Recently, the University of Kentucky partnered with the National Pest Management Agency – a non-profit organization established in 1933 – to conduct a Bugs Without Borders Survey. They found that bed bug infestations in the United States are continuing at a high rate and in fact showed signs of increase over the years. There are many factors which may act as contributing factors to this phenomenon including warmer climates and the elimination of the chemically strong pesticide, DDT, which was banned in 1972 for being unsafe for humans and pets.
This has led to several epidemics to date including the famous 2009 – 2010 Manhattan Bed Bug Epidemic. Today, bed bugs are present in every US State with over 99% of pest control professionals reporting bed bugs as a reason that they were called into a home, as seen in the Bugs Without Borders Survey referenced above.
However, the positive news is that this gap in the marketplace has led the charge for innovation in providing an environmentally friendly and safe for humans and pets pesticide solution. This green revolution saw the rise in a number of products that are designed with safety for small children and pets in mind while looking for creative ways to effectively eliminate a bed bug presence and prevent a potential infestation.
One product that has received consistent positive reviews on the market today is Bed Bug Bully – a naturally formulated product that targets the pheromone-reliant bed bugs pheromone receptors to ensure that these critters are either eliminated or evacuated within 34 seconds of application. Meanwhile, it is so clean that it has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being pesticide-exempt.
This natural formula featuring environmentally friendly and natural ingredients targets the bed bugs pheromone receptors to ensure that they evacuate your premise before laying up to 500 eggs. Bed Bug Bully does so by leveraging the fact that during bed bug mating rituals, the males excrete certain pheromones to attract mates and certain pheromones to arrest mates. Using natural ingredients that simulate the arresting features of bedbug pheromones, it is able to leverage bed bugs’ own self-defense mechanisms against itself and eliminate your home of a bed bug problem in the quickest and cleanest way possible.
There has many pesticides and insecticides developed to control the spread of bed bugs. There are several key strengths to bed bugs that enable them to be worthy opponents in the turf war of your home.
Specifically, bed bugs have these strengths:
Reactive to these strengths, researchers have, over the years, come up with a series of products effective at killing bed bugs. However, as expected, many of the strong chemical agents, while effective at getting rid of bed bugs, actually present harm to people especially small children and pets. The chemical DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is colorless, crystalline, tasteless and almost odorless – it achieved fame for its insecticidal properties but was banned in 1972 by executive order for its acute and chronic toxicity.
Experts today recommend non-toxic pesticides and pesticide supplements for their effectiveness at driving bed bugs out from homes – eliminating potential health risks – while preventing the strong chemical composition from doing too much harm to host families and pets.
Finally, in the fight against bed bugs – the live and let live philosophy ultimately wins. The truth is, while bed bugs are annoying critters who poses both risks to your family and your home; their role in the delicate ecosystem that is our planet earth is a relatively unexplored topic. This is yet another reason for selecting non-toxic and natural ingredient based solutions to stopping infestations by insects such as bed bugs. During periods when chemically strong pesticides like DDT were used, the world saw a steady decline in bed bug population but a rise in so-called “superbugs” – insects that demonstrate traits of resisting chemical insecticides. This product not only seeks to destroy the bed bugs that have invaded in your home but promote the evacuation of bed bugs that were not in direct contact with its spray. This serves to allow the bed bug population to remain in balance in nature – just not inside your home.
As with many things, the full answer is a little more complicated than that.
Ultimately, we can’t be certain as yet: studies are being conducted on bed bugs from populations that have recently adapted to so many of our modern industrial pesticides, and human blood-borne diseases are even more adaptable than the bed bugs themselves. Bed bugs are not known to pose a threat to human health, not yet, but as many as 30 or more human blood-borne pathogens survive after being ingested by these parasitic, blood-sucking insects.
Here are some facts we know about bed bugs, in terms of actual risks to human health:
Over the last 3-4 years, experts have begun to explore the fact that bed bugs carry infectious human diseases, by dint of their preferred sustenance: the organisms which give rise to HIV, herpes, every form of hepatitis, MRSA, and other blood pathogens have been found to have survived the feeding process.
With no known cases of bed bugs transmitting these diseases from one person to another, scientists are looking into why that is, given that the microorganisms are already adapted to infect humans. No definitive answer has been provided yet.
Another point of concern are the arboviruses. These are diseases, such as the Zika virus, malaria, dengue, and yellow fever, which are known to be transmitted primarily through the bites of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other parasitic insects, arachnids, and arthropods. Here again, there are no recorded cases of these infections being transmitted by bed bugs—but the possibility remains, as the arboviruses are particularly prone to rapid adaptation.
Victims of bed bug bites usually experience itchy, sometimes painful rashes, which may also involve large and highly visible welts. In rare cases, the anaesthetic and anticoagulant in bed bug saliva can lead to an allergic reaction, resulting in a more severe range of problems. Because bed bugs are tiny and difficult to spot, particularly if they haven’t fed recently, these rashes are one of the earliest visible signs of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs grow to be approximately 4 mm in length and will be half to two-thirds as wide. Their young can be as little as half that size and will be a pale brown, white, or yellowish color. Adult bed bugs are red, reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, or dark brown. Both adults and nymphs will turn darker, and become large and sluggish after they have fed.
These unwanted houseguests inject a chemical, a modified saliva when they bite. This combines an anaesthetic, or painkiller, with an anticoagulant, which thins the blood and makes it less prone to clotting. The amount injected isn’t enough to cause serious harm to a person, although individuals with an existing heart or blood condition may be at some risk from large numbers of bites (studies aren’t clear on that point).
The reason for the anticoagulant is that bed bugs find the thinner blood easier to feed on, as well as to digest. Having eaten, bed bugs become sluggish, and will often spend some time remaining where they’re at to digest their meals.
Bed bugs will also defecate, breed, and lay eggs in the vicinity of a sleeping individual on whom they have just fed, unless there is some immediate threat to their safety. For this reason, another early sign of bed bug infestation is what they leave behind on the mattress: eggs, and egg husks, as well as tiny little black spots—bed bug offal—the size of the head of a pin.
A restless sleeper might roll over, inadvertently crushing bed bugs which have recently fed, leaving blood spots on their sheets and mattress which are often mistaken for their having bled after being fed upon. In fact, the anticoagulant is so mild as to wear off almost immediately after feeding has ended.
For more information on how to recognize bed bugs, what myths to ignore, and how to kill bed bugs, please consider the following links to other pages on this site. If you suspect you might have a bed bug problem, take action immediately—before their colony gets any bigger!
In the 5th century BC, in Greece, writers lamented the issues of dealing with the nighttime predation of blood-sucking insects, introduced following early invasions of the Persian army. The history of bed bugs are also recorded in ancient Egypt, and in the early Roman Republic, where writers described them as “sofa bugs” and advocating burning any infested articles.
Other, varied solutions for dealing with bed bugs ranged from seemingly sensible, to what might strike us in the modern day as incredible. Some ancient writers believed that bed bugs could be tamed, as with other, much larger animals. Fungi, various plant-based oils, and even concoctions made from insect parts were all applied to the problem, with varying (but generally little) success.
The use of essential oils from plants which demonstrably resisted insect predation, such as mint and clove, were the most successful methods of fighting bed bugs in ancient times. Unfortunately, these and many other traditional folk remedies were largely forgotten about with the development of modern pesticides.
Bedbugs, unlike ticks, are actually insects. Specifically, they are parasitic insects belonging to the Cimicid family. They feed exclusively on blood, being one of many species within the Cimicid family to do so. The common bed bug’s scientific classification is Cimex Lectularius, and it is distinctive from other species within its family due to its preference for human blood.
Many Cimex Lectularius are incapable of deriving all of their nutrition from other forms of blood, having adapted quite thoroughly to feeding off of humans, much as their precursors fed off of the bats with which we shared our caves (or who shared their caves with us) thousands of years ago.
After evolving to feed on humans, some early bed bugs left the caves when we did, and joined up unknowingly with trade caravans and waves of human migration. They reached China around the same time that they reached Greece, in the last few centuries BC. From there, they went across Europe, then went north.
They’ve been recorded in England since the early Middle Ages, and are believed to have come to America with the Pilgrims on board the Mayflower. From the northeastern US, they spread rapidly south, reaching South America before also arriving at the west coast in the company of trappers and fur traders.
Bed bugs are highly adaptable, and they resist most of our efforts to eradicate them. Even many of our best efforts require direct, individual applications to kill the insects, and they are able to lie dormant for extended periods of time. This allows them to relocate quickly to new places, where even a few individual bed bugs can quickly establish a thriving colony. In this way, they have spread all over the world, and can now be found virtually anywhere that people live.
This results in bed bugs being a persistent nuisance across the united states, and all over the rest of the world. Bed bugs cause a considerable amount of economic damage, as traditional extermination services are quite expensive—beyond what many people can afford, particularly if multiple treatments for bed bugs are required (which they often will be).
Loss of sleep is a major contributing factor to depression. Worldwide, events like car accidents, job loss, and suicide spike on Mondays, after a weekend in people didn’t get enough sleep; they are also known to trend in response to sleeplessness caused by other factors, including bed bugs. It is probably unfair to suggest that the insects themselves have a direct and considerable impact on suicide rates and car accidents, but in a culture where “enough sleep” is often a wistful fantasy, they certainly aren’t helping.
Here are a few basic facts about bed bugs, of which you might not be aware:
Scientists are hard at work developing new means of fighting bed bugs. While their potential as a health risk is uncertain, it seems clear that they are a costly and uncomfortable problem the world over, and have been so for thousands of years. With modern pesticides proving largely ineffective without direct application, as well as being extremely toxic to people, all-natural plant-based products like Bed Bug Bully are getting a serious second look.