Bed Bugs Don't Travel and Other Myths You May Have Heard

Did you know that Bed Bugs were almost completely eradicated in the 1950’s. Unfortunately, they have recently made a comeback in a major way. These critters feed on humans blood cells while you sleep. They have increased in numbers throughout the United States since 1972 (when pesticides like Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) were banned) and are increasing by an average 50% each year. Bed Bugs spread by hitching a ride on your clothing, purses, backpacks, or in your suitcase. They are not just in bedrooms and on beds. They can be on furniture, behind wall art, on books, etc., and can easily move from an infested home to an uninfected one without notice.

milberger pest control bed bugs myths February blog 2018Everett Milberger Pest Control has been eliminating pests since 1936. The last thing we want to do is cause fear or panic; however, it is important to know how easy it is to unknowingly bring bed bugs into your home. Perhaps you used an Uber or similar type of car service on vacation. This vehicle travels multiple trips to various hotels and transports people from all over. One bed bug off one suitcase falls onto the carpet of the trunk and now you are unpacking a bed bug when you get home. More, depending on how long you were away.

Been to any good restaurants lately? You probably sat in a booth (or chair) where literally hundreds of people have sat before you. Even if the staff run the sweeper over the carpet after every group leave, the bed bug is hanging out in the sweeper, under the chair, or in the creases of the booth. They live to get as close to their food source as possible and can transfer onto your pants or into your purse completely undetected.

Yuck, right?! Well there are a number of things people assume or don’t think about when it comes to these little critters. Milberger is here to dispel some myths about bed bugs for you.

  • Bed bugs are easily visible to the naked eye. PARTIALLY TRUE – Adults are very easy to see. They are about the size of an apple seed when fully mature and rust colored. Larval and newly hatched bugs are transparent and about the size of a poppy seed, which is much less visible. Remember, they hide well so you would have to be looking for them and know where they hide to actually see them.
  • The vacuum is the bed bug’s enemy. PARTIALLY TRUE – only if you carefully inspect and clean the entire vacuum each and every time you use it to suck them up. If you don’t, you have just created a vacuum sized apartment complex for your blood sucking pests. They have spiny legs that helps them climb sheets, furniture, curtains, and cling to the beater brush.
  • Diatomaceous earth is the answer. PARTIALLY TRUE – Diatomaceous earth, which is a powder made of finely ground diatom fossils, can be an effective deterrent against crawling insects. The DE clogs their breathing tubules, theoretically leading to a terrible and very bad death. But death is not swift (up to 10 days to kill the critters) and you would have to cover every surface and hiding spot. Plus, DE absorbs moisture, so any perimeters and surfaces have to be refreshed frequently. Do you really want to sleep in a house covered in DE?
  • Bed bugs can jump. FALSE – They crawl and drop and do not hop, skip or jump. If what you see is jumping, it is most likely a flea.
  • It’s easy to beat bed bugs. FALSE – Without proper controls it can take months to eradicate an infestation. Bed bugs have evolved to become immune to the effects of most conventional pesticides. Even more scary is they can live up to 18 months without feeding, proving they are resilient with or without a food source.
  • Only dirty people get bed bugs. FALSE – Bed bugs eat blood, not dirt. YOU are their food source and they don’t care if you just showered, where you live, how often you clean, or the kind of car you drive. You all taste good and they transfer from one food source to another fairly easily and completely undetected.

Bed bugs are not a gift you want to receive nor pass on to your friends or family. Everett Milberger Pest Control is happy to assist you with a free inspection. If we find that you have an infestation we will discuss your options and work with you to exterminate these nasty, blood sucking critters. Contact us by calling (816) 761-1313 in Missouri or  (913) 384-6760 in Kansas.