Category Archives: Bed Bugs

Love in the Wacky World of Bug

Love in the Wacky World of Bug

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air. However, the mating habits of some insects are so bizarre they would be a much better fit for Halloween than the most romantic day of the year. Hulett Environmental Services shares some of the oddest mating rituals found in the fascinating world of insects.

Below are examples of what passes for romance in the world of bed bugs, termites, kissing bugs and fire ants:

  • Bed Bugs: These pests are infamous for their ability to reproduce rapidly, creating major infestations in short periods of time. However, it is not their ability to quickly multiply that puts them on our list for strange mating rituals; instead it’s how they reproduce that makes people cringe. Bed bugs practice a mating behavior known as “traumatic insemination” where the male pierces the abdomen of the female to directly inseminate her body cavity. Male bed bugs often attempt to mate with other males, killing them in the process.
  • Termites: Female termites release “mating pheromones” that act as a perfume to entice male termites. Once the males locate the female termites, they will break off their wings, symbolizing that they are a couple.
  • Kissing Bugs: Despite their name, there’s nothing romantic about these bugs! Kissing bugs have a tendency to bite the faces and lips of humans while they sleep, not only causing welts and allergic reactions, but they are also capable of spreading the potentially fatal Chagas disease. They frequently defecate on or near the bite wound, allowing the parasite that spreads Chagas to enter the person’s blood stream. This blood meal is necessary for male kissing bugs to mate and for female kissing bugs to lay eggs.
  • Fire Ants: In fire ant colonies, the queen ant is in charge of laying eggs and can even control how many male and female eggs she lays. The queen can live for up to seven years and produce more than 1,000 eggs each day. Male ants, called drones, are not so fortunate. Their only role in the colony is to mate with the queen and then die soon after doing so.

Don’t Try This at Home: New York Man Burned Trying to Kill Bed Bugs | Bed Bug Control

Don’t Try This at Home: New York Man Burned Trying to Kill Bed Bugs

Bedbugs can be one of the trickiest types of pests to terminate and calling in a professional exterminator to do the job is key.

A man in Eastport, NY learned this the hard way when trying to kill bed bugs inside of a rental car.

According to ABC News, Scott Kemery soaked the interior of the car with alcohol after someone told him this would kill the bedbugs.

After pouring the alcohol he sat inside the car and lit a cigarette, which started the blaze.

Kemery fled, abandoning the flame-engulfed car, the heat from which also damaged several other cars parked nearby.

It’s been reported Kemery suffered burns from the event.

Do not try this at home! Calling an expert is always the best option for pest control needs.

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Bed Bug Prevention in the Workplace | Florida Bed Bug Inspection

  • Vacuum and clean all areas – including offices, hallways, lobbies, kitchens, storefronts and public bathrooms on a daily basis.


  • Regularly inspect all areas of business for signs of bed bugs infestations at work. Pay close attention to the seams of furniture and upholstery for telltale brownish or reddish spots. Also beware that these pests have been known to inhabit electrical sockets, surge protectors and behind picture frames.  Vigilance by all employees is key!
  • Eliminate clutter as best as possible – especially in storage areas as this provides excellent hiding spots for bed bugs in the office.
  • When unpacking new inventory or receiving shipments, carefully inspect all items and packaging for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your business.
  • Encourage employees to report suspicions of bed bug activity immediately, and always contact a pest professional to investigate each claim.
  • Have a policy in place for employees who may suspect a bed bug infestation at home.  Many times, employees unknowingly bring these bed bugs into the office.  By having an open dialogue and official policy on these pest infestations, you may be able to help remove any concern of honest reporting.
  • If a bed bug infestation is found, work with a professional pest control company to treat the infestation and perform follow-up inspections.

Bedbug Research | Florida Bed Bug Control Experts | Just Call HULETT!

Regine Gries, biologist at Simon Fraser University in Canada, welcomed 180,000 bedbug bites while assisting her husband and fellow biologists in their quest to conquer the global bedbug epidemic. Since Regine is immune to the bites, she became the “host”. After years of research, the Gries, along with Robert Britton, a chemist at the university, and a team of students, have discovered a set of chemical attractants, or pheromones, that lure the bedbugs into traps and keep them there.

After two years of false leads, they finally discovered that the molecule histamine signals, “safe shelter” to bed bugs. Once in contact with histamine, the bedbugs stay put whether they have recently fed on a human host or not. The Gries and their students initially found a pheromone blend that attracted bedbugs in lab experiments, but not in bedbug-infested flats.

Neither histamine alone or in combination with pheromone components, effectively attracted and trapped bedbugs in infested flats. So Regine began analyzing airborne volatile compounds from bedbug feces as an alternate source of the missing components.

Five months and 35 experiments later, she discovered three new volatiles previously unidentified. These three components coupled with two other from their earlier research and the histamine became the highly effective lure they were seeking.

Bed bugs have been feeding on humans for thousands of years. In the early 1940s, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world, but their populations have increased since 1995 likely due to pesticide resistance.  Because infestation of human habitats has been on the rise, bed bug bites and related conditions have been on the rise as well.

The name “bed bug” comes from its preferred habitat of Cimex lectularius or warm houses and especially nearby or inside of beds, bedding or other sleep areas. Bed bugs are active at night but are not exclusively nocturnal. They usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.

A number of adverse health effects may result from bed bug bites. Skin rash, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms are among the more common. They are not known to transmit any pathogens as diseases.

Do you know the signs of bed bugs? Florida Bed Bug Control Experts

Possible Signs of Bed Bugs20977855_s

The following are common signs of bed bugs and can be symptoms of a possible infestation:
• Small red to reddish brown fecal spots on mattresses, upholstery or walls
• Molt bed bug skins, their white, sticky eggs or empty eggshells
• Very heavily infested areas may have a characteristically sweet odor
• Red, itchy bite marks, especially on the legs, arms and other body parts exposed while sleeping

Bed Bugs… Repellent? Yahoo!

Although many of us are familiar with the popular rhyme, the bed bug is a pest that not a lot of people know very much about. According to the CDC, this may be because bed bugs have been customarily viewed as a pest problem in developing countries.  However, bed bug infestations have been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.”  The CDC also claims that they have been “found in five-star hotels and resorts.” In addition, where you find a bed bug has nothing to do with “the cleanliness of the living conditions.” These blood sucking pests are usually transported by travelers moving from place to place.

First, read the popular nursery rhyme.  Cute? Right?

Good night, sleep tight,
Don’t let the bedbugs bite,
Wake up bright
In the morning light
To do what’s right
With all your might.

And while bed bugs are not a medical risk and are not known to carry disease, their bites, while usually harmless, can cause serious allergic reaction. The idea of something sucking on your blood is just creepy. Fortunately, for bed bug victims, a biologist in Vancouver British Columbia has figured out a way to attract and repel bed bugs.

Regina Gries, a biologist at Simon Frasier University, has recently discovered that bedbugs communicate by odor. Through “painstaking” research, she was able to identify that histamine effectively repels bed bugs. In the process of allowing herself to be bitten 180,000 times, she also discovered five odors that attract bedbugs. These odors can be used to draw them into traps.

As a result of this ground breaking research, a British Columbia company called Contech Enterprises is currently developing what could be the first affordable bait and trap system for detecting and monitoring bed bug infestations. Yahoo!


Chemical Cocktail Lures Bedbugs And Coaxes Them To Stay Put?

Scientists are often doing things that normal people would never dream of doing. Scientists may spend hours looking at a single cell, or they might mix dangerous chemicals together to create a whole new dangerous chemical. But one scientist recently took her research methods to a whole new level by allowing thousands of bed bugs to bite her! Scientist Regine Gries recently sustained 180,000 bed bug bites for the sake of science!

If you ask any New Yorker about bed bugs they will surely tell you that getting bed bugs is the most sure-fire way to ruin your sex life, lose your friends and pay a ton of money to have your apartment fumigated. Bed bugs will ruin your life, but many people aren’t even sure if they have them or not, because they will hide in the every nook and cranny of a house, from your old books to the seams of your mattress. This is exactly why Regine Gries allowed the bed bugs to bite her.

Gries and other scientists are working on discovering a method of detecting bed bugs earlier. This research has led them to some pretty gross stuff. They discovered that the bugs use a pheromone to tell each other where it is safe to nest. In order to isolate this pheromone the scientists had to collect literally thousands of samples of bed bugs’ feces and dead skin. From these samples, the scientists were able to create a trap that attracts the bed bugs, and keeps them around to be eradicated.

This promising new trap may save many of us from having to deal with bed bugs. So while we may hate our day job, we should all be thankful that our day doesn’t involve getting bit by thousands of bugs then collecting their feces and dead skin to create a trap that brings even more bed bugs! Or Does it? :)

What would you be willing to do for the sake of science?

Full Article:

Bed Bug Information | Hulett Environmental Services

Did you know? Female bed bugs can lay over 500 eggs in a lifetime!


Bed bugs get their name because they are commonly found in beds but can also be found in other places where humans spend a lot of time: hotels, airplanes, and couches.

  • Size: 1/4″
  • Shape: Flat, broad, oval
  • Color: Mahogany to rusty brown and they turn red after sucking blood
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: No
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Bed bug
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hemiptera
  • Family: Cimicidae
  • Species: Cimex lectularius


Bed bugs can feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animal. Their most common targets are humans because, unlike animals with fur, we have a lot of exposed skin for them to bite.


Bed bugs are typically found in beds and small cracks and crevices.


Bed bugs are typically found in beds and small cracks and crevices.When Bed bugs feed, they inject the skin with their saliva (this keeps the blood from clotting) and an anesthetic (this keeps the host from feeling the bite and moving). Bed bugs do not spread disease, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.


  • Don’t take mattresses or padded furniture that has been left at the curb or on the street.
  • Check your bed sheets for blood spots.
  • Keep your suitcases covered in plastic and off the floor when you travel.
  • When you travel, take a small flashlight to help you look for bed bugs.
  • When you return from a trip, wash all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water to ensure that any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers/closet.
  • Bed bugs are hard to see, so if you think you have bed bugs, call a pest management professional.

Expert Advice For a Bed Bug-Free School Year

Hulett Environmental Services shares back-to-school tips to prevent a bed bug infestation

Summer vacation is over and before we know it schools and universities will be back in session. While shopping for school supplies and a new wardrobe might take precedence over the next few weeks, Hulett Environmental Services a pest management company servicing South Florida, encourages parents and students to also spend some time brushing up on bed bug prevention tips.

Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and thrive in heavily populated places. This makes classrooms and dorms the perfect settings for bed bugs to take up residence.

A study conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky found that bed bug infestations are on the rise in many different types of dwellings, including school and college settings. According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents had treated for bed bugs in college dorms in 2013, while 41 percent had reported bed bug infestations in schools and daycare centers.

Hulett Environmental Services experts recommend the following tips for students in grades K-12 to avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  • Parents should regularly inspect their children’s belongings for hitchhiking bed bugs
  • If the school has reported an infestation, consider housing all related items in a sealed plastic bin
  • Wash and dry cloth items returning from school in hot temperatures
  • Ask school administrators whether they have bed bug detection and elimination plans

Hulett Environmental Services  also advises college students to take steps to protect against bed bugs, including:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially after any summer trips
  • Before putting sheets on the dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, and box springs for telltale stains or spots
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs
  • Inspect any “secondhand” furniture for bed bugs before bringing it into dormitory rooms or off-campus housing

For more information on bed bugs, please visit

Don’t Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Vacation

To prevent an unwanted encounter with bed bugs, Hulett Environmental Services shares the following prevention tips for travelers:imagegen.ashx1

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting