Bed Bug Report – Part 1 – Debunking the Myths & Mystique

People have been talking about bed bug issues more and more,
As infestations have grown in the South Jersey,
Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania areas…

Indeed, recent statistics show we’ve got
The second highest incidence of bed bug reports in the country…

Only New York City has greater infestation.

So… we don’t feel we can do justice to the issue of bed bugs in just a single blog post… so we’ve decided to break it into a 3 – part report.

In these three parts we’ll detail the most important information, and hopefully give you the insight and awareness home or property owner,s like you should have.

We haven’t written this report to frighten you – not by any means – rather to inform and educate you.

Be sure to check-in during the next week or two to make sure you get the full scoop (and parts 2 & 3 of our Bed Bug Report, too).

Why is the incidence of bed bugs increasing?

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), public health agencies had become overwhelmed with bed bug concerns and complaints – yet by the mid 1900’s, the incidence of bed bug reporting was actually decreasing.

So, where then is this increasing population of bed bugs coming from?

While the CDC doesn’t know the exact cause, experts suspect a number of possible causes…
•  Bed bugs have developed a tolerance or immunity to many current pesticides
•  People are traveling more, both domestically and internationally
•  Inadequate or incorrect knowledge of how to control bed bugs. Once a low risk issue, the bed bug
problem has grown to such an extent, we just can’t seem to get valid information fast enough
•  The decline of effective pest control programs at state and local public health agencies (that’s
why TermiGuard Services is here to help).

The CDC also believes by promoting a better understanding of bed bugs – including proven ways to control and prevent them through research, training, and public education – is critical to developing moreeffective strategies for dealing with the public health issue they represent.

And that’s why we’re making thes 3-part report available – to help keep folks like you better informed.

What is a bed bug and what does it look like?

As you can see from the graphic to the right, bed bugs are relatively small – oval-shaped, and ranging from browns to reds in color – they’re still visible to the human eye.

Females can lay 1-5 eggs per day – so yit’s easy to see how  a serious infestation could develop quickly.

Their eggs are about the same size as a poppy seed, or only about twice the size of a grain of salt.

Now that’s pretty small, isn’t it?

New-borne bed bugs (called nymphs) are about the size of a grain of rice – and are just about colorless when they first hatch – developing a brownish color as they mature.

However, when nymphs feed (gorge) on blood, they can erupt in size. And, because they’re essentially translucent, can turn a bright red.

Mature bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed – but just like baby bed bugs, they too can grow a tad larger depending on whether they’ve fed recently.

Why do bed bugs feed on us, and when do they do it?

Bed bugs feed primarily on mammel blood. They’re mainly attracted to dogs, cats, mice, birds and, well… humans.

Their propsective hosts give off carbon dioxide which attracts the bed bugs… and that’s why they generally feed on bare skin at night  – while their host is sleeping.

Because a bed bug injects a type of anesthetic, their bites won’t always wake you up. People will often only begin to suspect something’s going when they notice round, red marks on their skin (typically in a straight line), or they have an itchy reaction, similar to that of a mosquito bite.

Is my health at risk?

Bed bugs aren’t known to transmit any kind of disease – but, that doesn’t make them any less an irritant…

Bed bugs can cause a variety of allergic reactions, ranging from small bite marks, to larger, swollen rashes. on your face, neck, hands and arms.

If bitten by a bed bug, wash the affected areas with a mild soap & warm water.

Their bites with be itchy, but to avoid the risk of infection (and even scarring, try not to scratch them. Using an antihistamine, or applying a topical steroidal anti-itch cream may help.

On the other hand, some folks may not experience any evident reaction to a bed bug bite at all – which could make an infestation more difficult to detect.

Obviously, no one wants bed bugs in their home or building – but if you should discover you’ve got them, it’s only natural to feel stressed or anxious – you might even experience sleepless nights worrying about them…

Where bed bugs come from and the many questions in-between…

More next week in part 2 of this bed bug report, when we’ll cover how bed bugs can get into your home, where they hide out, how you can detect them, and the stigma associated with them. (Teaser – it doesn’t mean you or your home is dirty!)

I’m sure you still have many questions and concerns.

Be sure to check back with us next week. You won’t want to miss this information!

Until next time…