21st September

Bed Bugs Give Political Pundits the Itch

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug News   No Comments »

The Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention recently wrapped up – but the presidential election this November wasn’t the only thing that had attendees talking.

With attendees from every state, bed bugs could be spread far and wide after conventions if hotels have hidden outbreaks.

Political conventions are a prime location for bed bugs.

One issue raised at both events was the presence blood-sucking parasites. No, we’re not talking about lobbyists – but bed bugs.

In previous years, bed bugs have occasionally plagued delegates from both political conventions; with guests at a number of hotels encountering them.

Given the resurgence in bed bug infestations in recent years, it’s perhaps no surprise that large gatherings, like these famous political conventions, often fall victim to bed bugs. However, that doesn’t stop it from being any less embarrassing or frustrating.

Compounding the problem this year was the sheer volume of people passing through North Carolina and Florida for the DNC and RNC. It made it a challenge for delegates to protect themselves; as bed bugs often “hitchhike” from one location to another in people’s luggage and it’s possible for one person with an infestation to unknowingly pass it on to many others; each returning home to a different corner of the country.

While convention season is over, the lead up to the presidential election means a lot of traveling for a lot of politically-connected folks. If you’re one of them, we recommend reading out guide to avoiding bed bugs while traveling. You’ll find some valuable advice there about how to prevent bed bugs in hotels and other travel locations.

It’s also worth checking out our 3 oz. Bed Bug Killing Spray bottle; perfect for traveling. You’ll find it in our range of travel bed bug protection products.

Finally, remember to check your clothes and luggage before stepping back in through your front door, and wash everything you can in high heat to eliminate bed bugs and their eggs.

Just like some people view the presidential election as the opportunity to evict the current White House resident, you can do the same to bed bugs BEFORE they create an infestation in your home.

 

 

31st August

Could Bed Bugs Spread Lyme Disease?

by Roland | Posted in Health Risks   No Comments »

On website MDJunction.com, one visitor to Hawaii believes they contracted a Lyme-like illness from bed bug bites.

Blood feeding insects have been known to pass on Lyme Disease and instances of testing positive after "bed bug bites" continue to pop up.

Could bed bugs pass on infections like Lyme disease?

We’ve already written about how bed bugs have now been proven to spread disease – but this recent story from Hawaii surprised even us. A report from MDJunction member “Nauni”, covered what she believed was infection with Lyme disease following bed bug bites.

She writes: “The day we flew home from our wedding/honeymoon, I noticed bites all over my legs. At first I thought they were mosquito bites, but my son-in-law who lives in Hawaii said the pattern on my legs sounded more like bed bugs.”

“It took weeks for them to go away and I became extremely fatigued, I could barely lift my legs to walk and keep my eyes open. Then one morning I woke to the bottom of my feet feeling like they had been beaten with a hammer! I was in so much pain I went to stand up and I cried out in agony.”

“For several months they could not figure out what was causing the pain. Nothing, not even narcotics, made it go away. I could barely walk down our stairs.”

“I had night sweats, and my hands went numb. Then the pain in my feet moved to my shin bones and stayed for weeks – then it moved to my femurs again, as if my femurs had a hammer taken to them.”

“I couldn’t hold a book to read for more than five minutes before my hands would start hurting and going numb. I now have headaches like I have never experienced before. Usually one side, but my eye, ear and occipital is effected.”

Nauni was tested for Lyme disease by her doctor, but the test came up negative – which is actually unsurprising as Lyme disease tests can give a false negative in as many as 30% of cases. The doctor did confirm, however, that her symptoms matched Lyme disease, or an auto immune condition.

As far as she knows, she’s never been bitten by a tick – and Hawaii is the one state that is (apparently) free of ticks carrying Lyme disease. So could she have been infected by bed bugs?

While experts would argue the chances are slim, it’s could be theoretically possible. Bed bugs, after all, drink blood and the way ticks infect people with Lyme disease is through blood feeding as well.

However, tick control experts know that some blood-feeding insects – even some species of tick – are unable to support the Lyme-causing borrelia burgdorferi bacterium in their stomachs; so it’s likely that bed bugs might have a similar means of limiting disease transmission.

In any event, it highlights the growing awareness of health issues bed bugs could be spreading – and while medical professionals still downplay concerns that bed bugs could pass on communicable diseases, it’s worth remembering that many health professionals said similar things about Lyme disease a few years ago as well.

 

24th August

“This Old House” Confesses to Having Bed Bugs

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug Prevention   No Comments »

One of America’s favorite home remodeling mags runs a feature “We have bed bugs.”

Bed bug infestations don't just happen in unclean and clutter places... they are a potential hazard for any living arrangement in any state.

This Old House published an article on dealing with bed bugs.

One of the things we’re keen to stress on at KillBedBugs.com is that anybody can be infested with bed bugs – they’re an equal-opportunity infestation and rich, poor, dirty or clean can be impacted by the blood-drinking little bugs.

If you needed proof, just take a look at This Old House. Author and Senior Editor Kelly Beamon confesses: “Yes, This Old House editors can suffer from bedbugs, too.”

Her article included a checklist of the things you need to do to get rid of bed bugs (many will sounds familiar if you’ve read our posts before) – and some thoughts on how she got them originally.

“Even though there are ways to repel them, they travel in the walls from neighboring apartments to yours and—even if you live in an unattached house—can hitch a ride on visitors’ clothing and used furniture you might bring home.”

Her prevention tips included:

  • Pulling the bed away from the wall, to prevent bed bugs climbing into it at night.
  • Caulking cracks and holes in your walls, to prevent bed bugs hiding in them.
  • Getting rid of your box spring – it’s a haven for bed bugs.
  • Sealing your mattress with a mattress encasement.

Kelly’s brilliant article addresses the shame and stigma of having bed bugs – but she’s quick to point out that staying quiet isn’t always the best response to an infestation. If you don’t warn friends and neighbors, they could fall victims to bed bugs too.

“Staying quiet about the fact that you have them,” she warns, “is often the best way to help them spread. ”

 

21st August

Could Bed Bugs Drive You Mad?

by Roland | Posted in Health Risks   No Comments »

Everybody’s aware of the physical effects of bed bugs – itching, scratching and discomfort. But did you know the psychological impact could be far, far worse?

Keeping on top of detection and prevention methods will help ensure the bed bugs are gone and provide you with much needed peace of mind.

Don’t let bed bugs drive you into the insane asylum! (Photo: Steven Bley)

“I don’t even know if I have bed bugs or not any more,” one new customer recently admitted to us.

“The exterminator said they’d gone, but I feel like they’re still crawling all over me at night – and I still get “bites.” The dermatologist tells me that it’s just Folliculitis, but I keep itching them and scratching them and I just can’t be sure one way or another.”

Bed bugs, it turns out, can quite literally “get under your skin.”

The horrible blood-sucking bugs are so insidious that it’s quite common for them to damage people’s mental health even more than their physical well-being.

“I know that my house is free of bed bugs,” another customer confided, “but I still feel itching – even when there’s nothing there. I keep searching my skin everywhere, to find bites that ultimately don’t even exist.”

It should be no surprise that those infested with bed bugs often experience insomnia, anxiety and even psychosomatic skin problems long after bed bugs have been eliminated. Can you expect anything less, after sharing a bed with dozens or even hundreds of skin-crawling insects?

But when it comes to dealing with the post-bed bug trauma, there are a few positive steps you can take to help restore your sanity. One great tip is to invest in our Bed Bug Early Detection System. This mimics the hiding spots that bed bugs love best, and allows you to know with certainty if you actually have bed bugs back in your home.

Likewise, our ClimbUp Interceptor is placed under the legs of your bed, and traps bed bugs as they climb up or down your bed frame. It’s another great way to get some peace of mind, knowing that if the Interceptors are empty, you’re probably free of bed bugs.

And if you are unlucky enough to get a re-infestation of bed bugs, these detection tools at least mean you’ll know about it early – and can take the needed steps to eliminate your bed bug problem before it gets out of hand. One of our customers, after finding bed bugs in her ClimbUp Interceptor, emailed us to say: “At least it proved I wasn’t crazy. We really did still have bed bugs!”

If all signs seem to suggest you have got rid of bed bugs, but you’re still experiencing insomnia, anxiety and other bed bug related psychological trauma, you might want to discuss the issue with your doctor. Reactions like that are very common among those who’ve had to deal with bed bugs in their home – and there’s no shame in asking for help.

17th August

Landlords Hoist Bed Bugs Bill on Renter. Is that legal?

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug News   No Comments »

We’ve already written about the question of who’s responsible for a bed bug infestation. Now here’s that debate being played out in real life:

Bed bug extermination with professionals can be a costly expense that ultimately may not be necessary if you take the right steps and use effective products in your home.

Landlords are now forcing renters to sign “bed bug clauses” in their leases.

You’d think things for Amanda Wilson, of Little Rock, Ark., would be bad enough when she discovered her apartment was infested with bed bugs – but they got worse.

After her landlord called in an exterminator, she was presented with a $900 bill.

“It’s kind of putting me in a bind,” she told reporters. “All I can do is just deal with it the best I can.”

But is Wilson responsible for paying extermination fees?

Most experts will argue no – unless she’s agreed to a specific “bed bug” clause beforehand.

Depending on the state, landlords are responsible for most problems that arise in a rental property – from broken appliances to outbreaks of ants, termites and cockroaches. They are only liable if they signed a specific clause in their lease beforehand or – and only in certain states – they are determined to be the “cause” of the problems.

But because the number of bed bug infestations is exploding, more and more landlords are forcing their tenants to sign a “bed bug release form” holding them responsible for the cost of extermination.

The problem is that many residents end up with bed bugs not through any fault of their own, but from neighboring apartments (many owned by the same landlord.) Is it right that they pay for treatment when it’s arguably their neighbor’s fault they got bed bugs?

This is why an increasing number of tenants are forgoing reporting bed bug infestations completely – and are instead tackling the problem themselves, using mail order bed bug killing products.

Taking bed bug extermination into your own hands makes increasing sense; as it’s often more cost-effective than hiring an exterminator, and more effective. An additional advantage is that by ordering your own products, rather than being exposed to the pesticides an exterminator uses, you protect your family and pets from potentially harmful chemicals.

But one thing to remember about taking the approach is that it’s not only your family and home facing a bed bug infestation. It could be possible your neighbors are too. That presents the risk of re-infestation – with new bugs entering your home after you’ve successfully eliminated the original problem.

That’s why it’s more neighborly - and more effective – if you talk to them about bed bug issues too. The more people affected, the more power you’d ultimately have over your landlord.

 

10th August

HGTV Warns of the Bed Bug Danger of Used Furniture

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug Prevention   No Comments »

Over on HGTV’s Front Door website, The Rental Girl has some words or warning about second-hand furniture.

Take care to inspect and clean used furniture as throughly as possible to prevent accidentally infesting your home or apartment with bed bugs.

Even the cleanest-looking upholstered furniture could house bed bugs and their eggs. Beware!

We’ve warned before about the dangers of discarded furniture – but The Rental Girl is taking that warning a step further.

In a recent article for Frontdoor.com, she covered some of the ways you can decorate your rented accommodation without infuriating your landlord.

In it, she specifically warns about purchasing used, upholstered furniture.

Beware of purchasing used upholstered items.

That antique ottoman or used mattress could come with an infestation of a million little friends hatched just below its surface.

To avoid inviting unwelcome visitors, give fabric items an airing-out period and a thorough cleaning before bringing indoors. Take extra precautionary measures with a professional cleaning. I promise you’ll sleep better.

We agree with her advice – and would add that a thorough spritz with some of our bed bug killing products is a great way to reduce your risk of bringing bed bugs home with second-hand furniture.

Some tips:

  • Check before you buy – examine upholstered furniture for signs of bed bugs, especially around the legs and underneath. Tell-tale signs include the bugs themselves, their eggs, or black spots which could be bed bug feces.
  • Steam clean - if you can, use a steamer to thoroughly clean your second hand furniture. The scalding water might be enough to kill many bed bugs and their eggs.
  • Spray with bed bug killer – our 100% organic bed bug killing spray immobilizes bed bugs on contact, and kills them shortly afterward. Although you won’t be able to deliver a thorough treatment, spraying with our bed bug killing spray is a good way to reduce your risk of infestation.

Even after taking these precautions, we still recommend being incredibly vigilant after purchasing used, upholstered furniture. Perhaps the smartest way to helping prevent them bringing bed bugs into your home is to use our bed bug early detection system to spot when you have a problem before it becomes an infestation.

3rd August

Could Hoarding Be Causing A Bed Bug Epidemic?

by Roland | Posted in How to Kill Bed Bugs   No Comments »

Hoarding – a symptom of mental illness in which people stuff their homes with garbage and debris – has reached the public eye thanks to TV shows like A&E’s Hoarders. But in addition to the mental trauma, can hoarding help spread the threat of bed bugs?

Whether your home is clean, dirty or full of hoarded items, bed bug infestation is a possibility and efforts at prevention and detection will keep you and family safe.

Hoarders are no more likely to be infested with bed bugs – but will have considerably more problems getting rid of them.

Compulsive hoarding is a form of behavior linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is characterized by people filling their homes with incredible amounts of seemingly useless objects and items; to the point that they can barely live there any more.

Researchers have only recently begun to look into what causes Compulsive Hoarding, or how it can be treated – but they’ve already discovered one alarming thing that seems to be inextricably linked to this type of behavior: Bed bugs.

Bed bugs are the ultimate in equal-opportunity parasites – they will quite happily infest both clean and untidy homes and houses alike.

Yet behavior like hoarding makes infestation more troublesome because the overwhelming quantity of “stuff” in a hoarder’s home makes extermination extremely difficult.

To be truly effective, homeowners need to clean and treat every inch of their home – including carpets, bedding, clothes and skirting boards. When houses are filled with a hoarder’s “junk” that makes this task just about impossible.

Which is why hoarders might not be more likely than anybody else to get a bed bug infestation, but they’re much more likely to be unable to get rid of them.

Bed bug infestations are much harder to eradicate when your home or apartment is full of hoarded newspapers and junk that create further nooks and crannies that bed bugs love to hide away in.

Bed bugs and their eggs have plenty of places to hide away in a hoarder’s home.

Our advice to anybody trying to help a hoarder deal with bed bugs is to be thorough – and realize that you might need to deal with more than just bed bugs to end the problem.

Until you can adequately clean and treat every inch of a house, you’ll most likely miss bed bugs and their eggs – and see the problem return.

For this reason, spending money on an exterminator is often a waste of time – because despite their willingness to take your money, it’s increasingly unlikely that they can stop the problem returning.

Exterminators use tools like synthetic pesticides that are being proven ineffective at eliminating bed bugs.

Instead, arm yourself with all-natural 100% organic bed bug killing products and take charge of eliminating bed bugs yourself.

But before you do so, you might want to talk to a counselor about treating the “hoarder” with the bed bug issue. Although traumatic and upsetting, the silver lining of a bed bug infestation is that sometimes it serves as the motivation a Compulsive Hoarder needs to seek the treatment they need.

27th July

Are Seniors More At Risk of Bed Bugs?

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug News   No Comments »

Dozens of senior citizens found themselves on the street, last week – when the Paraclete Manor in Kansas City, MO was forced to evict their elderly residents to spray for bed bugs.

Due to the high foot traffic of visting families, workers and deliveries, Senior Housing facilities are a potential hot bed for a bed bug outbreak.

Paraclete Manor was recently hit with a bed bug infestation.

This is just the most recent case of bed bugs infesting senior citizen homes – and revealing that the elderly are particularly vulnerable to bed bugs.

Senior citizen homes in particular provide alarming opportunities to spread bed bugs.

Like hotels and hostels, they often have a significant migration of people in and out of the residence – and some of the early warning signs of a bed bug infestation, like bites on the skin, often go unnoticed.

There are a number of reasons why this is a serious problem. Firstly, researchers now believe that bed bugs can spread potentially deadly diseases, which senior citizens are more vulnerable to.

Secondly, once a bed bug infestation has been discovered, residents must be evacuated to allow the exterminators in – and many of the elderly residents don’t have anywhere to go.

“I don’t feel like I should have to go to a shelter when I pay my rent,” argued Frank Berry, one of the residents of Paraclete Manor forced to leave during bed bug spray. “This being a senior citizen building, a lot of people don’t have no place to go.”

So for those of use with family members in a senior care facility, what can we do?

Ultimately, we can’t prevent a bed bug infestation – but we can limit how much it affects our family members.

Investing in a mattress encasement and drawer encasement can prevent bed bugs from invading a mattress or clothing – and bed bug detectors are a great way to stay abreast of whether or not bed bugs are present – without having to rely on the “official statement” from the community owners.

Most importantly, though, be around to offer what many of the residents of Paraclete Manor  didn’t have when they got kicked out for fumigation – a place to go and somewhere to stay.

 

 

24th July

Exterminators Avoiding Lawsuits By Tracking the DNA of Bed Bugs

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug News   No Comments »

As we mentioned in this bed bug alert, a global resurgence in bed bugs occurred in 2000, at the time of the Sydney Olympic Games. Now experts are using the latest technology to see how far they can track bed bugs to their point of origin.

Through the use of DNA signature tracking, scientists and exterminators will be able to better understand the spread of bed bugs and where certain outbreaks originated.

All bed bugs have a unique genetic signature. Now scientists are trying to track them.

All over the world, “bed bugs have been getting more and more prevalent,” explains Toby Fountain, an evolutionary biologist from Ottawa.

He’s been using an innovative new technique to identify “genetic signatures” of bed bugs; which can then be used to trace them back to a common point of origin.

This technology is becoming increasingly sought after by hotel chains and other hospitality sights as they’re faced with millions of dollars worth of lawsuits from customers who claim that they picked up bed bugs while staying with them.

A bed bug “signature” is one way to prove their innocence (or confirm their responsibility.)

“If you’ve picked up bed bugs from a hotel, you could look at the genetic markers of that bed bug and be fairly sure that they came from that place,” Toby explains.

Another valuable use of this technology is to track the efficiency of a bed bug extermination.

More and more people are complaining that bed bugs keep coming back despite a professional extermination – and now exterminators often face lawsuits if they’re suspected of not doing their job.

Toby explains: “And if every pest controller keeps a sample and a record of any infestation, we’ll eventually be able find out whether any repeat infestations came from the same place, and whether that pest controller has done his job properly.”

To us, the fact that this technology is being eagerly researched is further proof that professional exterminators are struggling to remain effective in the battle against bed bugs.

This is why we recommend homeowners and renters tackle bed bug infestations on their own with all natural bed bug killing products – it’s more affordable than a professional extermination and, increasingly, more likely to be effective.

20th July

Bed Bugs Could Be The Winners At The London Olympics

by Roland | Posted in Bed Bug News   No Comments »

Officials are concerned that bed bugs could be spread far and wide at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

With the London Olympics only a week away, travelers and athletes may need travel protection to keep themselves safe from bringing home blood-sucking bed bugs.

Bed bugs could be a big problem at the London Olympics.

It’s a little known fact, but the 2000 bed bug epidemic in Sydney, Australia, most likely began at the Olympic Games.

Thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world gathered in shared hotel rooms, packed commuter trains and over-flowing sports stadiums and the reported case of bed bug infestations exploded as a result.

Now experts are concerned that a similar situation could occur in London – perhaps even on a bigger scale (and Britain already has a bad bed bug reputation.)

What’s changed over the course of the proceeding decade is that bed bugs have now developed an even more aggressive resistance to the pesticides and chemicals normally used to eliminate them – and developed a more rapid life cycle, resulting in a faster rate of multiplication.

This means bed bugs are easier to spread, quicker to breed and infinitely tougher to get rid of.

For those attending to watch the Olympic Games, it’s vitally important to check your hotel rooms as soon as you unpack – and take precautions against bed bugs by using things like drawer and suitcase encasements.

But just as at risk of bed bugs – perhaps even more so – are the athletes themselves.

Every four years, over 10,000 men and women gather in the famous “Olympic Village” to compete. As a recent report on ESPN reveals, the village can be a pretty raucous place. Sharing beds, swapping rooms and the sheer number of guests confined to a small location creates the perfect breeding ground for bed bugs.

As far as London Officials are concerned, there’s very little that can be done – normal bed bug procedures are challenged by the sheer volume of people descending on the city during The Games. Rather than figuring out how to prevent bed bugs, the smart money is being invested preparing for the inevitable clean up, afterward.

That means those traveling to The Games – whether as competitors, or spectators – need to take responsibility for their own bed bug protection. Even more importantly, they need to take precautions as soon as they return home to make sure any British bed bugs looking for a green card are deported (or just eliminated) instead.