I know! I tend to be Dickens Scrooge for the holidays! This post is my holiday gift to you. I will share tips and links to the best of the best information on Bed BUGS wrapped up with a big red bow…the pest issue will still be gross no matter how I wrap the facts on bed bugs.
While most Americans tend to focus on holiday cheer; parties; picking out the perfect Christmas present at the best price with free shipping (oops! another post) and traveling home for a White Christmas I lean towards stealing Christmas like Dr Suess’ Grinch with all my SAFETY and prevention posts.
This post is more than you ever wanted to know about bed bugs spoiling your family get togethers. While Bed bugs are NOT seasonal we certainly don’t want to let our guard down during the highest traveling seasons with holiday merriment on our minds when traveling through the bed bug capitols of the US..
Well, that is why I am the No No-cents Nanna!
Bed Bugs are the Come Bcak Bug to Watch For.
Once a pest of the past, bedbugs now infest every state in the U.S.. Cimex lectularius—small, flattened insects that feed solely on mammalian and avian blood—have been living with humans since ancient times. Abundant in the U.S. prior to World War II, bedbugs all but vanished during the 1940s and ’50s thanks to improvements in hygiene and the use of pesticides. In the past 10 years, however, the pests have staged a comeback worldwide—an outbreak after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney…
“Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite”
When I was kid my father use to say, “Nighty-night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I thought it was myth or a joke something like the tooth fairy.. But bed bugs are a real nuisance.
Actually, you may not know when the bug bites for a day or so.
- Some people have a reaction to the blood sucking bite like a whelt or a lump, while other people may not have any reactions at all..
- Sometimes bed bugs bites are not noticed for a few days.
- Bed bugs prefer the dark of night- avoiding the light. That is how they can be so sneaky like when Santa comes down the chimney when all the family is sleeping. Only the bed bugs presents are bites and poop. They spread more rapidly than jolly and quick old Saint Nick.. now that sounds creepy to me!
Personally I don’t have any of my own images of bed bugs, but, I do have pictures of things a bed bug may like to travel on for FREE and undetected. ( See link below for a printable card.)
Since I live in Colorado I hear neighbors complaining about landlords “not doing anything to get rid in infestatons,” .
I have to ask a question: what are you dong to work on the this comunity problem yourself? (Denver is listed in the 15 worst bed bug cities list.) The Denver airport is there. People stay at the hotels over night to see the sights…)
Bed bugs are increasing in epidemic proportions in more and more states. All 50 states have bed bug issues to some degree and it is getting worse. We don’t want DDT. We want to practice prevention.
I feel compelled to know and share enough facts so we “don’t let the bed bugs bite” in our own home. I have battled roaches and won. As a camp nurse and Head Start nurse I nit picked 100’s of heads of hair and conquered lice as well. But, Bed Bugs have their own peculiarities.
STOP BEING SO PASSIVE! Get the facts!
Return of the Bed Bugs: Know Your Rights as a Tenant
Bed bug problems were common in America before World War II. Because of widespread use of the pesticide DDT, they became less of a problem during the 1950s and 1960s. By 1970, bed bugs had been almost wiped out in this country. They could be found in Africa, Asia, and parts of Eastern Europe, but they were rarely ever seen here.
That is not true anymore. As most tenants already know, bed bugs are back.
Hitching Hiking Home for the Holidays?
No matter how you travel from her to there bed bugs can hitch hike from anywhere…and you don”t have a clue EWW!
Don’t assume there are no bed bugs hitch hiking home for the holidays with you unless you actually LOOK!
The name “bed bugs’ is kind of a mis-nomer since the creepy parasites can be found in more places than confined to a bed, mattress or box springs. They prefer dark and are known to walk 100 feet. They really love to hitch hike a ride (They don’t fly.)
- Back pack
- suit case
- wall paper
- airplaine, train, boat, bus
- dorm room,
- motels even 4 star hotels and lovely Air BNB’s
- day cares
- nursing homes
- prosthetic legs
Why do Bed Bugs seem to like low income housing or apartments? It is not a matter of income, address nor hygiene, but the density of population where there are ore meals for these blood suckers to feast on.
No BED BUGS do not carry disease!
ENOUGH! (You fell like scratching, now don;t you?) Theses small flat brown parasites can live almost any where especially where we humans and pets like to rest.
Where to look:
Who Dun it?
Are you seeing mysterious blood spots on the sheets? You may be rolling over on a bug then crushing it.
Are you seeing any other signs?
- bed bug poop
- shed bug skin
- bug eggs
- small flat brown bugs (young un-fed bugs will appear transparent)
DON’T DELAY! DEAL WITH BUGS PROPERLY!
The University of Minnesota published a post about how to effectively kill bed bugs in the laundry room. It is very detailed, but simple to do along with professional pest control going into your home. By the Way: Minniapolis is one of the top BED BUG cities in the US. ( See link below for the worst cities for bed bugs.)
I never travel with dirty laundry. That is like inviting ants to a picnic.
I pack clean personal items in zipper lock bags. But, many travelers carry don’t get a chance to wash theri duds in hot water suds…bed bugs like to eat where they can feel close to you, a mammal; warm blood bodies and their body crumbs.
Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.
Will bed bugs travel on people?
Bed bugs may hitch a ride on clothing that people wear, but they are not like lice and will not travel directly on a person. If you are concerned about bed bugs on clothing, remove suspect articles and place these items into a plastic bag. It would be preferable to remove clothing in a place with a non-carpeted floor, so bed bugs will have to travel some distance before finding a hiding spot. A wet cloth wiped over the floor area will help contain any bed bugs that may have attempted to escape.
What do bed bugs look like?
Click HERE to go to CFAN Department of Entomology, St Paul, MN for a pdf printable card. https://www.bedbugs.umn.edu/bed-bug-identification-card
Who may be the bearer of glad tidings and bed bugs?
Anyone can carry a bug on clothes or packages.
Let me pick on a few people carrying gifts from near or far.
Landlords must deal with infestations or it is a Warrant of Habitability issuse. Many Slum Lords earn the bad name when they fail to deal with safe living conditions and blame the tennants for the problem.
- Everyone involved MUST work together for a solution.
- Renters are only the victims when they allow themselves to be.
- Stop passivley putting up with bull shit from Slum Lords. Work with the good landlords to keep your home in good shape.
- Read your lease before you sign it. Then know your rights and responcibilites as a renter.
On the other hand renters; students in dorms, homeless in shelters; people who use public transportation need to also take responciblity for helping bugs to travel with out a ticket or passport. Then we the people must step up to the plate by avoiding sweeping bugs issues under the rug.
Possible Ways to Bring Bugs to Your Door
- The Mail man, USPS; UPS; Fed ex who drop off your Cyber Monday bargains. or “peddlers just openings their sacks.” Don’t hate me, please! You never know where you brown paper packages have been sitting in wait. ( Note: bugs of all kinds have their own preferences of hosts to feast on.)
- Your very own maintanence man who came to fix your ceiling fan after fixing you neighbors (who have bed bugs) bedroom window.
- The crevise in the sofa of the apartment managers’ office. OH MY! I am not joking here!
- The monthly pest control guy’s uniform. You pay $4 a month fee for in your rent. to have Pest Control take cahrge over pests. Yet, who ever thinks about the guys changing their uniforms after busting bugs at the neighbors?
- The very nice Meal on Wheels delivery person can carry in bed bugs on their clothes even if they never sat on anyone’s bed. But, maybe stayed just a few minutes to visit the elderly client and sat in Lazy Boy with the doilies in an infested home.
- The kids may bring home from school bed bugs on their back packs . Gee Mom, I only stopped by my BFF’s house for 20 minutes to get a drink and play a short video game after I got off the bus.
- A personal care attendant or home care nurse can carry bed bugs from one client’s home to another home.
- Your mother-in-law’s hand bag. Yep, let’s blame her for bed bugs showing up unannounced!
If you are coming or going to or from any of the 15 worst cities for bed bugs…check your belongs list twice.
According to CBS Bed Bugs 15 Worst Cities: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/bedbugs-15-worst-cities/
The WORST Things to Do When You Find a Bed Bug or Any Other Pest….
By choice I rent apartments. I choose to pay rent so the maintance crew can fix things when somethings breaks. This means I am at greater risk of having my neighbor’s bugs drop in with out knocking.
Over the decades I still can’t believe my ears when a neighbor reveals they have seen bugs in theri home. Neighbors will whisper, “The managment don’t do a thing about all these bugs.”
I whisper back, “When did you put in a work order?”
Eyes get BIG! ” I haven’t told the manager. I don’t want to get evicted. But they really need to do something! I’ve tired of spendng so much money from the spray I get from the grocery store.”
Those dirty little secrets often are the real reason bugs abound in some large living complexes, in my opinion. Bugs are a community issues that can be nipped in the bud if only people speak up at the first sign of bugs. (See your states Warrenty of Habitability. Know how to document and how to effectivley inform your landlord of bugs).
Thou Shall Not…in the case of bugs:
- .Don’t buy bug spray. Hire a professional bug killer to kill the right bugs with the right solution. Why? The OTC don’t work. The generic garden variety causes MUTANTS when not used properly!
- Don’t use grandma’s old wives cures like kerosene; gas; rubbing alcohol unless you plan of poisoning your family and burning down the house while are at it. (Don’t believe everything you see pinned on Pinterest as a “natural cure”. Stick with the official siteS when you failed to prevent an infestation. Yeah, I know, I don’t want pestiCies near my family either.)
- Don’t borrow you neighbors vacuum cleaner especially if they have bugs. (When using your vaccuum. Empty the dirt contianer and get it out of the home. Clean the machine well.)
- Don’t store stuff under the bed. That just gives more opportunity to Sleep with the Enemy close by.
- Don’t spray bug killer on yourself like an immunization to prevent bug infestations! DUMB! STUPID! Very TOXiC!
- Don’t use a product you bought cheap on-line with free shipping that have the directions in a language you can’t read.
- Don’t take furniture off the curb or by the dumpster to furnish your home. (Especially after an eviction.) In many places it is against the law for a reason. You don’t know where it’s been nor what has been crawling on it. You may not need to throw away your own furniture, either. You can treat it.
- If you think you have bugs don’t move furniture from room to room.
- Don’t put buggy stuff in a black plastic bag in the sun shine and expect the bugs to die of heat. The heat needs to be hotter. (See link below) I do advocate airing out things in the sunshine like day cots on general principals.
- Don’t delay informing your housing management of a bug when you live shared dwellings.
Myth 10: You can spray bedbugs away
Thanks to pesticide resistance, those cans of spray at your local hardware store simply will not do, Schal says, adding: “Relying strictly on chemicals is generally not a good solution.” The most effective solutions are fumigation and heat treatments, but these can cost a cool $2,000 to $3,000 apiece for a single-family home.
Scientific American https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/top-10-myths-about-bed-bugs/
My advice is for my friends who want to stay a natural as possible:
- practice prevention and early detection.
- Have a plan to stay out of the home when chemical treating is absolutely neccessary and do so asap before the infestation get worse.
- When living in densely populated shared housing beware that many of your neighbors will be jerks who let bugs live free and naturally so they can travel to your home without an invitation..
Just the Facts about Bed Bugs:
- Not like other bugs: lay only 1 to 5 eggs in a day.
- Limited to no more thtn 500 eggs in a life time
- Bed bugs can fast for as long as a few months.
- Bed bugs can survive freezing.
- Bed bugs can survive the heat as high as 122 degrees F
- Bed bugs suck your blood for up to 5 minutes before they loosen their belts to digest your body fluids, so to speak.
- A baby bed bug is so small it can slip through a stich hole in a mattress.
- A bed bug can eat 7 times its own weight.
- No state in the US can keep out nr deport immigrating bed bugs
NPMA Bed Bug Info & Facts: http://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/bed-bug-facts-statistics/
Beating Bed Bugs
I’m just an old blogger with historically lots of wierd experiences. I am not a pest control expert or an entomologist. This post is intended to encourage you to do the right things to control a potential bug problem and entertain. This information in this post is a collection of gleanings of the most reliable links I could find to send my neighbors and followers who are afraid to ask.
You should never ever 100% trust everything you read on-line. Always research several reliable sources your self..
Please click and read the link below for a reliable plan of action if you have bugs.
CFANS; Department of Entomology, St Paul MN
Bed Bug Control in Residences
The most effective way to control bed bugs in your home is through a combination of chemical measures and heat treatments applied by a Pest Management Professional (PMP). Unfortunately, the service of a PMP can be costly. So we are providing information on how to control a bed bug infestation on your own.
There otta’ Be A Law!
And there are laws about Bed Bugs for we the people.
Generally, requirements focus on hotels and landlords or other property managers. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists the following states as having laws addressing bedbug infestations …
- in rental properties: Arizona, California, Florida, Nebraska and New Hampshire
- in hotels: Alabama, California, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota and West Virginia.
- in institutional facilities: Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin
- in schools: New York and Utah
- in railcars: Illinois
- in migrant labor camps: Iowa, Nevada and Pennsylvania
- as public health nuisances: Arizona, Kansas and Texas
In conclusion: when traveling be savy about picking up “strangers” so your gifts will be bug free.