Bed bugs are not vectors for disease and they're not conclusively known to spread illness in a home. They don't climb around in your trash and then crawl all over your counters. They don't walk around on your toilet bowl then land on your peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And, they're not going to give you Lyme disease. So what is the big deal? Nothing, if you don't mind being a meal while you sleep.
I think most of us would agree that bed bugs are not a bug we want living in our homes. It doesn't matter whether or not they transmit disease. They are disturbing. But this isn't a pest you're going to be able to keep out of your home with door and window screens. It can't be excluded with door sweeps or weather stripping. You're not going to be able to protect yourself with a barrier of pesticides. This pest is a hitchhiker that you or a visitor will carry into your home. The best way any of us are going to protect ourselves is by increasing public awareness. Here is what we all need to remember about bed bugs:
These bugs can be found in the most luxurious of accommodations.
They can be found in cabins, motels, hotels, resorts and cruise liners.
They can be found in planes, trains, buses, taxi cabs, and even movie theaters.
They can feed on you when you are asleep or when you are fully awake.
They make their homes in mattress, but also upholstered furniture.
They can be easily detected by inspecting for blood stains on sheets and pillowcases or by examining creases and stitched areas on mattresses and furniture for black fecal residue.
They enter homes in suitcases, bags, bedding, clothing and even used furniture.
Washing and drying clothing on the hottest temperature will kill all stages of bed bugs.
Hiring a pest control company is the only effective way to remove bed bugs from a home or business.
K-9 bed bug inspectors are the best first-line defense against bed bugs. They are able to sniff out bed bugs even while they are still in their egg sacks.
The more people who know about bed bugs and inspect for them when they travel, the faster business and homeowners will move to stamp them out. If we all work together, we can slow the spread of bed bugs and reduce the chances of getting them in our homes. Take part in bed bug awareness week, June 7-13, by sharing these bed bug facts with someone you know.