Bed Bugs! What You Need to Know

Bed bugs are being discovered on a daily basis here in the Middle Tennessee region. In houses, apartments, hotels and even retail outlets, it appears that everyone is a target. Bed bugs have been feeding on humans since the beginning of recorded history. The bed bugs were nearly eliminated from the United States until the past ten years. Now we hear reports of them on a daily basis. I am going to discuss how you may transport the bed bugs, ways you can identify the bed bugs, and steps you can take to help prevent an infestation.

bed bugs
Adult Bed Bugs

First, we need to be able to identify a bed bug. The bed bug is nocturnal, or active at night. They hide in cracks and crevices until the lights go out, then they come out and hunt for a blood meal. The bed bugs do leave behind signs that they are present. If you pull back the bedding on a mattress or bedspring, you want to look for rust colored staining on the mattress, usually along the seams and edges, or between the mattress and boxspring. You also may see live, active bed bugs when you are searching! Also, look at the cracks and crevices around the headboard. You may end up staring one in the eyes! If you find bed bugs at a hotel, I would request a different room immediately. If bed bugs are discovered at your home, it is time to call in the professionals.

A few tips on traveling to a hotel: A. Don’t place your luggage on the bed, keep it on the opposite wall away from the bed. B. Check the mattress and headboard as described above as soon as you arrive at the room. C. Leave, with your bags, as soon as you find evidence of bedbugs. You might even take a few photos with your phone to document what you find as management may need to see proof.

Bed bugs, spent skins, eggs and carcasses
Bed bugs, spent skins, eggs and carcasses

Now, let us talk transportation. How are you going to move these bed bugs into your home? Unfortunately, the bed bug is a master at hitching a ride. The bed bug can be transported in a purse, on electronics, in clothing, bedding, personal belongings, and even in your car. We have had reports of bed bugs joining the party by traveling to a sleepover in a sleeping bag or backpack of young children.  I suggest that you are very careful about buying used furniture, clothing, and appliances from thrift stores, yard sales, or as a gift from a friend. Unless you know the place is bed bug free, you are taking a huge risk. We have heard from many customers stories of a friend or relative moving in and bringing an infestation of bed bugs with them. Or, they say how they got a great deal on a bedroom set, just to find out they now have a bed bug infestation. Saving a few dollars on the front end may cost you thousands later. Be careful and fully inspect the items before you take possession of them.

I receive questions about how to rid a home or room of bed bugs. While it can be done, it is tough to do it as a homeowner. A professional will have the proper tools, training, and products on hand to have the best success eliminating the bed bug infestation. It is always easiest to solve a bed bug problem when it first presents itself, so don’t wait a few weeks or months to see if they just “go away.” The Bug Man has trained technicians ready to protect your home from bed bugs. Contact us for more information.

Children of the Corn and Beetles of the Dresser

The world of pest control is full of funny stories. Here’s one of the funniest stories we’ve heard in a long time. Be careful where you store your corn hole game. In the pest control industry, technicians see a lot of things. Things that amaze them. Things that make sense. Things that are weird. And lots of things that are funny.

I’m Lindsay. I’ll be your narrator today. I’m the narrator of this blog most days, actually. 

As an office worker at a pest control company, I hear a lot of things, especially funny stories from technicians. Allow me to share this with you, because this story is too good to keep to myself.

Once up on a time, not too long ago, a jolly technician made his way to a routine pest control service call. The customer was seeing grain beetles upstairs in their house, so The Bug Man came out to take a look.

The thing about grain beetles is they are usually found in the kitchen. It was strange that someone would see a multitude of grain beetles any place other than where food is stored.

Upon the technicians arrival, he greeted the perplexed customer and did a little investigating to try to find the root of the problem.

He asked, “I know this is a strange question, but do you have any corn anywhere in this house?”

“No. No corn,” the customer replied.

So the technician kept looking. As the minutes ticked on, he began questioning his own ability as a pest control professional.

“Have I lost my edge?” he wondered. “What am I going to tell this lady?”

The technician imagined his response to the customer.

“Uh, sorry, ma’am. I have no idea where all of these beetles are coming from. Crazy weather these days. It must be bringing in strange bug activity.”

Jolting him out of his inner dialogue, the customer said, “Oh! Hey, I’ve got corn hole bags in my dresser upstairs…”

Renewed in his pest control vigor, the technician booked it upstairs and opened the door of the dresser to find thousands of grain beetles swarming the corn hole bags. In his astonishment, he completely forgot to take a picture of the discovery.

Infestation by corn hole bag. Incredible!

So what’s the moral of the story? Don’t store corn hole bags in your dresser upstairs!

So who wants to play corn hole? Anyone? Anyone?