Bed Bugs: The Real “Blood Suckers”

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite tonight”  I remember telling my children and smiling whenever I said it, but now it’s real. 

Bedbugs are back! And it looks like they are here for a while.  Everyone is talking about them, they have been found in local homes and even hospitals. There is a lot of information about Bed Bugs almost everywhere you look but there are many facts and several myths. Here is a short list I have put together of each. 

FACTS 

  • Bedbugs do not have anything to do with cleanliness, they can infest the cleanest of homes and hotels and bed bugs are routinely found in 5 Star Hotels. They are very common in university dormitories where there is lots of people moving in and out
  • Bedbugs prefer human hosts, but they will bite pets
  • You can pick bed bugs up in Hotels in your luggage. Bedbugs are great at hitch hiking back to your home in your suitcase whenever you travel
  • Bedbug infestation can wreak havoc on the human psyche; it is very unnerving to think an insect may be feeding on you during the night. It can cause anxiety even after the infestation has been eliminated
  • Bedbug Infestations are expensive. Having a professional to get rid of the bed bugs can be expensive. Different treatment solution may be used but more than one trip by a professional is usually necessary to solve the problem. Sometimes bedding; ma*resses, furniture, electrical equipment and clothing may have to be discarded compounding the problem. Ma*ress covers that are bed bug proof are available
  • Bedbugs are hard to kill, but pesticides, heat and cold are all used in controlling them
  • Bedbugs are most active at night usually at the very early hours of morning
  • Bedbugs are very mobile, they can travel across the floor up furniture easily in a very short period of time

MYTHS 

  • Bedbugs only infest houses and Hotels that are not clean
  • Bedbugs cause diseases. (Bedbugs are not vectors of other diseases like mosquitoes and ticks, although they leave an itchy welt and some people may experience an allergic reaction.)
  • Bedbugs will crawl all over you, (Bedbugs will crawl on you but they prefer to crawl up to their host and bite with their piercing mouth parts without crawling on them. One of the common characteristics of a Bed Bug bite is that they appear in a row; this is because the bed bugs will line up on the sheet and bite level with the sheet they are on)
  • Bedbugs only live a short period of time. (Bedbugs can live up to a year without feeding and can multiply very fast.)
  • Evidence of bedbugs is hard to see,(Bedbug bites are li*le red dots usually in a row. They leave li*le red dots on the sheets.)

TIPS 

  • Adult Bedbugs are about ¼” long, oval and are reddish brown and do not have wings. They are very flat with long slender legs and antennae.
  • When you travel and first get into a hotel room, pull back the sheets and look along the seams for the Bedbugs especially near the corners. Even if you do not find active bugs and see the red spots near the seams continue to look. They also like to harbor along the headboard and around picture frames on the walls close to the bed. In severe infestations you may see them along the walls at the carpet.

Being diligent and inspecting your hotel room when traveling and being aware of your surroundings even when going to the movies (yes, they have been found in theater seats) is the best prevention of the Blood Suckers. 

Source: Home Information Series by Bargers Solutions; NHI; blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Author: Kenneth Bargers

REALTOR®, Tennis Player, Titans & Vols Fan, Nashvillian... learn more about me at http://www.bargers-solutions.com/about-me

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