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What to do When Bed Bugs Bite You

It can be incredibly frustrating to discover that bed bugs have made their way into your space, despite your best preventative efforts.  Don’t blame yourself; bed bugs are incredibly difficult to detect, and even the best efforts can fail if just one female bed bug makes her way into your home or business and begins to reproduce.

How do I Treat a Bed Bug Invasion?

Once an invasion has started, it can be incredibly difficult to beat because bed bugs can hide almost anywhere and can survive without feeding for up to 18 months! This is not a pest that we recommend trying to battle on your own. Two types of professional treatment are used to treat bed bugs: chemical and heat. Heat treatment is a newer technology that uses strategically placed heating elements to hold the temperature in an infected area to 120-140 degrees over a sustained two-to-four hour period.  This remedy is increasingly in demand because it’s a one-shot, single-day treatment that does not involve chemicals.  And because heat penetrates the treatment area, it’s less prep work and fuss for the homeowner or business before pest control professionals arrive. Chemical treatment is a more conventional treatment response for bed bug invasion.  Professionals treat multiple surfaces in the home or business with chemicals to kill bed bugs.  It’s necessary for the property owner to do some pre-and-post tasks in the treatment area (such as remove food and other items so that the chemical does not contaminate, and wipe down some surfaces once the treatment is completed).  Chemical treatments typically involve four separate chemical treatments within a 30-day period.

Prevention is the Preferred Treatment

Given the difficulty in getting rid of bed bugs once they’ve begun to multiply, it’s best to focus on prevention whenever possible.  Bed bugs find their way into personal space most often while the victim is either traveling or sharing a space in common with someone else that has a bed bug problem. Businesses such as hotels and apartments can be proactive by adding bed bug inspections to their regular pest maintenance schedule.  Travelers and renters can be sure to ask about bed bug prevention actions by property owners (be sure to ask about bed bugs specifically, as this problem is new enough that bed bugs usually aren’t covered in most existing prevention agreements). The bed bug resurgence isn’t likely to get better anytime soon, and leading experts predict that infestation reports will increase over the next several years.  Our best advice is to follow preventative measures whenever possible.  And if you do find yourself the victim of these crafty creepy-crawlies, contact your friends in the pest control business ASAP. You’ll want to keep the treatment as localized as possible and to prevent the little guys from hitchhiking onto your neighbors and friends.

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