Bedbug infestation in Sarasota? Are you kidding me? I thought that was a problem only in big cities with big populations?  Well, my friend, bedbugs do travel, just like many other pests, when they can hitch a ride in the belongs of any tourist or snowbird. 

In recent years there has been an increase in bedbug infestations. In fact, 95 percent of pest management companies across the US have reported encounters with a bed bug infestation in the past year. Ten years ago, only 25 percent of respondents had encountered a bedbug infestation. In addition, one in five Americans now report they have had a bedbug infestation or know someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel, according to a recent NPMA survey.

How widespread is the bedbug infestation surge?

It’s a national thing. Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West coasts and everywhere in between. According to the Bed Bugs in America survey the impact is evenly spread. Bedbugs caused issues encountered by  17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West. This means the bedbugs might well be taking I-75 straight down from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico!

How do I know if I have bedbugs?

Usually your itchy, uncomfortable skin tells you. Bedbugs leave bloody welts on human skin which you can’t ignore! Adult bedbugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control. Once inside bed bugs spread rapidly from room to room. They don’t just live in the bed, either. Bedbugs get into many areas in your home. They can burrow in sofas, cupboards, drawers and carpets, and even in your car.  The travel  through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage.

Bedbug infestations in hotels get a lot of press, but these little things don’t keep just to one specific type of dwelling. They like to diversify. They’ll inhabit single family homes, multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, schools and college campuses, office buildings, retail stores, movie theaters and even public transportation. Nowadays, even five-star hotels and high-end clothing stores are susceptible to infestation.

Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?

Although this is what often comes to mind, bedbugs don’t depend on filth or sanitation problems in hotels or in homes. Bedbugs are stealthy and very elusive, transient pests – extremely hardy ones at that!  They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. They love the sunny weather of Florida. Bedbugs can be controlled with the vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by pest control professionals.

What can a homeowner do to protect themselves from a bedbug infestation?

Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.

To prevent bedbug infestations, travelers also need to be on guard and aware of their surroundings so they don’t unwittingly give bedbugs a free ride to their new home. When returning from a trip, check luggage and clothing. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional. This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. Contact the Heath Pest professionals for your free home consultation and estimate.