Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bed Bugs, Buyer Beware


**WARNING**
  This may be our grossest Blog we've written! 
Prepare for a major case of the Willies!

Bed Bugs!


Hi, It's Jeff. 
Isn't it just like a boy to try and make girls queasy with 
disgusting bug stories?

But, this is probably some information that you should know.  Unfortunately, and to my great embarrassment, I know about bed bugs from my own sad experience. 


What do all these Landmarks have in common?
 the UN building, Bloomingdales, the Empire State building, the Waldorf Astoria and the New York Health Department?

They have ALL had bed bug infestations!

You could live in the cleanest house in town, or stay in a 5 star Hotel and still be affected by bed bugs.

The problem isn't Geography, or climate, it's Travel! 
Bed bugs are notorious hitchhikers!  They travel in clothing, bedding and luggage with tourists and businessmen all over the world.  Cities with a large population and lots of travelers have a good chance of having bed bug problems.


Here's my story: Our missionary Daughter sent a package home from her mission for safekeeping before she returned from Tucson.  It was a box with letters and a some clothing, and a yes, 
Arizona bed bugs!

We did the absolutely worst thing you could do with a box carrying bed bugs, without knowing what was in it, we put it 
Under Our Bed!

After awhile, my wife started getting strange bites like mosquito bites on her legs. Mosquito bites from under the covers? That was the first red flag. But, I didn't have any bites! 
So they are kind of random
(I must be too nasty even for a bug!)

There's plenty of information on the internet about bed bugs, here's a link to the EPA with all the awful details and full color pictures!

EPA: How to Find Bed Bugs
http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs/how-find-bed-bugs


In short, you can detect bed bugs by the trail they leave. They make "spots" like a fly does.  No delicate way to say it, it's a blood trail left by their feces.  You can spot it in the creases of fabric, especially like the piping of a mattress. You may also see tracks on walls and furniture, not just fabric.

To make a long story short, we used a combination of treatments. Exposing the affected items with extreme cold, putting things outside when it's freezing, or in a walk-in freezer will kill bed bugs. You can achieve the same affect by using extreme heat.  We got a large mattress plastic bag from RC Willey and left it out in the sun to get our mattress to a super hot temperature.  
We did the same with bed frames. 
Those are great do-it-yourself remedies.

We also had a professional exterminator come to fumigate our house to be doubly sure.  They offered a free second treatment if we found traces of the bugs again, which we did.  They said the solution they used is a natural substance, not toxic to humans and not a chemical, so we didn't feel like we were "poisoning" our whole house.

The very last place we found bed bugs was in the crevasses of our antique wood head board and side rails.


Bed bugs are about as thick as a credit card, so they can squeeze into pretty small spaces! 

Here's another resource, if you're worried about traveling:

http://www.bedbugregistry.com/

These reports are from consumers and may not be 100% accurate, or up to date.  You can contact hotels and motels directly to determine if they have been successful eradicating bed bugs there.

So the moral to this story is this: be careful when you travel so that you don't bring home any unwanted passengers, and watch for unwanted house guests in any of your furniture, 
whether old or new.  

Eeeew!

It's a lot better to be informed, than to be surprised!
Thanks for visiting the Blog, now I think I'll go and have a hot shower!



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9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. Yes, it's true that most bed bugs are brought unwittingly inside the house by people who had contact with an infected piece of clothing or furniture. That part where you left some stuff under the bed was a classic example on how bed bugs spread. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to get rid of bed bugs, unless you call pest control services. You could probably do it yourself, but it might take a while to make sure everything has been covered and that you're 100% sure that you are bug-free.

    Mindy Dawson @ Cooper Pest Solutions

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