Tag Archives: bedbugs

Bedbugs, Spiders, and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

Bedbugs, Spiders, Bats and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

This Halloween, vampires, ghosts and goblins will not be the only ghoulish creatures haunting the night; bedbugs continue to make a startling resurgence in U.S. residences, spider infestations are up, and wildlife pests such as bats plague homeowners across the country.

Scary movies aren’t the only thing giving homeowners nightmares this season. As temperatures begin to plunge, pests everywhere begin to seek respite in the very areas you want them the least – your home.

Pests such as bedbugs are actually very similar to one of our favorite Halloween characters – the vampire.  A nocturnal creature, bedbugs are bloodsucking pests.  As they bite human skin, they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin and allows them to bite undisturbed.  In fact, humans don’t usually wake up when they are being bitten; however, they do find themselves scratching circular, red, itchy welts in the morning.

Luckily, a bedbug bite doesn’t transform you into a bedbug; the way a vampire bite makes you a vampire. In fact, the only good news about bedbugs is that their bites do not transmit disease to humans.

Other ghoulish pests cannot make the same claim.  Bats are the culprits behind 72% of rabies cases in the U.S. between 1990 and 2002; and various species of spiders found in the United States pose serious health threats and require vigilant control procedures.

“Homeowners have an easy way of waking up from this type of house nightmare,” commented National Pest Management Association Vice President of Public Affairs Missy Henriksen. “Pest professionals have the training and expertise to assist homeowners through this type of home horror.”

For further information on these nightmarish pests or to find a pest professional in your area, visit bugs.com and www.pestworld.org.

 

 

Forbes.com: Bed Bugs On Airplanes? Yikes! How To Fly Bed Bug-Free

Forbes.com: Bed Bugs On Airplanes? Yikes! How To Fly Bed Bug-Free

Melanie Haiken, Contributor

Just because you haven’t heard much about bed bug-infested airplanes doesn’t mean that economy or business class seat is free of the icky pests. While the topic hasn’t hit the headlines the way bed bugs in hotels has, the stories are getting out.

Passengers Go Viral with Bed Bug Complaints

According to the Daily Mail, British Airways was forced to  fumigate two planes after discovering a bed bug infestation on a Los Angeles-London flight. However, BA did not act quickly; the business class passenger, Zane Selkirk, became so disgruntled by the airline’s lack of response to her complaints that she set up awebsite and posted photos of her bite-covered arms, legs and feet online and they went viral and it wasn’t until then that BA conducted an investigation and found the bugs. Another passenger wrote an  op-ed letter to the New York Times last year after flying United Airlines to Washington D.C. from L.A. – again in business class – and arriving covered in bites his doctor diagnosed as bed bug bites.

Yet search for official reports or statistics about bed bugs on airplanes and you won’t find much. “There are numerous cases of bed bugs being spread on airplanes,” according to Bed-Bugs.com, a referral site for extermination services. “Bed bugs can spread through close proximity with fellow travelers as well as their belongings. They also thrive where there is frequent turnover of people. On airplanes, people are in close proximity, are not able to move other than on the plane, and their belongings are required to stay untouched for long periods of time. This is an excellent recipe for bed bug transmittal.”

Of course, it’s easy to imagine that the last thing the airlines want to talk about is passengers bringing home a bed bug infestation as a result of an overpriced, under-served flight. And they’re not likely to add fumigation to their standard cleaning procedures. So what can you do to protect yourself?

How to Stay Bed Bug-Free While Flying

Several companies are coming to the rescue with products designed to protect against bed bugs in transit.

  1. Cover Your Seats Invented by a New York entrepreneur fed up with worrying about bed bugs at the movies, Bug Off seat covers are light stretchable plastic covers that are easy to slip over airplane or movie theater seats. They’re light and packable and provide a bug-proof layer between the upholstery and you. You could accomplish the same thing by bringing a box of saran wrap and encasing your seat in plastic, but these seat covers are much easier to use and the fabric is also comfortable to sit on. Several other companies, BedGuard and Seat Defender have also jumped into this market, but I’ve tried Bug Off covers myself and can attest that they’re big enough to go over any airline seat and the strong fabric doesn’t rip even on a long flight. At $2.99 they’re also not a big investment.
  2. Bring your own pillow and blanket. In Zane Selkirk’s horrific experience, it was the blanket “crawling with bed bugs” that caught her eye. It doesn’t have to get that extreme, though, to suggest it’s best to beware airline blankets. After all, during last year’s H1N1 flu epidemic, many airlines pulled the blankets fearing they could transmit the virus. Pack a travel pillow (inflatable if you’re tight for space) and a blanket or pashmina shawl. Or just dress in warm layers instead.
  3. Plastic Bag Your Carry On Since it’s way to easy for bed bugs to slip into your carry on while it’s stored under your seat. The best way to prevent this happening is to encase it in a plastic bag, such as a shopping bag or kitchen-sized garbage bag.
  4. Stop Bed Bugs Before They Get In Your House The real problem with bed bugs isn’t when they bite you en route (the bites heal quickly and don’t cause any lasting damage), it’s when they come home with you and set up housekeeping in your home. The way to keep this from happening is with stringent preventive measures. Don’t bring luggage or carry-ons inside your home, but empty them outside and wash clothes and anything else that’s washable. A hot dryer will also kill bedbugs, so dry anything you don’t want to wash. Put the suitcase and bag itself in a plastic bag and store for two weeks.

Bed bugs aren’t the only health problem on planes, of course; ever since the H1N1 epidemic last year there’s been increasing attention on the problem of flu and cold transmission on airlines. Luckily, there’s lots you can do to  stay flu-free while traveling

Everyday Bedbug Prevention Tips

Everyday Bedbug Prevention Tips

It is important to be aware of ways to prevent bed bugs in your everyday life. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
  • Check your sheets for tell-tale blood spots.
  • Consider bringing a large plastic trashbag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
  • Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation. You might consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation without training.
  • Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation.