HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP A BED BUG INFESTATION?

How can one determine the length of time that has passed since the bugs arrived? Is it even possible?  For large or long-time infestations, it becomes unrealistic to determine the age of the infestation by observation alone. Confounding variables such as multiple introductions, feeding frequency and treatment attempts enter into play. It is best to say they have been there for a long time (months or years), and leave it at that. However, the age of small infestations can be gauged fairly well for the first couple months, and that is likely sufficient in many cases.

A GOOD GUESS. At normal room temperatures (72°F) and with ample feeding opportunity, bed bug nymphs require about a week for development of each instar between molts. Each molt leaves behind exoskelton, the “shed skin.” In small infestations, these exoskelton can be used to estimate a timeline. This method is limited but can be useful under the right circumstances. For example, if a fourth instar bug is found alone in a mattress tuft along with some fecal spotting and three graduated exoskelton, a reasonable guess would be that it has been using that harborage for at least two to three weeks.

Able to lay 3 eggs a day if a host is available to feed on. Eggs take about 10 days to hatch at 72°F, so if you find hatched eggs attached to furniture, they’ve been there for at least that long. Newer eggs can be collected, and upon hatching provide an estimation of when they were laid.

Often a great indicator of how long an infestation has been around is the number of adult bed bugs present. Generally, it takes at least seven weeks for a bed bug to grow from an egg to an adult, so there should be no new adults from eggs during that period. Therefore, if many adult bugs are present one can reasonably assume that the infestation has been there for more than seven weeks. The assumption here is that the infestation started from only a few bugs and there have not been additional introductions during that time. For example, if an infestation starts with five bugs of any stages, there will still be no more than five adults seven weeks later.

The bottom line is that while there isn’t a surefire way to determine the age of an infestation, you can determine some limits. It requires careful inspection of the available evidence including fecal spotting, exoskelton, eggs and adult bugs.

Be sure to inspect your home regularly if you believe you have been subjected to an area with bed bugs. Or you can even call professionals to come and do an inspection of your home or vehicle. Don’t hold off! Call ECO Bed Bug Washington DC to schedule your inspection (202) 709-7490!

HOW TO PREVENT A HOLIDAY BED BUG INFESTATION

The upcoming holiday season is a unique time of year where people may still decide to travel during the COVID pandemic. Our homes may see more visitors than usual which means there’s a greater likelihood of people transferring bed bugs to others and taking them back home.

It’s a safe bet to say that no one dreams of ending the holidays with a bed bug infestation, but that is exactly what some of you will end up with before all the traveling is over. Now you may be wondering, how bed bugs get into homes during the holidays anyway?

Bed bugs are some of the best hitchhikers around and can show up just about anywhere. It could be as easy as the morning commute on the bus, at the hotel we stayed at, or in a piece of furniture we sat on in a waiting room. As we unknowingly come into contact with bed bugs, they climb onto clothes and into luggage just waiting to be taken to their new destination. One of the frustrating things about bed bugs is that they are so small they oftentimes hide away in creases, folds, and stitching without being seen.

The good news is that you can take precautions to prevent yourself from bringing bed bugs home during this holiday season.

Check Your Room Right Away

When you get to the hotel, motel, Air BnB or a family members home; check the room immediately for bed bugs so you make sure they don’t hitch a free ride with you back to your home.

How to check your lodging for bed bugs:

Bed – Check under and behind the mattress and frame. Bed bugs like it dark and hidden.
Nightstands – Open the drawers and check not only the drawers but under the nightstands as well and behind it too.
Closets, armoires, and baseboards – It’s good to keep a pocket flashlight on hand or at least use the app on your cell phone. Check the closets, armoires, and baseboards thoroughly.
Sofa beds, chairs, and other furniture – Check the cushions, especially the seams.
Suitcase Stands – Inspect the web supports and the joints of the stand.

What You Should Be Looking For:

Bed bugs
Bed bug larvae
Dark or black stains
Skin casings that has been shed

Don’t Use Luggage Stands

One of the most underrated hot spots for bed bug activity is the luggage stand. Bedbugs frequently hitch a free ride on your luggage and inside luggage pockets and other crevices. When you return home from your trip and unpack the bedbugs unpack too, and start making themselves at home in your house. This is why luggage stands are often the main point of contact for bedbugs.

If you want to avoid this common method of “hitchhiking” by bedbugs it’s a good idea to not only leave your luggage inside the bathroom while inspecting the room but also for the duration of your stay. It may sound crazy but it’s actually a way to drastically mitigate your risk of any bedbugs getting in your luggage.

What You Can Do Post-Vacation

Okay, so you just got back from vacation, you took all the necessary steps to prevent bedbugs during your stay; now what do you do?

Simply taking necessary prevention steps to avoid bedbugs is a great first start when traveling— but it’s not enough, you also need to take some steps once you get home to ensure your house remains bedbug free.

What To Do With Luggage

When you get home from your vacation, it’s good to get in the habit of storing your luggage outside in a storage shed or in your garage. The best way to store luggage is in big trash bags and then tie them in a knot so that if there are any bedbugs they will suffocate and die. Since you already know that bedbugs love to take a free ride in your luggage especially without you knowing it, keeping your luggage this way will keep it from spreading into the interior of your home.

Now, when you plan to travel again and need to get your luggage out of the garage, make sure you check it before packing; it might even be a good idea to spray it with some bed bug killer spray and let it air out for a couple of hours before using it.

What To Do With Clothes

If bedbugs have gotten into your luggage without you knowing it, they most certainly are burrowed amongst your clothes as well. When you return home from a trip simply wash all of your clothes on the hottest temperature setting your washing machine is capable of. Make sure you wash these clothes right away once you take them out of the luggage, don’t store them in a hamper and then do it later.

Once the clothes are washed, you should dry them for at least 30 minutes in a dryer— do not air dry. The reason for this is that bedbugs do not survive in high temperatures. Washing them in hot water will not only kill adult bedbugs but also bedbug eggs that could hatch later on if not exposed to high temperatures.

Lets’ say you’ve done everything right, but you have brought bed bugs back home. Contact ECO DC (202) 709-7490 for an inspection or to learn more about bed bug removal and to get started right away!

Should I Purchase or Accept Secondhand Upholstery Furniture

Upholstered furniture can be a paradise for bed bugs. Once inside, they can be impossible to detect.  Over-the-counter pesticides that claim to kill bed bugs, may not be up to the task of adequately permeating upholstered furniture. Steam cleaning won’t eradicate bedbugs from upholstered furniture. The extreme heat necessary to kill the bugs and their eggs doesn’t penetrate into the padding of upholstered pieces deeply enough to do the job. 

How Do I Know If the Furniture Has Bed Bugs?

If you decide to take the furniture, you need to check for signs of bugs before loading it up and taking it home. Check visually and inspect the furniture and look for telltale signs of bed bugs. If you see black spots, leave it- this is likely bed bug feces, and the bugs aren’t too far away. Be extra careful with mattresses and other bedroom furniture. Bed bugs come out and eat while you’re sleeping, so if there is a bed bug infestation, they will most likely occupy bedroom furniture. 

I Think It’s Safe. Now What?

If you’ve inspected the furniture thoroughly and there don’t appear to be any signs of bed bugs, great! But you still need to be careful and take some preventative actions when you get home. If you picked up a chair, couch, or something else with a cloth cover, throw it in the dryer on high heat (do not wash it first) for about 30 minutes just in case you missed something. Bed bugs will not survive in the heat. When they spend 30 minutes at 120 degrees, they’re almost guaranteed to die. Most dryers can get around 125 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.  You’re typically a bit safer with wood or plastic, as there aren’t as many hiding places for the bed bugs. Still, it never hurts to wipe them down before you bring them inside your home.

What If I Do End Up With Bed Bugs?

Let’s say you did everything right – you checked the couch before you took it home, you threw the cover in the dryer, and you still ended up with bed bugs. Don’t worry. If you are looking for a safe way to get rid of bed bugs, look into a bed bug heat treatment. This bed bug extermination process gets rid of bed bugs in just one day and won’t fill your home with fumes! Contact us today for an inspection at (202) 709-7490 or through our website!

DIY Bed Bug Treatment Does It Actually Works!

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Of the countless DIY treatments for bed bugs, there are very few that are actually effective in exterminating an entire infestation.  Many of the popular methods don’t kill the entire bed bug life cycle or they simply mask the problem by causing the bed bugs to move to another room.  So, the short answer is NO!! The best treatment for bed bugs is HEAT!

Heat effectively eliminate bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle.  Heat treatments are performed by raising the temperature of a room or structure quickly and holding it until all the bed bugs have been eradicated.  Even the bugs that are hiding in the flooring, ceiling, inside furniture or in wall coverings are killed when the head permeates the entire space.

If you have tried DIY treatments and still have a problem contact us today at ☎️ (202) 709-7490 to schedule an inspection!

Bed Bug Treatment Also Kills Coronavirus, Can Be Used To Sterilize Masks

2020-05-06 14_31_44-Bed Bug Treatment Also Kills Coronavirus, Can Be Used To Sterilize Masks

We’ve seen all kinds of innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is a new one.  A former ICU nurse and an exterminator came up with the idea.

Turns out coronavirus and bed bugs have something in common – neither can survive above 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

The National Institutes of Health recently approved high heat – the kind used to kill bed bugs – for coronavirus decontamination. Click here to read the full article.

© Provided by CBS Denver

 

CAN I GET BED BUGS FROM MY RIDE SHARE?

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If you use ridesharing programs you may run the risk of entering a vehicle that has carried a passenger with a bedbug problem.

This doesn’t suggest that the next person to get into the car after someone with bed bugs just left is bound to get bed bugs. The last person could have sat on it, it could have gone to hide in the seats, or it could have not left their belongings all together. Even if one or two bed bugs make into the vehicle, it must be a recently fed female in order to start laying eggs and start an infestation.

So if you’re worried about bedbugs in rideshare vehicles, there isn’t much you can do to prevent the bugs from transferring on to your clothes or other items. However, if you think you may have taken an infested rideshare vehicle, you can put your clothes in the dryer on high heat and contact ECO Bed Bug Washington DC at 202.709.7490 for an inspection.

D.C. ranks No. 1 on ‘Bed Bug Cities’ list, ending Baltimore’s three-year reign

2020-01-15 14_52_37-Document2 - WordBy Justin Wm. Moyer – January 13, 2020 at 1:59 PM EST

Though the District’s population has grown by more than 100,000 people in the past decade, it’s not clear how many bedbugs have come to town in that time. Whatever the number, it was enough for the District to bump Baltimore from the top spot Monday in a survey of the bed-buggiest cities.

Each year, pest-control company Orkin ranks the “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities” based on treatment data. Though Baltimore topped the list for three years in a row, the District took the prize from Charm City after Orkin declared it performed more bedbug treatments in Washington — from Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2019 — than anywhere else.

From 2019: Baltimore and Washington sit atop ‘Bed Bug’ cities listing

Baltimore still finished strong at No. 2, with Virginia’s Norfolk (No. 15) and Richmond (No. 21) trailing further behind. After the District and Baltimore were Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, with New York coming in at No. 6.

Bedbugs are up to five millimeters in length, Orkin said in a statement, and red to dark brown in color. They catch rides on luggage and in purses before emerging at night to take a bite from sleeping humans, the company said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each female may lay up to three eggs per day and 200 to 500 eggs in a lifetime of about six to 12 months.

“While bedbugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist, said in a statement. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bedbugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”

Those who fear bedbug infestations should search for them in mattresses and behind baseboards during daylight hours, eliminate clutter and inspect secondhand furniture before bringing it inside, the company said. When traveling, luggage should be stored elevated, away from beds and walls. Clothes should be dried in a dryer upon return.

Here are Orkin’s top 10 bedbug cities and how their ranking changed from last year:

1. Washington, D.C. (+1)

2. Baltimore (-1)

3. Chicago

4. Los Angeles

5. Columbus

6. New York

7. Detroit (+1)

8. Cincinnati (-1)

9. Indianapolis (+5)

10. Atlanta (-1)

Link to article

 

How to Find Bed Bugs in Your Car—and How to Get Rid of Them

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This article is written by Brooke Nelson with Readers Digest – Jan. 24, 2019 / Updated Aug. 28, 2019.

Mattresses and sofa cushions are among the most obvious places to check for bed bugs. But these sneaky creatures can also find some unexpected hideouts—including your own car.

A bed bug infestation in your car, although rare, is no minor inconvenience. These many-legged hitchhikers can easily access every place you go, just for starters. And once they reach your front (or back!) door, they can be much harder to get rid of. “As much as the thought of having bed bugs in our car is alarming, it is much worse having an infestation in the home where there are many dynamic components and people involved,” says Jody Green, PhD, an urban entomologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in Lincoln, NE. Check out these 16 secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know (which are crucial for keeping them at bay).

CARSEAT

Telltale sign of bed bugs: Dark spots on the seats or floor mats

Bed bugs can sneak into your car via clothing, purses, moving boxes, and even books, Green says. To prevent these pests from getting the best of you, closely inspect areas of your vehicle that are made with fabric. One of the most common clues of a bed bug infestation will be small fecal or blood stains near the seams of the seats, cracks around the console or glove box, and on the edges of the floor mats, according to the Virginia Tech Department of Entomology. Don’t forget to search car seats or other fabrics like blankets as well. Check out these 13 weird tricks to clean your car.

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Telltale sign of bed bugs: Exoskeletons near cracks and crevices

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bed bugs shed their exoskeletons five times before reaching adulthood, or about once a week. Look for those exoskeletons in places where bed bugs love to hide, such as between your seats and inside the glove compartment or center console. Pro tip: Use double-sided tape to inspect any hard-to-reach areas, including the edges of seat cushions and floor mats.

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Telltale sign of bed bugs: A live bug walking around the vehicle

Naturally, a live bed bug roaming around your car is yet another sign of an infestation. Floor mats, seats, glove boxes, and center consoles are all fair game for these critters to hide out. While their color and shape change based on their age, most bed bugs are reddish-brown, flat, and oval-shaped. Their size can range from as small as a poppy seed to as big as an apple seed, Green says. Learn more about what bed bugs look like to help you easily identify them.

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Telltale sign of bed bugs: Bites or bumps on your skin

They may be little, but bed bugs pack a huge punch in other ways—including their bites. Human blood is their favorite food, so they might nip you while you are driving or taking a nap in the back seat. If you suddenly find itchy, red bumps, or rashes on your body after driving, you could have a bed bug or two in your car. Here’s how to identify the most common bug bites.