Bed Bugs are the Real Vampires

vampire bat
courtesy panuruangjan@freedigital photos

When I was a kid, the old black and white movies with scary monsters like vampires and mummies were some of my favorites. As I got older, I loved movies (like Young Frankenstein and The Rocky Horror Picture Show) that allowed me to laugh at my fears.

Currently zombies fill the screens of horror flicks. Zombies are scary, but what really frightens me are the thought of real blood-sucking creatures crawling into bed with me at night. I’m afraid of bed bugs and I have never been bitten by one. Yet.

Bed Bug PTSD

I went looking to see if the fear of bed bugs had been given a specific “phobia” name. I didn’t find a phobia for bed bugs in particular. The fear of beds is Clinophobia and the fear of bugs is Entomophobia, but there isn’t a Clino-Entomo-phobia as of yet. Give it time.

I did find that people who have actually had a bout with bed bugs may suffer from an anxiety similar to mine known as “Bed Bug PTSD”. I am not making this up. The Atlantic published an article about bed bug anxiety . Well, OK, they called it “madness” but even I think that is extreme.

bed bugs make you crazy
Bed Bugs Keep You Up Last Night?

Turns out that once you survive an infestation of bed bugs, the expensive and time consuming eradication process can leave you emotionally scarred. I believe it. I’ve never had bed bugs, but I have helped so many people going through the bed bug extermination process that I live in fear of bed bugs.

Bed Bugs are Evil Blood Suckers

EHSO has some pretty good information about bed bugs. In a bed bug photonutshell, these bugs are small, but are large enough to be seen with the naked eye (unlike microscopic dust mites). They feed on blood. Human blood in general and your blood in particular is their favorite meal. They use two tubes, one to inject an anticoagulant and another to extract your blood. They feed every 5 to 7 days and they are attracted by the carbon dioxide you exhale.   I guess you could just never exhale. Let me know how that works for you. The anticoagulant they inject causes a bump and an itching sensation.

The little buggers will hide anywhere, but close to you and your bed is one of their favorite locations. For many years they were considered to be pests of the unclean. But as we travel more and the world gets smaller, bed bugs can be found in the finest homes and hotels and the most modest motel and slums as well. No place is immune.

Now Recognized as a Health Risk

For years bed bugs were considered a disgusting nuisance but not a carrier of disease. People were found to be allergic to the bites, but that didn’t pose any more health risk than allergy to mosquito bites or other insects. However, recent research has shown that bed bugs can be a carrier of Chagas Disease. So fear of bed bugs isn’t completely irrational.

Calm Your Bed Bug Fears

Having confessed to my bed bug fears, here are some things I do to prevent a bed bug infestation from ever happening to me. It has been successful so far, but I am sure as soon as this gets published I will get bed bugs. Like punishment for bragging. So here is my routine:

Bed Bug Covers. My mattress and pillows are all protected in zippered bed bug coverszippered bed bug proof covers. I am highly allergic to dust mites, so I need zippered covers for dust mite protection. I use the AllergyCare Solution bed bug proof and dust mite proof fabric so I literally kill two bird (or is it bugs) with one stone.

Bed Bug Avoidance. Since I don’t have bed bugs in my house, I don’t want to bring them into my house. So, when I travel my suitcase stays in the bathtub at a hotel. I never put luggage on the floor.

When I come home, my suitcase stays in the garage until it can be thoroughly inspected and the clothing goes from the garage into the washing machine before it ever comes in the house.  See, I have been afraid of bed bugs for years.

Bed Bugs are Scary

So yes, bed bugs are scary. They don’t fly like vampire bats; but I haven’t read a case of someone picking up a suitcase full of vampire bats by staying in a hotel. I read about bed bugs in stores, but I don’t read about vampire bats in stores. You get the idea.

In reality, bed bugs are to be feared more than vampires. In fiction, bed bug zombies would be the worst!

Til Next Time!

Cheryl

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9 Tips to Keep Your Mattress Safe from Bed Bugs and Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation

Having to face a bed bug infestation can be an absolute nightmare. Your bed is the most common place to find them and you usually spend the most time in it.

How to Check for Bed Bugs in the Bed

Pull back your bedding and check for any signs that indicate bed bug activity, such as fecal stains and blood spots. Inspect your mattress thoroughly and pay special attention to the edges, seams, and air-holes. Inspect both sides of your mattress.

Remember to check the bed frame and headboard and pay special attention to the staples, screw holes, corners and wooden joints.

4 Tips to Prevent and Control Bed Bugs in Your Bed

1.      Cut Off the Access Route to Your Bed

Bed bugs can’t jump or fly so they have to crawl to reach you via the legs of your bed frame, headboard, footboard and any other walls or furniture that might touch the bed.

Cutting off the bed bugs access routes to your bed will stop them biting and also block off their ability to reproduce.

2.      Set Up Bed Bug Interceptors

You can set up bed bug interceptors under the legs of your bed to prevent and trap any bed bugs that try to climb up into your bed. This will also help you monitor the bed bug population.

3.      Encase Your Mattresses and Box Springs

Use encasements to save and salvage any beds that have been infested with bedbugs. Once these encasements have been installed, any bed bugs, eggs or larvae that are still in the mattress or in the box springs will remain trapped in the encased mattress until they starve to death.

Here are a couple of other things you should consider:

●       Physically remove or destroy as many bed bugs and eggs as possible before encasing your mattress. Steam Cleaners work great for this.

●       Encasements can only remain effective if they remain completely intact so it is important to ensure that they do not get ripped, worn or torn.

4.      Don’t Leave Your Luggage Lying Around

Take extra precautions to avoid bringing any bed bugs home from your travels and avoid placing your suitcase on your bed as this allows bed bugs to enter it from your luggage.

Check for signs of bed bugs such as dark spots and smears or dead bugs that look like a watermelon seed.

Launder your clothes after returning from your travels at the highest temperature whereby the heat can kill off the bed bugs, eggs and larvae.

Make sure to vacuum your suitcase and wrap it in a plastic bag before storage after which you should immediately clean out your vacuum cleaner.

5 Tips to on How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in Your Bedding and Mattress

1.      Isolate and Clean Your Bed

You can do this by moving your bed away from the wall and away from any other furniture that it is touching after which you can place bed bug interceptor cups under each of the legs of your bed. This liquid insecticide will trap and kill any bed bugs trying to get into your bed.

2.      Remove and Launder Your Bed Sheets, Pillows and Linens

Remove your infested bed sheets, pillowcases and other removable covers. Make sure that you carry them tightly enclosed in plastic trash bags to avoid further contamination on the way to the washing machine. Wash them in hot water.

3.      Heating and Steaming

Wash and dry your bedding at the highest setting which is usually effective at 113 degrees Fahrenheit if sustained for 90 minutes at a stretch. Switch up the temperature to 118 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes to reach 100% mortality.

4.      Vacuum

Vacuum your mattress thoroughly and very carefully with the hose attachment, paying particular attention to the indentations, crevices and seams where bed bugs like hiding. Empty the vacuum cleaner bag outside and clean the vacuum container to ensure that there are no bed bugs hiding in the vacuum cleaner.

5.      Professional Bed Bug Treatment

It’s best to call in the professionals as home DIY bed bug treatments simply don’t cut it when it comes to bed bugs as these methods usually cause bed bugs to move deeper into your home to hide.

Professional bed bug treatment involves steaming or heating an infested area to 118 degrees Fahrenheit and maintaining that temperature for 70 minutes which is near impossible for non-professionals.

Residential pest control services also tend to have a more specialized and integrated approach with special tools that help in killing bed bugs in any hard to reach places as well.

About the author:

When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. Raymond Web has taken upon him the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free.

Being the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control, in Tracy, CA, Raymond has in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he efficiently uses in his content to educate people and add value to their lives. Click here to learn more on how to find and get rid of bedbugs.

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Bed Bug – A Problem No Host Wants to Face

It’s the nightmare no host wants to face.  Bed bugs!  You can screen your guests but you can’t screen out bed bugs.  It’s good to know that something as simple as bed bug covers on the mattress can save you thousands of dollars.

How Bed Bugs Travel

picture of bed bugsJust because your guest brought bed bugs doesn’t mean they are dirty people.

Bed bugs can be found in the nicest most luxurious hotels.  They ride from place to place in the trunks of rental cars and in the luggage compartments of airplanes and trains.

Bed bugs can take an Uber or be transferred during a TSA luggage inspection.

Your guests might have left home bed bug free but picked up the hitchhikers along the way. You just never know.

The best offense is a good defense.

Bed Bug Covers for Every Bed

The rental/Airbnb market is competitive.  You can’t afford to lose zippered bed bug coversrental days for fumigation and replacement of the mattresses, box springs, and pillows.    That’s why it is important to keep a good quality bed bug cover on every bed and futon in your place.

The Allergy Store has been selling bed bug proof mattress covers since we first opened.  You can find our covers in hotels and motels around the world. Our bed bug covers cover all sides of the mattress and boxspring and zip tight to keep bed bugs out.  If your mattress has already been infested with bed bugs or dust mites, you can rest assured they will not get out.

In addition, bed bugs can not chew through the material or penetrate the fabric with their feeding tubes.  A very thin urethane membrane is heat-fused to the fabric.  This means each bed bug cover is:

  • Waterproof
  • Bed Bug Proof
  • Dust Mite Proof

Even if you are lucky enough to never have bed bugs, your mattresses will last longer.

Your guests won’t even know the covers are there unless you tell them.  And you should certainly tell them about the covers.

It’s A Selling Point!

sea-beach-holiday-vacation

When you have the mattresses in your rental covered, let people know!

It’s a great selling point to assure your potential guests that you care enough to make sure that they sleep unmolested from bed bugs and dust mites.   List your linens and bed bug covers as an amenity.

You can set a small table tent on each bedside reminding them that you put their comfort and health first…that’s why you covered your mattresses, pillows and box springs in the first place.

If you would like additional information about our covers just give us a call. We are happy to help. Also, we have special programs available for hotel, motel and B&B owners. Our number is 800 771-2246.

Thanks

Mike

 

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