The Bed Bug Epidemic

“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” It’s just a silly little rhyme to amuse children before bed, right? For many Americans it hits close to home, an eerily familiar feeling. There is a bed bug epidemic in America and it has been on the rise for over ten years. A 2015 pest management survey revealed that 99.6 percent of pest control professionals in the United States have treated for bed bugs. Fifteen years ago that number was a mere 25 percent. According to the National Pest Management Association, reports of bed bugs have dramatically increased in the past four years. So what is causing this epidemic and how can you protect yourself, your home and your family?

Bed bugs are not seasonal pests, but infestations are more common during the summer months. This can be attributed to an increase in travel and hotel stays. Bed bugs are not exclusive to cheap roadside motels. Hotel chains all across American are experiencing infestations. While most hotels treat immediately when they discover the issue, there are some things you can do while traveling to protect yourself.

  • Use luggage racks to hold your luggage rather than sitting you bags on the bed or the floor. Always inspect the luggage rack first.
  • Check the mattress before laying on the bed. The best place to check is in the seams.
  • When you return home unpack your bag directly into the washing machine.
  • Never store empty luggage in your bedroom.

The rise of second-hand shopping also plays a part in the increased presence of bed bugs. With online yard sale sites, Craigslist and the availability of Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity stores, purchasing clothing and furniture second-hand is more popular than ever. While searching for deals, there are some steps you should take to keep from bringing bed bugs into your home.

  • Check all second-hand furniture for signs of bed bugs before bringing them home.
  • Thoroughly clean upholstered furniture.
  • Bring home second-hand clothing in plastic bags and put them directly into the washing machine. Always dry second-hand clothes in the dryer on high heat, as that is what kills the bed bugs.
  • It is never recommended to purchase a second-hand mattress but if you must, always check it well for bed bugs and cover it with a protective cover that encases the mattress and box springs before bringing it into your home.

To further protect your home from bed bugs, take the following steps:

  • Reduce clutter in your home. Less clutter means less places for bed bugs to hide.
  • Vacuum frequently.
  • Be careful when using shared laundry facilities. Use plastic bags to transport the clothing and put items directly from the dryer into the bag. Wait to fold clothing at home.

Bed bugs can happen to anyone at anytime, even the most vigilant person. Thankfully, American Pest Control is knowledgeable and prepared to handle the situation. We have been treating bed bugs for 43 years and go through rigorous monthly training meetings which cover a multitude of pests and treatment methods. When the bed bugs bite, call American Pest Control.



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