Answers to your Florida bed bug control questions:
What do bedbugs look like?
They are brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and look like an apple seed or a lentil.
Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the U.S. and how do you know?
There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations. Pest control companies who received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week. According to 2010 research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 95% of pest control companies report encountering a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25% of pest control companies surveyed had encountered a bed bug infestation.
In addition, another survey by NPMA found that one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.
Where have you been finding the bedbugs?
These pests are not limited to any one specific type of environment. Pest control companies have been reporting infestations in both single and multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, public transportation, laundry facilities and even movie theaters.
What states have been affected?
Pest control companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale. Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in between. Every state has reported bedbug infestations.
Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?
Bedbugs should NOT be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed, and they are hardy. They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bedbugs CAN be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.
What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?
To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing. If you think you may have a bedbug infestation, contact a pest control professional. This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. To find a pest control professional in your area you can visit pestworld.org.
Why are bedbugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?
Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin. Adult bedbugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control. Once inside a hotel or home, bedbugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests are may end up moving to another room.
Are bedbugs just in beds?
Bedbugs are not just in beds. They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames. In other words, they can live pretty much anywhere.
How does one control bedbugs?
Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.
- Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcase have been washed and dried in hot temperatures .
- Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.
- If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it to insure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its “secondhand” status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to campus.
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Insects and animals are amazing and they are incredibly fun to learn about in the classroom. It’s when they come indoors—into our homes and schools— that they can become pests. Some pests are simply nuisances, while others including rodents, ants, termites, cockroaches, stinging insects and ticks can become dangerous health threats and destroy our property.
PestWorldForKids.org and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) want to spread the word about the importance of protecting our health and property from household pests and we need your help! Using the Pest PSA lesson plan, students enrolled in grades 4-8 can create educational television public service announcements discussing the health risks posed by household pests.
Entries can focus on a single pest—i.e. cockroaches trigger asthma attacks, spread Salmonella and 33 different parasites, etc. Or, the TV PSA can focus on several pests such as rodents (contaminate food), mosquitoes (West Nile virus) and ticks (Lyme Disease). Videos can be up to 60 seconds in length.
Enter now for a chance to win $3,000 for your school!
(Frommers.com) They’re back and they’re bigger than ever: After a decades-long hiatus, bedbugs have made a creepy-crawly comeback in hotels, office buildings, department stores — you name it — all across the U.S. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Pest Management Association (www.pestworld.org), 95% of the pest control companies surveyed reported a bedbug infestation within the last year — up an astounding 70% from more than a decade ago.
The pesky critters can induce itchy, red welts and enough anxiety to make travelers wonder if they should stay home. Luckily, there are plenty of precautionary measures to reduce the risks of an encounter while on the road. Sleep better at night by following these expert tips from the NPMA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association(www.ahla.com), and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (www.nysimp.cornell.edu).
With proper identification, a thorough room inspection, and careful packing and unpacking, you can stop worrying about sleeping tight — and letting the bedbugs bite.
What Do Bedbugs Look Like?
Wingless bedbugs range in size from 1 to 7 millimeters, are reddish brown, and flat and oval in shape. Fecal droppings (brown or black stains that look like pepper flakes), shed skins, and the tinier translucent eggs and nymphs (juveniles) are evidence of the live pest.
Pre-Trip Packing Tips
A hard-shelled suitcase has fewer folds and seams where bedbugs can hide. Pack your belongings — clothes, toiletries, shoes — in sealable plastic bags, and open only when accessing the items. Alternatively, consider wrapping your entire pack in a trash bag to stave off potential infestations during your travels.
Before Unpacking Your Luggage
Many travelers throw a suitcase on the bed or keep the bag zipped up on the floor in hopes of keeping out any wandering scourges. Instead, place your baggage — including any purses, backpacks, or camera bags — on a luggage rack or in the bathroom, where there are fewer nooks and crannies.
How to Inspect Your Hotel Room
Bedbugs like to lodge themselves into cracks, crevices, folds, and ruffles in areas frequently trafficked by humans. When you arrive, pull back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. Use a flashlight if necessary. Look in the seams and sides of the mattress, box spring, and frame, and then check behind the headboard. The majority of the pests away from the bed will be within close proximity: under and around nightstands and lamps, and in the pleats of upholstered furniture (a favored hideaway) and drapes. The bloodsuckers can also reside behind wall hangings, such as mirrors and paintings.
If You Suspect an Outbreak
Don’t take things into your own hands. If you squash one pest, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others lurking in the crevices. Work with hotel management to find the best solution. When switching rooms, don’t accept one directly adjacent, above, or below the infested room, as bedbugs can easily hitch a ride to neighboring spaces via housekeeping carts, wall sockets, and luggage. Each property and brand has a different protocol regarding pest control. Many hotels will distribute bedbug fact sheets, assure proper treatment of affected areas, offer alternative accommodations, and launder your clothes for free. Unfortunately, sleep sacks can’t protect you from getting bitten; bedbugs can feed through the fabric or crawl through the opening of the sack as you snooze.
When You Get Home
Even just a few of these critters can start a full-blown infestation, should you inadvertently carry them back to your abode. Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage, away from furniture and sleeping areas. If you live in an apartment, use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bedbugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and are easier to spot against light colors). In the worst-case scenario, keep the suitcase out in the hallway. Pay special attention to pockets, linings, and seams. Then thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the bag before stowing it away. Wash all of your clothes — even those unworn — on a high-heat setting, and dry for at least 30 minutes. This will kill any previously undetected bugs.
Check out the video below of a time lapsed bed bug feeding