How did I get bed bugs?

If you haven’t studied up on these insects yet, take a couple of minutes to take in the crash course now. They’re getting more and more common each year. This blood-feeding parasite insect is not going away anytime soon. You might be more at risk for getting them than you think.

Bed Bug Facts

aggregating bed bugs

Bed Bugs

  • are found worldwide and are thought to have come to the US from Europe in the 17th century
  • primarily feed on humans, but will feed on any warm blooded animals, including birds, mice, and family pets
  • adults are just under 1/4″ long, flat and oval in shape compared to other insects
  • can lay one to five eggs per day and more than 500 in a lifetime
  • can survive for several months without eating
  • can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
  • draw blood for about 5-10 minutes before retreating to digest
  • hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress
  • can ingest seven times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid

Tips for Staying Bed Bug Free this Season

Franklin Pest Solutions encourages public awareness during Bed Bug Awareness Week

Since making a resurgence several years ago, bed bugs have proven to be a difficult and hard to treat pest, infesting homes and hotels, retail locations and even places of employment. Although a year-round concern, experts from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) want people to be on high alert prior to heading into the busy summer travel season, declaring today the start of Bed Bug Awareness Week.  In recognition of the observance, Franklin Pest Solutions is advising people in Northwest Indiana to be extra vigilant to help curb the spread of this blood-sucking pest.

bed bug bloodmeal

Travel and Bed bugs

“Summer is a prime time for bed bug infestations because travel increases and people are more likely to pick up bed bugs during transit between locations,” said Wayne Ritenour, Franklin’s Lafayette Branch Manager. “We encourage all travelers, from college students coming home for break to families going on vacation, to keep a close eye out for bed bugs looking for a ride home in suitcases.”

bed bugs on backpack

Inspect! Inspect! Inspect!

Public vigilance can start with careful inspections upon check in at lodging accommodations. According to new research by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, 75 percent of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered infestations of bed bugs in hotels and motels in the past year. Hotels are taking a proactive stance on protecting their establishments from bed bugs with strict protocols that include routine inspections, but guests also play an important role in bringing bed bugs to management’s attention and to help limit the spread of bed bugs to other locations.

bed bugs in seam of mattress

The choice for me: Bed Bug Free

To prevent an unwanted encounter with bed bugs this summer, Franklin Pest Solutions shares the following bed bug prevention tips for travelers:

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds!
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting

Think you might have bed bugs?

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