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How Bed Bugs Rapidly Adapt To Survive Insecticides, And How The Pest Control Industry Has Mastered Bed Bug Control

Bed bug infestation cases have been increasing rapidly all around the world, especially in the United States. Bed bugs were nearly eradicated during the middle part of the last century, but the pests reemerged around the turn of the millenium. Bed bug infestations are notorious for being difficult to eradicate, and infestations have forced people to discard valuable infested items, such as mattresses, bedding, clothing and furniture. Furthermore, bed bug infestations are often harrowing for those who experience them, and lasting psychological trauma can result from living with infestations. While bed bug infestations continue to be a challenge to eradicate today, recently developed integrated pest management strategies have proven effective at ridding homes of bed bug pests.

The bed bugs that exist today are very different from the bed bugs that your elders may have encountered several decades ago, as modern bed bugs have evolved physical features that make them particularly difficult to exterminate. An overreliance on insecticides for bed bug extermination in the past has made bed bugs resistant to most traditional insecticides. Bed bugs are resilient creatures, and much like how cockroaches evolved to withstand insecticides, modern bed bugs possess bodily features that protect the pests from the toxins in insecticide solutions. For example, genetic researchers have discovered 14 genetic mutations in modern bed bugs that all allow them to survive insecticides. These mutated genes are associated with the bed bug exoskeletons. Specifically, these mutations made bed bug exoskeletons thicker, thereby preventing insecticides from reaching nerve cells.

Amazingly, rapid adaptations of this sort have never been documented as occurring in any other insect pest species. Today, however, a number of different methods are undertaken to eradicate bed bugs from homes. These methods include vacuuming, washing bedding at a high temperature and using steam or heat treatments. Over-the-counter bed bug control products exist, but research has found them to be ineffective, but pest control professionals are licensed to use specialized chemicals that successfully kill bed bug pests. For serious bed bug infestations, a combination of non-chemical treatments, like heat, and a minimal use of insecticide effectively and permanently eradicates active bed bug infestations from homes.

Have you ever attempted to eradicate bed bugs on your own with over-the-counter insecticide?

 

 

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Video Showing Bed Bugs Infesting Multiple Motorized Shopping Scooters In A Phoenix Walmart Has Gone Viral

Video Showing Bed Bugs Infesting Multiple Motorized Shopping Scooters In A Phoenix Walmart Has Gone Viral

Walmart stores see a great deal of human traffic, and they are not known for being immaculate and well kept, but most people would not consider themselves vulnerable to bed bugs simply by walking into a Walmart location. However, considering that Walmart is the most profitable retail store chain in the world that attracts people of all types, it should not be surprising to learn that bed bugs have been found in Walmart stores in the past. Just like airplanes, airports, public libraries and movie theaters, Walmart stores see a massive amount of people coming in and out on a daily basis. And since many Walmart stores are open for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the risk of a person transporting bed bugs into a Walmart store is particularly high. However, unlike other locations that see a high amount of human traffic, Walmart customers do not share seats with other people, therefore, the risk of spreading bed bugs from customer to customer should be pretty low, right? Well, there are always motorized scooters available to people who have difficulty walking, and as it happens, this is exactly where bed bugs were found three years ago in a Phoenix Walmart store. After one couple noticed the bloodscuking insects infesting the fabric cushion of a motorized scooter, they found bed bugs on yet another scooter. Upon arriving home, the couple posted video footage of the bed bug infested scooters to social media sites, and not long afterward, the video went viral. Needles to say, this viral footage has not helped the chain store’s already compromised reputation.

The footage shows bed bugs crawling all over scooters in a Phoenix Walmart located on 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road. Walmart officials have not said much about the infested scooters, but they did respond to reporters via email saying that the compromised scooters have been removed from the store. Unfortunately, the man sustained several bites before he realized the scooter was infested. Upon finding another scooter, he noticed that it too was infested with bed bugs. Of course, the couple notified the manager, but he claimed to not see any bed bugs on the scooters. The couple filled out a complaint form, but they were not issued a copy, even after asking for one. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites exploded with negative feedback from thousands of Americans who responded to the situation with disgust.

Do you worry about acquiring bed bugs when sitting in crowded places?

 

 

 

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Bed Bugs Or Fleas?

Some people find joy in locating and handling certain insects, but nobody finds joy in handling insects that suck blood in order to survive. There exists a plethora of insect and arachnid species that suck blood. These arthropods include ticks, mosquitoes, fleas and bed bugs. Surprisingly, bed bugs are unique among blood-sucking insects in that they do not transmit any diseases to humans, but they do leave visible welts that itch like crazy. Generally, people have no problem discerning a mosquito bite from a flea or bed bug bite, but it can be hard to tell the difference between flea bites and bed bug bites. Both fleas and bed bugs inflict numerous bites on humans, but they are rarely caught in the act of sucking blood due to their tiny body size and nocturnal feeding habits. Fleas and bed bugs both inflict welts that look identical, and the bites that each insect leaves result in similar degrees of itchiness. Waking up with bug bites all over one’s body is unpleasant enough without having to stress over not knowing which type of bug caused the itchy welts. Bed bug bites are commonly mistaken for flea bites and vice verse, but there does exist notable differences between the types of injuries that each insect inflicts.

Bed bugs and fleas are similar in that they both survive solely by feeding on the blood of mammals. Bed bugs prefer to feed on human blood while fleas prefer the blood of furry mammals. However, fleas find human blood perfectly acceptable and they will not pass up an easy source of blood just because it comes from a human. Fleas and bed bugs are nocturnal, which means that both prefer to bite humans while they sleep. This makes it very difficult for a person to determine which insect is responsible for bite injuries. However, a sharp observer can spot differences between fleas and bed bugs easily by watching how the insects infesting their home move about. Fleas can jump long distances while bed bugs slowly crawl. Bed bugs are also larger than fleas. Flea bites also tend to be clustered together in one area of the body while bed bug bites are more scattered across the body. Of course, the most important difference between fleas and bed bugs is that only fleas can transmit disease to humans. These diseases include the plague, typhus, and cat scratch disease.

Have you ever discovered several bug bites that you had no memory of receiving?

 

 

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How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels

How Bed Bug Populations Reached Epidemic Levels | Bed Bug Control Phoenix Bed Bug Control

If there is one person who can answer all of your bed bug questions, then it would be author Brooke Borel. Borel writes for Popular Science Magazine, and she has conducted her own research on the behavior and biology of bed bugs. Most of her research focuses on what attracts bed bugs to humans. In addition to studying bed bugs, Borel has recently had a book published that describes the blood sucking creatures in detail; she has also experienced bed bug infestations herself. Recently, during an interview on National Public Radio, Borel described why bed bugs disappeared for several decades only to later return stronger and more resilient than they had been before before.

During the 1940s, scientists developed one of the first synthetic insecticides. This insecticide is now banned, but it was known as DDT, and it successfully destroyed bed bug populations, as well as many other insect species. During World War II, DDT was used by the Americans and British to fend off mosquitoes that carried malaria, as well as typhus-carrying lice. After the war, DDT became available to both pest control professional and consumers. People would often spray the chemical all over their homes, and DDT was included in many wallpapers, varnishes and paints. The widespread use of DDT during this time cannot be overstated.

DDT was so effective at killing bed bugs, the generations born after World War II had not even heard of the insects, as they had been virtually wiped out. This meant that pest controllers did not know how to treat bed bug infestations when the bugs resurfaced decades later. Bed bugs were so rare during the mid to late twentieth century that most professional entomologists had never been educated about bed bugs. According to Borel, to this day, experts cannot conclusively determine how bed bugs reappeared as aggressively as they did following several decades of inactivity. Many scientists believe that there had always been small pockets of bed bugs that had slowly adapted to survive DDT and other insecticide treatments over the course of several decades. However, this does not explain why bed bug activity was nearly nonexistent for so many years. Some believe that the spike in international travel that occurred during the 1980s led small pockets of surviving bed bugs to spread to urban areas all over the world by hitchhiking on travelers.

Do you believe that researchers are getting close to developing a revolutionary new insecticide that will work as effectively as DDT initially did during the middle of the twentieth century?

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People’s Complaints Over Bed Bug-Infested Airplanes Goes Viral

It is becoming common knowledge that bed bug infestations are increasing in hotels and motels. However, you may not have heard much about the increase in bed bug infestations aboard airline flights, but many people are being terrorized by these blood suckers while being thousands of feet in the air. Although the media has reported on numerous bed bug infestations on airplanes, many victims believe that the public is largely unaware of how often bed bug-related incidents occur during airline flights. This is why many people are taking to social media to share their stories concerning bed bug encounters on airplanes.Bed Bug Control

Recently, British Airways was forced to fumigate two airplanes after bed bugs were discovered during flights. Despite the fact that British Airways had been aware of a bed bug presence on the planes, they did very little to address the problem. In response to the lack of action taken by the airline to eradicate the bed bugs, one British Airways customer has started his own website where other angry bed bug victims can post their own complaints about the insects that they have found aboard airline flights. The person who started the website, Zane Selkirk, first posted pictures of the injuries that she had sustained from bed bugs while aboard a British Airways flight. The pictures showed bed bug bites covering her hands, legs and feet. Once these pics went viral, British Airways finally took action to eradicate the bed bug presence within their airplanes. Last year, another person who had been attacked by bed bugs on a United Airlines flight sent a letter to the New York Times detailing his experience. Despite all of these complaints, and the fact that bed bugs on airplanes is clearly a problem, very few statistics, if any, on bed bug problems within airplanes can be found. So far, bed bug complaints have been reported solely by business class customers, and not first class fliers.

Do you think that bed bugs will be on your mind the next time you fly an airline? Or do you prefer bed bug-free first class?

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Magic Pest Control’s Back to School Bed Bug Advice for College Students

As college students prepare to return to campuses nationwide, many plan to bring secondhand furniture including mattresses, futons, dressers, couches and more. As bags are being packed, and students begin to move in, Magic Pest Control is urging students in the Phoenix are to inspect new lodgings, personal belongings, and secondhand items, for bed bugs as these pests can cause painful, red itchy welts and can also spread quickly when introduced to new environments.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), bed bugs pose serious concerns to dorm rooms and thrive in university environments as there are often many people living in a confined space. In fact, a 2015 survey, conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates, with 99.6 percent of pest professionals treating for bed bugs in the year prior.

Bed bugs are opportunistic and elusive pests. As students return from summers filled with travel they may unknowingly be transporting bed bugs to college campuses. Or, they could be returning to an environment where bed bugs are already a problem. It is essential that students inspect all belongings to help keep these pests at bay. Bed bugs are not only undesirable for students but also for parents who don’t want their children bringing these pests home on breaks.

Magic Pest Control offers tips to help prevent bed bugs from taking up residence in dorms:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Wash all clothes, even those that haven’t been worn, in hot water.
  • On move-in day, thoroughly inspect the entire room including mattress seams on beds, behind the headboard and in furniture using a flashlight for good visibility. If you see anything suspect, immediately contact a university facility manager or landlord.
  • If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it for telltale signs of bed bugs. If you notice and signs of shed skins, small blot marks/pepper-like stains do not bring it to campus.

Students are urged to follow prevention tips when packing for school and before unpacking in a new room. For more information on preventing bed bugs, visit www.magicpest.com