Friday, May 11, 2012

I have a bite. Is it due to bed bugs?

It is not uncommon for bed bug bites to go unnoticed or misdiagnosed. Literature suggests that between 60-85% of the population is NOT sensitive to bed bug bites and so they may miss the signs of an infestation.  It is not uncommon for people to say they never knew they were bitten during the night. However for the 15-40% of the population that IS sensitive, they may not feel the actual bite in the night, but they will wake up one morning to red bumps or welts which initially may not itch.  Overtime, if sensitive, one might start scratching and cause larger welts and sometimes infections.

There tends to be a staged reaction for
 those sensitive to bed bug bites.  First, you may notice small raised red bumps, usually in a row.  Different parts of the body react differently to the bites – typically the face, hands, and feet reacting the most. You might initially dismiss the bumps as mosquito bites or a rash.  

Eventually, the bite sites may blister after exposure to perspiration, scratching, hot water baths, etc. Often this is the stage which prompts a medical opinion. The medical profession is just becoming aware of bed bugs.  If a doctor or nurse has not been educated on bed bug bites they may miss the signs.  Conversely, they may over-diagnose bed bug bites in an over reaction to community hysteria. Two important tips when faced with such unexplained bites:

1.     Seek medical attention if welts worsen.  Don’t let a secondary infection set in.  Avoid scratching bites.  Guard against infection.

2.     Learn how to inspect your home for bed bugs.  When in doubt call in an expert to confirm or rule out bed bugs so the source of the welts can be identified as soon as possible.  Swift action can help you avoid a costly large-scale infestation. 

See picture below for an example of bed bug bites:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Save us Scout!

Scout is our bed bug hunting hero.  Born in Arkansas, Scout was bred and trained to use his amazing snout.  Bed bugs mean treats for this hard working hound.  Who doesn't like being rewarded for a job well done?

Want to keep your problem to a minimum?  Scout can tell you exactly what you're dealing with.

What treatment is right for you?

Whenever faced with a bed bug problem, the question must be asked.  How can I safely solve this problem?  IPM or Integrated Pest Management is a great option.

According to the EPA, integrated pest management is "an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pest and their interaction with the environment. This information in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.”

Currently the safest and most effective bed bug IPM strategy is the Fire/Ice™ type.  Using a combination of carbon dioxide and heat treatment, bed bugs can be wiped out without the hazards of chemical pesticides.

Curious about IPM?  Contact Hart-Shegos Inspection Services


Welcome to The Bed Bug Blog.  A great place to find helpful information and the latest news on the fight against bed bugs.  Please comment with any questions or thoughts.  We're here to help!