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Bed bug infestations are not usually noticed until the pests begin inflicting irritating bites on people living within infested homes. It is a common misconception that bed bugs are too small to be readily noticed. While bed bug larval specimens may be excessively small, and can therefore go unnoticed within a home, adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed. Although adult bed bugs are large enough to be readily noticed, they tend to hide in certain areas of infested homes. Bed bugs congregate in tight indoor locations for a period of time before establishing new congregation sites. These hiding places are commonly referred to as “harborages,” and they contain an abundance of shed skins, tiny fecal stains, and a few dead specimens.

Infested homes contain numerous bed bug harborages where the pests remain during the daytime before emerging to feast on the blood of sleeping humans at night. Some people are under the impression that applying over-the-counter insecticide within these harborages during the daytime may eliminate infestations. Unfortunately, not even professional grade insecticides are sufficient for fully eradicating bed bug infestations, which is why professionals often use heat treatments as well as minimal amounts of insecticide to adequately address infestations.

These days, bed bug infestations are tragically common in all areas of the US and much of the world, which is why there is no shortage of over-the-counter bed bug control products in retail stores. However, it should be known that these products are worthless, even when it comes to treating insignificant infestations. A four year study involving surveys of American homeowners found that common store-bought bed bug treatments, such as bug bombs and aerosol sprays, almost never worked to control bed bug pests. This study also found that unconventional treatments, such as applying flammable liquids to infested mattresses, never worked to eliminate infestations. Obviously, this method of bed bug control is very dangerous, and unsurprisingly, many housefires have resulted from these ill-conceived eradication efforts. The study did find that washing infested clothes in hot water and on high heat did successfully kill bed bugs specimens, but this method is clearly inadequate for treating infested homes. Today, eliminating bed bug infestations is no longer a challenge for well equipped pest control professionals.

Have you ever resorted to an unconventional form of bed bug treatment?