Bed bug infestations can become serious in a matter of months, and treating a minor occurrence compared to an infestation is far less costly, yet some people still have their fingers in their ears and sweep the thought of ever getting them under the rug.

All people, no matter who you are, rich or poor, color or creed, man or woman, child or adult, you, can get bed bugs. The blatant truth is if you have blood running through your veins, yes, even you can fall victim to bed bugs.

Early detection helps a bed bug occurrence from becoming an established infestation.

Because of the bed bugs minuscule size and adept ability to hide, the challenge for humans to find and correctly identify them is great. Moreover, if you do have them and do nothing about it, it gives them more time to transfer or spread to other areas of the house or work to start new infestation areas. We are finding that this is happening more today than any previous years and bed bugs are spreading like a wildfire.

Because of widespread news, people automatically think any bite is from a bed bug. Bites alone are a poor indicator of bed bugs because they look much like bites from other insects. Some people are constantly being bit but show no physical response or allergic reaction to the bites. And that is one of the most predominate reasons that bed bugs continue to grow into infestation proportions in many homes.

The most accurate way to identify a possible problem is to find signs of bed bugs. Unless all people do regular inspections, bed bugs can grow without them knowing it.

However, how does one go about educating everyone so that signs of bed bugs are discovered early enough to avoid infestations from assembling? This too has been a serious challenge. There are people who do not take the bed bug pandemic seriously and turn a blind eye and then there are those that are creeped out by the thought and put their fingers in their ears.

Sadly, the day comes when they discover little “red bugs” crawling across their sheets or find clusters of fecal stains hidden between their mattresses and act surprised. We are not as surprised because we know it is only a matter of time where the blatant truth hits you smack in the face!

Last week I received a call from a woman near Harford, CT I spoke to over a year ago. She had called me asking what her sister needed to do for a possible bed bug situation. During the conversation she said to me that she would never get them because she lived in a very expensive condominium complex and it was very clean and maintained. Well, let’s think like a “considerate” bed bug: ”  Hmm! You are high-end, so clean and well maintained.  I think I would rather starve than get a much needed meal in your pristine environment.”  Nope! BED BUGS DO NOT THINK!!!! They SURVIVE to reproduce. That ‘s what they were meant to do.

There are 64 units in the building. I had mentioned to her when we last spoke to open a conversation with her HOA to address the possibilities of bed bugs and get them to educate all that lived there.

Well, that never happened.

Now, a few months later, her daughter woke last week with bite marks, which at first she thought were mosquito bites, but when changing her sheets today discovered all kinds of young nymph bed bugs with full blood meals in their bellies.  She said she knew right away what they were since her “sister” had them last year.

She wanted to start treatment right away and asked me if I would suggest someone who was qualified. Before that, I asked if she had spoken to her HOA or spoke to any of her neighbors.

Of course, she had not.

To make a long story shorter – After pest control showed up, it turns out that the unit below her was the source of a very serious bed bug infestation and they had come up to her unit through the structures of the building. Of course, they checked below the unit and found them there as well but the people were not affected by the bites.

This whole situation did not have to occur had she spoken to the HOA as we suggested. Had the HOA sent out education materials to the whole building and had started regular inspections with scent dogs; this proactive protocol would have caught this early bed bug problem way before it had a chance to build up.

Don’t guess at whether you have bed bugs, call us and set up regular inspections. This alone will save thousands of dollars for the HOA and homeowners as well as help to stop the spread of bed bugs in our communities!

Article submitted by Denise Donovan, founder of IBBRA.org