More Creepy Crawly Bedbug Facts

Val and her dorm-living college son had quite the experience with bedbugs.

Here’s the story of her ordeal and what saved her.

And here is everything she learned from her exterminator or as she calls him, “My new B.F.F.”

  • Bedbugs come out between 4-6 a.m. and feed for 2 minutes then run and hide.
  • Bedbugs are small but not invisible. Some telltale signs that bugs were present are tiny drops of blood on pillow or sheets, molted skin shells, they are size of poppy seed to apple seed.
  • They have an analgesic in their saliva so you don’t feel when they bite you.
  • They prefer to feed on humans over animals.
  • They are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale.
  • Bedbug bites usually appear first like a rash, and they might take 5 days to appear.
  • Later the rash turns into bites that present in 3’s.  (Often called breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
  • Bedbugs do not carry disease. It’s more dangerous to be in a room with mosquitoes.
  • When traveling the best place for your suitcase is in the hotel bathtub.
  • In a hotel, instead of checking the mattress for bedbugs, check behind the headboard.
  • Bedbugs can’t tolerate heat. Put your clothes in a hot dryer for 30 minutes.  Problem solved.
  • They travel on clutter: luggage, computer bag, shoes, pant cuffs.
  • They reproduce very fast. Eggs hatch in 6 days, and then you’re in trouble.
  • If you SEE bugs in the room, you have a serious case of infestation.
  • Bedbugs will travel 20 feet to feed. If your roommate’s not there, they’ll find you next.
  • Bedbugs have a fear pheromone. If you spray, they can alert the other bugs to run or play dead.
  • They can go into “dormant” state for up to a year where they don’t need to eat.
  • They love to hide in cracks & crevices (most dorm beds are wood crate) and in welting of mattresses.
  • Rubbing alcohol kills bugs/eggs on contact.
  • If you must use chemical sprays, these products are safer: Gentrol, Bedlam, Suspend.  Chemical treatments usually require a few visits a week apart to make sure they get the eggs.
  • Best method for treating infested rooms is heat treatment (but it’s 3 times the cost). They heat room to 140 degrees. They call heat treatment  “One and Done.”
  • There’s also a freeze method called InstantFreeze.
  • Bedbugs do not fly or jump. But they can run fast. Damn.
  • Vapona strips are effective when put in a closed bin with items. Bugs will die within a week.
  • Products with Chrysanthemum flowers ingredient are effective.
  • “Bombing” treatment only aggravates the bugs and isn’t recommended.