"Happy bedbug awareness month!" I bet you never thought anyone would be uttering those words to you. Well, the month of September is upon us and with that comes a month of education, education, and some more education. At my company, Gotcha Bed Bug Inspectors, we always say, "education is the key to staying bedbug free!" So, we thought we would explore some of the myths and misconceptions about those little blood sucking friends we're celebrating during the 30 days of September.
In our travels visiting clients from hotel owners, business travelers and school administration, all the way to home owners, we have come across some very interesting methods our clients have found on the World Wide Web to prevent and get rid of bedbugs. These are actual stories and not made up. Stay with us, you just might learn something...
Myth: I put my shoes in the freezer so that should kill all the bedbugs. Right?
Actually, this is not true at all; we wish it was that easy. Bedbugs are a special kind of pest. You must know how to treat them in order to eradicate them. Your common home freezer does not reach the required temperature to act as a killing agent for bedbugs.
Myth: I threw my bed out so I have nothing to worry about. Right?
Wrong! Bedbugs do love beds, but they don't only infest beds. Bedbugs are not picky pests. Where we are, they want to be. In fact, if you move a bed throughout your home, you may infest other areas of the home where bedbugs might not be living. This is also true for apartment buildings. Bedbugs attach on to things -- you don't want to drop a bedbug in your haste to remove a bed. It could find a new home just by latching on to someone who walks through your building's hallway.
Myth: I am very clean so I have nothing to worry about. Right?
Absolutely wrong! Bedbugs will infest anywhere from a five-star hotel to the messiest of apartments. The truth is, it is much harder to eradicate bedbugs from a home or dwelling where there is clutter, however, it doesn't mean bedbugs won't infest your clean home, too. That is why it's so important to ask your pest control company about the necessary steps to properly prepare your home for treatment.
Myth: I hung all of my stuff outside. How long do I leave my clothing out in the sun for the bedbugs to be killed?
Unfortunately, the sun won't do much but give your bedbugs a tan. In all honesty, the best method is to wash all of your clothing as per the label. Using a washer with detergent and dryer on a high heat setting is a tried and true method to eradicate bedbugs and eggs from clothing.
Myth: I don't have any bites, so I can't have bedbugs. Right?
Wrong. It is not uncommon for two people to be sleeping in the same bed and both be bitten, but everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites. Not everyone is going to show a bite in the area they have been bitten. Tricky, yes, but definitely not true.
Myth: I don't have to wash all of my clothing if my home has bedbugs. Right?
This is a great question and one I'm frequently asked. To play it safe, most companies suggest that you wash everything you can. It's always better to be safe than sorry. The best course of action, though, is to save time and money and have a bedbug dog inspect your home and determine exactly where the bedbugs are hiding. This way you'll be able to pinpoint their exact location and take the necessary steps to remove them.
Myth: The country I just came from doesn't have bedbugs. Right?
The truth is wherever we go, they go. There are some countries that have a higher bedbug population than others, but with frequent imports and exports of goods and as travel continues to increase, bedbugs have a good chance of being in just about every country. If you are traveling, make sure you use a bedbug spray to create a barrier around your luggage and make sure you don't bring anything home with you, regardless of where you go.
Myth: Bedbugs have babies daily. How will you ever stop them?
Each adult female produces about one egg per day; a common housefly lays 500 eggs over three to four days. Bedbug eggs take 10 days to hatch and another five to six weeks for the offspring to develop into an adult.
Myth: Bedbugs transmit diseases. Right?
Bedbugs definitely contribute to anxiety and stress, but there have been no reported cases of bedbugs transmitting disease to humans.
Myth: I think I have a bedbug in my hair.
Bedbugs don't like heat, so they are unlikely to be living in your hair or on your skin. They are more likely to travel in luggage, backpacks, and pocketbooks.
These are just the top 10 myths we have come across in our field, there are many more questions as a result of misinformation from websites. Make sure you check the validity of a site before following its suggestions. The best piece of advice I can offer is to find a pest control professional that you feel comfortable with and they should be able to answer any and all questions you might have. Like we always say, questions are free and it never hurts to ask!
Always remember to stay educated. Research bedbug sprays and products you are using within your home. I recommend Pronto Plus Bedbug Spray. It creates a barrier on the inside and outside of your luggage, backpacks, and pocketbooks and kills any bedbugs or eggs on contact.
Michael Colongione is a spokesperson for Pronto Plus, manufactured by Insight Pharmaceuticals. The advice and opinions he expresses in this article are his own.
Have additional questions? Feel free to email me at GotchaBedBug@Gmail.com or tweet us at @GotchaBedBugs. We are always here to help.