Bed bugs are commonly referred to as “red coats”, “chinches” or “mahogany flats” because of their red and brown coloring. While DDT was a common insecticide for bed bugs in use since the 1940’s, we have a new generation that has never heard of or seen bed bugs since DDT use was stopped. These nocturnal bugs, rarely seen during the day, have been suspected carriers of leprosy, brucellosis, Q-fever and oriental sore but have never been identified of directly infecting humans.
There are 74 species of bed bugs that are known to feed on humans. Although they are recently returning in numbers after being controlled for decades, they are generally found in overcrowded areas with low levels of hygiene. Bed Bugs can feed on bats, chickens and sometimes on domesticated animals, but primarily feed on the blood of humans.
Bed bugs are found all over the world. Infestations are highest in homeless shelters, hotels, jails and locations with a high turnover of people. They are known to hitch a ride on people and inside the luggage of travelers. They are most active at night and because they are shy, rarely seen during the day. To locate them, you need to go behind, under and inside. Look behind wall switches and plates, in and around mattresses and under furniture.
With a large and intense infestation, there will be a foul odor from oily secretions. Also look for excrement around entry and exit points of their locations. There also may be reddish brown spots on furniture and mattresses from their feeding. Fecal spots, old shed skins and eggshells can be seen in and around their infestation. Although good sanitation is the first requirement to prevent and cure a bed bug infestation, sometimes that’s not enough.
Bed bug infestations can be cured using various types of insecticides. These insecticides for bed bugs are specially designed for killing only bed bugs and are therefore more effective in controlling an infestation than other products. Residual insecticides are particularly effective as they help in removal of the problem for longer durations. Sprays and dusts of various kinds can be used. Special bed bug kits are also available, consisting of various types of insecticides which can be used on different surfaces to remove the bed bugs completely.
Though there are a number of insecticides for bed bugs, the application procedure and affectivity differs. While some products need to be sprayed or dusted at regular intervals, others can be used twice or thrice within a period of 2 to 3 months. Cyonara 9.7 is a residual insecticide which needs to be mixed with water and used within 12 hours of its dilution. Spraying patterns can be changed depending on the areas where it is to be sprayed. A mist spray is effective for application in general areas, but a stream spray is needed for access into unreachable cracks and crevices. The corners of the bed, furniture, cabinets and drawers need to be sprayed thoroughly to prevent the bed bugs from resurfacing. But beds and mattresses cannot be sprayed with the insecticide as it is not recommended for places where people rest or sleep.
After using the specially created residual insecticides, nonresidual insecticides for bed bugs can be sprayed into the bug infested areas. Unlike residual insecticides which leave residues and are effective for longer durations, nonresidual insecticides kill on contact and can be effective for killing any bugs that might remain after thorough treatment with a residual insecticide. V One Pyrethrum Aerosol can be used for this purpose and can be regularly sprayed to prevent further infestations.
The total solution to bed bugs is a management program that includes prevention, sanitation and chemicals applied directly to infested areas. For large homes and buildings, a licensed pest control professional can take care of the problem quickly and effectively.