Millions of homeowners are frequently confronted with misinformation regarding Cimex lectularius, the common bed bug. In cases of infestation, the call for bug inspection by professionals is deemed quite necessary.
Homeowners should only use natural methods or conventional materials currently registered for use against these bugs in their geographic locations and use them strictly according to label directions.
One thing we can be relatively sure of is that bed bugs represent another in the long list of serious threats to American homeowners that must be addressed without delay.
Listed below are the 7 most common misconceptions about bed bugs:
- Bed bugs only occur in filthy conditions. While cluttered and dirty conditions make it more difficult to effectively control them, the truth is that bed bugs don’t care about their living conditions. As long as the temperature is between 32 and 120 Fahrenheit, the only requirements they have are a warm-blooded human being from which to draw a blood meal at night and a secure place to hide during the day.
- They are resistant to most pesticides. This blanket statement is unsubstantiated. What is true is that they do exhibit resistance to some pesticides. However, chemical controls are still effective, by and large. Technicians routinely and successfully treat for bed bugs with pesticides. There is evidence to support the idea that, toward the end of its use, some populations of Cimex lectularius were exhibiting some level of resistance to DDT, but after that time they were still well controlled with the remaining organophosphates. It is also true that some populations are beginning to show resistance to pyrethrums.
- We don’t know why they are returning. The resurgence of the infestation is no mystery to those of us in the industry. The banning of DDT and other organophosphates, increased international travel, the modern lack of familiarity with this pest and social stigma, resulting in the lack of willingness, by some folks, to request help, have all been contributing factors.
- Climate change is responsible. No, global climate change, whether you believe it exists or not, is not responsible. Bed bugs live in human habitations. Since these structures are typically climate-controlled, bed bugs are unaffected by conditions outside.
- The ones we are encountering today are the descendants of those who survived DDT. This is only partially true. While some populations are almost certainly comprised of such descendants, others are not. Not all populations of bed bugs were exposed.
- These Insects Don’t Transmit Disease. This statement is true as far as the knowledge we have so far. The only concern is that, although they haven’t been proven to act as disease vectors they can contain disease organisms within their bodies and mouthparts. It may just be a matter of time before it happens. Any organism that feeds on the blood of one host then feeds on another has that potential.
- Cimex lectularius can’t survive temperatures over 115 Fahrenheit. According to the University of California, the actual temperature is 120.
This is why a hot washing and drying of clothing and other fabrics is effective at eliminating all bed bug life cycles, including the eggs.