Bed bugs were once a problem that was almost eradicated for over four decades, but there has been a resurgence of bed bugs in the past five years. Why are bed bugs becoming such a problem, and what can be done to eradicate them from your property?
Why Bed Bugs are Back
In the late 1930’s a chemist discovered a pesticide (DDT), which worked effectively to kill bed bugs. However, in recent years, bed bugs have become resistant to DDT (and DDT is no longer used), leading many property owners to deal with bed bugs on a frequent basis. In addition to chemical resistance, world-wide travel has become normal, which can spread infestations quickly.
Stopping Bed Bugs
One of the challenges with bed bugs is their ability to hide during the day. Bed bugs are resistant to many pesticides and they have a hard exoskeleton, protecting them from certain treatments that could normally kill other pests. Bed bugs can spread easily, and many people do not show symptoms of allergic reactions to them until there is a serious infestation. Since bed bugs can spread easily, especially in larger cities like Houston, there needs to be proactive treatments to prevent them.
Killing the Breeding
If bed bugs cannot breed, they are unable to continue reproducing and causing an infestation. As a tenant, contacting a landlord is the first step to take. Landlords are typically proactive about bed bugs because of how quickly they spread, so the goal is to contain them to one unit and stop them. Landlords normally contact a pest control agency right away to begin treatment. However, tenants can take some other steps to aid in destroying bed bugs. Use our tips to help you stop bed bugs from breeding and spreading:
- Remove the food source (your blood). This can be done by using plastic sheeting on your bedding to prevent them from biting at night.
- Use hot water to wash all bedding and destroy bed bug eggs that may be hiding.
- Vacuum frequently to remove bed bugs, their shells, fecal droppings, and eggs.
- Clean the property often and limit clutter. Bed bugs tend to hide in clutter, and a messy environment makes it easier for them to hide and breed.
- High pressure steamers can penetrate furniture where bed bugs can hide.
Steam Cleaning for Bed Bug Eradication
Tenants can help to prevent bed bugs if they do live in a multi-unit building. As it is impossible to prevent your neighbors from maintaining the same cleanliness standards as you, it is important to take time to limit your risk of bed bugs in your unit. Bed bugs tend to hide in small, tight spaces such as wood cracks, floor boards, joists, baseboards, carpeting, etc. Vacuum and steam clean around all the window sills, baseboards, and carpeting. Steam cleaning for about one inch per second as it will make sure the bed bugs are destroyed. Steam cleaning with high heat will kill the bed bugs, and reduce the risk of the eggs surviving. However, for anyone dealing with an existing infestation, contact your landlord immediately to discuss having a pest control agency come in and treat the unit for bed bugs. A successful property management company will act immediately when it comes to bed bug treatments.
Pest Control Agency Bed Bug Treatment
Contact and residual sprays will work in killing bed bugs over time. However, these sprays are not always the best option for bed bug eradication. Pest control agencies have stronger treatments, and other methods used to kill the bed bug eggs and the living bed bugs.
Bed bugs are no laughing matter. Landlords must act quickly to stop bed bugs before they become worse. Keyrenter property management in Houston focuses on building relationships and open communication with our clients to turn your property into a successful one! Contact our Houston office today to discuss your property management needs.