Bed bug treatment myths you have to stop believing

One of the largest reasons that the bed bug epidemic continues to proliferate is the rise and spread of misinformation regarding how to handle an infestation. Improper treatment of the problem is what allows bed bugs to continue on their quest to infest every home. Here are the myths that somehow still survive.

Hopefully, you’ll never be cursed with a bed bug infestation, so you’ll never have to think about any of this. There are a lot of articles about bed bug treatment online these days, much of it good information, and some of it misinformation. Should you ever find yourself battling bed bugs, make sure you know the myths and misconceptions about bed bug treatment. Knowing what works and what doesn’t will save you time, money, and aggravation.

1. We should bring back DDT to get rid of bed bugs for good.
Oh, for a cheap and easy solution to the bed bug problem. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for bed bugs. Set aside the environmental and health impacts of DDT for a moment, and let’s look at how DDT works. DDT acts by binding to the sodium pores of cells, allowing sodium to flood the cells and causing the nervous system to misfire. Today, the pesticides of choice for bed bugs are pyrethrums, but bed bugs are quickly developing resistance to this class of pesticides.

Do you know how pyrethrums work? They bind to the sodium pores of cells – just like DDT. Bed bugs with the genetic mutation that makes them invincible to pyrethrums will be just as resistant to treatment with DDT.

2. You can treat bed bugs yourself by using bug bombs.
Bug bombs, or total room defoggers, release a pesticide into the air in your home. Most bug bombs do contain pyrethrin, a chemical used to treat bed bugs, so you might think this product is an effective way to eliminate a bed bug infestation. Not so. First of all, bed bugs (and other crawling insects) typically flee when the pesticide is released, heading for cover in the deepest, most inaccessible crevices of your home. Second, effective bed bug treatment requires directed applications in all the places where bed bugs hide – behind molding and casework, inside electrical boxes, or inside mattresses, for example. A bug bomb will not reach these areas adequately to kill all the bed bugs in your home. In fact, a bug bomb is one of the least effective treatments you can use for any insect problem.

3. If you have bed bugs, you have to throw away your mattress, couch, and other furniture or you will never get rid of them.
This one falls into the “It Depends” category. In some cases, you may need to discard heavily infested furniture items to win the war. If your mattress is torn or separated at the seams, bed bugs have probably moved inside, making treatment near impossible. But even in that case, a good quality mattress encasement can often be used as a barrier to trap them inside the mattress for good. If a pest control company can fumigate your home (which is costly and not always an option), there’s a good chance your furniture can be saved. With persistent inspections of your furniture, lots of vacuuming, and targeted treatments by a professional exterminator, you have a good chance of keeping your couch and other upholstered items. So don’t put your furniture on the curb at the first sign of bed bugs!

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Why is it so difficult to get rid of bed bugs?

Bed bugs are not only a big problem but they are a problem that’s not easy to solve. Once you have bed bugs, it is crucial to handle the situation properly. If an infestation is not handled correctly, it will only grow as bed bugs have become painfully clever to ensure their continued survival. So let us answer the question, why are they so hard to get rid of?

Question: Why Is It So Hard to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they’ve established themselves in a dwelling, and they’re on the rise everywhere. What makes it so hard to get rid of bed bugs?


First of all, bed bugs are small, flat, and adept at squeezing themselves into tiny spaces. They can hide in places we’d never think of looking for them, like behind loose wallpaper or under electrical switch plates. To successfully eliminate an infestation, you’ve got to find and kill every viable bed bug, which is not an easy task.

Second, bed bugs multiply quickly. A single female can lay 500 eggs during her life, and within a few months her offspring can reproduce as well. A few individuals introduced to a new environment can increase exponentially. Depending on conditions, bed bugs can produce 3 or 4 generations in one year. Additionally, bed bugs reproduce most quickly in temperatures between 70*deg; and 82*deg; F, right in the range where most people keep their thermostats.

Bed bugs can go a remarkably long time without feeding, should no host be present to provide them with needed blood meals. Scientists have documented adult bed bugs living up to 550 days without eating, and nymphs may last for months. So simply leaving an infested dwelling unoccupied for a few months in hopes of starving them out will do nothing to discourage the little freeloaders.

Just to make their extermination more difficult, bed bugs can sense chemical odors, and may avoid areas where cleaning agents or even pesticides have been applied. Some scientists believe bed bugs have developed a resistance to certain insecticides as well.

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The quietest infestation

One of the scariest things about bed bugs is that you can have an infestation without even knowing it. It is in the nature of these creatures to feast on you when you are at your most vulnerable, unconsciously asleep. They are masterful hiders which makes it harder to kill these pests as well. Here are some tell tale signs to look for to spot an infestation, but remember that you can always call Arizona Heat Pest for a free quote and inspection from the best in the business.

It’s no secret that bed bugs are seriously freaky creatures. After all, they like to live in your bed and feed on your blood while you’re sleeping. Now, scientists at Rutgers University are trying to determine where bed bug outbreaks happen, and how to prevent and control them.

In a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, Rutgers researchers examined more than 2,000 low-income apartments in New Jersey for the presence of bed bugs. What they discovered: 12 percent of apartments had bed bug infestations.

Researchers also found that beds were “significantly” more likely to contain bed bugs than sofas or upholstered chairs, and women were more likely to report bed bug bite symptoms than men (although they didn’t specify whether women had worse reactions or were simply more sensitive to the bites).

And, perhaps the most disturbing finding: While 68 percent of people with bed bug infestations had symptoms, nearly 50 percent of the bed bug infestations happened in apartments where residents didn’t know they had the critters.

So, how are you supposed to know if you have bed bugs or just some skin condition? Experts say there are a few telling signs.

One of the most common symptoms is waking up with bites or finding bites on your body that you can’t explain, bed bug expert Jeffrey White, technical director for BedBug Central, tells SELF. But there’s a caveat: Everyone reacts differently to being bitten by a bed bug. “For some people, it can take up to two weeks for them to react,” White says.

The bites themselves don’t look unique to bed bugs, White says, but they do tend to show up on the arms, shoulders, neck, and face—all of which are exposed while you’re sleeping, and therefore easier to reach. Bites that show up in rows or clusters are also concerning, he says.

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And they just get stronger

As the bed bug epidemic spreads, the scariest thing about this all is that the bugs are getting stronger and stronger all the time. It is getting more difficult to eradicate these pests as they are becoming immune to many different kinds of sprays and insecticides. Therefore, it is imperative that you only go through a professional to help you get rid of the infestation so that it does not spread due to being improperly handled.

Remember when you were tucked into bed as a kid and told not to let the bed bugs bite? That just got a lot harder to do.

A new study reveals that bed bugs have developed a thicker skin that enables them to survive exposure to commonly used bug sprays, according to University of Sydney research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Bed bugs are bloodsucking parasites. Unfortunately for us, their meal of choice is human blood. There has been a global resurgence of bed bugs in the past few decades because trying to kill the bugs has only made them stronger, according to the new study and other previous research.

If you’re thinking of escaping a bed-bug infestation at home, a hotel bed might not be a much better option. The parasites have caused significant financial headaches for the tourism and hospitality industries. Professional extermination of bed bugs typically costs $200 to $1,500 per room and often fails.

The Australian study, which was funded in part by Bayer Crop Science, which makes products that kill bed bugs, found that the thicker the insect’s natural covering, the more likely the bed bugs were to survive exposure to the insecticides.

These findings could help in developing more effective insecticides for bed bug control.

Woman sues for big bucks after bed bug debacle

Anyone who has lived with bed bugs knows just how catastrophic their presence is and the horrible effects it can have on property, health, reputation and psyche. A woman who experienced a bed bug horror story is suing for punitive damages and other costs relating to her stay at a Virginia motel. If there is negligence surrounding bed bugs, it needs to be addressed, this is how the problem proliferates.

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. — A New York woman’s multi-million-dollar lawsuit against an Albemarle County hotel over bed bugs will go to a jury after a federal judge ruled in her favor Tuesday.

Janie Mcfarland and her church group checked-in to a Super 8 motel during a September 13, 2014 visit to Central Virginia.

“It was our first night when I spent the night, so the entire time at the church service I was sick,” said McFarland, who is suing the motel owner.

McFarland said she discovered more than 40 bed bug bites all over her body.

“When I got up, I saw spots of blood on my pillow. So, they had been biting me on my neck and they were on my face,” she told WVIR.

A New York woman wants $5 million in negligence lawsuit over bed bugs. (Credit: WVIR)

A New York woman wants $5 million in negligence lawsuit over bed bugs. (Credit: WVIR)

McFarland described the scene as she reportedly found the bed bugs all over her motel bed.

“I pulled the sheet back even more and there were bed bugs from the head to the foot of the bed just scurrying around on the sheet,” said McFarland.

She said the bites festered and her whole body swelled from an allergic reaction.

“I was sick straight for a year and a half,” said McFarland.

She said when she brought the issue to the attention of motel management, they denied the accusations. “They were like we don’t know what you’re talking about, we didn’t find any bed bugs, everything is fine,” said McFarland.

Super 8 Motel

Super 8 Motel

The woman decided to file a lawsuit against the hotel’s owner, Chaxu Incorporated.

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Pat’s Run

Pat Tillman was a soldier, a student, a friend, a family member and a professional football player who was tragically killed while serving in Afghanistan some 12 years ago. He made quite an impact on the Valley and the nation as a whole. A charitable organization has been created in his honor and they do a 4.2 mile run every year to raise money for scholarships for veterans. It is a truly wonderful cause. Will you be out there?

Register for the 12th Annual Pat’s Run
On April 23rd, join us for the 12th Annual Pat’s Run in Tempe, Arizona or register for one of 30 Shadow Runs nationwide.

Pat’s Run is the signature fundraising event of the Pat Tillman Foundation. Held in late April to commemorate the day Pat lost his life in Afghanistan serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment, Pat’s Run is a 4.2 Mile Run/Walk that winds through the streets of Tempe to Sun Devil Stadium, symbolic of the #42 jersey Pat wore as an ASU Sun Devil. Since 2005, Pat’s Run has grown from a 5,000 person race to honor Pat’s legacy to over 35,000 participants committed to empowering the Tillman Scholars through academic scholarships.

Every participant who fundraises or donates $100 minimum by race day will earn the inaugural commemorative Pat’s Run medal. Start fundraising.
Register for Pat’s Run in Tempe, Arizona

Pat’s Run raises money for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which invests in military veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships – building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.

Help make this Pat’s Run the most meaningful one to date by starting a fundraiser to support the Tillman Scholars. Every participant who fundraises or donates $100 minimum by race day will earn the inaugural commemorative Pat’s Run medal. We know you may need to recruit a few different donors to reach that goal, and we want you to have the tools you need to educate them about where their money is going. Download our 2016 Fundraising Toolkit for tips and info on prizes!

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Next month is the Phoenix Film Festival

Many people think that the arts scene in Phoenix is lacking but this is completely untrue! You just have to be open and look for it. We are no New York or LA but Phoenix is the 5th largest city in this country and there is a lot of talent out there to be discovered. One such place to discover new films and artists is at the prestigious Phoenix Film Festival. This fun event takes place April 7th through the 14th. Check out all the cool stuff this festival has to offer.

The Phoenix Film Foundation is proud to announce the 16th Annual Phoenix Film Festival taking place April 7 – 14, 2016. The best way to keep up on the festival is right here on our website, joining our mailing list and to “Like” us on Facebook.

The Phoenix Film Festival has been named one of The 25 Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker Magazine and is a program of the 501c(3) non-profit Phoenix Film Foundation. The event was started in 2000 by independent filmmakers as an opportunity to showcase independent filmmaking and it has quickly become Arizona’s Largest Film Festival.

The Phoenix Film Festival annually screens over 150 films, holds amazing parties and provides filmmaking seminars to capacity audiences. Over 25,000 attendees enjoy the 8 day festival. The Festival takes place all in one convenient location and is held on 7 screens at the Harkins Scottsdale/101. All parties and workshops are held right on site so you don’t miss a thing.

We hope to see you there!

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Do not trust the Williams Method!

There are all kinds of DIY bed bug removal sites on the internet that are claiming to have the answer to getting rid of bed bugs without paying for an exterminator. Please, beware of these sites! Don’t be fooled!

The Williams Method is one of the up and coming methods that is gaining some traction on the internet but there are potentially catastrophic effects of using this method as it will NOT help the problem, only make your home more susceptible to other critters and do nothing to eliminate your original infestation.

Do yourself a favor and get the problem taken care of by a professional. This will cost you time and money and do nothing to abate your bed bug infestation. We have affordable treatment options that will actually get rid of bed bugs. Get a free inspection and quote today!

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My neighbor has bed bugs…now what?

This is something that we hear a lot in the extermination business. Many are worried, especially in shared or close quarters that their neighbors bed bug problem will become their bed bug problem in no time and these fears are incredibly valid. In short, you should absolutely get an inspection for free from Arizona Heat Pest and call your building manager who should be responsible for making sure that the problem does not spread. Call us today for more information and a free consultation.


Traveling remains the number one way to spread bed bug infestations to hotels, homes and apartments across the country. So to keep yourself protected, learning to spot a bed bug infestation is going to be your best tool to avoid an infestation in your home. Read our previous blog, Stay Clear of Bed Bugs in Hotels As You Travel This Holiday Season to learn all the ways to protect yourself from the bed bugs biting.


But if your neighbor has informed you that their home or adjacent apartment is infested with bed bugs, you want to do a thorough home inspection right away. Depending on the severity of their infestation, you may or may not be affected. In a severe infestation and if your apartments are closely connected, it is possible that bed bugs will travel through the walls via cracks, electrical outlets or any other way they find. But if the infestation is not as severe and if your apartments or homes are not too close, it will be hard for any bed bugs to make their way into your living space.

Once an infestation has been identified, most pest control companies will be able to tell if the neighbors are in jeopardy of an infestation themselves. But just to be safe it is important that you continue to inspect your home on a regular basis. A few tips for a thorough home inspection include:

Searching much further than just the mattress. Include the headboard, nightstands, under carpet, behind hanging artwork, even in electrical outlets in your inspection.

Bed bugs will hide in any dark, hidden spaces before they come out at night so use a flashlight to spot them better.

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What to do if you’re moving and have bed bugs.

For some, bed bugs become such an awful fiasco that they end up having to move over it due to negligence from building managers or just desire to be relieved from the stress. However, like any problem, running away is usually never the solution. Bed bugs can follow you where you move if you aren’t careful. All it takes it one or two bugs to start a large infestation in a new place. To be absolutely sure, call Arizona Heat Pest for a free quote and inspection. They can give you advice and tips on how to deal with your belongings and if you need any services to get rid of these creatures, once and for all.

If you find that you have bed bugs in your home or apartment, it can be tempting to move out in the hopes of easily escaping the infestation. Unfortunately, unless you take the right safety measures, the bed bugs may move right along with you. If you find that you must move to a new place before your bed bug infestation has been eliminated, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) fact sheet, How to Move and Leave Bed Bugs Behind includes several things you can do to avoid bringing the pests with you to your new home.

  • Before packing, wash and dry all fabric items on the hottest recommended setting and then seal them in clear plastic bags labeled “clean.”
  • When packing, place all of your items in clear plastic bags and seal the bags tightly. Sort the items by type. For example: Clothing, towels, blankets and sheets. Separate items that are known to be infested from clean items.
  • Items that can’t be sanitized in a washer and dryer, such as electronics, appliances, books, etc., may be treated with special heating units designed for eliminating bed bugs. Another option is to place the items in plastic bins with tight-fitting lids and treat with dichlorvos pest strips according to label instructions. A third option is to ask a pest management professional how these items should be treated.
  • Purchase mattress encasements for each mattress and box spring. Mattress encasements will trap any bed bugs that may be on the mattress and/or box spring and keep them from getting out. They will also keep other bed bugs from getting to the mattress.
  • If you decide to throw away any bed bug infested items, such as sofas or mattresses, wrap them in plastic and clearly paint or write “bed bugs” on them. This should prevent neighbors from bringing the items into their homes. You may want to go even further and destroy the items by slashing them in order to discourage others from picking them up and taking them home.
  • On moving day each person should shower and change into clean clothing and shoes. Any clothing that was worn prior to showering should be put in plastic bags and sealed until they can be laundered. If you have pets they should be given a bath to ensure they are bed bug free before taking them to your new home.
  • All furniture that is being moved to the new home should be cleaned and treated by a pest management professional before it is moved.

After moving, you must be sure that your belongings are bed bug free or your new home will become infested as well. Wash any items not labeled “clean” before you put them away or use them. If you acquire any new or used furniture, inspect it carefully before bringing it home to make sure it is bed bug free.

If you are renting, contact your building manager immediately if you notice any signs of bed bugs in your new home. The earlier a bed bug infestation is found and treated, the easier it will be to eliminate the bed bugs.

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