Surprise, surprise. The New York Times got it wrong, again.
A popularly held opinion and speculation by the mainstream media was telling us that due to the “pandemic” of 2020, people would not have to worry as much about the common and growing worldwide pest known as bed bugs this year, due to decreased travel.
And yet, exterminators have actually reported being busier in places like New Jersey due to bed bugs during the Covid quarantines, lock downs and shutdown of life as we once knew it.
That’s right, the all-knowing media whom we have grown to love and trust (sarcasm intended) are now saying that bed bug populations and bites have increased, because, if you can believe them, people are more reluctant to let professional pest control into their homes at a time when fear is reaching a fever pitch.
Bed Bug Bites Keeping People Awake at Night
Often times, people have no awareness that they’ve been bitten, as the bites usually cause no pain and are not dangerous. They’re usually discovered when people awake to large red bites in groups of 4 or 5 on their exposed skin from the night before, frequently bringing a nasty rash with them to wreak havoc on the epidermis and a bed bug victim’s mental health.
In addition to the discomfort they cause, they can cause unsightly welts, marks, and even leave scars if scratched and cause allergic reactions and an infection, though you won’t likely feel them biting you when it happens.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
Usually bed bugs look brown but they can also appear to be black or white. If they appear white or clear in complexion, there’s a chance they just haven’t eaten a blood meal from a human host. They can bite your pets like dogs or cats, but it’s usually uncommon as they prefer waiting in your bedroom under your mattress or bed frame, then come out during the night to feast, preferring a nocturnal lifestyle.
They can come in all sizes, big and small. The large bed bugs, usually no bigger than the fingernail on your pinkie finger, are developed adults who have likely already bitten you, and finding them is the easiest, though it still requires a diligent search. The bed bug eggs are much harder to discover, and you’ll have to closely examine your bed and surrounding area, carefully inspecting for clusters in hard to reach- and see- areas.
Their bites are not contagious, but bed bugs will definitely hitchhike from one host to another, or travel between the shared walls of apartment buildings, making them extremely difficult when it comes time to effective removal and treatment. This is part of the reason why the cost of getting rid of bed bugs averages $900 – $1200 if you choose to go with a bed bug exterminator.
Immediate and Cheap Relief from Itchy Bed Bug Bites
First, you’re going to have to wash all your clothes and dry them on high heat. Some people even keep their affected clothes in trash bags and set them outside for a period of time. Then, to save money, you might want to consider a DIY bed bug solution, as this can potentially save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.
One such residual and long lasting, effective bed bug killer is discussed on this bed bug blog by someone who had success in finally killing all the bed bugs off fast and for good.
While the best cure for bed bugs is preventing them in the first place, something people often turn to in the interim is an anti-itch bed bug gel or cream.
Bed Bug Sprays Don’t Work to Kill the Eggs
Just be careful not to invest too much time in a bed bug spray that only kills on contact, as you may gain a false sense of security only to wake up again in the near future covered in more annoying and painful sores. Bed bugs do shed their skin as they grow in size and number, so finding their old shells lying around a splotchy patch of black, brown and red stains on the mattress are almost a sure sign that you’ve got an infestation.