Why Bed Bugs Are Difficult to Eliminate
By Chris Williams on April 26, 2017.
While the populations of many pests and even beneficial insects are on the decline globally, bed bug infestations are on the rise in the U.S. and around the world. Each year brings more reports of homes and businesses playing host to these unwelcome guests that feed on the blood of humans. And just as numerous are the stories of the difficulties in eradicating them.
How Bed Bugs Move In
Bed bugs travel from host to host by hitchhiking — by clinging to clothing, handbags, briefcases, backpacks, luggage, even used furniture. In part, it’s their nomadic nature that’s contributed to the significant increases in bed bug infestations — as we’ve become more mobile, the bed bugs have come along for the ride. And because they’re so opportunistic when it comes to catching a ride, even riding in a taxi or on a bus, this can increase the odds of unwittingly bringing an infestation into your home.
It’s likely that bed bug ancestors have been feeding on humans for millions of years. And based on recent infestation reports in the news, that’s a trend that’s not likely to stop soon. Once they’re in your home, they’re not picky either. Any little crack or crevice will do as a hiding place, especially the folds and creases in your mattress or sofa cushions and the cracks and crevices in your bed frame. And once they set up shop, they’re not likely to want to leave without some significant encouragement.
How to Kick Them Out
So how do you get rid of bed bugs? As it turns out, that process is much more difficult. Because bed bugs have lived with humans for millions of years, they’ve learned to adapt — not only to our habits and environments, but also to the most common methods humans have developed for getting rid of them.
Why Is Getting Rid of Bed Bugs So Difficult?
- First, they’re numerous. A single infestation can be made up of hundreds or even thousands of insects. A mated and fed female bed bug can lay 2-3 eggs per day, up to 500 in her lifetime. Studies show that bed bug populations can double in size about every 13 days. It’s easy to see how populations can grow to vast proportions in a relatively short timespan.
- They’re resistant to many pesticides commonly used, including those available to consumers. They developed resistance from being repeatedly exposed to pesticides over time.
- They like to hide in the tiniest cracks and crevices where consumer pesticides simply aren’t effective. Eggs are hidden in those cracks, too.
- They don’t mind the cold or heat (unless it’s really hot); in fact, studies show bed bugs can survive at temperatures as low as – 4°F and as high as 118°F. And while heat treatments can kill bed bugs, the temperatures required and the length of time the temperatures have to remain elevated — 90 minutes or more — makes successful treatment out of the realm of possibility for even the most dedicated do-it-yourselfer. (Throwing your bedding and clothes in a super-hot dryer may kill bugs on those items, but there will still be plenty of bugs lurking in your mattress and even your woodwork.)
- They require different approaches or methods to ensure that eggs, nymphs, and adults are destroyed. Otherwise, the cycle will repeat and the bed bug population will explode once more.
- And finally, they can go for as long as a year without feeding. That means even if you up and leave for a month, they’ll be waiting for you when you get home.
What’s the Solution?
The only real way to get rid of bed bug infestations once and for all is to hire a professional pest control company with the experience to treat the entire population using methods scientifically proven to destroy bed bug colonies. At Colonial Pest, that means an integrated approach using an array of methods customized for your specific needs. Treatment begins with a thorough evaluation of your home, looking for signs of infestation that can help uncover all the places where the bugs are hiding. Then a “plan of attack” will be developed using multiple techniques to destroy the bugs at every stage of their lifecycle — from eggs to adults.
If you think you’ve got a bed bug infestation in your home, acting quickly is essential for getting rid of the pests as rapidly as possible. Colonial Pest is ready to take on your bed bug problem and serve up some powerful eviction notices. Call Colonial today at 800-525-8084 and schedule an in-home evaluation today.