During the last 50-60 years, Americans thought that they have successfully gotten rid of bedbugs. But they were wrong. Back in the 1920s, bed bugs were a common problem in almost all hotels & apartments.
Not only in hotels but bed bugs also became a common household problem across the USA. Being bitten by bedbugs is not a pleasant feeling. This is where DDT comes in. This chemical was invented by Paul Hermann Muller, a Swiss chemist.
Since it was first launched in the market, DDT was heavily used in apartments, hotels, and even regular households to kill bed bugs and other harmful indoor bugs. However, DDT had severe environmental impacts. It posed risk to both human lives & the wildlife.
But things don’t last forever.
Every organic being comes with the power of adaptability.
In the late 2000s, a new strain of bed bugs was discovered after more than 11,000 households complained about facing the same issue at home. That same year another report found that one out of eight households in New Jersey was suffering from bed bugs. It was observed that bed bugs were hiding in sofas, beds, and cushions.
There are two primary reasons why bed bugs are making a comeback, DDT was banned in 1970, and bed bugs have grown immune to DDT.
No matter what might be causing the spread of bed bugs in your apartment, or office, we are here to help you.
How Do You Know If You Have Bed Bugs?
There are certain cities where bed bug infestations are higher than in other cities. According to a report on pest control companies, Chicago has the highest level of bed bug infestation. This report collected data from Dec 2020 to Nov 2021. Philadelphia took the second spot, and New York came third.
How do bed bugs spread?
Well, these bugs are pretty sneaky. They will take a lift on your luggage, or even on your clothing. They will crawl onto anything. This means, if you travel to a state with bed bugs, you can unknowingly carry it back home with you.
Bed bugs are not a modern problem, they were documented in ancient Egyptian times too. They traveled to the United States with colonizers.
If you have to travel often for work, here are a few quick tips to check if your hotel room is infested with bed bugs or not. Even if you stay at the most expensive hotels, it can be infested with bed bugs.
Bed bugs would usually be found on the bed. Start by checking the edges of the mattress. Then move on to checking under the mattress. You have to lift the mattress to do so.
Bed Bugs can also hide in the cracks of the bed work. If the hotel room has sofas, go ahead and check the cushion covers, and the pillows.
Don’t expect to find a bed bug simply lying on the bed. If you are lucky, you will not have to struggle to find the bed bugs.
However, bed bugs are sneaky. Even if you can’t find one in your hotel room, chances are they are lurking somewhere.
Then how can you find them?
Well, look for blood spots, or skin sheds. If you see black marks on the cushion, it can indicate that your hotel room is infested with bed bugs. Ask the hotel management to be moved to another room.
What to do When You Have Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small bugs that have an oval shape. They are brown and smaller than a shirt button. These bugs live on human blood. If they fail to find any humans, they can even survive on animal blood.
Adult bed bugs usually have a flat body, similar to that of an apple seed. However, after feeding on human blood, their bodies turn reddish.
Bed Bugs cannot fly.
However, they can sprint fast on almost any surface. In one reproduction season, one female bed bug can lay more than 100 eggs. Young bed bugs will shed their skin five times before reaching maturity. Before every shedding season, the bed bugs will need to feast on human blood.
Bed bugs will only come out at night. They will only bite humans when they are sleeping. They will crawl away voluntarily once they have feasted on human blood.
If you are bitten by bed bugs, you will have itchy areas on your skin. Also, you can smell a musty odor which is usually secreted from the scent glands of the bed bugs.
When you have bed bugs, there are a few things you can do. You can use flea traps, bed bug interceptor traps and you can also use chemicals.
What Are Fleas Traps And What Do They Do?
There are numerous flea traps that work effectively as bed bug traps.
However, they have one limitation. These bed bug traps are not meant to lure out the bed bugs, and if the bed bugs are not in the open, the flea traps will be ineffective.
There are certain variations of the flea trap that are meant to help eradicate bed bugs. The usual bugs are attracted to moisture and warmth. On the other hand, bed bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide. This is why bed bugs mostly bite around the neck & the head.
As bed bugs live on your bed, you do not want a flea trap that uses hazardous chemicals. This is why most flea traps meant for eradicating bed bugs do not include any poisonous ingredients. Most of them are safe to use around kids and pets.
Many of these bed bug traps use all-natural ingredients and use odorless glue to trap bed bugs. Another advantage of using a flea trap as a bed bug trap is that you can plug them in any standard power outlet. These are highly portable, and very convenient to use.
These flea traps use heat, color, light, and a sweet odor to lure bed bugs. These come with an effective range of 50 feet. They are great bed bug interceptors and are an effective solution for catching bed bugs.
The advantage of using flea traps over pesticides is that traps do not include toxic chemicals. If you have kids, or pets at home, you should be extra cautious about using pesticides. In that case, resorting to flea traps will prove to be the best bed bug trap.
Almost all flea traps, be it for bed bugs, or for any other indoor insect, follow the same principle. While there are variations, most commercial flea traps use a combination of heat, warmth, and sticky glue to capture bugs.
The core idea behind flea traps is that if the trap can mimic the smell, and warmth of a delicious meal, it can lure the bugs inside. This smell is so powerful that it can even pure out bugs from their hiding spots and catch bed bugs. As soon as they step on the sticky traps or glue traps once they are inside, they get stuck.
Most flea traps for bed bugs come with replaceable pads. If the number of bugs at your home is huge, you can quickly change the pad as soon as the older one is out of service. They will trap fleas but also help solve your bed bug problem.
How do you lure bed bugs into a trap?
Bed bugs are mostly attracted to the warmth and odor of a potential meal. This is why most flea traps for bed bugs try to mimic the warmth of human blood.
An effective bed bug trap will come with pheromones in it. This helps lure the insects into the trap but this isn’t always needed.
To attract bed beds bugs, light is a great option which you will get in a sticky dome flea trap and other methods. The best bed bug traps work by using light and heat.
The Best Places To Put Your Flea Traps
When it comes to bed bug flea traps, a lot of their effectiveness depends on their placement. Remember that no matter how strong and effective the flea trap might be, if you place it in the wrong corner in your house, you will not see results.
If you are making a DIY flea trap at home, it is best to place the trap somewhere where the bugs have already been. This is because homemade flea traps do not come with an odor that is strong enough to attract the bugs to them.
If you have made a DIY trap that uses water, take a towel, and place the trap on it. The towel will absorb any spills.
If you don’t know yet where the bugs in your home have built their nest, you can place the flea trap at any of the hotspots mentioned below –
- Pet bedding
- Pet food bowl
- Drawer joints
Best Practices for Using Flea Traps in Home or Office
The first best practice is to clean the flea trap every morning.
After waking up, check the water on your flea trap. If you notice bugs lying on the water, dump them in the sink and wash them using soap. Once the cleaning is done, put water back in the bowl, add soap water and you are all good to go.
Another best practice is to use a table lamp instead of a candle. Candles do not have a bright glow while table lamps are very bright. Before going to bed, turn on the table lamp. Make sure the table lamp is shining right on top of the water bowl. If possible, use a bulb that produces warmth too.
To which color are fleas most attracted? Well, there is no definite logic behind this, but fleas are twice as more likely to fall for the flea trap if you are using a yellow-green light than any other colored light.
If your bulb is not yellow-green, you can use a yellow-green filter. If possible, buy a colored lamp from your nearest department store. Every store now sells colored bulbs.
If you do not have a table lamp, you can make a flea trap using candlelight. When you use a table lamp, the bugs & fleas will try to jump to reach the bulb, and when they fail, they will fall directly into the water.
When you are using candlelight, the fleas will try to reach that. But as soon as they step on the water & dish soap solution, they will drown in it. If you don’t have candlelight at your home, you can use a battery candle or a tea light.
When you are using a candle, make sure you place the candle away from any flammable object. If you have pets at home, make sure the candle is out of reach of your pets.
Does placing a plant beside your flea trap make any difference? Of course, it does. Unlike larger animals and insects, fleas are attracted to carbon dioxide. Also, they look for sources from where carbon dioxide is being emitted as it helps them find their next host.
We all know that in the absence of sunlight plants release carbon dioxide at night. Also, mature fleas are mostly attracted to carbon dioxide. This means by placing a plant near your flea trap, you can kill the fleas that are reaching their reproduction stage in life.
Here is one tip that you might not have heard before. Always keep your pets clean. As we have seen in the first section of this blog that fleas, such as bed bugs, are transported from one place to another via humans. But they can also be transferred via pets.
Wash your pets, especially after their day out. Take a flea comb, and brush your pet’s fur. When brushing your pet, focus on the neck & tail area of the pet. After you are done brushing your pet, take the flea comb and dip it in soap water.
Also, when you wash your pet, leave the shampoo on for a couple of minutes before washing it off. You might want to wash your pet twice during summer.
When using a flea fogger, always read the label before purchasing the product. Check if this product is meant to be used to kill bed bugs. Also, after applying the flea bomber, it is best to leave the room. Turn off any electrical appliance in the room to avoid explosion or fire.