Bed Bugs

Bed bugs have been around for a very long time. These insects are true vampires in the sense that they require no alternative food source than blood. Luckily even though they are blood feeders they have not been shown to be a major factor in the spread of disease. In very heavy infestations of bed bugs there have been issues with blood loss especially with the infirm or elderly. These insects are very adept at hiding in the tiniest of cracks and crevices and are very difficult to detect. Studies have shown that most infestations are not even discovered until the infestation has been there for at least 2 to 3 months. The main issues with bed bugs comes from the overall cost, inconvenience, and psychological damage that infestation brings. Due to the difficulty that makes bedbug work  challenging pricing to properly treat a home or an apartment that has issues with these insects is usually higher than a normal visit for extermination. 

This is typically due to levels of resistance that we are finding within the population. What this means is that common products that we use here in the USA are not as effective as they once were in the elimination of these bugs. In fact it is been shown that some of our products would need to be technical grade for them to have any effect and even some of the products tested a technical grade take days to weeks to work effectively. In addition to the problems with resistance we have the natural ability of this insect the spread out from its original source. With DNA testing we find that typical building wide infestations generally start with one single insect being introduced into the building. So between the cost, the difficulty with chemicals currently available, the natural spreading characteristics, plus the high reproduction rate (they lay 1 to 5 eggs per day per female) they are quite challenging. Unfortunately due to the cost many residents turned to over the counter pesticides to help them eliminate this insect. In many cases total release foggers or as they are commonly known as bug bombs are employed. Most of these are permethrin based products which have been shown to have a very limited affect on resistant strains which are becoming more and more common the United States. In addition the use of these bombs typically just moves populations from one unit to the next creating more of an issue for the building. We’ve been asked time and again where is the magic bullet for bed bug elimination and unfortunately nothing seems to be on the horizon that promises that type of relief. Heat and fumigation seem to be the best methods for total extermination of bed bug populations. These are typically more costly than a general chemical application and are therefore out of reach of many in the inner-city. In addition fumigation by its very methods require tensing and targeting of the entire building so specifically targeting infested units is impossible. That leaves heat. Heat for the control of bed bugs works very efficiently and effectively because it kills the entire lifecycle. Unfortunately it is an intense process that typically runs 8 to 12 hours for a complete treatment usually with several technicians, a stand-alone generator, and specialized heating equipment.

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