I am sure many of my readers, the baby boomers have heard this hundred of times at night as they got ready for bed!? I know it was a favorite saying of my grandmother. I didn’t really believe in bed bugs. I really thought my grandmother was making the whole thing up. My own nephew thought it was made-up too!
Life goes on and we all grow up sooner or later… As I became older, I discovered that bed bugs were once the scourge of both the very rich and very poor. These evil little parasitic critters didn’t discriminate. They made everyone’s life miserable; every night was a bed bug bite fest. They settled right into homes and particularly liked living in people’s beds. Who wouldn’t? For centuries these ugly little creatures made everyone’s sleep a nightmare.
Eventually, upper and middle class families learned how to exterminate these hostile creatures. Bedbugs then became the pest of the lower classes who lived in tenements and flop houses. Then DDT and other horrific, environmentally unfriendly pesticides eradicated the menace. There were no more bedbugs. Unfortunately, however, there must have been a few concealed somewhere because history is now repeating itself. Bed bugs are back! Big Time!
For several decades, bed bugs were virtually unheard of and unseen in modern society. Common in pre-World War II society, bed bugs dropped off the radar for a long time due to improved hygiene practices, better sanitation, and the use of DDT in the 1940s and 1950s. While bed-bugs may not have been prevalent in the United States and other industrialized countries, they nonetheless remained a rampant, unsettling problem in regions such as Africa, South America, and Asia.
The proliferation and ease of overseas travel as well as immigration have reintroduced bed bugs to our society. Changes in insect control may also play a role in the resurgence of these pests. The pesticides and insecticide commonly used today may be safer for humans, pets and the environment, but they’re simply not as effective in controlling bed bug infestation. Bed bugs are turning up everywhere these days – apartments, hotels, dorms, and even buses.
Bed bugs don’t live only in beds either. Chairs and sofas, even wall cavities, can also be home to bedbugs. These obnoxious mainly nocturnal little critters feed on the blood of animals and humans. They resemble roaches and ticks. Their bodies are flat, oval and about a quarter of an inch in length. Bed bugs like to live close to the place where they feed, which is commonly a mattress, hence their name. A bed bug bite, painless while being administered, may leave a red welt or some swelling similar to a mosquito bite.
So how do you know if you have bed bugs in your abode? You’ll want to look for typical characteristics of these creatures – dark spots on mattresses, chairs, or couches. These dark spots are either bed bug excrement or blood. Bed bugs spread quickly from room to room, or apartment to apartment. How clean an area is has no bearing on bed bug infestation. Bed bugs look for warm-blooded creatures to feed on, and whether or not a home, hotel, or other area is clean or dirty makes little difference.
In the event you do have an infestation, you’ll probably need to hire a professional pest control expert to handle the problem. They’ll first need to inspect the area where bed-bugs are suspected. All items that have bed bugs will have to be removed from the home and disinfected using methods including, but not limited to pesticide administration.
If you think you may have bed bugs, you can find more information about these pesky critters online. The Internet is also a great place to search for professionals to remove bed bugs. It’s important to attack the problem as soon as possible, before it gets out of control.