difficult pest to eradicate.

Companies that previously received one or two calls per year are now reporting that they receive one or two calls weekly.

Why has the Infestation Returned?

There are various factors that are contributing to the resurgence in the United States. Citizens are frequently traveling to foreign areas that are infested.

Second-hand furniture and furnishings have become extremely popular. Populations have increased their resistance to the various pesticides. Control has been neglected by the pest control industry since the ‘40s.

What Does a Typical Bite Rash Look Like?

When these bugs bite an individual, they can develop a rash. These rashes have the ability to cause an extremely irritating itching sensation. The actual rash is not considered to be detrimental to one’s health.

Many times a rash is mistaken for bites that are caused by insects commonly found in a household. These insects include fleas, lice, ants and mosquitoes. The truth is that the majority of individuals are not aware they have been fed on by these parasites. Many times, they assume the rash is just a skin allergy.

However, once you are aware of what to look for, it is very easily recognizable.

One of the first signs is numerous tiny or raised skin bumps. These bumps will always be in a row or cl ustered pattern. This is because they generally feed more than one time at the same location.

Continue reading at: http://www.bedbugs.org/how-to-treat-a-bed-bug-rash/

Comparing The Species of Bed Bugs

As you probably know by now, a rare species of bed bug that has not been seen in the United States in over 60 years has recently been seen in Florida.  This has triggered research and exploration of the similarities and differences to the other species of bed bug that exists across the country.  To learn about the similarities and differences read the article by Brittany Campbell of Pest Control Technology below.

The New (Old) Bed Bugs: Tropical Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Supplement – Bed Bug Supplement

Tropical bed bugs are appearing again in Florida after a 70-year absence.

December 13, 2016
Brittany Campbell

There are two species of bed bugs that have been resurging worldwide in the past two decades: tropical bed bugs (Cimex hemipterus) and common bed bugs (Cimex lectularius). Both species feed predominantly on humans and have similar behaviors; they both hide and aggregate in cracks and crevices; they both suck blood; and they both have the same life cycle — starting as eggs, developing into five different instars and finally molting to an adult.

Both of these species also are important from a public health perspective because their bites can cause itchy, rash-like reactions and many people who experience bed bugs often suffer from psychological distress. This distress has been reported as ranging from loss of sleep, anxiety, to even depression. Although tropical bed bugs and common bed bugs are similar, these species do have some marked differences.

First, both species seem to dominate in different areas of the world. The tropical bed bug, as the name suggests, lives in more tropical regions. This species dominates in areas of Asia, Africa and South America. The common bed bug dominates in more temperate climates and is the species we are the most familiar with in the United States. Thus far, the common bed bug has spread to all 50 states. A recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association with the University of Kentucky showed that two out of three pest management professionals in the United States believe that bed bug infestations are still increasing in number.

Bed bugs, regardless of the species, are moved around by people. The resurgence of bed bugs has been attributed to travel, increased insecticide resistance and changes in pesticide practices. Undoubtedly, the introduction of one species is similar to the other; they are both moved around the world in people’s luggage, backpacks, purses and other belongings. Therefore, tropical bed bugs certainly have been brought into the United States periodically, but have yet to either skyrocket in number like the common bed bug or they may have just been overlooked.

The common bed bug is on the left with the U-shaped pronotum, The tropical bed bug is on the right with a less U-shaped pronounced pronotum.

HOW THEY’RE DIFFERENT. A tropical bed bug infestation would look just like a common bed bug infestation. You would see live bugs potentially, depending on the level of infestation, and these live bugs would look just like a common bed bug to the untrained eye/without a microscope. You may even see the dark black fecal spots as well as the exuvia, or shed skins — remember both species are similar. However, once you get the bed bugs under a microscope — or maybe even a good hand lens — then you would see the tell-tale difference. The tropical bed bug’s “neck” or pronotum, just behind the head, is a different shape than the common bed bug. The common bed bug has a more excavated, or u-shaped pronotum.

The tropical bed bug has often been said to be in the United States, but no recent publications or documents have reported this since the 1940s until recently. After a 70-year absence, we (University of Florida researchers) received a sample of bed bugs that didn’t look quite like we were accustomed to seeing. After careful examination, we realized we had tropical bed bugs and then contacted the homeowners. According to the homeowners, no one in the house had traveled out of the United States or Florida. Thus, it seems like the tropical bed bug had established elsewhere in Florida and the homeowners had unknowingly brought them into their home.

Identification can be accomplished when the bed bugs are magnified. However, the differences are not pronounced, so it would be best to send samples to an extension office associated with a university. Many of the identification keys are not very straightforward and require the pronotum to be measured to ensure positive identification, especially in specimens where the pronotum shape cannot be easily differentiated between the two species.

FINAL THOUGHTS. There is still little known about tropical bed bugs. Much less research has been performed with this species compared to the common bed bug. It has been suggested that tropical bed bugs lay fewer eggs but develop faster than common bed bugs, potentially explaining their distribution differences world-wide. However, bed bug development times can vary when temperatures fluctuate or fluctuate even when bed bugs have been exposed to different insecticides. For instance, bed bugs with high levels of pyrethroid resistance have been shown to lay fewer eggs than their less-resistant relatives.

A tropical bed bug.

For now, until more research has been conducted, the same control measures that are are used against common bed bugs should potentially work against tropical bed bugs. Their similar biology should still allow many of the tools that we have found to work previously to be effective, including heat treatments, fumigation and chemicals. Of course, resistance is still an issue with tropical bed bugs, so rotating products may be necessary to gain control.

While tropical bed bugs have been documented in Florida, they have the potential to spread to other areas of the United States. Subtropical areas in other southern states could harbor this species, and homes with temperature-controlled climates inside also could help this species spread beyond its normal tropical distribution. Proper identification and awareness will help researchers and the industry alike determine whether this species will continue to spread and to determine if it is currently prevalent in other areas and potentially has been overlooked.

The author, Brittany Campbell, is a UF/IFAS doctoral student in entomology.

Article sourced from: http://www.pctonline.com/article/the-new-old-bed-bugs-tropical-bed-bugs/

If Someone Claims They’ve Seen Bed Bugs at a Hotel…

We like sharing articles that help people in the service industry (e.g., restaurant and hotel employees) deal with claims of bed bug sightings.  This new article explains what to do if a hotel guest complains of seeing the pest on property.  While different hotel chains may have different protocol for instances like this, the tips in this article for handling this situation are extremely useful for any hotel employee.  As always, follow your protocol, but consider these suggestions too to ensure the guest(s) know you care and are handling things at your highest ability.

How to Handle Bed Bug Complaints

Tuesday December 6th, 2016 – 9:11AM

hotel-bed-bug

A negative experience by a guest, such as uncovering bed bugs, can quickly go one of two ways: it can be a non-event if handled correctly or it can turn into a public relations nightmare resulting in your appearance on the local news, bedbugregistry.com and tripadvisor.com. Bed bugs are unquestionably one of the worst complaints any hotelier wants to experience!

The thought of a guest uncovering a bed bug infestation before an employee may keep you awake at night. But preparing your staff to handle such a situation is one of the most important proactive steps you can take. Establish a written action plan so your employees are prepared to handle a bed bug complaint and reduce your chances of it turning into a public relations nightmare. Make certain that once established, this action plan is followed precisely as deviations/omissions can result in significant legal consequences. However, nothing is worse than the absence of a clear action plan addressing a bed bug issue.

The following tips can help you create your own unique bed bug complaint action plan to ensure that as the hotelier, you are empowering your employees to properly handle the situation and the affected guest when a bed bug incident arises:

• Seriously consider compensating (‘comping’) the room for their entire stay.

• Always apologize profusely for the inconvenience. Gently remind the guest that bed bugs do not discriminate and while you have a best management practices pest control protocol in place (mandatory requirement) they may have been introduced by the guest immediately before them and missed by housekeeping. Assure them that you are taking every precaution you can to protect them and their belongings from bed bugs.

• If evidence of bed bugs is confirmed in the room, immediately take the room out of service and contact your licensed pest control professional to service the room and the surrounding rooms for bed bugs.

• Follow the advice of your pest management professional to determine how long each room (target and surrounding) should be taken out of service and when it is safe to rent the room back out.

• If bed bug infestations are of high concern, costing you money in lost revenues and high pest control costs, and you fear loss of brand reputation, consider how a proactive preventive measure such as an active mattress liner might positively impact your bottom line. A hotel savings calculator can help determine your best installation solution.

While some of the above precautions may seem extreme and expensive for a hotel to adopt, just imagine how news about the hotel having bed bugs could impact the bottom line. Internet sites such as bedbugregistry.com and tripadvisor.com make it extremely easy for guests to speak to the masses about a negative experience, truth notwithstanding. Having trained personnel ready to handle a potential bed bug incident/infestation will pay enormous dividends and support hotel profitability.

About Allergy Technologies

ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after a short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.

Article sourced from: http://www.hotelbusiness.com/Hospitality/How-to-Handle-Bed-Bug-Complaints/55655

Things You Might Not Know About Bed Bugs

Do you have 8 and 1/2 minutes to spare?  If so, watch the video in the article below to learn tons of facts about bed bugs.  That way you can think ahead if you think your belongings or house are hosting the pests.  If you know what bed bugs don’t like and where they will hide you can more effectively search for and remove them.  As always, we recommend calling professionals like us to help you rid of bed bugs the right way!

7 Little-Known Facts About Bed Bugs And How To Get Rid Of Bloodsucking Insects

Article sourced from: http://www.medicaldaily.com/7-little-known-facts-about-bed-bugs-and-how-get-rid-bloodsucking-insects-405308

Read This If You Travel To New York

Good news for those who visit the city of New York – hotels now have no choice but to inspect for bed bugs biannually.  It is likely that a lot of hotels already had this standard in place, but for those who did not it is now a requirement.  As you may know, New York City is one of the top cities for bed bug infestations.  This bill will hopefully help combat that problem.  Read more about the requirements in the article below.

NYC hotels to require bed bug inspections every six months under new City Council bill

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, November 28, 2016, 4:51 PM
bed-bug-blog-11-29

Bed bugs would have a harder time feasting on guests at city hotels under a new bill set to be introduced in the City Council.

The legislation, which will be introduced Tuesday, would require hotels to have exterminators inspect all their rooms for the blood sucking creatures every six months.

Councilman Rafael Espinal (D-Brooklyn) said he decided the rule was necessary after reading in the Daily News that bed bug sightings in New York hotels jumped more than 44 percent between 2014 and 2015, with bugs spotted at some of the city’s swankiest properties.

Another bill Espinal will introduce would require the city to publish annual reports detailing the number of bedbug complaints and violations in apartment buildings, and the average time infestations take to resolve.

They’d also have to publish a map updated every three months showing the locations of all bedbug complaints, broken down into complaints that are being investigated, complaints that were unsubstantiated and closed, and complaints where a violation was issued.

“Everyone hates bedbugs — they prey on human flesh and cause huge expenses,” Espinal said. “Tenants, homeowners, and businesses pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars to exterminate an infestation and replace damaged furniture and clothing.”

bed-bug-blog-11-29-2

“We as a city have to be proactive to inform New Yorkers where the problem is occurring, and protect New Yorkers or tourists who stay in hotels,” he said.

The issue hits close to home for some city pols — bed bugs were found in City Hall in the bullpen where mayoral aides work, and in City Council offices across the street this summer.

New Yorkers looking to find out if their building, or one they’re thinking about moving into, has had bed bugs can already look up the complaint history by searching the address on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s website.

Landlords are also required to notify would-be tenants in writing about any bed bug infestations that have occurred in their building in the past year.

Article sourced from: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bill-require-hotels-bed-bug-inspections-6-months-article-1.2890370

Don’t Share Thanksgiving with Bed Bugs

The holiday season is about to be in full swing and that means you will probably be traveling from place to place picking up gifts and party supplies and house to house visiting loved ones.  Be sure you aren’t picking up and bringing along any unwanted guests.  Bed bugs can sneak into any place easily and the more you’re traveling the higher your chances of encountering these pests.  Read these tips if you don’t want bed bugs to have a Thanksgiving feast at your house.

Bed Bugs Cook Up Their Own Thanksgiving Feast

 The National Pest Management Association shares easy-to-remember tips to keep hitchhiking pests from taking a bite out of the holidays

November 18, 2016 02:08 PM Eastern Standard Time

FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The busiest travel day of the year is in sight, with more than 48 million Americans expected to travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving – the most since 2007, according to AAA. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds those planning to hit the roads, skies and railways to take the necessary precautions to help reduce encounters with bed bugs and offers advice on ways to avoid bringing the pest home for the holidays.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers because they are so easily transported from one place to another in human belongings, such as suitcases, purses and laptop bags. This makes travelers especially susceptible to picking up bed bugs while away from home, regardless of whether staying in a hotel or at a relative’s house. “The best advice I can give to those traveling over the holidays is to be on the lookout for evidence of bed bug activity at all times,” noted Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.

Some common signs of bed bugs include pepper-like stains on fabric-covered items, molted bed bug skins, the bugs themselves in various life stages, white eggs and empty egg casings. All travelers should thoroughly inspect the room for the presence of these bed bug indicators upon arriving at their intended destination. This includes pulling back the bed sheets to examine the mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and looking in furniture crevices. A small flashlight can help aide in this investigation. If a bed bug infestation is suspected, guests should immediately notify management or property owners, and request a new room.

It’s also good practice for travelers to vacuum their luggage and wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been warn – on high heat when returning home.

For more information on bed bugs, visit PestWorld.org.

 

Article sourced from: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161118005695/en/Bed-Bugs-Cook-Thanksgiving-Feast

A Rare Species of Bed Bug is Back

Did you know there is more than one species of bed bugs?  Some species are more present than others, and some have gone MIA over the years.  One tropical species that has not been spotted in the U.S. in over 60 years just showed up again in Florida.  We hope it doesn’t migrate to other parts of the country (like Arizona), but you never know.  Learn more about the occurrence in the article below.

Rare type of bed bug not seen in 60 years showing up in Florida

bed-bug-tropical-blog-11-14

GAINESVILLE, FL (WFLA) – A type of bed bug that has not been seen for 60 years has resurfaced and researchers think that this tropical species of bed bug can develop more quickly than the common bed bug.

“This could mean that this species would develop more quickly, possibly cause an infestation problem sooner, and also could spread more rapidly,” said Brittany Campbell, a doctoral student at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, where the tropical bed bug finding was confirmed.

In 2015, a Brevard County family reported finding tropical bed bugs in their home. UF/IFAS scientists confirmed the bug finding, which is the only finding in Florida. The last time tropical bed bugs were confirmed in Florida was back in the 1930s and 1940s, according to UF/IFAS.

Experts speculated the tropical bed bugs may have arrived in a ship at Port Canaveral, not far from the local infestation, according to a WESH report.  The family who found the bed bugs live near the Ulumay Wildlife Refuge on Merritt Island.

UF/IFAS scientists think it’s possible they’ll find the bug in other parts of Florida and in the South because the tropical bed bug lives in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

“I personally believe that in Florida, we have all of the right conditions that could potentially help spread tropical bed bugs, which is the case in other southern states,” said Campbell in a UF/IFAS publication.

“As long as you have people traveling and moving bed bugs around, there is a real potential for this species to spread and establish in homes and other dwellings.”

An epidemiologist told WESH  that bed bugs are attracted to a person’s pheromone. “They are stimulated when we go to bed at night. We release a pheromone, and that pheromone attracts them,” said Barry Inman, Brevard County Health Department epidemiologist.

Other than its geographic preference, the tropical bed bug is similar to the common bed bug, which is found in all 50 states.

Brittany Campbell co-authored a journal article on the tropical bed bug finding. She said that biologically, tropical bed bugs mirror common bed bugs in that they feed on human blood. So they’re likely to cause similar health problems if you get a severe infestation: fear, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and itchy, blistery reactions on some people.

Campbell suggested that tropical bed bugs be controlled in the same manner as common bed bugs.

“If they do have a bed bug infestation, because they are so difficult to control, I ask that people consult a pest-control company for a professional service. There isn’t as much research available on tropical bed bugs as common bed bugs, but hypothetically they should be able to be controlled the same way as the common bed bug species because their biology/behavior are similar,” said Campbell.

UF/IFAS is asking people to send them samples of bed bugs for identification.

If you think you have tropical bed bugs, you can send them directly to Brittany Campbell at the UF/IFAS entomology and nematology department; University of Florida; 1881 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, Florida, 32611 or to the identification lab at UF (http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/insectid/).

Campbell recommends people place their insects either into a small plastic container or sealed into a plastic bag, folded over multiple times to help cushion the insects from being smashed. You can kill them first by placing them into the freezer but live specimens are allowed as well, she said.

Article sourced from: http://nbc4i.com/2016/11/11/rare-type-of-bed-bug-not-seen-in-60-years-showing-up-in-florida/

Bed Bug Habits and Life Cycles

One of the biggest advantages in the bed bug extermination world is understanding their life cycle and patterns so that we can effectively eliminate them.  This informative article gives you a full explanation of their life cyle and how and why they interact with humans.  Consider yourself more prepared to combat these pests if necessary after reading this article.

Bedbugs – Parasitic Insects

By Yolanda Smith, BPharm

Bedbugs are small insects without wings. They are a type of nocturnal parasites, as they rest during the day and feast at night, although they may also bite during the day occasionally. Bed bugs usually live in bedding or mattresses and feed on the blood of humans. Their mouth has evolved in such a way that allows bed bugs to easily pierce skin without causing pain to humans.

They are small insects (about 5 mm long) with six legs and a flat, oval-shaped body. They do not have any legs and are light brown in color, with a reddish tinge after feasting on blood. They have a small head with large antennae and large mandibles in their mouth.

Close up cimex hemipterus on corrugated recycled paper, bedbug, blood sucker - Image Copyright: Smith1972 / Shutterstock

Close up cimex hemipterus on corrugated recycled paper, bedbug, blood sucker – Image Copyright: Smith1972 / Shutterstock

Life Cycle

Bedbugs have a complex lifecycle with several different developmental stages:

  • Egg (approximately 1 mm in size)
  • 1st stage nymph (approximately 1.5 mm in size)
  • 2nd stage nymph (approximately 2.0 mm in size)
  • 3rd stage nymph (approximately 2.5 mm in size)
  • 4th stage nymph (approximately 3.0 mm in size)
  • 5th stage nymph (approximately 4.5 mm in size)
  • Adult bedbug (approximately 5.0 mm in size)

Bedbugs mate through a process known as traumatic insemination, which involves piercing of the female’s abdomen and ejaculation by the hypodermic penis of the male. The sperm travels to storage areas in the body and, eventually, fertilization occurs, allowing for the production of eggs in females.

Bedbugs can survive for long periods of time, up to several months, without feeding on human blood. However, they are susceptible to very hot or very cold climates and may not survive extreme temperatures.

Interaction with Humans

Bedbugs are parasites that rely on blood to survive. They can feed on the blood of any mammal, although they appear to prefer the blood of humans. They are attracted to the warmth surrounding mammalian bodies and the carbon dioxide present in breath expiration. It is usually these factors that guide bedbugs to locate a suitable host for feeding.

Bedbugs usually bite the shoulders and arms of humans. The proboscis of the bedbug pierces the skin and allows the bedbug to feed on the blood. The saliva of the bedbug is injected into the host, which contains an anticoagulant substance that some people have an allergic reaction to.

The feed process takes approximately 5-10 minutes. The bedbug becomes filled with blood, changing in color from light brown to rusty red.

Human Reaction to Bites

The human reaction to bedbug bites varies from one individual to another. Some people do not react at all, whereas others will experience intense itching and inflamed skin. Symptoms may include:

  • Large welts on skin
  • Itchiness
  • Reddening
  • Inflammation
  • Blister formation
  • Loss of skin

Bedbugs have the potential to carry diseases in the body, but it is very unlikely that these diseases would be transmitted to humans when they bite them. As such, this risk is not substantial. The most severe reaction to bedbugs occurs when an individual is allergic to bedbugs.

It is recommended that people affected by bedbugs resist the urge to scratch, which may lead to scarring and infection of the skin. Instead, the bites should be washed and medications may be used to decrease symptoms, such as itchiness.

Reviewed by Susha Cheriyedath, MSc

References

Further Reading

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016

Article sourced from: http://www.news-medical.net/health/Bedbugs-Parasitic-Insects.aspx

Attention Renters!

If you are renting your home or apartment and have to deal with bed bugs chances are your renter’s insurance will not cover all costs.  This may cause worry or unnecessary stress if you think you are at risk for coming in contact with bed bugs.  We recommend reading through your insurance policy and lease agreements to make sure you are aware of what you are responsible for in case of infestation.  This article will help you interpret different points and also how to get around certain things that your landlord is responsible for.

How Renters Insurance Can And Can’t Help With Bed Bugs

Shutterstock photo

Bed bugs are an exceptionally disliked pest and can be hard to get rid of, so renters might be frustrated to learn that their insurance doesn’t cover the insects.

Like cockroaches or rats, bed bugs are considered the responsibility of a tenant. When renters sign almost any lease, they agree to maintain the home they live in and that includes deterring and eliminating pests. This is the case for any type of rental unit, whether it be an apartment or a single-family home.

That means renters cannot file a renters insurance claim for the cost to exterminate bed bugs, damages caused by the insects or medical costs associated with them.

But there are two exceptions. Florida and Maine are the only states with laws mandating landlords and management companies exterminate bed bugs from a tenant’s residence as soon as they are made aware of them. In all other states, tenants are on their own when it comes to the pests because no such mandate exists. Having said that, most states have laws regarding bed bugs and commercial or state-owned properties, such as schools.

If you don’t live in Florida or Maine, there’s little a tenant can do if they think their landlord or company is at fault for them having bed bugs.

Firstly, bed bugs commonly latch onto luggage or clothes and can be easily brought into an apartment by a tenant. It’s highly unlikely a landlord or management company is to blame. But even in some rare cases when they are at fault, renters insurance still might not help you.

For example, a landlord or management company might neglect to keep common areas of an apartment building clear of things that might attract bed bugs. If an infestation ensues as a result and bugs are finding their way into a tenant’s apartment, then the landlord might be to blame. However, a renter probably wouldn’t be able to file a renters insurance claim for related damages or the cost to exterminate the bugs.

To recoup the costs they incur, the tenant might have to sue their landlord or management company – again, something that renters insurance might not cover. Remember, personal property protection doesn’t cover damages due to bed bugs and liability protection only covers expenses related to claims and lawsuits filed against the policyholder.

The best thing a tenant can do is be proactive in deterring bed bugs and, if they find them in their home, getting rid of them as soon as possible.

The easiest thing to do is to keep an eye out for them – bed bugs are brown, flat, oval-shaped insects about the size of an apple seed. They are usually in mattress seams, sheets and other areas near human hosts. But they might be on office chairs, pets or furniture and can latch onto and travel anywhere.

If you happen to find a bed bug, vacuuming and throwing them away in a tightly sealed bag then them washing bed sheets in hot water should get rid of them. In extreme cases, or if they persistently appear, you should call an exterminator.

The article How Renters Insurance Can And Can’t Help With Bed Bugs originally appeared on ValuePenguin.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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