The re-emerging bug: Bedbugs are back!
Believe it or not, bedbugs have been infesting human habitats since caveman existed! These blood-sucking insects came to the United States with the first explorers and infested homes until just few decades ago. For generations people have said, “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” Not only was it a common problem, but also one that was never solved.
For the past two generations bedbugs and bedbug control flew under the radar. Since homes were treated with DDT from WWII until the 1980s, there were no widespread outbreaks. The product helped to eradicate the problem, so environmental regulatory agencies assumed that bedbugs would not come back. Recently, bedbugs have made a strong comeback. Forsyth Exterminating has experienced hundreds of bedbug calls this year and projects that they will keep reproducing and infesting new homes and businesses every day.
It is not very often that our company gets calls about new & uncommon pests, but the past two years have come with new challenges and treatment methods. Pests such as Kudzu beetles, bedbugs, and massive rodent infestations have made our already technical and knowledgeable staff excited about these emerging concerns. New technologies such as home exclusion, heat treatments, and fumigation are all being considered by Forsyth Exterminating in an effort to deal with the new challenges of the pest control industry.
What are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs are blood-feeding insects that feed on humans as well as other animals. Bedbugs usually feed at night between 12:00am and 4:00am. They prefer sleeping hosts so that the host is unaware that they are being fed upon, thus increasing their chance of survival. Bedbugs inject a salivary secretion into the wound to prevent coagulation and have a steady flow of blood. This fluid causes the skin to itch and become swollen. Scratching causes sores which may become infected. Bedbugs are not known to transmit any human pathogens but can cause emotional distress to those affected.
Bedbugs generally infest dwellings such as houses, hotels, hostels, bed & breakfasts, dormitories, cruise ships, movie theaters, restaurants, parks, subways, and lobby areas. During the day, bedbugs hide in cracks and crevices and can be found in wall outlets; behind baseboards, wallpaper and pictures; between bed joints and slats; along the seams of mattresses and in bed linens. This pest is difficult to detect and locate which makes control a complex and laborious process.
“Bedbugs ‘hitchhike’ on belongings, such as clothes, suitcases, second-hand beds, furniture, and bedding. Female bedbugs disperse more than any other stage, so it is likely that the bedbugs that ‘hitchhike’ on people’s belongings are mostly females. Because female bedbugs can store male sperm for 4-6 weeks, it is also likely that they are pregnant. Therefore a single, pregnant female that is transferred to a different location can begin a new infestation. Severe bedbug infestations tend to have a sweetish, foul odor which is caused by an oily liquid they emit.” University of Florida
By: Mario Ramirez, Forsyth Exterminating, Operations Manager, UF Associate Certified Entomologist, Civil & Environmental Engineer