Bed bugs—just the thought of them makes you itchy, doesn’t it? These tiny critters feed on human blood and love to hide in and around the cracks and corners of our beds. And even though they don’t carry disease, they do cause an itchy red rash.
When were the first bed bugs recorded?
These bugs have been around for thousands of years. Scientists have fossilized bugs that are more than 3,500 years old. It’s believed they originated in the Middle East, in caves that were used by both humans and bats, and in the ancient world they were sometimes used as a home remedy—the Egyptians used to put them in a snake bite treatment.
Do they exist everywhere?
Bed bugs can be found all over the world, but the worst infestation problems tend to occur in developed countries where people use bed frames and soft bedding. Between 1930 and 1980, they were almost eliminated because the insecticide DDT were used to tackle infestations, but since DDT was banned, there’s been a huge increase. Many are now immune to today’s pest control chemicals. And increased levels of international travel are helping fuel the problem, as bed bugs can travel on clothing and in luggage. These are the 8 signs you’re about to have a bed bug problem.
Where are the worst outbreaks of bed bugs?
The U.S. cities with the the most bed bug infestations that pest control company Orkin had to address in 2018 include Baltimore, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The states with some of the worst records for infestations are New York, California, and Florida—but bed bugs are found all over the country.
What’s the best way to get rid of them
Bed bugs are very difficult to eradicate, especially the eggs, so it’s important to try to prevent an infestation in the first place. Follow the steps in this detailed guide. But once they’re established, they breed rapidly. An adult will lay around 250 eggs in her life cycle, and those eggs take only six to ten days to hatch.
It is possible to treat your home yourself? Here’s our DIY guide to getting rid of bedbugs. If you’ve tried and still have a problem, professional help will be needed to eliminate them completely. Next, find out the 16 secrets bed bugs don’t want you to know.