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One of the things we’ve dealt with for many years – almost daily – is how frustrated (even devastated) someone can get when they learn they have have a bed bug infestation. We’re always willing to lend an ear when someone can’t believe they have an infestation – it can be a daunting situation in more ways than one, and people usually want to talk the problem through.
The one thing I’ve mentioned to people over and over again is, please understand that your getting bed bugs has absolutely nothing to do with anything you did wrong. It also has nothing to do with how clean or unkept your home is. Getting a bed bug infestation, in nearly every instance, has to do with one thing only: bad luck.
That’s not to say there’s never an instance where you stand a better chance of getting bed bugs than someone else. One example would be, a friend tells you he or she has bed bugs, and you visit that person’s home anyway. Sure, you’ve increased your chances of getting them. But by and large, getting bed bugs almost always comes down to bad luck. The bad luck lottery. Did you ride in the one taxi where someone else with an infestation unknowingly had bed bugs crawl off of their belongs, into the taxi, and on to your belongings? Were you on that one subway car that had the same problem – one bug crawling off of someone else, and on to you? Do your children attend a school where maybe another child at school accidentally transferred one bed bug from their home to the school, and your child was the unlucky child that the bed bug made a move towards? Think of all the other places you could visit where you could possibly contract the problem, and then you start to realize, it’s really out of your control whether you bring home a bed bug or not.
That said, it’s not to say there’s not measures you can take to be extra careful. Maybe you’re the person who’ll place Climb Up Insect Interceptors under the legs of all your metal bed frames. Maybe you’re someone who applies a perimeter residual pesticide treatment on a regular basis to try & avoid a problem. These are excellent actions to take, but they still can’t guarantee you’ll being home a problem. In many instances, we’ve seen our customers purchase PackTite heating chambers, and routinely heat their belongings upon returning home. Or, heating their children’s belongings after they return from school. Or, heating items after they’ve returned from a vacation. You can probably figure out that these are life-changing measures, but yet we see people frequently taking them – especially when people have already went through one bed bug infestation.
Our opinion has been, when there’s very little you can do to prevent bringing at least one bed bug into your home, there are measures you can take to identify the problem quickly. One way would be, to see if you have any bites on your skin that seem out of the ordinary, and a bite you didn’t have when you went to sleep (as bed bugs typically bite at night). At that point, a bed bug inspection is a sensible idea. Another measure you can try to rely on is detection. While you might not be able to see a bed bug, especially when it’s only one bug, you can often find evidence of them being present – usually in the form of bed bug feces, and often deposited on the side or underneath a mattress or box spring. For this reason, the one detection measure we’ve always recommended to our customers are bed bug encasements (for both the mattress & box spring). The purpose of encasements are two-fold: they protect your mattress and box spring from harboring an infestation, and, they’re a fantastic identification tool. Generally, the more bed bugs that are present, the easier it is to see their feces (which is a person’s dried out blood, usually blackish in color). The spotting on an encasement is very evident when bed bugs are present, and in most instances, it will smear to a wet touch (similar to a magic marker smearing on your finger when wet).
Should you have any questions about the measures you can take, please call us anytime – we’re happy to take your call without any promise of a service visit. And we hope you realize that if you do ever get bed bugs, it wasn’t your fault at all.