It’s the year 2023 and people are still battling with bed bugs. While I was sure we’d have flying cars by now, we still don’t even have hoverboards. I supposed it’s a little too much for me to expect humanity to solve its age-old pest control problem: bed bugs.
Bed Bugs Becoming Less Uncommon
Bed bugs are on the rise due to a few key facts. While these aren’t the only reasons, they do explain the increase in bed bug infestations:
- Increased international travel: Bed bugs are hitchhikers, and they can easily travel from one place to another on luggage, clothing, and other personal belongings. As people travel more frequently, they are more likely to bring bed bugs back with them. Increases in immigration and traveling workers or workers in other countries on VISA are also a component of the spread of bed bugs.
- Increased resistance to pesticides: Bed bugs have developed resistance to many of the pesticides that were once used to control them. This makes it more difficult to get rid of bed bug infestations. DDT used to work, but it worked too well and it was hurting humans and animals too.
- Changes in housing and lifestyle: People are living in closer quarters than ever before, and this makes it easier for bed bugs to spread. Additionally, people are spending more time in hotels, hostels, and other shared spaces, which increases their risk of coming into contact with bed bugs. The housing unaffordability crisis and the rise of Airbnb type rentals definitely lends to the transient nature of 21st Century existence.
Examples of Bed Bug Outbreaks Around the World and US
Bed bugs have really made a comeback in the USA in the last two decades:
- In 2018, a bed bug infestation at a hospital in London forced the closure of the hospital’s maternity ward.
- In 2019, an Oklahoma Courthouse had to close after an attorney came into court covered in bed bugs.
- In 2023, Chicago once again as the #1 city for bed bugs, three years in a row. In Kansas City, an assisisted living facility was condemned by the inspector for bed bugs.
- In summer of 2023, Britons were warned against taking holiday in France, where it is reported that 1 in 10 French houses have bed bugs.
Bed bug infestations are a growing problem around the world. These pests are difficult to control and can spread quickly. If you think you have a bed bug infestation, it is important to inspect your bed, mattress, and bed frame for the typical signs.
It’s also not a bad idea when traveling. By pulling back the bed sheet liner on the edge of the mattress and spot-checking the bed frame for small black specks, molted insect shells, and reddish-brown stains. After all, no one wants to find bed bugs in their hotel room, but if you don’t look, you could be taking a chance.
What To Do If You Have Bed Bugs
If you think you have a bed bug infestation, it is important to take action immediately. Bed bugs can spread quickly and can be difficult to get rid of. There are a number of things you can do to prevent bed bugs, including:
- Inspect your luggage for bed bugs before and after traveling.
- Wash your clothes and bedding in hot water and dry them on high heat.
- Vacuum your home regularly, paying attention to cracks and crevices.
- Consider using a bed bug mattress cover.
- If you think you have bed bugs, contact a professional pest control company.
How to Make Your Own DIY Bedbug Repellent Spray
Making your own effective bed bug repellent using homemade natural ingredients is possible, but there is no guarantee that it will be 100% effective. Bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to traditional pesticides, and there is no scientific evidence that any natural remedies are 100% effective against them.
However, there are a number of natural ingredients that have been shown to repel bed bugs, and using a combination of these ingredients may help to reduce the number of bed bugs in your home.
- 1 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- 5 drops of peppermint essential oil
- Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle.
- Shake well to combine.
- Spray the solution on all areas of your home where bed bugs may be hiding, including mattresses, box springs, furniture, and carpets.
- Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping it up.
- Repeat the process every 3 days for a week or until you no longer see any bed bugs.
More Tips for Applying Your Homemade Bed Bug Treatment
- Make sure to spray the solution in all cracks and crevices where bed bugs may be hiding.
- Be sure to spray the solution on both the top and bottom of your mattress and box spring.
- You can also spray the solution on your clothing and bedding to help prevent bed bugs from coming into contact with you.
- If you have pets, be sure to keep them away from the area where you are spraying the solution.
It is important to note that natural bed bug repellents are not a cure-all. If you have a severe bed bug infestation, you may need to hire a professional pest control company to get rid of them, or use a contact and residual killer for bed bugs like DE!. However, using natural remedies can be a helpful way to reduce the number of bed bugs in your home and make it more difficult for them to survive.
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