Worst Cities for Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been reappearing across the nation in epidemic numbers. There are certain places however that bed bugs are being found in much larger numbers. There is a key factor that these cities have in common. They are some of the largest cities in the country. This allows for the proliferation of these critters as innocent masses of people transmit infestations from one host to another. Check out this year’s list of the top 15 cities where bed bugs live.

United States pest control service Terminix ranked the top cities with the worst bed bug infestations. The report found Dayton, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati within the top 15 ranking.

The Terminix report covered company calls from Jan. 1 to Dec. 17, 2015. The report also found bed bug infestations have surged since the 1990s which could be linked to higher numbers of international travels and untreated cases of infestations.

“Most of the cities in our top 15 are big tourist and business destinations, making travelers even more at risk for encounters with bed bugs – whether it’s on the plane, at their hotel, in a movie theater or riding in a taxi,” said Terminix’s technical services manager Paul Curtis.

Top 15 Bed Bugs Cities In The U.S. With Past Rankings

1. Detroit, Michgan (4)

2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1)

3. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio (15)

4. Los Angeles, California (14)

5. Dayton, Ohio (-)

6. Chicago, Illinois (5)

7. Columbus, Ohio (8)

8. Cincinnati, Ohio (2)

9. Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas (7)

10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California (-)

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Best ways to avoid getting an infestation

Just like how the easiest way to get a job is to already be employed, it is easiest to deal with bed bugs before you have an infestation. Being vigilant in keeping this from happening to you is one of the most important steps in pest control. Here are some of the best ways to make sure that you do not get an infestation. If you have an infestation, call Arizona Heat Pest immediately.

Bed bugs have become a fact of life in the 21st century, and not one that’s likely to go away any time soon. If you travel at all or visit any facilities like hospitals, libraries, movie theaters, etc., there’s a possibility you could bring home some of these unwelcome visitors. To minimize your chances of an infestation, follow the tips below:12

Always inspect hotel rooms for signs of an infestation (look for bed bugs in mattress seams and check for any rust-colored spots on bedding) Check your sleeping area thoroughly, including under the mattress, bed frame, and headboard as well as in nearby furniture Keep your luggage on luggage racks, not on the bed or on the floor and away from electrical outlet panels, art frames, and other bed-bug hiding spots
When you return home, examine your luggage and clothing carefully, and store it away from your sleeping area Place all of your previously packed clothing directly into the dryer for at least 15 minutes on the highest setting Keep clutter in your home to a minimum (which will give bed bugs fewer places to hide)
Wash and dry bed linens on the hottest temperature setting allowed Inspect any used furniture carefully before bringing it into your home Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly, after you’ve travelled, had houseguests, or even when a service technician has been in your home

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Adverse affects of improper use of pesticides

A common way that people attempt to deal with their bed bug infestations is through the use of unregulated pesticides. Their ultimate goal is to spend less of getting rid of an infestation but it can ultimately have devastating health consequences that end up costing you more in the long run. Here are some of the reporting side effects of individuals attempting to use pesticides to rid themselves of this problem and just how wrong this can go. Leave it to the professionals!

Serious Neurological Symptoms Reported After Bed Bug Treatments

Cases have also been reported of pesticides intended only for outdoor use being sprayed indoors. In one case in Ohio, according to a health advisory released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):9

“These illegal applications were made five times over 72 hours and included spraying of ceilings, floors, and even beds and a crib mattress. The occupants included a family with small children, who displayed health symptoms typical of pesticide poisoning, including headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and muscle tremors.

The families were evaluated and treated at a local hospital. The homes were evacuated and families relocated. The families lost furniture, electronics, clothing, linens, toys, and other personal items that were grossly contaminated.”

In other calls to NPIC, the CDC reported:10

“…the family members (ranging in ages from 1-32 years) experienced neurological symptoms (such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances, numbness in the face and limbs, muscle tremors, etc.), abdominal pain, and cardiopulmonary symptoms (chest tightness, heart palpitations, and chest pain).

Documented in another call was a mother who contacted NPIC describing her infant who developed vomiting and diarrhea after being placed on a mattress treated with an undiluted indoor insecticide.

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Are bed bugs dangerous?

There is a lot of rumor and conjecture going around on the internet about just how “dangerous” bed bugs are. So far, only a few studies have pointed to bed bugs potentially carrying disease, but there are many other factors that need to be considered before making a decisive judgement on how “dangerous” they are. Many of the factors include, threats to home, property and emotional/physical health. There are many ways that an infestation can be dangerous to people.

Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that crawl out like vampires in the night, feeding on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Although they’re found worldwide, bed bugs were considered largely eradicated in the US until recent decades.

Now, they’re spreading rapidly in North America, including in the US where they’ve been detected in every state. Cleanliness is no deterrent for these pesky creatures, and they’ve popped up everywhere from five-star resorts and cruise ships to libraries, schools, and day care centers.

While a bed bug may go for months without eating, they prefer to feed every several days, and will travel up to 100 feet to find a meal (although most live within eight feet of a sleeping surface).1

Bed bugs typically hide during the day, in mattress seams, bed frames, headboards, dressers, behind wallpaper, and any other small crack or crevice they can find. This is why one of the first things you should do while traveling is to check your sleeping area thoroughly for bed bugs or signs that they’re around (like feces).

Are Bed Bugs Dangerous?

Bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a danger, although they can prompt serious allergic reactions in some people. Although more than 40 human diseases have been detected in bed bugs, they’re not known to spread diseases, although evidence in this area is lacking.2

Their bites can cause significant itching, however, which can in turn lead to a secondary skin infection if excessive scratching damages your skin. They can also lead to loss of sleep, although this is typically due to anxiety over the bed bugs and not the bites themselves. When you’re bitten by a bed bug, it injects anesthetic and anticoagulant at the same time, so you won’t feel the bite until later.

Anywhere from a day to several days later red, swollen bumps, similar to mosquito bites, will appear, typically on your neck, arms, hands, and face (although they can be anywhere on your body). They may itch or feel irritated, but try not to scratch them.

The psychological toll that bed bugs exact can be steep, however. There is one case report showing a woman who committed suicide following repeated bed bug infestations in her apartment, and the researchers concluded, the bed bug infestations were the likely trigger for the onset a negative psychological state that ultimately led to suicide.”3

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DIY heat treatment gone awry

Heat treatment has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to get rid of bed bugs…when done by a professional! If you do not choose to go with a professional, there have been catastrophic effects such as loss of property, injuries and of course, continued infestation. Check out this story of a heater being used to get rid of bed bugs.

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a shed fire on Monday at the Chatt City Suites at 101 E. 20th Street. The shed was located next to the motel, and the flames were threatening to spread to the motel, WRCB reported.
Firefighters had to cut through a chain-link fence to get to the shed. The fire was quickly extinguished. No one was injured and the motel was not damaged.
Employees with the motel told firefighters that they were using a heater in the shed in an attempt to kill bed bugs in motel furniture. Captain David Thompson Jr. said the turnout gear (the coat and pants they wear inside to protect them from the fire) for four firefighters will have to be treated for possible infestation of bedbugs.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1q4dHz9

Why you apartments are a hot bed for bugs

It has been proven repeatedly that bed bugs can infest any location from a 5 star hotel to a school to a nursing home or low income housing. Having low economic status has nothing to do with getting a bed bug infestation but new studies show that it has a lot to do with being able to control the infestation as many low income housing projects do not spend the money to get rid of bed bugs for good with a professional.

Bed bug infestations are common in low-income apartments, and residents are often unaware of the problem, researchers report.
In the study of nearly 2,400 individual low-income apartments in New Jersey, more than one in 10 were found to have bed bugs. And buildings with high tenant turnover had more infestations, researchers said.
This type of research is vital for controlling bed bug infestations because it “can be used to target our education and bedbug prevention efforts to the most vulnerable communities,” said study author Changlu Wang, of Rutgers University.
Wang’s team examined individual residences in 43 low-income apartment buildings in the state. The investigators found that the overall rate of bedbug infestation was 12 percent, but varied from building to building. Other key findings include:
  • Women were more likely to report symptoms of bed bug bites and more likely to express concern upon learning their homes were infested.
  • Infestations were more prevalent in the homes of African Americans than in those of white or Hispanic residents.
  • Fifty percent of residents with bed bug infestations were completely unaware of them.
  • Apartment buildings with a high turnover of tenants had higher bed bug infestations.

    Read more at: http://bit.ly/1XuxtyT

Why consumer grade sprays are becoming useless

Did you know that bed bugs were almost entirely irradiated from the United States on a few decades ago? Do you know why they are coming back in higher numbers than ever before? It’s because of DIY pest control and mismanagement of infestation, which only causes the problem to grow. Here’s another study that shows just why you can’t get rid of bed bugs without a professional.

The global resurgence in bed bugs over the past two decades could be explained by revelations that bed bugs have developed a thicker cuticle that enables them to survive exposure to commonly used insecticides, according to University of Sydney research published today in PLOS ONE.

Bed bugs are blood suckers that produce intense bites and cause significant financial heartache in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Understanding why they have again become so common may help develop new strategies for their control.
Resistance to commonly used insecticides is considered the main reason for the global resurgence in bed bugs, according to University of Sydney PhD candidate, David Lilly, whose research focuses on the biological mechanisms that help bed bugs survive exposure to commonly used insecticides. Being ‘thick’ may be smart, for bed bugs at least!
“The new findings reveal that one way bed bugs beat insecticides is by developing a thicker ‘skin’, said David Lilly. “Bed bugs, like all insects, are covered by an exoskeleton called a cuticle. Using scanning electron microscopy, we were able to compare the thickness of cuticle taken from specimens of bed bugs resistant to insecticides and from those more easily killed by those same insecticides.”
Comparing the cuticle thickness of the bed bugs revealed a stunning difference: the thicker the cuticle, the more likely the bed bugs were to survive exposure to the insecticides.
The new findings could explain why failures in the control of bed bug infestations are so common.

Bed bugs aren’t color blind, study shows

Bed bugs are a lot more intelligent than we give them credit for. They are seen in the media as just as nuisance and that is also inaccurate. These creatures are cunning and can absolutely demolish a space that they occupy. More studies are being done on these awful critters because of their mass re-infestation of the American public. One such study that caught our eye was about bed bugs being attracted to certain colors more than others. Check it out.

Researchers from the University of Florida and Union College in Lincoln, Neb., wondered whether bed bugs preferred certain colors for their hiding places, so they did some testing in the lab. The tests consisted of using small tent-like harborages that were made from colored cardstock and placed in Petri dishes. A bed bug was then placed in the middle of the Petri dish and given ten minutes to choose one of the colored harborages. A few variations of the test were also conducted, such as testing bed bugs in different life stages, of different sexes, individual bugs versus groups of bugs, and fed bugs versus hungry bugs.

The results, which are published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, showed that the bed bugs strongly preferred red and black, and they seemed to avoid colors like green and yellow.
“It was speculated that a bed bug would go to any harborage in an attempt to hide,” wrote the authors. “However, these color experiments show that bed bugs do not hide in just any harborage; rather, they will select a harborage based on its color when moving in the light.”
“We originally thought the bed bugs might prefer red because blood is red and that’s what they feed on,” said Dr. Corraine McNeill, one of the co-authors. “However, after doing the study, the main reason we think they preferred red colors is because bed bugs themselves appear red, so they go to these harborages because they want to be with other bed bugs, as they are known to exist in aggregations.”
While this is a plausible explanation, many factors influenced which color the bed bugs chose. For example, the bugs’ color preferences changed as they grew older, and they chose different colors when they were in groups than when they were alone. They also chose different colors depending on whether they were hungry or fed. Furthermore, males and females seemed to prefer different colors.
Read more at: http://bit.ly/1TQ2QX9

Lies you’ve been told about bed bugs

There is a lot of misinformation about bed bug treatment out there. We tackled this topic earlier in the month but there is also a lot of misinformation out there about bed bugs themselves. Many people do not have a clear understanding of what bed bugs look like, how they behave and what their bites are like.

Though bed bugs have been in the news a lot in recent years, there’s a surprising amount of misinformation floating around about these blood-sucking ectoparasites. How much do you know about bed bugs?

1. If you wake up with bug bites, you must have bed bugs.
With so much news about bed bug infestations, you might immediately think bed bugs are the culprit if you wake up with mysterious bites on your skin. Don’t panic! First of all, quite a few other arthropods could be the cause of your bite marks, including fleas, mites, or even bat bugs. Also, many medical conditions cause symptoms that look similar to bug bites. If the marks persist but you don’t find signs of an infestation, it might be worth a trip to your doctor.

2. I’m the only one in my house with bug bites, so they can’t be from bed bugs.
If you’re the only one in your household waking up with bites, that doesn’t exclude bed bugs as the cause. People react to bed bug bites differently, just as they do with mosquito bites or other insect bites.

It’s really a matter of how your body reacts to the bed bug saliva when you’re bitten. Two people can sleep on the same bed bug infested mattress, and one can wake up without any signs of being bitten while the other is covered in bite marks.

3. Bed bugs are so tiny, you can’t see them with the naked eye.
It’s true that bed bugs are pretty small insects, but they aren’t microscopic. If you know where to look for them, you can definitely see them without the aid of a magnifier. The bed bug nymph is roughly the size of a poppy seed, and grows larger from there. Bed bug adults measure a bit larger than 1/8th of an inch, or about the size of an apple seed or a lentil. The eggs, which are just the size of a pinhead, will be harder to see without magnification.

4. Bed bugs live in dirty houses. If I keep my home clean, I can’t get bed bugs.
Bed bugs don’t care how neat and tidy your house is, nor do they care if you’re the best housekeeper on the block. As long as you have blood pumping through your veins to provide them with a meal, bed bugs will happily take up residence in your home. The same rule holds true for hotels and resorts. Whether or not a hotel might have bed bugs has nothing to do with how clean or dirty the establishment is. Even a five-star resort can host bed bugs. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that clutter can make it much more difficult to get rid of bed bugs once they’re in your home, because they’ll have lots of places to hide.

Read more at: http://abt.cm/1qHYljA


Do summer months mean more bed bugs?

Many people have heard that summer months mean that bed bugs are more active and they may not be entirely wrong. With increased heat come better temperatures for bed bugs to live in, making it easier for them to reproduce and continually infest more homes, but is this true? Check out this study from ActiveGuard.

Some experts believe that bed bugs are more active in the summer months. With summer being prime vacation time that certainly presents the opportunity for increased travel. Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers and increased travel undoubtedly offers heightened opportunities to transport and pickup bed bugs. But aside from the frequent travel scenario, is there really a relationship between the speed of bed bug development and the warmer temperatures during the summer months?

From a scientific perspective we know that the time required for bed bugs to develop from egg-to-egg is typically in the range of 1.5 to 2 months. Temperature has a major effect on development time where 80° F results in a development time that is approximately 1 month whereas at 64° F development slows to 4 months. So, indeed there is a relationship between increased temperature and egg development which will result in higher bed bug populations.

While temperature is important, the availability of a host for feeding between each developmental instar (stage) is also required to sustain the speed of development. An increase in travel and relocation offers more hosts available for feeding during the busy summer travel season.

Noting a national survey conducted in 2012, Pest Management Professional (PMP) firms reported that they believed that they received more calls for bed bug control in the summer, which parallels the same results from a similar 2010 survey.  During the summer months, both travel and relocation increases the probability of encountering bed bugs.  The ambient temperature of many summertime dwellings also tends to be higher which results in a faster development time for bed bugs and additional spreading of the bed bug population among surrounding areas.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/1XSNaCe