If you suspect bed bugs are infesting your home or apartment, you may be overwhelmed at the number of choices available for eliminating them. Do it yourself suggestions flood any online search engine, and some of the options, while compelling, are not effective. For instance, bug bombs do not kill bed bugs. Other popular but ineffective options include moving out for a few weeks (the bugs will wait for your return, and be all the hungrier when you do) and turning up the heat. While unsuccessful, at least these methods are not dangerous; an Alberta family buried two children--and nearly lost three more--in late February after using an unlicensed pesticide to kill bed bugs in their home. However, a new discovery may prove to be the breakthrough for which bed bug victims have been waiting.
It is easy to understand why people turn to desperate measures when their homes are infested with bed bugs.
They're stealthy. These tiny wingless insects are nearly invisible, and, therefore, difficult to detect. Aside from crawling into your boxspring and mattress, bed bugs will burrow into upholstery, carpet, and dresser drawers. They will even hide behind baseboards.
They're sneaky. Bed bugs, like vampires, emerge in the dead of night (usually between 2:00 and 4:00am, when you are most deeply asleep) and crawl toward the heat emitted by your body. Once upon you, they inject a mild anesthesia to prevent you from feeling their bites. Sucking your blood for about 10 minutes, the bugs then return to their lairs, leaving behind red marks on your body and reddish feces stains on your sheets.
They're stubborn. Bed bugs are extremely difficult to eliminate. For one thing, they multiply rapidly. Add to this the numerous hiding places possible around your home, and you may have difficulty identifying the scope of your problem. Further, bugs can go for months without feeding, so you may not even know whether you've eliminated them entirely. Lastly, bugs have developed immunities to many pesticides, so you may spend a lot of money to treat your home only to have the venture be unsuccessful.
It isn't hard to see why people will try just about anything touted as a bed bug killer.
Hope on the horizon
While the bed bug plague has been worsening in recent years, researchers have been hard at work identifying what attracts the insects to humans. A few months ago, a research team at Simon Fraser University made two key discoveries: bugs are attracted to histamine (a substance produced by humans' immune system) and to pheromones (chemicals produced by the bugs to attract them to each other).
But the researchers (who subjected themselves to hundreds of thousands of bed bug bites in the name of science) didn't stop there. They created a bed bug trap--similar to a roach motel--which they baited with these chemicals to allure the insects. Once in the trap, the bugs didn't leave--perhaps believing they had found a new home.
Traps could be available for purchase this year. They could be invaluable as inexpensive ways for property managers to monitor for bed bugs, allowing them to take quick action as soon as an infestation begins to take root. The traps could also be used to test whether recent pest control treatment in a home or apartment has been successful.
Bed bugs may be stealthy, sneaky, and stubborn, but their reign of terror may soon be smashed. Soon homeowners will be able to handle bed bugs with these do it yourself traps, but if you are struggling right now with these bugs, you need immediate help. A licensed pest control technician can identify the extent of your infestation and use industry-approved pesticides to eliminate it. Call a place like Greenleaf Organic Pest Management today and schedule a consultation.