Bed Bugs Services & Information
Bed bug infestations in industrialized countries were far and few between after the early 1970s, however today they haveonce again become common. The bed bug epidemic really took hold around1999 and has spread at an unprecedented pace all over the world since then. Unfortunately New York State, Ohio, and Ontario seem to be the epicenter of this epidemic with cities in these 3 province/states consistently ranking near the top of all cities in terms of rates of infestation. One of the first and most important steps in eradicating bed bugs is proactive education. There is a need for the general public to be aware of bed bugs and the solutions to eradicate them, prior to any experience with an infestation. This is the most effective way to encourage early identification of an infestation and an effective response.
Most structural exterminations were originally designed to work by spraying a residual insecticidearound the perimeter of walls and outside of areas where insects were expected to be hiding.When the insects ventured out of hiding hours or days later they would cross the dried pesticide residual and die, because the residual was still toxic. Resistance in bed bugs has been growing for seventy years since modern pesticides were first introduced. At Hamilton bed bug extermination we have seen bed bugs even survive direct sprays with pesticides that would kill other species of insects in 1 or 2 minutes. Hours later the bed bugs were still crawling around. Residuals left behind after applications have even less effect. In Ontario, 90% of the pesticides that structural and landscape exterminators used on a daily basis 20 years ago are now banned. The pesticides we use today are unfortunately not as powerful as many of the chemicals that have been banned. There are several other factors that have contributed to the current epidemic; however these 2 factors are perhaps the most important. Research conducted byDr. Fang Zhu and Dr. Michael Potter at the University of Kentucky has shown that mutations in the bed bug populations have created super bugs that sometimes have 400 times the natural resistance to nervous system based or pyrethroid insecticides.Different populations show very different resistance. The bed bugs in an apartment on one side of a street might be genetically unrelated to a population on the other side. Therefore the ones on the other side of the street might die from a pesticide application while the first group might be almost totally unaffected by the same application.Unfortunately any nonresistant populations are being rapidly reduced in numbers and soon even the limited effect that pesticides have today will be gone. Bed bugs are well adapted in other ways to resist conventional chemical pesticide applications. Bed bugs are able to squeeze into cracks less than 1mm thick allowing them to infest the physical room itself examples are under carpets, electrical outlets and behind baseboards as well as the rooms contents like mattresses, box spring, bed frame, furniture and clothing. This means that every part of a room is a potential harbourage for bed bugs. How are exterminators supposed to spray inside the binding of a book or behind the walls inside a bedroom? These characteristics of bed bugs make conventional applications very difficult even on less resistant populations.
How do we eradicate bed bugs?
One weakness that bed bugs have relative to other insects is their sensitivity to heat. The mutations they have developed to protect them from pesticides have actually increased their sensitivity to heat. Heat treatment is a onetime treatment that will eradicate your home of bed bugs. Hamilton Bed bugs extermination will rapidly heat all infested areas to 63oC (145oF) and then maintain that temperature for approximately 4 hours. Powerful fans circulate the heated air throughout the area helping to force it into a hard to reach areas. Thermometers are placed at more than 20 locations throughout the area being heated and transmit their information to receivers outside as technicians cannot remain in the heated area for the entire duration. Temperatures are monitored and recorded even inside walls and in insulating materials like mattresses and couches to ensure that every part of the infrastructure is heated.The heat is able to penetrate everything in the home from the mattresses, box springs, furniture, layers of fabrics and even into the walls leaving nowhere for the bed bugs to hide.After the application, bed bug monitors are left behind to ensure that no bed bugs are present. Before the treatment begins all occupants must leave and not return for at least 9 hours. Technicians will be removing EVERYTHING from inside drawers and cupboards in areas being heated. Clothes will be spread out less than 3 inches thick throughout the area in order to ensure that everything is heated properly. All furniture will be moved and area rugs must be lifted. Your house or apartment will look turned upside down when you get home. Be prepared for a mess.
Where are bed bugs in my house?
Despite the fact that bed bugs crawl relatively quickly (about 4 ft per minute) they do not generally stray very far from your bed. Except for in very severe infestations 90-95% of bed bugs will be within 5 feet of the bed and none will venture to the floor above or below. Bed bugs may infest one bedroom in a house and they may not have even crossed the hall or moved into adjacent rooms, however as a general rule all rooms on a given floor should be assumed to be infested. Bed bugs hitchhike on us more often than they crawl to new bedrooms on their own. Sleeping on the couch regularly may significantly complicate your infestation problems if you transfer the bugs to this new secondary location.
What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are small (1.5mm-5.5mm) oval, flat and reddish brown in colour. They crawl quite quickly for their size and they try to tuck themselves into the tightest spot they can find. Their eggs are very small (1.5mm), oval and white.
How do bed bugs find me at night?
Bed bugs are stimulated to find us using two different methods. They get hungry about once every 7 or 8 days which causes them to venture out in search of humans. They wander in a surprising haphazard fashion but are basically tuned into the amount of CO2(which is what humans breath out)in the air. This gradually allows them to get fairly close and then when they are within 40 or 50 cm the heat from our bodies helps them to get a more accurate fix on us.
What do bed bug bites look like?
Bites alone are very poor evidence of bed bugs. So many things mimic bed bug bites that at Hamilton Bed Bugs extermination we do not recommend even paying for an inspection on the evidence of bites alone. Bed bug bites look very different on different people and they are indistinguishable even to an expert from many other common rashes. Other things that may look almost identical to bed bug bites are other insect bites, sensitivities to chemicals like laundry soap, fabric softener, soap, food allergies latex, reactions to hot tub or pool chemicals and bacterial infections are just a few. Inspecting your bed is the best place to start.
How do I inspect my bedroom for bed bugs?
Knowing how to inspect your bedroom for bed bugs is very important. Bed bugs are becoming more common every day. Your bed is the central focal point for bed bugs and this is the place to begin. Pull back the fitted sheet all the way around the mattress and check the piping around the top edge. You are looking for adults and eggs most importantlyfecal matter, eggs as well as adults. Fecal matter looks as though someone has taken a fine tipped black magic marker and dotted the fabric.