…..Bed Bugs!

You are not abandoned my little WP blog!  I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with it, I need some sort of niche.  I’m not sure I’ve found one yet.

But another cause for absence, we got Bed Bugs!  And it has been a L-O-N-G ordeal.

If you’re in the Navy, Bed Bugs can be a serious issue.  If your S/O goes to work on a ship every day, sleeps on the ship on Duty Days, a ship that goes on deployments, a ship where people who live in a barracks go between there and the ship most days, and you have NEVER gotten bed bugs (BB)….IT’S A FLUKE!!

Seriously, just dumb luck.  Barracks, get constantly infested with BB.  On deployments the sailors see foreign ports in countries where BB are extremely prevalent.  Sometimes it doesn’t get dealt with very well.  My husband has told me once a guy in his berthing said there were BB in his rack, so they reassigned him to a new rack, aaaaaaaaand that was all.  People frequently move into the barracks if they don’t live out in town after they return from deployments, all it takes is ONE BB.  The Barracks here in SD have frequent out breaks.  Whole floor outbreaks…multi-floor out breaks!

I won’t even discuss if you’ve ever stayed in a hotel and not brought home bed bugs. It doesn’t matter how nice of a place you stayed in, they can be anywhere.

It also doesn’t matter how clean you are (or aren’t) or how neat you keep your home (or don’t.)  BB are parasites, they are blood suckers.  Are you a warm body? Do you breathe?  That’s all they care about.

So it’s important TO NOT BE EMBARRASSED!!!

The first time I saw one a few months ago, I Knew exactly what it was, which is very important. Do you know what a BB looks like?  What signs they leave behind?  These are important things to know.  You probably don’t want to purposely look up photos of BB and their eggs and etc.  But think of it this way, what if you saw one, right now you saw a bug, and you didn’t know what it was?

How much do you know about BB? If you thought you had them what would you do? Start trashing your stuff? Throwing it away? Would you start sleeping somewhere else?  If you don’t know what they look like, or what the signs are, you may not notice until it’s a worse infestation.  If you don’t know what to do, you could do the completely wrong things.  You could do things that cause the infestation to spread, or unnecessarily get rid of expensive items (mattresses, bed frames, couches, etc)

So I’m going to tell you some MYTHS about BB, tell you where you can go to see what they look like (I won’t post images my self, mostly to encourage you to do your own research! but mostly because I don’t want to have to look at it while writing this whole post and have it giving me the creepy crawlies) and anything else you might need to know about BB.

One more thing…If you’re in the military, this is the kind of thing you can get financial assistance for! Don’t be worried if you can’t afford an expensive treatment, BB are a serious issue, and if you really need help to afford to pay for a PCO, there is help to be found!  For the Navy (and I’ll assume Marines too) there’s Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, and I know there’s a similar thing for other branches.

Some Myths:

Having BB means you’re gross.

  • As previously stated, BB are blood suckers. So having them doesn’t indicate that you or your home is unkempt and/or unclean.

BB will only be in your bed.

  • Despite their name, you could find them anywhere, your bed, couches, even your car.
  • They also may not be inside your bed, or anything else.  They could simply hide in the seams around the edge, or in the framework of the box spring. Basically any crevice where it seems like they’ll be mostly undisturbed, they have even been known to be up in the popcorn ceilings.

If you get rid of your bed (or anything else) it will get rid of the problem

  • They might only be in your bed, or your bed frame, or whatever.  But they might not. Plus when moving this stuff to the trash, you may disturb them and leave some behind, causing them to spread elsewhere. Not to mention mattresses, bed frames, etc are expensive. It would be safer to shell out that dough to an experienced PCO (Pest Control Operator) to appropriately treat your home to eradicate the infestation.

BB only come out at night.

  • They are NOT nocturnal. It’s a common misconception.  They can seem to be so, because they most commonly harbor around their hosts place of sleep, and most people sleep at night.  But they are opportunists.  They were in my couch and I most often did not see them late at night. Basically where  ever they set up shop, and whatever time it is that you usually park yourself there, is when they’ll come out.
If they’re getting me in my bed, I can just go sleep somewhere else.
  • Yes and no, if anxiety or the bites are preventing you from getting a good nights sleep, a brief respite is not a bad idea. Sleep deprivation does no one any good. But the BB will follow you. They can sense body heat and CO2 (what we exhale) and when they need a meal, they will go looking. So if you think you can relocate until they all die, that will definitely not work. They also can go dormant for up to 18 months before they’ll die from starvation.

Fogging/Bombing my home will get rid of them.

  • I have come to find that fogging/bombing is a bad idea. These things do not release a gas, what they do is more like a rain effect. Remember when I said they could be hiding under the box spring or in any crevice? This means that a chemical raining down from above is not likely to affect them. What’s worse, is that if it does get near to them, they are very evasive and good at surviving. The will just go deeper into hiding and harder to get rid of.
These are not the only myths and common misconceptions, but it’s a good place to start.

And now I will direct you to possibly the best website I have ever run across when it comes to BB. I enjoy it for the many FAQs, as well as the forum which is QUITE active!  There are MANY people dealing with BB everyday.  And the best way to combat the issue is KNOWLEDGE.  Know their habits, what they look like, what they leave behind, and how to protect you, your family, and your home from ever even getting an infestation, and what to do even if you do end up with one.

http://bedbugger.com/faqs/

On this site is the answer to many questions.  What should you do to prevent bringing BB home? What do BB look like? You live in an apartment, what should you do? What kind of treatments are available? Which one is better? What are some good PCO companies? So on and so forth.

If you are in the Southern CA area, you might like to know that the company I used to treat my infestation was Isotech.  You may have seen their TV show Verminators. (Although I’d never heard of it until after I found their website looking for a company that uses dogs to scent BB)  They are very experienced in dealing with BB (often the success of a treatment matters more on the experience of the PCO and how well they know what they’re doing rather than what kind of chemicals or methods are used) and have specially certified k9’s that are trained to find the scent of live BB and their eggs. That was very important for me, as I kept seeing the BB, but visual inspections didn’t turn up any real evidence. One of their specially trained k9’s confirmed it for us though.  Too soon yet to know if it was successful, but I’m feeling pretty confident!

Will update about this soon!  And I will be doing more things with this blog soon, I promise 🙂