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New reports of bed bug infestations at upscale retailers, public transportation, 5-star hotels and multi and single-family housing are quickly demonstrating why the blood-sucking creatures are quickly becoming the #1 pest in North America.
A study released this week by the National Pest Management Association found that pest control operators consider bed bugs the most difficult pest to eradicate, even more than cockroaches and ants.
ThermaPure, Inc., (www.thermapure.com)the industry pioneer in the use of heat to kill bed bugs and their eggs, has released updated information to help consumers tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Bed Bugs – Fact & Fiction
1. Bed bugs are only found in run down and dirty structures.
FALSE. Bed bugs are non discriminating. They have been found in 5-star hotels, cruise ships, single-family homes and public housing alike. They will hitchhike equally on designer luggage or discarded mattresses.
2. Bed bugs are only a problem right now in more densely populated areas like New York and New Jersey.
FALSE. Bed bugs have reached epidemic proportion throughout North America. While the New York area is one of the country’s bed bug hotspots, the pests have been reported in all 50 states as well as in Canada. Urban locations have higher reported occurrences, but are commonly found in more rural locations, as well.
3. Bed bugs feed on human blood in the middle of the night like vampires.
TRUE. Bed bugs are most active in the early morning hours when humans are normally in their deepest sleep. A blood meal usually lasts around 10-15 minutes.
4. Bed bugs are only found on mattresses and bedding.
FALSE. Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices of a structure, inside wall cavities, on walls and ceilings, under carpeting, in other upholstered furniture, even in electric outlets and within electronics. Mattresses are closest to their meals, so they are often found there.
5. Pesticides are the most effective way to kill bed bugs.
FALSE. While pesticide applications play a role in overall integrated pest management, there are definite down sides, including having to often apply pesticides multiple times on the same structure and also discarding and replacing mattresses. In fact, bed bugs are already showing resistance to powerful professionally applied pesticides according to recent university research (Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky).
6. Heat is proving to be the method of choice for killing bed bugs and their eggs.
TRUE. Laboratory testing has shown that bed bugs begin to die when temperatures reach as little at 113 degrees F. Field research has shown 100% effectiveness in killing bed bugs and their eggs when exposed to high temperatures. The predominant (and original) heat and filtration technology, ThermaPure (www.thermapure.com), has been applied to tens of thousands of structures throughout North America.
7. Encasing your mattress with a plastic cover will solve the bed bug problem.
FALSE. Mattress covers can help with bed bugs already found on the mattress, and only partial control thereafter. Encasements will not stop bed bugs from crawling onto your sheets and blankets from behind headboards. Since bed bugs hide in many parts of the structure, as well as on other pieces of furniture, encasements should only be viewed as one possible component in the fight against bed bugs.
8. Bed bugs can be a source of health-related problems.
TRUE While there is no current evidence to show that bed bugs can transmit disease, we do know that bed bug bite victims often report itchy, inflamed skin and on rare occasions victims have reported asthma attacks and other allergic reactions. According to a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, bed bug bites should be considered a possible cause of iron-deficiency anemia in people who have signs of severe bedbug infestation.
9. Bed bugs are the most difficult pest to control.
TRUE. According to a recent survey from the National Pest Management Association 76% of pest control operators surveyed say bed bugs are the toughest — even more than cockroaches, termites and ants.
10. Heat treatments do more than just kill bed bugs.
TRUE. When properly applied by trained technicians, ThermaPureHeat® pasteurizes a structure, killing bacteria, viruses, some types of mold and allergens, and even odors.
ThermaPure®, Inc. is based in Ventura, CA. The company’s ThermaPureHeat® technology utilizes structural pasteurization to sanitize structures. The ThermaPureHeat® process can also kill mold, bacteria, viruses and insects, including bed bugs, termites and their eggs.
The ThermaPureHeat process is currently licensed to more than 40 quality companies in North America.
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