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BED BUGS LONG ISLAND
Almost completely eradicated after World War II, bed bugs have made a serious worldwide comeback. You can find them almost anywhere these days from fancy hotels to hospitals, college dorms, schools, airports, bars and restaurants.
Scientists believe that bed bugs followed us from our earliest homes in caves, to our tents, to our homes, then everywhere else humans dwell. Evidence of their long association with humans includes a 3,500 year-old fossilized bed bug found in an Egyptian village, and references to bed bugs can be found in the works of Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, and Aristophanes.
Bed bugs got their name from their habit of feeding on us while we sleep in our beds. They are nocturnal, small, shy and easily overlooked. Adult bed bugs can live for half a year without food, making them perfect stowaways while traveling.
What Happened to Bed Bugs?
From the beginning of the 19th century up to about the onset of World War II, bed bug infestations in hotels and apartments across the United States had become so common that experts couldn't recall a time when they weren't a problem. People back then were plagued by these pesky bloodsuckers and it seemed impossible to wipe them out. But everything changed when DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed in the 1940s. It was initially used with great success to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations. It also was effective for insect control in crop and livestock production, institutions, homes, and gardens.
DDT was the first of the modern synthetic insecticides, and it was way more effective at killing insects than anything that had been used previously. DDT was a formulation that most insects had never experienced before and they were very vulnerable to it. Another significant advantage of DDT over the other most commonly used insecticides at the time was that DDT left a residue on surfaces that remained effective for months, maybe even up to a year. This residual component was especially effective against bed bugs because DDT would remain potent when bed bugs came out of hiding to search for a blood meal. Previously used insecticides dissipated much faster than DDT and were not always applied to common hiding places. DDT, other new insecticides, and advancements in sanitation / housekeeping helped keep America's homes and hotels bed bug free until their resurgence around the year 2000.
How Did Bed Bugs Make Such a Comeback?
Experts have much to say about why bed bugs came back with a vengeance in the late 90's, and there is no one definitive reason for the resurgence. Many believe that the main reason bed bugs gained another foothold across the globe was because DDT was banned in the early 70's due to human and wildlife health concerns. Others argue that bed bugs were going to be a problem again regardless of the ban, and that the bigger issue was that bed bugs were becoming resistant to DDT, and other insecticides, way before the ban occurred. As we entered the 21st century, more research was conducted on the re-emergence of bed bugs, and their comeback was more definitively attributed to the following key factors.
Lack of Public Awareness
When it became clear that bed bugs were back in the late 90's, one of the most significant factors that enabled them to spread throughout the US so fast was the lack of public awareness. Many people at the time simply didn't know what a bed bug looked like, and many others believed they could not get bed bugs. The lack of public awareness about an insect pest with the cryptic nature of bed bugs quickly led to a nationwide epidemic.
Research has shown that many of the strains of bed bugs we have been battling over the last 20 years have developed multiple resistance mechanisms to DDT and other synthetic insecticides. One detected mechanism is called "knockdown resistance," which is a genetic mutation that makes bed bugs resistant to DDT and many other synthetic pesticides. Another mechanism is a metabolic resistance caused by the increased detoxification of enzymes called P450's, which break down insecticides more quickly, making them less toxic to insects. There is also research that shows that some insects may be growing thicker exoskeletons, making it tougher for insecticides to penetrate and kill.
Changes in Professional Pest Management Practices
For decades, pest management professionals typically treated homes, apartments, hotel rooms, and other account types on a routine basis with residual pesticides. This method was effective because bed bugs and other insect pests would eventually contact the pesticide as they searched for food and a safe nesting site. However, the routine and arbitrary application of residual pesticide inside homes and other structures became frowned upon in the mid-90's, and there was a dramatic shift in pest management practices. Routinely scheduled spray treatments of baseboards in homes, hotels, motels and apartments were replaced with targeted applications of gel baits to manage pests such as ants and cockroaches. With the absence of the residual pesticide applications, bed bugs are able to travel freely and safely from the luggage to the bed, and successfully begin an infestation. It is likely that these factors have played a role in the bed bug's ability to become re-established in the United States.
What should I do if I see or suspect BED BUGS in my home?
STAY CALM! Although they feed exclusively on blood, bed bugs are not known to transmit any diseases to humans. They may be horrifying to some, but they pose less of a risk to us than mosquitos and ticks.
CALL THE EXPERTS! We have dedicated a significant amount of time and resources learning how to defeat bed bugs and our overall Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy of inspection, preparation and treatment can eliminate bed bugs from even the worst scenarios.
Paramount Bed Bug Treatment Protocol
The first step in our plan is to perform an inspection of your home or business to make sure that you’re dealing with bed bugs and not some other biting pest. Our bed bug inspectors are highly trained and a professional inspection is an essential part of our protocol so we can gather the information needed to develop the proper attack plan.
Bed bugs cannot be effectively controlled without a coordinated effort that includes cooperation on your part. There’s no getting around it: if you want to get rid of bed bugs, you will need to clean…a lot. It is also important to free the home of all clutter, especially in bedrooms and sleeping areas. Paramount Pest Management has developed a comprehensive preparation guide that will walk through the proper process of preparing and cleaning your home for treatments. Our goal is to create partnerships with our clients that are based on honesty and accountability. We have learned from experience that an educated and prepared client will be satisfied with the results and bed bug free.
Paramount Pest Management has its own bed bug division and our teams are comprised of highly trained, certified and insured technicians. Our treatments incorporate various methods including traditional liquid pesticide application, residual insecticide dust applications in cracks, crevices and wall voids, steam disinfection, HEPA filtered vacuums for the physical removal of bed bugs, AND MORE.