What a bed bug looks likeCourtesy if Richard Naylor, University of Sheffield

I received a call from a young woman who has a very busy lifestyle juggling work with being a single mother. However, nowadays who doesn’t? She explained both her children were waking with little red marks or bites of some kind on a regular basis. Fortunately, they would go away in a few days and she never pursued the possibility of what it could have been.

A few months go by and while changing her daughter’s sheets, she noticed a cluster of small black marks on the edge of the mattress. She got some bleach in a spray bottle and cleaned the black marks off the mattress thinking no more about it.

Another month goes by and she noticed the same type of marks on her sons bedding. This made her wonder if there was mold in her home. She went and got the spray bottle of bleach and cleaned it off.

A few weeks later, she saw the same black spots on her daughter’s bed, which made her think that she must be spilling the water that was placed at her bedside when she slept. She then went to the store, purchased a dehumidifier for her room, and hooked it up thinking that would solve the problem.

A few more weeks go by and while changing her daughter’s sheets found yet more little black marks. Not knowing the signs of bed bugs, she never thought it could be a bug of some kind but is now concerned that that must be it.

She began disassembling the bed by taking off the top mattress only to expose large clusters of black fecal stains, tons of cast skins and live bugs crawling all over her box spring!

This is one of many stories, which we call, “innocent ignorance” that we hear daily. People are not aware that bed bugs are real, they don’t know the signs of them and furthermore don’t find them early enough to avoid “infestation” levels.

If this woman knew the signs of bed bugs, she would have automatically thought she may have a bed bug problem but because she didn’t, now a serious infestation had developed.

It turned out that the bed bugs were brought back from her X-husbands house (where he had a substantial infestation) picked up by the children’s clothing on alternative visiting weekends. Both homes were now breeding grounds for bed bugs and the likelihood of the families taking them to school and work is great.

Chemical spot treatments for bed bugs usually require three treatments to eliminate all life cycles of the pest. The first treatment can cost $100 to $150 per room, with two follow-up treatments costing $60 to $90 each per room. Heat treatments can cost from $1,200 to $2,800.00 depending upon the size of the home and the extent of the infestation.

Bed bugs are an unpleasant fact nowadays and it is imperative that all understand the circumstances in which they fall risk to picking them up. Furthermore, people need to be checking for signs of them often enough to avoid them building into infestation proportions.

Bed bugs can happen to anyone, at any time, and if found early can save a person a substantial amount of money on eliminating them. Know the difference between an “occurrence” and an “infestation”. Once an “infestation” develops, the cost, time and energy that surround getting rid of them, can literally run into thousands of dollars vs. hundreds if found during early occurrence stage.

With summer months of travel quickly arriving, think before you travel, pack properly, and do not bring your luggage or any other personal items back into your homes without thoroughly checking them for bed bugs.

Kids coming home from dorm in Universities can bring home a hitchhiker or two so be sure to check everything and launder all clothing upon arrival.

With a bit of vigilance we can avoid bringing bed bugs into our homes. Give us a call and allow us to prepare you for any possibility of bed bugs in your lives!  Our bed bug dogs are experts at detecting a few bed bugs and their eggs.  Call us at 508-713-8267 for peace of mind.