Jane came into the Home Environment Center yesterday fearful that she had an infestation of bed bugs! “What makes you think that?” I asked. “Because I heard your commercials on the radio and you mentioned that bed bugs create pepper-like specks around the bed and on the bedding. I noticed that I have bites on my legs! I am terrified. I am so glad that you do those commercials, because I wouldn’t have known what was going on otherwise.”
I checked with my local pest control expert to get some more information to help Jane. “Did you know that a starvation diet for a bed bug is MORE than 365 days?” he asked. “They can live without feeding on mammals for over a year. They find their food source by smelling carbon dioxide and following it. So, if Jane has moved out of her bedroom to escape the bed bugs, they will follow her to her living room couch and will then infest that!”
Jane has recently purchased a very expensive mattress and box springs. I explained that there is a way to protect that investment. “You have to encase everything, including your pillows, with encasings.” Encasings are breatheable fabric covers which resemble a pillowcase with a zipper on one end. They create a barrier which does not allow dust mites OR bed bugs to penetrate. Bed bugs live in cracks and crevices in walls, baseboards, headboards, furniture, etc. “They come out when it’s dark and feed on your blood,” I explained to Jane. It is very important that you treat your home for bed bugs as SOON as you spot the problem. A pest control expert that is experienced in this problem should be called in immediately. All mattresses, pillows, and box springs should be covered to keep the bed bugs from infesting them.