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“YOU FOUND BED BUGS WHERE!?”

By Zachary Ciras on March 3, 2020.

When you think of places that you can find bed bugs, beds are the obvious first choice. Next up, areas near the bed where the bugs can hide such as bedside tables and behind the headboard, followed by other places where people rest for extended periods such as sofas or recliner chairs. Bed bugs need to be able to hide during the day while still staying close to their host for nighttime feeding on blood.

BED BUGS ARE OPPORTUNISTS WHEN IT COMES TO HIDING

Those of us in the pest control business have had to deal with many unusual and uncommon bed bug sites. How about a guy’s prosthetic leg standing near his bed – an artificial leg from the knee down, complete with sock and sneaker, and loaded with bed bugs and bed bug eggs tucked into the shoe and elastic hem of the sock! Why? Did the bugs think they were going to get blood out of that fake leg? No, the bed bug infestation was so large that the bugs were looking for any hiding place or crevice that wasn’t already occupied. 

Bedbugs in all stages of life, adult, nymph, egg, found under a neglected pair of shoes. Z.Ciras.

Other unusual bed bug-infested sites include: hinges on a toilet seat where a disabled resident spent a lot of time, wheelchairs and scooter chairs, pet cages, office copy machines and office restrooms, under the straps of a luggage rack or in crevices of wooden clothes hangers, inside smoke detectors, thermostats, or cell phone cases. There’s really no limit (see Bed Bugs Will Hide Almost Anywhere!).

RIDE SHARING CAN BE RISKY BUSINESS

Recently, another common, yet overlooked infestation site has come to light – ride share vehicles such as Uber. Turns out, some pest control companies have been quietly treating private and commercial bed bug-infested vehicles on a regular basis. 

You can imagine that ride share vehicles that transport multiple unknown individuals daily would be at higher risk of infestation than the family car. It’s not only the vehicle and its driver that are at risk. Passengers and their belongings in the back seat risk picking up bed bugs left by an earlier passenger, which in turn could infest a home or office. As expected, there have been lawsuits from people who claim that they got bed bugs from using a ride share.

Bedbugs in cracks and crevices of a slat bed. Shutterstock.

A Dallas-based exterminator says he treats up to 10 ride share vehicles per week by parking them in a tent and subjecting them to high temperatures that will kill bed bugs. A Michigan exterminator hasn’t had ride share customers but regularly treats other unusual vehicles such as semi trucks and medical transport vans for bed bugs. The semis are understandable, too, since drivers spend long vulnerable hours in the driver’s seat and often sleep just behind it in a bunk, after perhaps visiting a somewhat seedy truck stop for a “bite.”

Fortunately, here in the Northeast, bed bug infestations in cars are not as common since parked cars tend to be too cold for bed bugs in winter and the high heat that builds up inside a closed car in summer will also kill bed bugs. A ride share for a home can be stressful for a bed bug.

If bed bugs are an issue for you, whether in home, office, or car, give Colonial Pest a call. Experts agree that bed bugs are one group of pests that do not qualify for DIY pest control measures. You need the services of a professional if you expect to get rid of them. 

For more on bed bugs, see:

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