You likely know that bed bugs are on the rise in many areas of New York City. These small blood-sucking pests are invading homes and apartments in even the swankiest sections of NYC and can be an issue in the cleanest apartments in New York. The problem has gotten so out of hand that a councilwoman hailing from New York's Upper West Side recently expressed a need for a bed bug task force to tackle this problem once and for all. If you provide yourself with the proper tools and knowledge, you can prevent and solve bed bug issues. Here is information to help you to do so.
Bed bugs are tiny insects that do not have wings. They tend to be light brown or the color of rust (depending how recently they have fed on blood) and are around the same as apple seed, or smaller. Bed bugs sleep all day and at night they come out to feast on human blood. These nocturnal pests are attracted to human beings via body heat and enjoy munching on arms and shoulders in particular, though you can unfortunately find bed bug bites in many places if the infestation is bad enough. The feeding process works like this: the bed bug pierces into the skin via a proboscis and then injects bed bug saliva into the intended victim. Feedings tend to last around five or ten minutes.
Bed bugs love to hide in small crevices and cracks, on mattresses and in bedding so that they can easily access their meal (you). Check for bed bugs in the following places:
Chances are, you will not know you have a bed bug problem until you start to see some bites. The small marking swell at first but then fade until they are just a red mark that will be gone in a few days. They usually do not hurt but are extremely itchy so they are quite irritating. If you have bed bug bites, wash them out with an antiseptic soap to stave off a possible infection. Avoid scratching them and instead use an itching cream or calamine lotion to cure the itch.
If you see small red markings on your mattress or sheets, this can be a sign you have bed bugs as it may be from bugs that got crushed. If there are many bed bugs, there may be a musty odor. You can also look on bedding or walls for bed bug excrement. (Yuck!)
Bed bugs spread by jumping. These wily pests may hitch a ride on a person's clothes and then jump onto another person, so it is very possible to bring them into your home or apartment inadvertently. Another way they spread is via mattresses or furniture. Used furniture and reconditioned or refurbished mattresses can bring bed bugs into trucks, stores, warehouses and homes. Anywhere a mattress or piece of used furniture has been may be a potential breeding ground for bed bugs. Researchers think that the recent resurgence of bed bugs in the US is due to different factors like the banning of DDT (a strong pesticide) and a sharp increase in global travel.
It can be difficult to eradicate a bed bug issue. These creatures are small but hardy. An adult bed bug can live longer than a year without eating. With the assistance of a professional team of exterminators you can get rid of them once and for all.
Here are some tips that you can try out by yourself in the meantime:
If you do not have success with do-it-yourself methods, enlist the assistance of a professional right away. Qualified and experienced exterminators can use different techniques and stronger insecticides in order to eliminate your bed bug issues, although they may have to come to your home or apartment on several occasions to entirely eradicate the infestation.