Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Bed Bugs: Forecasting the Year Ahead and Prevention Methods

The new year is in full swing and here at Border Pest Control in Las Cruces, New Mexico, we are getting ready for another busy year. And of course one of the most troublesome pests continues to be the bed bug, with experts continue predicting an increase in bed bugs in the U.S.

What is the forecast for bed bugs in 2018?

Recently Orkin released the top 50 cities in the United States predicted to have the most infestations in the coming year. This list was based off of data of metro areas where the company had performed the most bed bug treatments during the majority of last year. The cities that arrived at the top of this list were:

1) Baltimore
2) Washington, D.C.
3) Chicago
4) Los Angeles
5) Columbus, OH

In order to be as thorough as possible, Orkin included both residential and commercial treatments when compiling all of their data. With the development of recent statistics, experts in the field are predicting a continued increase in the amount of bed bug infestations in the years ahead.

Why does the number of bed bug infestations continue to increase?

For most homeowners and frequent travelers, a potential increase in bed bug infestations is not exactly the best news to hear. And there are quite a few factors that are aiding in the increase of these pests, including their general characteristics and behaviors. Since bed bugs are extremely tiny, this makes them almost impossible to see with the naked eye. The combination of their small size and ability to hide make them very difficult to track down when scanning an area. For this reason, it is easier to look for evidence that they will be leaving behind such as black ink like stains on furniture and belongings.

In addition to being very tiny, bed bugs are capable of rapid population growth with the average adult female laying 2-5 eggs per day. This adds up to around 500 eggs in the lifetime of one female bed bug! Those are a lot of opportunities for successful population grown among this species. Biologically they are also equipped to survive in a large variety of climates and environments. This means that they can continue to invade throughout the entire year and are not relying on seasonal changes to survive. Bed bugs only need blood to live, so with the determination to find this one source they have everything to be fighting for.

Aside from their adaptation to survive, it is also difficult to completely prevent bed bugs because they are always in motion and can travel from place to place very easily on objects we carry around on a regular basis. They can quickly latch onto luggage, clothing, books and other belongings and within hours they are transported for free to their new home. It is also a common misconception that houses or facilities that have poor sanitation are more prone to these unwanted visitors getting comfortable. However, most living and working spaces are susceptible to bed bugs including public housing and upscale new construction.  

Can anything be done to help prevent an infestation?

This is a common question in the industry of pest control and management, and although you may not be able to prevent an infestation in unique scenarios, there are certain practices to adopt that will aid in keeping these troublesome visitors out of your home. One of the easiest ways to help prevent an infestation is to simply check for them regularly. This includes checking places that they may be hiding such as mattress tags and seams, behind baseboards, electrical outlets, headboards, old books and picture frames. Another easy way to create a not so friendly space for these pests is to decrease clutter in your home. And always inspect second hand furniture and items before bringing them into your home!

Lastly, for those out there that are traveling often and are concerned about bringing home more than memories and tan lines- follow this helpful acronym (S.L.E.E.P) to keep bed bugs out!

Survey the hotel room when traveling for signs of infestation
Lift and look under possible hiding spots such as furniture and mattresses
Elevate your luggage and belongings away from the bed and wall when staying in a hotel
Examine your luggage very thoroughly when repacking and when you return back home
Place all of your clothing that is dryer friendly from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes as soon as you get home

With the continued growth of bed bug infestations in major cities across the country, all of our professionals here at Border Pest Control in Las Cruces, New Mexico, are well equipped and knowledgeable to handle any situation you may have. If you are concerned that you might have an infestation of bed bugs, do not hesitate to give us a call!


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