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As warmer weather has finally approached, we’ve seen a noticable spike in bed bug infestations within the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, we’re seeing an alarming trend with where we’re finding bed bugs within apartments & homes, which poses far-reaching problems.
Last week I visually located an infestation in a Queens, NY apartment in one place only – on a bedroom window curtain. In this bedroom, there was no box spring or frame, so the mattress in this room was laying directly on the floor. Upon inspecting the mattress, not a single bed bug was found, but upon further inspection of the areas adjacent to the mattress, I noticed bed bug staining on the inside of a window curtain, right near the top of the curtain. Upon further inspection, and after removing the curtain from the wall, there were many bed bugs on the other side of the curtain, maybe 15 total, some clustered together, but others branched out inches apart.
At a home in Bergen County, New Jersey, after our K9 had indicated to a problem in a master bedroom, I looked thoroughly at the room’s mattress and frame, and was unable to locate a bed bug. Yet high on the ceiling, at least 10 feet up (these were very high ceilings), I saw 2 live bed bugs. In this instance, the K9 was able to detect these bugs because the scent had travelled vertically downward towards the dog. Yet, there are instances where that scent might not have been available t0 the K9, and could have stayed out of range (ie. scent moving horizontally high upon the ceiling only). In those instances, the visual inspection performed is vital, or the infestation may not be detected.
At an apartment in Manhattan, the only active infestation I found within an apartment on the West Side was at a bedroom’s upper molding, with bed bug staining seen on the molding, and 3 bed bugs sitting dormant right on top of the molding. I was able to see the bed bugs only after climbing on a ladder.
An alarming trend I’ve seen within the last 6-8 month’s is a bed bug’s willingness to hide further and further away from its human target. While they have always hid in many areas within a room, it seems to be happening more frequently than ever, and it’s coinciding with bed bugs not being found at the one area they could almost always be counted on to be found, which would be at the mattress, and at the box spring. As I periodically find staining on electrical outlet covers, this tells us they’re willing to hide inside walls as well.
This development places a tremendous amount of pressure on your bed bug preparation, and it places as much pressure on a pest control company’s service solution. With preparation, not preparing areas within a bed room such as a dresser or a closet (and the clothes in it) can mean that the service solution might not be successful. With a pest control company, not treating every area within a room thoroughly might be the difference between being successful or not – even when that company is providing more 2 or 3 service treatments. What if those bed bugs sitting high up on a wall are not addressed, and those bugs are able to sit & wait for a pesticide to decrease in potency? Pesticides are no where nearly as potent on day 14 or 21 as they were on day 1, yet bed bugs can go for weeks and months without a blood meal.
With electrical outlets, we recommend that every exposed outlet in a home have a plastic childproof cap placed over it, to potentially help avoid one of the biggest nightmares associated with bed bug infestations – which is when bed bugs begin hiding inside walls. When this happens, they’re able to avoid nearly every pest control service solution in the short term, and we’ve seen the very best pest control companies struggle with getting these infestations under control.