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Can You Tell If You Have Bed Bugs?

Traveling can be an amazing experience that allows us to explore new places and cultures and meet new people. However, as exciting as it may be, traveling also has its downsides, such as encountering bed bugs. Bed bugs are pesky little creatures that can be found in hotels, motels, and other accommodation facilities. 

Unfortunately, they are a common problem that many travelers face. In this article, we'll explore some tips and strategies to help you prevent and deal with bed bugs while traveling, ensuring that your trip is enjoyable and comfortable.

Over the last ten years, we’ve learned a lot about bed bugs, particularly that they are much more common than most people think and very difficult to treat. Luckily, treatments have improved greatly over the last five years or so, and The Neuse Termite and Pest Control is prepared to help you with any bed bug problems you might have. 

What You Should Know About Bed Bugs

Here are some national bed bug facts and statistics that show just how common the critters are and how difficult they are to treat.

  • One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation or knows someone who has had bed bugs or encountered bedbugs in a hotel, per a 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey
  • Bed bugs are found in all 50 states. According to the 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey, 20% of respondents encountered bed bugs in the southern United States, 20% in the Midwest, 17% in the Northeast, and 19% in the West.
  • The public’s awareness of bedbugs is growing. The same 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey reveals that 27% of respondents have inspected/washed clothing upon returning from a trip, 25% have checked a hotel room for bed bugs, 17% have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip, and 12% have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.- 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey
  • Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs. Half of the survey respondents believe that bed bugs carry transmittable disease. Despite itchy, red welts, bed bugs DO NOT pass disease to humans; 29% and 37% believe bed bugs are more common in low-income households and are attracted to dirty homes. The truth is that bed bugs are just as likely to be found in high-income, clean households. – 2011 Bed Bugs in America Survey
  • Nearly 100% of pest professionals treated bed bugs in the last year, much higher compared to five, ten, and fifteen years ago. – 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey
  • What are the top 3 places to find bed bugs? Apartments/condos, single-family homes, and hotels/motels. – 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey
  • Bed bugs are also found in high numbers in nursing homes, college dorms, offices, schools, daycares, hospitals, and public transit. – 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey
  • Pest professionals also report finding bed bugs in almost any place or situation, including: In a prosthetic leg, in a casket, bathtub vents, clubs, call centers, and in boats. Bed bugs are challenging to treat according to 68 percent of survey respondents, slightly lower than the 76 percent who said so in 2013, showing an increased understanding of the bugs and treatment. – 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey. 

How To Guard Yourself Against Bed Bugs

Here are nine tips for giving yourself the best chance to avoid bed bugs:

1) Understand Bed Bug Behavior And Life Cycle

To effectively combat bed bugs, it's crucial to understand their behavior and life cycle. Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on luggage, clothing, and furniture. Once they've invaded a space, they hide in crevices and cracks during the day and emerge at night to feed on human blood.

2) Practice Advanced Bed Bug Treatment Techniques

As mentioned, treatment methods have seen significant advancements. Here are some of the innovative approaches used by professionals today:

  • Heat Treatment: This method involves raising the temperature of an infested area to a level that is lethal to bed bugs at all life stages. It's highly effective and can eradicate bed bugs in as little as one treatment.
  • Cryonite Freezing: A relatively new treatment that uses carbon dioxide snow to freeze bed bugs instantly. This method is especially useful for treating electronics and other items that cannot withstand heat treatment.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM): IPM combines chemical and non-chemical treatments with prevention strategies. This holistic approach addresses the infestation from multiple angles, reducing the reliance on pesticides and minimizing the chances of a resurgence.

3) Prevention Is Your First Line Of Defense Against Bed Bugs

Prevention is paramount in the fight against bed bugs. Here are some tips to keep your home bed bug-free:

  • Regularly inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home.
  • Use protective covers on mattresses and box springs to eliminate hiding spots.
  • Reduce clutter to minimize potential harborage areas.
  • When traveling, inspect hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs and keep luggage on racks away from walls and furniture.

4) Seek Professional Help Against Bed Bugs When Necessary

Despite your best efforts at prevention, bed bugs can still find their way into your home. In such cases, it's crucial to seek professional help promptly. Pest control professionals have the expertise and resources to assess the situation accurately and recommend the most effective treatment plan.

The Neuse Termite And Pest Control is your partner in the fight against bed bugs. 

5) Educate Yourself, Your Family, And Your Community

Education plays a critical role in preventing and managing bed bug infestations. Understanding how to identify bed bugs, knowing their hiding spots, and recognizing the signs of an infestation can help you act swiftly to mitigate their impact. Sharing this knowledge with your community can also prevent the spread of bed bugs, making it a collective effort to maintain bed bug-free environments.

6) Consider Professional Bed Bug Inspections In Multi-Family Homes

Regular inspections by trained professionals can be invaluable, especially in multi-unit living situations where bed bugs can spread easily from one unit to another. Professional pest controllers use various tools, including canine detection, to find bed bugs even in their most elusive hiding spots.

7) Invest In Follow-Up Treatment And Professional Monitoring

After initial treatments, follow-up and monitoring are essential to ensure the complete eradication of bed bugs. Pest control professionals may schedule subsequent visits to re-treat if necessary and install monitoring devices like bed bug interceptors to catch any stragglers.

8) The Importance Of Cooperation In Multi-Unit Buildings

In apartment buildings and condos, cooperation among residents and management is vital for controlling bed bug infestations. Sharing information about sightings and treatments can help prevent the spread to adjacent units.

9) Long-Term Strategies For Bed Bug Control

  • Adopting Integrated Pest Management (IPM): As previously mentioned, combining various treatment methods with preventative measures offers a comprehensive approach to managing bed bug populations.
  • Staying Informed About New Treatment Methods: Pest control technology is continually evolving. Keeping up-to-date with the latest methods and products can enhance your ability to protect your home from bed bugs.
  • Building Community Awareness: Community workshops and educational programs can raise awareness about bed bug prevention and treatment, creating a more informed public ready to tackle bed bug issues head-on.

Let The Neuse Termite And Pest Control Help You Against Bed Bugs

The journey to managing and preventing bed bug infestations is constant, with new challenges and solutions emerging over time. Armed with the right information, strategies, and professional support, you can protect your home and community from the nuisance of bed bugs. 

Remember, vigilance and early intervention are key to controlling these persistent pests. If you suspect a bed bug problem, don't hesitate to contact The Neuse Termite and Pest Control. Our team is ready to provide you with the most effective solutions tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for you and your loved ones.

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