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Bed Bug Problem


Summary: A persistent bed bug problem usually happens when the bed bug treatments are stopped before the egg laying cycle is destroyed. An ongoing bed bug problem can be resolved.

Jeff; Chicago, IL

Question:

I've had bedbugs twice since 2003 and this makes the third time. They seem to come back in warm weather. The last two times I got rid of my bed and sprayed and it seemed OK. However, every six months I find a bedbug. I thought they were coming in from somewhere else, but my landlord says I am the only one with them. How can they be gone for 2 years and come back? And one last thing is, even when I was infested I didn't show bed bug bite marks. HELP PLEASE!

Ask the Exterminator

Lots of people experience bed bug reinfestations for numerous reasons. The most common reason is that they stop treating before the bed bug egg laying cycle has been broken. They do a couple of treatments and quit because they are no longer seeing adult bed bugs. But, the nymphs are still hanging around and they are taking their blood meals and are growing into the adult stage. Suddenly, your bed bug infestation is noticeable again.

Bed bugs go through five nymphal stages, each stage requiring a blood meal. The first couple of stages, the bed bugs are very small. I'm talking about an insect the size of a grain of salt. Put that little fellow on a couch with a nice, colorful pattern and I guarantee you won't see it. So, they go unmolested for months at a time, growing into the full adult stage and laying eggs all over again. A single pregnant bed bug female can go about laying her eggs and you may not notice for months. Suddenly, you discover you have a full blown infestation. This is usually how it goes.

Getting rid of a bed bug infestation takes a lot of time and careful inspection. A good hand magnifying glass is a big help when you're searching for miniscule bed bug eggs. It is very easy to overlook some of these. So, you can understand how your treatment efforts may have knocked the population down, but may not have totally eliminated all the bed bugs. Now, the population has rebuilt and you are starting to notice them again.

As for the lack of bite marks, thirty-percent of people who receive bed bug bites have no reaction at all. A whole other group may be bitten and not react for days and days. Everyone reacts differently. You may have reacted the first time, built up immunities, and not react the next time you are bitten. Go figure!

I will tell you that successful bed bug treatments require lots of cleaning up. Bed bugs love clutter and pest control professionals hate it. When a room is cluttered with books, papers and clothing, there is no place to apply the pesticides. Makes sense, doesn't it? All those cluttered spots are pesticide-free zones for bed bugs to hide. They can sense where those places are in a room.

Get your room organized so you can inspect and treat where bed bugs are found. I recommend a product like Suspend SC for treating areas where humans won't come in contact. For places where human contact is possible you can use a product like SteriFab to directly treat any bed bugs you discover.

Finally, if you are unsure your insects are bed bugs, collect a few and take them to any pest control company for a free ID or call a local university to see if they have an entomologist on staff. They will be happy to help.



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