Have you been finding itchy little red marks on your skin when you wake up? Do you see little shells from bugs laying around? Are your sheets and bedding smeared with black or reddish-black stains and little black dots? Well, you’re not alone. Bed bugs are more prevalent than ever these days and account for a good percentage of the calls that pest control companies receive. Bed bugs are flourishing and their favorite food, your blood, is so readily available it’s no wonder that these pests are all over the news.
Bed bug infestations are on the rise not only in homes and apartments, but also in daycare centers, schools, hotels and jut about any other place where people live and work. While infestations can be controlled, professional pest control companies consider this pest to be one of the toughest foes they face. Bed bugs reproduce rapidly, easily move from one location to the next, and are elusive and nocturnal, making the problem of getting rid of them pretty complicated. It takes an experienced exterminator to completely get things under control and often means a range of treatments depending on the size of the infestation and the type of building or residence.
So Why the Resurgence?
Bed bugs have been a problem for humans for a very long time. In the past, before modern technology and science got involved, bed bugs were just something people had to live with. But when pesticides such as DDT and Chlordane came along around the time of WW2, bed bugs and just about any other bug or spider finally met their match. These, and other similar pesticides, were extremely toxic and highly effective in controlling pests.
For a few decades, people got a break from all those biting, irritating little creatures but as these chemicals became more widespread, they also became the subject of a lot of research. Turns out that the very thing that made them great for killing bugs made them horrible for people’s health. By the early 70s, enough research had been done to prompt the United States to ban DDT in 1972 and eventually Chlordane in 1988. This was the beginning of a resurgence in pests of all kinds but it also led to safer, healthier pest control methods. Unfortunately, safe pesticides were no match for bed bugs.
As pesticides became less toxic, and often less effective, travel both across the United States and abroad experienced a boon. Bed bugs like to travel also, by hitching a ride in pocketbooks, pant cuffs, suitcases, furniture and just about anything else they could find to get them to their next destination. With travel becoming more common and people frequently sleeping in hotels, motels and other places, bed bugs found an easy way to spread their numbers and are now found all over the world.