Everything you need to know about pests
In September of 2016, three high profile state buildings in the capital of New Jersey, Trenton, were found have serious bed bug problems. It was a full-blown infestation. Not even the Department of Health was spared from their wrath. Just a few decades back, bed bugs were not something that any of us would have been concerned about. When pesticides like DDT were still in use, bed bugs were essentially eradicated. But now, they’re back. They can’t fly, but they spread and transmit by clinging onto things and other animals. And, with the speed and ease that people can move around the country (and the world) coupled with large populations in cities like Jersey City and Newark, nowhere is safe.
How do you know if you have a bed bug problem?
Bed bugs are about 3/8” long, so still visible to the naked eye. But, you aren’t going to find one just walking around - they only come out at night. So how do you tell if you have them in your house? Like every hasty criminal, they leave a lot of evidence.
Follow these steps to find out:
Step One: Do you find raised red welts and bite marks in lines on your body? Do the welts itch and burn… and is there a rash in the area around them? Bed bug bites initially don’t hurt but soon start itching and burning. They can often be confused with flea bites. However, unlike flea bites, they don’t have a red spot in the center. Additionally, flea bites will generally appear around your ankles while bed bug bites will be found on any skin that would normally be exposed while sleeping.
Step Two: Bed bugs shed their entire outer shell as they grow. They also leave dark red fecal matter stains and blood stains that look like spots. They leave eggshells and molt five times until they become adults. Look for these under the bed sheets on the mattress - near the edges, crevices and piping – anywhere they can hide. Box springs and bed frames should also be given a careful inspection. Bedbugs also leave a bad musty odor around the house.
Step Three: If you are not sure whether you have bed bugs, look harder. Around your bed, inside things lying around the area, inside electrical outlets and the clothing you wore while sleeping. Still unsure? Or if you do find out you do have an infestation? Call a local exterminator.
No one wants to live in a room infested with bed bugs. But don’t blame yourself. Bed bugs travel can travel a thousand ways to arrive in your bed. Keep yourself informed and take proactive bed bug remediation steps.
Whatever you do, it is advisable to seek professional pest control help, particularly a bed bug exterminator (or an exterminator who has extensive bed bug experience). You may try to get rid of the insects yourself but these are not ants that you can simply remove with a spray that you bought at the hardware aisle at the supermarket. The best treatments are done with chemicals and tools you will not easily find in a store, and that require training and experience to use correctly. Remember, they are called “bed bugs” not “coffee table bugs”; you don’t want to haphazardly poison something upon which you spend eight or more hours, every day (not including Netflix time and anything else…)
This mini guide will help you keep a check on everything you should keep in mind when calling local pest control services in Jersey City and elsewhere:
Before the Treatment: If you are living in a rented property as a tenant, the landlord or the concerned authorities must be made aware. Send a notice to your landlord via mail. Keep the apartment clean so that the landlord cannot blame you for the infestation. This advice should be followed no matter what kind of dwelling you live in. When the pest control people come for an inspection and offer you a quote, ask them about the licenses they hold for using their chemicals, the procedures they are going to use, service guarantees and additional guarantees offered, contracts and prices being offered and any references, and if follow up visits are included. Look up their reviews on social media if they have any.
During the Treatment: Generally, the exterminators are going to employ two primary types of treatment:
1.) Whole Room Heat Treatments: The pests are killed by raising the temperature of the room between 135 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 to 8 hours. The exterminators will advise you to remove anything that might get damaged due to the heat. Similar treatments like steam treatment, container heat treatment may also be applied. Remember, there is nothing to stop the bed bugs from infesting the house again. So, next, preventive treatments are employed to prevent recurrences.
2.) Insecticide Treatments: Depending on the nature of the surfaces and the different kinds of exposure they get from people in the house, three different kinds of treatments are carried out:
After the Treatment: Keep your house as clean as possible. Avoid using secondhand things like mattresses and cushioned furniture at all costs. Try to ensure that when you travel you don’t carry any bed bugs back with you from hotels and AirBnB residences. Check beds when you travel for similar signs of infestation before you go to sleep.
A bed bug problem is nothing to be worried about and with the help of professional pest control experts will be gone before you know it. So sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.