After vanishing for a half-century, bed bugs are back with a vengeance. Also known as the "travelers bug," these insects are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters, and modes of transportation. Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed solely on the blood of animals.
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OAKLAND - After vanishing for a half-century, bed bugs are back with a vengeance. Also known as the "travelers bug," these insects are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters, and modes of transportation. Bed bugs are small, brownish, flattened insects that feed solely on the blood of animals.
Bed Bugs Symptoms and Signs
Bed bugs infestations have an un-deserved stigma of being caused by the less fortunate, socioeconomically depressed individuals who live in “flop hotels” or Subsidized housing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Bed bugs have managed to invade across all levels of society. No level of wealth has been spared from this blood feeding invader.
The bed bugs presence has been felt across the spectrum, from the 5 star luxury hotels and fancy resorts to amusement parks, theaters, department stores, schools, public transportation and just about anywhere people visit, stay, reside or sleep. One thing that holds true is that no one wants to be singled out as the originator of a bed bugs infestation.
Bed bugs are very good at hiding and if you have a light infestation you will probably never see one.
The first symptoms are usually are bites. Depending on the individual the bites can range from large painful itchy welts to small red dots. A large segment of the public is also immune to the bed bugs bites. Studies have shown that almost 30% of people in the world do not have an outward skin reaction when bitten by bed bugs.
There are also a few other pest infestations that get confused with bed bugs. Mites can cause similar skin reactions “bites” and at times get confused with bed bugs. Mites generally are brought in by an animal that is living in the structure and require a different control process.
Bed Bugs Detection
While you might see signs of bed bugs, finding them is another matter. How can you be sure to get rid of all the bed bugs at your home, residence or place of business?
While most people rely on a Pest Management Professional (PMP) to provide you a visual inspection “bug hunt,” this method is only about 25-30% accurate in detecting very light infestations. Just imagine searching your house with a flashlight for a bug the size of an apple seed or smaller, what do think you would find! As you can imagine this kind of inspection could take hours and be very time consuming.
So... some innovative people came up with a valuable bed bug detection tool: a dog!
That’s right, Fido. Just like drug and bomb detecting dogs, dogs can be trained to find bed bugs and live bed bug eggs. How accurate are they? Studies have shown that dogs are 98.4% accurate when alerting to the presence of bed bugs.
Another huge advantage is inspection time.
The dog only needs a few minutes to inspect since it is working on scent instead of sight. Dogs can quickly go from space to space sniffing and often your whole home inspection will be done in just a matter of minutes. Also dogs do not alert on dead bed bugs or empty egg capsules.
How to get rid of bed bugs
Liquid chemical application
If you live in a multi-unit structure there are only a few treatment options available to you. We recommend a liquid chemical application for a few reasons. If you have had a dog inspection and the location of the bed bugs is known then we can specifically target those locations. If not, we can provide a complete treatment to the living space. The products we apply also continue to provide control of bed bugs for weeks following the treatment. Prior to a liquid chemical treatment the unit has to be prepared. We provide you with a detailed preparation sheet outlining how to take care of your clothing, furniture, pets etc. Once the treatment is completed you will also be able to return to your home in 2-4 hours. We will likely have to repeat this process 1 or 2 times depending on the severity of your infestation .
Full structure fumigation
I consider this the “Gold Standard” for bed bug control. If you live in a single family home, stand-alone unattached structure this may be a viable option for you. This treatment consists of placing a large tarp over your home and injecting a gas inside. The gas will kill all bed bug and bed bug eggs inside as well as have an added benefit of killing just about any other bugs or rodents inside the home except some wood boring beetles. Unlike the liquid chemical application the fumigation has no residual. Once the tarp is removed and the gas is gone, it is gone. There are no products left inside to continue to provide control.
The fumigation process will require you to vacate your home for 4 days. I always advise people to leave as much of their personal belongings home as possible. You don’t want to take something that is infested with you! There is also preparation required prior to a fumigation. Unlike the liquid chemical application you will need to safeguard your food and any medication you have inside the structure inside specially designed fumigation bags that we provide to you.