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Bed Bugs.. Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

IMG_3227Olly olly oxen free!

When we were kids, that was the quickest way to get someone to come out from cover in the classic game of hide-and-seek.

It works with children, but not persistent bed bugs.

You think you got the critters ‘cause the signs are there: itchy skin welts, blood smears on bedding (from crushed insects), tiny dark spots (fecal droppings) on sheets or mattress, or dried remains of dead bed bug skins.

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Proactive AZ Hotel K9 Inspections

Bed Bug Dog IvanEvening cocktails, a USA TODAY paper, gym access, free Wi-Fi – even a chocolate chip cookie!

Hotels and motels rev up the hospitality to earn your business with goodies and freebies. But lately some unsuspecting travelers have discovered freebies that would make even the bravest guests squirm: bed bugs.

Although you may not have heard about them in decades, these insects exist. Increased global travel is one of the reasons their numbers have grown in the United States and more and more hotels and resorts, even some of the finest, have had these parasitic freeloaders check in uninvited.

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Attack of the blood-thirsty bed bug!

Bed Bug DefecatingThat’s what was really showing at a movie theater in New York City’s Time Square a few years back when a patron’s complaint of bed bug bites prompted theater managers to hire professionals for a closer inspection.

What they discovered was a screamer: Bed bugs were found in two seats at the city’s AMC Empire 25 Movie Theater. Seems there was a real-life thriller materializing in that Cineplex and no need for special 3-D viewing glasses with the six-legged villains so up close and personal.

In case you had not heard yes, it’s a true story – no fiction here folks.

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Can Your Dog Carry Bed Bugs?

blitz 2014Man’s best friend – A loyal companion who has weathered life’s worst storms with you.  But can your dog weather a bed bug infestation ? Or worse – can he start one?

     

It’s been more than one occasion that customers and who fear bed bug infestations have asked if it’s possible that these pesky parasitic insects can hitch a ride on your canine companion and infiltrate your clean and cozy domicile.

     

The answer is it’s quite unlikely.

     

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A Bed Bug Winter Wondererland

Bed Bugs 02Brrrrr…Cold weather is upon us now that Winter has arrived.

One thing we can certainly appreciate about the drab days of winter is the seeming lack of insects: Most of these annoying creatures tend to hibernate, migrate, or die off.

So does that mean we can expect to be safe – even take a break – from the persistent threat of a bed bug infestation?

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A Bed Bug Holiday

IMG_1638Ahhh…Christmas and New Year Vacation: a time filled with food, family and travel.

But if you’re lucky enough to stay in a hotel instead of obnoxious Aunt Martha’s spare room, don’t forget there may be willing critters eager to join your return trip: bed bugs.

Oh, that’s right. Hotels are one of the most common places to find bed bugs and if you’re not careful, you might bring these opportunistic freeloaders back home in little Susie’s Holiday Barbie gift set.  I say this from personal experience these brown, six-legged creatures are extremely uncomfortable and expensive house-guests.

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Bed Bugs in Phoenix Arizona, Kill Them with AZEX Heat!

bb_landing1Bed Bugs

Human beings most likely acquired bed bugs during our shared troglodytic ancestry.  This can be extrapolated due to the fact that all three of the known species of bedbugs (Cimex hemipterus, Leptocimex bouti , and Cimex lectularius) that parasitize human beings will also feed on bats (C. lectularuis readily attacks rodents and other domestic animals). 

Bedbugs are dorsoventrally flattened, reddish brown bugs that can grow to a length of 8 mm.  They stay on their hosts no longer 5 to 10 minutes during feeding.

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AZEX Pest Solutions: Mother Earth News

Termite Baiting and Other Termite Control Methods

Termite control doesn’t have to be toxic. There are effective, natural methods to get rid of them.

By Amanda Kimble-Evans
Aug. 24, 2009

If you have a termite problem in your home, don’t panic. There are effective measures, such as termite baiting, to control termites.

Safe Pest Control

Standard pest management methods for eliminating subterranean termites involve applying toxic chemicals to your home, your soil, or both. And “tenting” — basically wrapping and fumigating your entire home — is the most common way to dispatch drywood termites. The good news is many of the termite control methods available today are just as, if not more, effective than the toxic exterminations.

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AZEX Pest Solutions in the News – “Phoenix-area exterminators see boost from bedbug infestations”

biz-bedbugs0224   0220110120wdby William D’Urso – Feb. 24, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX — The mere mention of bed bugs might make most people uncomfortable.

But it’s a growing problem in Arizona and getting rid of them is turning into big business for exterminators.

Some pest-control firms have diversified and grown their businesses by adding bedbug eradication as a specialty niche.

National revenue in bedbug extermination and management increased to $258 million in 2009 from $98 million in 2006, according to the National Pest Management Association.

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PLEASE help our community. Be part of the solution, not the problem!

As you have probably heard, bed bugs have made a major comeback in the United States and Arizona is no exception. Please help our state prevent the spread of bed bugs. Take a moment and read through this article. It will answer most of your questions as well as offer you practical advice.
LET’S BE HONEST. Nobody wants to think or talk about bed bugs. Growing up, many of us thought it was simply a nursery rhyme. What’s all this media attention about bed bugs making a comeback? “Come on, it can’t happen to me!” Well, there’s been at least a 700% increase over the past couple of years, and predictions of stopping their spread is not encouraging. EVERYONE NEEDS EDUCATION about this old pest that is spreading at epidemic rates. A scourge of mankind since the caveman, bed bugs had been eradicated in most industrial nations for 50 years.. And now,
THEY’RE BACK!
Bed bugs are NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!
Bed bugs are NOT a sign of dirtiness. REPEAT! Bed bugs have absolutely nothing to do with sanitation. But clutter IS the bed bugs’ best friend. It allows this pest so many more places to hide and lay their eggs.
Also, ALL types of homes are susceptible to bed bugs. They are found in million dollar homes, luxury apartments, cruise ships, 5 star hotels, dormitories, etc. Bed bugs often enter a home by hitchhiking on clothing, backpacks or luggage.
If you suspect bed bugs, DON’T PANIC!
FIRST, talk with your landlord. It’s better to deal with the situation
BEFORE it gets out of hand, than keep quiet because you’re embarrassed. Your landlord needs to address this before the situation spreads to your neighbor’s home.
SECOND, prepare yourself mentally for the idea that bed bugs are not the easiest pest to eradicate. But, rest assured, your landlord wants to help you solve this problem as quickly as possible.
THIRD, work closely with your landlord & the professional exterminator. Experience shows that cooperation between the landlord, tenant, & professional exterminator will dramatically affect the likelihood of successful treatment in the shortest amount of time.
How Do I Protect Myself & Family From Bed Bugs?
Take steps to try to avoid picking up bed bugs when … you or your family members travel, even overnight. Bed bugs can hitch-hike to your home from just about anywhere (even from sitting on an infested sofa at a friend’s home who doesn’t even yet know he has them!), but generally found places that have a regular change of occupancy like hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, multi-family housing, etc. They are also commonly found in moving vans and trucks. Check your luggage closely if you think you’ve encountered bed bugs (traveling or otherwise), and dry all clothing immediately in a dryer set at its hottest temperature.
Be careful of used mattresses and discarded furniture. You shouldn’t buy used furniture, especially bedding items or upholstered items. But if you do, at the very least, do not bring them into your home until you, or a competent expert, has inspected them carefully for any signs of bed bugs which would include live or dead bed bugs, eggs, fecal spots, or molted skins.
We encourage you to consider covering your mattresses and box springs with a plastic cover which you can seal shut (certified bed bug encasement’s) to prevent bed bugs from getting into them (or to permanently trap any already there from getting out).
What are signs of infestation by bed bugs?
Look for the following:
A raised, red, welt-like bite that itches, usually appearing in lines or clusters. They generally appear from one to 24 hours after the bite and last 1-2 days. Don’t forget, other insects or arthropods or medical conditions can produce similar bite reactions, so you must confirm by looking for live bed bugs, eggs, molted skins, and dark brown or rusty spots (feces) on the bedding, mattress and box springs. When inspecting you should begin at the head of the bed and move outward to include all furniture particularly night stands, sofas, carpeting, drapes, picture frames, baseboards, electric outlets, and electronic equipment. Also, don’t forget to look for blood smears on the walls (squished bugs).
What do bed bugs look like?
Adults of the common bed bug are a reddish – brown color. They have an oval shape with flattened bodies (after feeding, the body becomes swollen). They hatch about the size of a pinhead and young nymphs look like walking poppy seeds, eventually growing to about ¼ inch or longer. You may first notice them when they are the size of an apple seed and may be mistaken for a cockroach or tick. They do not fly, but they can climb, and they run very fast. Their eggs are white and small (1mm).You’ll have to look hard to see them glued in seams and cracks.
Where are bed bugs found?
Bed bugs are found anywhere that is frequented by people. Bed bugs are more likely found in locations with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, multi-family housing, nursing homes, movie theaters, etc.. We also find them in moving trucks and vans.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs hide in mattresses and box springs, bed frames, night stands, dressers, upholstered furniture, cracks, crevices, behind switch plates, electrical outlets, behind baseboards, window and door casings, the edge of and under carpeting, seams in wallpaper, behind pictures and other wall hangings, in draperies and blinds.
Bed bugs prefer a semi-dark environment and rougher surfaces such as wood, paper, or fabric.
How do bed bugs spread?
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) climbs easily up any fabric, wood or paper surface. Bed bugs often spread by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as bedding, furniture, luggage, clothing, backpacks, purses, briefcases, animal cages, picture frames and electronic devices. Bed bugs can hide in any crack or crevice as small as the width of a credit card.
When do bed bugs feed?
They predominately feed at night between 2:00—5:00 A.M. (usually closer to 5:00 A.M.). However, they have also been known to feed during the daytime.
What do bed bug bites look like?
Bite reactions vary. Some people show no reaction, while others exhibit a raised itchy red welt at the site of the bite. Some reactions are immediate and sometimes they are delayed. Many times you will find two or more bites in a row. The bites are more likely to occur on an exposed area of the body such as arms, neck, face, shoulders, or back.
How do I treat the bed bug bites?
Always seek professional medical advice. There are anti-itching medications as well as antibiotic salves which may be helpful when applied to the bites.
What personal steps can be taken to avoid being bitten if bed bugs are found?
Continue to sleep in the bed, but turn your bed into a “safe island”. Pull the bed away from the wall at least 6”. Bed bugs do not fly, but will climb up walls, and drop on the bed They also travel along electrical cords etc. that are plugged in the wall socket. Clean the bed frame and encase the mattresses and box springs in a certified bed bug proof cover. Place bed legs in CLIMBUP TM Insect Interceptors. Wash blankets and sheets weekly in hot temperature, followed by 20 minutes or more in the dryer at high temperature. Check mattresses for bed bugs when changing the sheets, etc. Do not allow blankets, sheets, etc. to touch the floor. Do not place luggage, backpacks or other items on the floor or bed.
What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have bedbugs?
Getting rid of bedbugs often requires a multilateral approach involving professional exterminators, cleaning and prepping your apartment.
Don’t throw out mattresses or furniture. You may have heard this advice, but this may be unnecessary, as bedbugs also live in cracks and crevices of the building structure. Doing this can end up costing you extra money just to replace furniture you didn’t have to.
Inform your landlord of the problem. If you suspect bed bugs, let your landlord in on the situation. Even if you’re not sure yet (i.e. you haven’t yet seen an actual bed bug), it’s a good idea to talk to them and see if they’ve received reports from other tenants.
Capture a bedbug. If you haven’t already, as soon as you can, confirm that you have bed bugs by capturing one and sealing it in a glass jar or other escape proof container. One way to do this is to place CLIMBUPTM Insect Interceptors under bed legs or place double-sided tape around the bed. A captured bedbug will confirm the need to engage professional help.
Encase your mattress in plastic. .Since bed bugs are fond of living in the folds of mattresses , bed bug certified mattress encasements, much like those used by people who are allergic to dust mites, will help reduce the number of bugs…and bites.
Launder all bedding, etc in hot water (at least 120F) and dry on the hottest setting for at least 20 minutes.
What types of treatment options are available if I do get bed bugs?

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