By now almost everyone has heard about the increasing problem of bed bugs in New York City. The problem has made national and local headlines sporadically throughout many years. This article on bed bugs, NYC is to inform you of several things. Bed bug prevention, identification, treatment of affected areas, the bed bug bites themselves, and ways to stop the transfer of bed bugs.
Identifying a Bed Bug
Bed bugs are small, nocturnal parasites that call many places their homes. They can be in the cracks of walls and furniture, mattress seams, and clothing. Bed bugs also take up residency along baseboards and behind loose wallpaper and wall hangings. To identify a bed bug you will need to know the following characteristics. Bed bugs start out when first hatched semi-transparent, almost light tan in color. They start out roughly the size of small seed. It takes approximately two to four months for them to mature and the will turn to a burnt red color and their body will be shaped like an oval. They can reproduce as long as they have a food source which means as long as they have human blood readily available. The female bed bug can lay up to five to seven eggs a week. It takes about ten days for the eggs to hatch. These bugs can live for several days even months with no food or water. Bed bugs have a life span of about one year. This does not mean if there are bed bugs in your home to wait a year and they will all be gone, because remember they are reproducing for that year as well. Bed bugs do not remain invisible; there are a few things you may notice if they are in your home. They will often leave droppings and their eggs along with blood stains showing up on your sheets and mattresses be it from getting smashed or traces where they may have bitten you. Common places to check for bed bugs include; mattresses and sheets, furniture, baseboards, anywhere within ten to twenty feet of where you sleep or your favorite chair.
The transfer of bed bugs and treatment for their bites
Bed bugs can transfer in a plethora of ways. Some of the ways the unsuspecting tourist brings them into their home are in their luggage. Buying used furniture, bedding, and clothing. Bed bugs can also move from apartment to apartment through cracks in the walls adjoining them.
Beg Bug Bites and How to Treat Them
Bed bug bites may go unnoticed at first since you don't feel any pain; the reason for this is at the time of the bite the parasite delivers a small amount of anesthetic. However, over time be it a few minutes or a couple of hours they will turn into large welts that become itchy. Some people do not react to their bite at all or suffer only small bumps at the site of the bite. It is important not to confuse the bite of the bed bug with that of another insect. For example, fleas bite initially looks similar but will have a red spot in the center. Do not assume because you have been bitten by an insect that it was a bed bug, there will be many other obvious signs of an infestation. The treatment of a bed bug bite is very simple. Apply a topical anti-itch cream and it should soothe the affected area. Unfortunately some of the bites may become infected and you will need to seek the advice of a doctor. One of the other less mentioned affects of a bed bug bite is the sleeplessness and anxiety that may come from worry associated with a potential bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug, NYC Treatment Options and Finding a Reputable Extermination Co.
There a few basic steps to follow in trying to rid your home or apartment of bed bugs. First, never try and use any kind of pesticide yourself. Even the pesticides purchased in your local retail store have many harmful and potentially very dangerous chemicals. To do it yourself could mean harming yourself, your children, or your pets. So what you really need to do is hire it out to be professionally done. For those of you dealing with bed bugs in New York City the first step to take when you are suspicious of bed bug infestation is to contact the Department of Housing Preservation and Development they will have a list of companies and also steps you can take to assist in alleviating the problem. When searching out your pest control company it is always best if they come highly recommended from a trusted family member or friend. You can also visit dec.ny.gov and it will tell who the actual licensed contractors are. Upon narrowing your search to two or three companies it is time to start interviewing. A good pest control company will inspect your residence prior to giving an estimate. They may also give you a written inspection report this will detail a plan of action and also some tips for preventing in the future. You may expect a reputable extermination company to visit two, three, or possibly more times depending on the severity of your infestation. There are two things to demand from the company servicing you; the first is that they show you respect. The second is that they follow up until the situation has been resolved.
Know the Pesticides used When Dealing with the Bed Bugs, NYC
It is, of course, highly recommended to turn to a professional when dealing with pesticides. Even then it is important that you have a good understanding of the pesticides the chosen exterminator will be using in your home after all this is where you live. A reputable company will always follow instructions for the pesticide and notify you of when exactly it would be safe for you to enter your home after treatment. Places these companies will not spray are on the top of the mattress or sofa. They will however, spray the seams of these items. For more information on the pesticide being used to treat the bed bugs in your home you can contact the National Pesticide Information Center or Poison Control. These to centers are designed to educate about the pesticide or offer tips if feel there has been some side effects felt by you or your family after treatment of the bed bugs.
The Best Solution for Bed Bugs, NYC is Prevention
The best way to ward off bed bugs is prevention. You are especially at risk if you live in an apartment complex or make a habit out of buying used or rented furniture. A few of the most effect preventative measures are the most inexpensive. A good starting place is by filling any cracks with caulk, it would be a good measure just to caulk around all baseboards. Also you will want to immediately repair any cracks in plaster and tidy up any loose wallpaper. Any means for bed bug entry to your home is through loose electrical outlets and switches so you want to make sure those all fit snugly. In the event that you are traveling abroad or even to the hotel down the street keep in mind those bed bugs can be anywhere so make it a habit to keep your suitcases and personal effects up off the floor.
What can NYC Tenants Expect from Their Landlord
If you happen to be a tenant here are few things you could expect from your landlord. The landlord may provide you with a guide to controlling bed bugs or a pamphlet detailing some of the before mentioned ways to detect bed bugs. They may also encourage you to report any evidence of bed bug infestation within the building. The landlord should also notify you of any bed bug cases in apartments surrounding yours. They may also hire their own pest removal company, in which case you would expect to be updated with dates and times that the building would be treated. A good landlord will also inspect every apartment as it becomes vacant to assure that the rest of the tenants will have a safe living environment.
Some of the Places affected by Bed Bugs in NYC
It has been shown that no matter how prestigious a hotel, museum or housing complex may be that bed bugs show no prejudice. The Lincoln Center, the Waldorf-Astoria and Empire State Building are all very well known and have had reports of bed bug infestation. Some of the local retail stores have also been stricken with this dilemma and some such as Bloomingdale's, Victoria Secret, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister have all suffered loss from closing for treatment of bed bugs.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter how wealthy or how poor you are bed bugs affect everyone. Do not be afraid to speak up and get help it is the only way to get this crisis under control. Here is a quick reminder of companies to contact in case of a bed bug situation; The Department of Housing Preservation and Development or simply call 311. Sleep tight NYC and don't let the bed bugs bite or infest your neighbor's apartment for that matter.