Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite
February 19, 2013
I once swore that I would never research “bugs” again. I wrote a post about a year ago called Let’s Come Clean about Dirt. It delved into the topic of bacteria, dust mites and bugs that tend to live in household carpets. It made my skin crawl for a week. Yet here I am again, investigating the cause and cure for bed bugs.
It seems there has been an increased surge in the number of cases of bed bug infestations reported in America in the last ten years. The bed bug population had been almost completely eradicated in the 1940’s, but an increase in travel combined with a built up resistance to pesticide has these nasty critters on the rise again.
If you find you have bed bugs, take courage in this one fact. It is not a dirty home that causes an infestation. Bed bugs are stow-aways. They crawl into suitcases, purses and jackets that are left around a hotel room, or any infested location, and simply hitch a ride home with you. Then they set up house in your bed and begin to live the American dream of raising a family.
In a two month period of time, an adult female bed bug can lay between 200-500 eggs. That’s one large family. And how does this family grow and thrive? On blood. Eew! They settle into your warm, cozy bed and sleep throughout the day. Then they creep out for a midnight snack while you’re dreaming away in la-la land. And get this; a bed bug can live for almost a year between feedings. So it’s not like you can just go on vacation for two weeks and come home to a bug free home.
Let me stop for a minute and tell you how to determine whether or not you have bed bugs. After all, that could just be a spider bite or maybe fleas. Still eew! The only absolute way to know if you have bed bugs is to find one. They look a lot like lentils. They’re reddish-brown, oval, and flat. They go through six stages of life, so you may see them in different sizes or even just find their shedded skin.
They like to hide in the creases and corners of mattresses, behind headboards, and in box springs. If you don’t see a bug itself, you can often see their droppings which look like black pieces of sand. Or they can even be detected by blood smears on sheets, or empty exoskeletons. Bed bugs are also known to emit an odor that smells a lot like over ripe raspberries.
One pretty interesting fact I discovered in my research is that there are now bed bug detection dogs. That’s right. They have a 97% accuracy and can locate the source in minutes as opposed to the hour it may take a pest control technician. Dog training facilities have opened up all across the country to keep up with the demand. Click here to see a bed bug detection dog in action.
As you may have guessed, the tricky thing about bed bugs is getting rid of them. They have grown resistant to many of the pesticides we once found useful. The EPA has also banned the best known bed bug killing agent, propoxur, because of its harmful effects on children. What does kill bed bugs are high temperatures.
That’s where Aaron’s Quality Cleaners comes in. We heat our water up to 240 degrees. That is how hot it needs to be to kill these horrible little guys. This makes us not just the best carpet cleaner in Fresno and Clovis, it also happens to make us a great mattress cleaner.
So, wash your bedclothes and dry them at high temperature for at least 30 minutes. Then let us come in and clean your mattress and the carpets in your home. We can also use our high heat setting on upholstery items such as sofas and recliners if you suspect the bed bugs have spread to these areas as well.
The peace of mind will be well worth the call. We are friendly and professional. Punctual and great at what we do. Bed bugs are down right creepy, but solutions can be found right in your own wonderful city of Fresno, CA.
Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas. She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.
Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger California.