Pest Control

How to get rid of bed bugs.

How to get rid of bed bugs.

To hear what people think and even experience about getting rid of bed bugs, it would seem like it is often a nightmare scenario on the level of some horror movie.  We hear of people throwing out good beds (even all of them and expensive ones too), couches, furniture and clothing.  Sometimes what is thrown out could cost lots of money to replace.  And so often this did not fully eliminate the problem.

Why is getting rid of bed bugs so hard?  Mainly its because people rarely work against this bugs nature, and its nature works against easy treatment.  Consider the following:

  • Bed bugs are rarely active.  While they seem fast, they actually mostly are hidden away somewhere just sitting still, not active, digesting blood and laying eggs.  Their effort to get blood may take them 10 minutes or less, and they only have to do this about every 5 days.  Can you imagine working 10 minutes a week and resting the rest of the week!
  • Bed bugs live very close to the host.  This is because once they take your blood, this dumb, almost blind little creature is just trying to hide from light and movement.  Getting off of you and under something is sufficient to fill that instinct.
  • They are not scavengers.  Most pesticides work because they are  accidentally consumed by an insect tasting the treated items.  Since this is a blood sucking creature, its got to pick up substantial amounts of pesticide on its body that can pass into the insect without  going through its mouth.
  • They are nocturnal.  This makes them seem just too sneaky and hard to work with.  They often develop into serious numbers before they are noticed.

Yet this bug also has its very significant weaknesses and weaknesses can be used against them:

  • They are essentially blind. This is important to know as many people we talk to seem to think this insect is good at finding its way around the house.
  • It cannot find you by smell.  Its true that the carbon dioxide you exhale tells this bug that food is nearby, but the only way bed bugs find you is to detect your body heat and that is not possible beyond about 10 feet away. Beyond that distance they simply have to “wander around” until your location is discovered.
  • They cannot fly, jump or figure out their surroundings.  The only get to crawl (but the do crawl pretty fast).
  • If they are looking to feed off of you, they cannot continue laying eggs as they are likely out of the nourishment needed to continue doing so.

And most important.  There are pesticides that not only work but last long enough to be able to kill off a bed bug infestation with a single treatment!  Since this is the case, there is NO reason a bed bug problem cannot be eliminated, and prevented for good!

Thus how to get rid of bed bugs can be explained in some simple steps that when followed will ultimately provide complete success and combined with some simple precautions also a permanent riddance of these evil pests.

The steps we recommend and practice will be enumerated and explained in upcoming posts.

Pest Control

Chemical, Fumigation or Heat Treatment for Bed Bugs.

There are  countless methods recommended for bed bugs and available on the internet, everything from alcohol, diatomaceous earth, vacuuming, steaming, heat treatment, ozone, tent fumigation and so on is recommended by countless blogs.  While no doubt most of these have some value (and a few don’t), yet in the end there are really just 3 methods that are the primary methods used in the professional pest control industry.

Pesticide Bed Bug Treatment.

By far this is the most common method used. It is really also what got rid of bed bugs nearly half a century ago.  Long ago one of the most effective pesticides was DDT, and this pesticide was primarily responsible for practically eliminating bed bugs from our vocabulary.  When the government pushed the industry to use safer products we ended up with pyrethroids (chrysanthemum based toxins) and used these for bed bug elimination.  Over time bed bugs developed resistance to this pesticide, which has created a reputation that pesticides no longer are effective (which is false).  Truth is that some modern, due component pesticides are both good enough and long lasting enough to be completely effective.  Most pest control companies now use these pesticides, usually with complete success.

Bed Bug Heat Treatment.

This method is based on the bed bug’s inability to endure temperatures beyond around 115 degrees. The selling point to this is that this process does not require the use of any toxins, and that it is a quick elimination. While speed is an advantage yet there are some significant drawbacks. One is that the heat treatment alone does not leave the home protected, and if by chance so much as one female is redeposited back in the home it is able to completely re infest it (thus most companies doing heat treatments offer a paltry 1 month warranty). Furthermore the cost of the equipment to do these treatments has to be passed to the consumer, thus it is a relatively expensive treatment. Heat treatments also have a failure rate (often due to some bugs not dying due to locations not heated well enough, such as inner wall voids, kick boards, etc), are quite invasive and can damage furniture and other household goods. It should ultimately be noted that in order to guarantee a heat treatment for a significant period of time a follow up pesticide treatment is needed.

Home can be tented like this for bed bug control

Bed Bug Tent Fumigation.

The method of doing a home tent fumigation has similar drawbacks to heat, in that it alone does not leave the home protected and is very costly. Unlike heat, fumigation is unlikely to have any initial failure as this process would even kill off any plants inside the tent and any termites living in the walls. Again the guarantee is usually a short one.

Our Bed Bug Treatment Method.

We like to call it a strategy based approach, or in other words a pesticide method combined with strategies that we teach you.  Please consider that in order to understand and use this approach there are a few  givens that help with this.

  1. Bed Bugs are nocturnal insects.  They are sensitive to light, and regardless of whether they are hungry or not, they will not feed in good lighting conditions.
  2. Bed Bugs do not have hunger pains.  They don’t get desperate simply because they have not fed in a long while
  3. Bed Bugs are blind.  Their eyesight is as bad as a fly, so they have to seek out body heat which they cannot find farther than 5-10 feet from their host.
  4. They cannot fly or jump.

All of these insect weeknesses can be used against them, and combined with a simple strategy that is easy to understand, will always be 100% successful in a quick, orderly bed bug elimination.

In the following posts we will discuss the strategies we use for each type of room and why these work.  They are not complicated, nor do they drag you all over the place. Instead it keeps the process simple yet always reliable.

If you’re having a problem with bed bugs…or any other pest…or simply a question…call NaturZone Pest Control at 602-476-1088 and ask for me, Bill Stewart. I’ll be happy to speak with you anytime.

Till then, thanks for reading!

Pest Control

Why so many bed bugs

Why are there so many bed bugs now.

It would seem that the bed bug was a non-issue to most all pest control technicians and maybe even nothing more than an evening fairy tale. We as a small local company had seen precious few infestations, and those few we were asked to get ride of, we had to refer to the books on this subject as we had no experience with expectations that might be affected based on different things like the general home environment as well as the effectiveness of various pesticides.

Bed bugs seem to prefer hiding in wood.
Bed Bugs in wood bed frame bolt hole with defecation marks.

So often when we perform a service our customer will say this is the first time for them, and also that up to this time they had thought bed bugs were just a fairy tale. The biggest question as to why they are getting them is why have they become so common. There seems to be a combination of answers for that.

One is that generally people stopped being careful. In the past when bed bugs were common (like the 1800s) people would often not wear the same cloths into the house that they wore at a public event.  Being proactive against this bug was often a way of life.  Once we virtually eliminated these bugs all caution was dropped and forgotten by most all.

Another is that bed bugs appear to have developed a strong resistance to a common over the counter pesticide that is referred to as a pyrethroid.  And the stronger more noxious pesticides have been done away with. And the type of pyrethroid sold in stores is not encapsulated (which provides multiple benefits). Thus when people go to the hardware store they are almost always buying a cheap form of a product that has lost its value to kill these off. And as long as they are treated and not completely eliminated in a home, they are also subject to be shared with others.

Thus when these bugs are either flying under the radar (not happening much now) or being treated inadequately (still happens a lot) they are also being shared. And as fast and as easily as these develop and get around, and considering we are no longer “nuking” those locations where this bug develops, it is unlikely we will see these completely go away as they did for nearly half a century!

If you have a problem with bed bugs…or any other pest…or simply have a question…call NatureZone Pest Control at 602-476-1088 and ask for me, Bill Stewart, president. I’ll be happy to speak with you anytime.

PS. Call today for a FREE Consultation and FREE 58 Point Pest Analysis of YOUR home or office!