Avoiding Bed Bug Infestations
The best way to prevent a bed bug infestation is to avoid putting yourself at risk of an infestation. You can do this by avoiding to purchase used items, having overnight guests, or traveling. Although this may not be practical, it is easy to avoid picking up items that have been discarded curbside or purchasing used or second hand bedding or furniture. There is no question that an awareness of bed bug risk factors is the first step in avoiding an infestation.
The most important way to protect yourself is by detecting bed bugs before they colonize and become difficult and costly to eliminate. The use of mattress and box spring encasements is one of the most economical and useful tools that can aid in the early detection of bed bugs. It is very important that the encasements have been specifically designed for bed bugs and have been scientifically tested to demonstrate their effectiveness. Encasing a mattress would restrict bed bugs to the exterior of the encasement where they can be easily detected through a good visual inspection. There are very few products available on the market able to actually repel bed bugs from a location and from colonizing which is the ultimate defense.
Bed Bug Detection
Bed bugs are similar to other insects but their bite is painless and it may take up to 14 days for a reaction to develop at the bite site. In order to verify a bed bug problem you must find further evidence in addition to the bites.
Several devices have been specifically developed to identify bed bugs. Research has indicated that one of the most effective tools for detecting low level bed bug infestations may be interception devices. These devices are designed to catch bugs as they travel to and from a bed by trapping them as they naturally move around the environment. Preliminary indications are that the best interception devices on the market can detect 80% or more of low level bed bug infestations within 1-2 weeks of being placed under the legs of beds and couches. The use of mattress and box spring encasements that have been specifically designed and tested for bed bugs is another tool that can be used to help detect the presence of bed bugs.
Elimination of a Bed Bug Infestation
Bed bugs can be eliminated once they infest an environment. It is possible to eradicate them especially when detected soon after they have been introduced into the environment and there are no other hindrances. The longer bed bugs exist without being detected, the greater their opportunity to disperse within the environment, making it very hard to find and eliminate 100% of the population. Another factor which plays a major role in how readily a bed bug infestation can be eliminated is the amount of available harborage for bed bugs to use as a safe haven from control efforts. Crowded and/or cluttered conditions, as well poorly sealed baseboards, chairs, crown moldings, window frames, door frames, paneled walls, etc. offer an environment with virtually unlimited harborage. There are also situations, where bed bugs are originating from a connected structure or adjoining area that is under ownership by another party and is not being treated. In situations such as these, elimination may not be possible until a cooperative effort is achieved.
In many cases two or three pest control services may be all that is necessary to eliminate the problem. However, there are also many cases that require a greater number of visits before the problem is resolved. Finally, there are some infestations where it can be difficult if not impossible to achieve 100% elimination with chemical pesticides.
Regardless of how severe the infestation or how complex the environment, there is one way that bed bug infestations can be eliminated with absolute certainty. Structural fumigations, while an extreme and costly method, will effectively eliminate bed bugs from an infested environment. The process of structural fumigation is another method which typically involves tarping the entire structure, and vacating it for several days while a fumigant gas is released into the tented structure. These types of applications are common in the Southern United states and on the West Coast for the control of drywood termites. Structural fumigations are an extremely expensive approach and may not be practical or even possible in many situations. Thus while this technique will guarantee elimination of the existing infestation, in most cases it is not likely to be economically practical or feasible.
Bed Bug Control Challenges
Generally the pesticides which are commercial available are effective but have little to no residual effect on bed bugs and thus contributes in the difficulty of controlling bed bugs.Therefore, although eliminating bed bugs from a home is mostly possible, the treatments involve time consuming, detail oriented work that may take several treatments to control a bed bug problem.
Clutter is one of the other biggest obstacle which stands in the way of controlling or eliminating bed bugs. Clutter creates areas that cannot be effectively treated by your pest management professional. The more clutter, the longer it will take to gain control. In the case of extreme cluttered conditions, control may be impossible. For this reason control is much more easily achieved in a hotel room which is not permanently lived in as compared to an apartment or single family home. One option to deal with some of the clutter in a home is a portable heating unit. This is a collapsible container that items can be placed in and turned on and the unit the heats up the contents to lethal temperatures for bed bugs and their eggs. This method can damage personal belongings along with sensitive items so comes with a risk. As product development and science progress, new plant based products have recently come on the market that claim to be very effective with high mortality and a fast kill rate yet safe for people and animals. These new options are available and can be very effective to eradicate and prevent bed bug infestations.
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Prevents Bed Bug Infestations!
EcoBarrier Prevention repels and prevents bed bugs from colonizing, helping ensure that bed bug occurrences don’t result in an infestation. It makes the environment inhospitable to bed bugs.