Bed bugs are forging a gigantic revival in the West. They were practically wiped out in the Fifties due to the widespread use of DDT, which has since been proscribed. It took them forty to fifty years to recover, but in 1995 they started their comeback. In 2004, there were 82 instances of bed bugs in New York, but only five years later, in 2009, that figure had mushroomed to 10,985.
Of the top three Western cities with bed bug problems, two of them are in the USA. First is Colorado, Ohio, second is New York and third is Toronto, Canada. Luckily, bedbugs do not transmit human diseases, although there is no known reason why they should not. They feed by inserting two tubes into the victim’s skin and squirting saliva that contains anaesthetic and anticoagulant through one and drawing blood with the other.
This injection of saliva means that bedbugs can feed on you without you even being aware of it, although that same saliva is to blame for the allergic reaction that most people undergo in the form of red marks, swelling and itchiness.
Once bedbugs have established themselves in a premises, and by the time you notice them, there is normally a serious infestation in your premises, they are very hard to get rid of.
Once infested, you could have hundreds or even thousands of bedbugs. If you let it get this far, you will have to call in specialized pest controllers and you may also have to throw out a lot of your furniture including your bed.
The main refuge locations for bedbugs are mattresses, sofas, curtains, clothing, pillows and carpets. They may have to be thrown out as well. In very acute cases, you will have to move out for weeks while your residence is being treated.
Other favourite hiding places are furniture, the bed frame, skirtings, architrave, loose wall paper and damaged plaster. Sometimes whole plasterboard partition walls will have to be taken down, as might skirtings and architraves. Another way of fighting bedbugs is to seal this woodwork off with caulk, mastic or silicone.
The difficulty is that even if you get rid of your bedbugs, you can get them back very easily. Just as easily as anyone else can. This is because bedbugs like to hitch a lift. They manage this by attaching themselves to your clothing, say, under your collar, in your pocket or in the lining and letting you take them home, where they can start a new infestation.
In Denver, staff at the central library found that bedbugs were distributing themselves inside the spine of their books. The fact is that you cannot forecast where you will not uncover bedbugs. Infestations in judges’ chambers, dentists’ offices, doctors’ surgeries, cinemas, buses, taxis, schools and waiting rooms have all had to be fumigated.
It is time to be aware of bedbugs, they are not a serious health threat, but they are not pleasant either. Nobody wants them. So, keep your eyes open, be careful of buying second-hand furniture and launder your clothes in very hot water or dry clean them if you can.
Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently concerned with getting rid of bedbugs? If you are interested in this, please go over to our website now at Picture Of Bed Bugs for more details.
The most recent invaders in New York are living proof that New York does go to sleep from time to time, because that is when these little nightmares come out to get you. It used to be rats that plagued New York, now it animals small enough to live on rats in their dozens. I am talking about Cimex lectularius, the bed bug that specializes in preying on people.
Nobody really knows how many species of bed bugs there are, some say seventy odd others say a hundred and odd. Most of them prefer animals, particularly birds and bats, but a lot of them will drink human blood if there is nothing else around. Cimex lectularius is the only one which prefers human blood and they have hit New York big time. They have literally got New Yorkers trembling in their beds.
The sad reality is that bed bugs were thought to have been wiped out in the United States in the 1950′s. Long-haul travellers and immigrants have been blamed for the sporadic outbursts of bedbugs in the past, but incidents of bedbugs has reached epidemic proportions. In 2004, there were only 82 attested infestations in New York, in 2009, just five years later, there were 10,985!
They are pretty swift creatures, preferring to live close to the host, they can make a withdrawal from your blood bank often within ten minutes, faster than you can make a withdrawal from an inner city ATM. The majority of bed bugs have drunk their fill within five minutes of finding you and they can find you very quickly. Bed bugs use body heat and CO2 emissions to locate their victims and then use pheromones to tell their friends and family where you are as well.
This is why a host is usually bitten a dozen times or more, not just once like when there is a single mosquito in your bedroom or three times, which is the mark of a flea. Like flea bites, bed bug bites are frequently in a row of three though.
Fortunately for us, bedbugs transmit no known diseases, although numerous bites can lead to anaemia and an impaired immune system, which could make you open to other diseases. Hosts sometimes develop obsessional behavioural patterns and insomnia, which also has its consequences.
Bedbugs are born from eggs, which are laid one, two or three a day. They take about ten days to hatch out into translucent nymphs about a millimetre or so long. These must also feed on blood. As they grow, they discard their skins. After six moultings they are mature bed bugs and can breed.
Bedbugs feed about every five days, during which time they rest in the dingy crevice that they call home and sleep it off. Their lifespan is between five months and a year, but they can become inactive for five months, if there is no food about. A female will lay about three hundred eggs in her life.
It used to be supposed that bedbugs lived in dirtiness, but this is not the case. However, they do like to be where humans assemble and they like dark crevices to live in: loose headboards, bed frames, skirting boards and architraves are definite favourites.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is at present concerned with getting rid of bedbugs? If you are interested in this, please visit our website now at Picture Of Bed Bugs for further information.