In response to "Invasion of the Night Crawlers," an article that appeared in the July 2006 edition of our newsletter, we received a letter from a Board Certified Entomologist that raises some additional considerations and concerns which we wanted to share with our readers. The text of that letter follows:
Your recent article, "Invasion of the Night Crawlers" was very interesting. I have personally visited many apartments and private homes that had problems with bedbugs. Effective elimination of bedbugs is very difficult due to, among other things, the cryptic nature of their behavior. They rest in tiny cracks and crevices near their hosts during daytime hours and emerge at night to get a blood meal. It should be understood that bedbugs pass-through several life stages on their way to becoming an adult. They begin as an egg. From the egg stage emerges very tiny nymphs which feed on blood. After several days they shed their skin and become a little larger and again feed on blood. This process continues for a total of about 5 molts whereupon they can mate and lay eggs, beginning the cycle anew.
We have found bedbug nymphs and adults inside computers, television sets, clock radios, under lamps, in books and magazines near the bed. The bed itself is usually the place with the highest concentration. They are found in the bed frame including the headboard, footboard and other support members. They can also be found at the edges of carpeting. The nymphs are so small and hard to see that unless you are experienced and properly trained, they will often go unidentified and untreated.
The abatement process to eliminate bedbugs is very detailed and time consuming. Every piece of furniture must be carefully inspected and treated. The mattress and box spring need to be examined carefully and may have to be discarded if there is a large infestation. All clothing must be removed from the drawers and closets so the technicians can examine these areas and properly treat them.
Some buildings may have problems with bats. These mammals harbor "Bat Bugs." These look very similar to bedbugs and can bite people too. In fact, if the bats leave the building, the Bat Bugs will look to an alternate (human) host.
The abatement protocol is the same for Bat Bugs. However, the space where the bats have been found roosting needs to be decontaminated. Bat droppings (guano) need to be sprayed with a biocide and removed by special technicians. Bats will also carry other ectoparasites such as fleas which may also be present in the space. When the bats die, these pests migrate in search for another host. That's one reason why the hole through which the bats are entering and leaving must be sealed AFTER the bats have all left.
Bedbugs and Bat Bugs are here to stay. And, eliminating them is often a daunting task.
Michael A. Deutsch M.S., BCE
Arrow Exterminating Co., Inc
For a copy of our July 2006 newsletter, please click on the following link:
For an interesting overview of Bat Bugs written by Dr. Susan C. Jones and Dr. Kyle K. Jordon, of the Ohio State University Extension, please click on the following link:
For an interesting overview of Bed Bugs written by Dr. Susan C. Jones, of the Ohio State University Extension, please click on the following link: