Bed bugs still on the rise…

This insect is found more and more in houses now. Recent news stories have spoken of out breaks of the bugs in movie theaters and clothing stores. In fact my wife, who is a pharmacist, was even asked how to get rid of them.   I don’t suggest looking toward your overworked pharmacist and the grocery store she works in for products that will control these insects.

Bed bugs are about â…•-inch long and 1/8th-inch wide. They are reddish brown in color.  They are blood sucking insects.   In bad infestations you can smell their odor as soon as you walk in the front door.  Bed bugs feed on the blood of human hosts but they will also feed on other animals such as mice, rats, dogs and cats.   Adult bed bugs can live a year or longer without feeding.   Bed bugs vary greatly when it comes to development.   Each female will lay about 2 eggs a day until she has laid about 200 eggs. They will take anywhere from under a week to just over 2 weeks to hatch.   After hatching, the nymphs will need a food supply.   Some time between 4 and 9 weeks (going back to the greatly varying development time), the bed bugs will start mating and the females will start laying their eggs.

Bed bugs usually stay near their food source.   They can be found in beds (the box springs especially), under beds, under bedside tables, behind the headboard and behind pictures hanging on the walls.   This is only a short list of where I have found them.   They like dark places that are near their food.  Treatment is tedious and can be physically demanding. Under no circumstance should you spray your bed sheets.   They should, however, be washed in hot soapy water.   Beds and box springs should be treated with a non-residual insecticide labeled for bed bugs and approved to be applied on and around beds.   A residual insecticide labeled for bed bugs should be used around baseboards, behind picture frames and other places they are found during a thorough inspection.

Bill Kelty


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