Bed Bugs By The Numbers
Here are some basic facts about bed bugs so we can better understand what we are up against. Good night don’t let the bed bugs bite is no longer a cute nursery rhyme joke. The National Pest Management association has reported a 71% increase in bed bug calls nationwide between 2000 and 2005. New York City alone rose from 500 calls in 2004 to over 10,000 in 2009. The top 3 places for infestations reported is in apartments, single family homes and hotels.
A Little History
Bed bugs are not a new problem they were mentioned in Ancient Greece as early as 400 B.C. they are thought to have evolved from bat bugs in the Middle East where people and bats inhabited caves together. In the United States in the 1930’s it is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 homes were dealing with a bed bug infestation in their homes. Soon after that DDT a powerful pesticide became widely available and nearly eliminated bed bugs from most developed nations. The great bed bug resurgence began in the late 90’s and 2000,s and was caused by these factors. Bed bugs have become incredibly resistant to many pesticides, bed bugs are fantastic at hiding, they are great hitchhikers and move from place to place on hosts with ease, lack of knowledge by pest control professionals due to the lack of their presence for so many years, lack of knowledge by the general public and increased travel particularly international travel.
A Real Problem
Infestations can grow at alarming rates 1 bed bug can lay up to 500 eggs in 6 months creating over 30,000 descendants. Bed bugs feed on human blood an average feeding takes between 3 to 15 minutes and they can consume 7 times their own body weight. Approximately 75 % of the general population will have a reaction caused by these bites while only about 50% of the elderly population experiences symptoms from the bites of a bed bug. Bites can lead to a range of skin manifestations ranging from no reaction at all to unpleasant bite marks and rashes. People also report suffering from sleeplessness and anxiety caused by these bites and infestations. Bed bugs typically will hide 3 to 10 feet from their food source which happens to be a sleeping or resting human being. Bed bugs will hide in or on nearly anything not just beds.