Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

Some Facts About Bed Bugs

See a video from Summit County Health Department about bedbugs: myths and reality.

What is the role of the health department in cases of bed bug infestations?

Local public health departments have very limited resources to combat this widespread problem. But, as annoying as bed bugs are, they are NOT a public health threat. The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment does not track or monitor bed bug infestations, nor does the health department do any sort of case management related to bed bug infestations. Our recommendation is that if you have a bed bug infestation, call a professional exterminator for a consultation. See below for more useful links to information on bed bugs and how to handle an infestation.

Why have bed bugs become more of a problem over the past few years?

In general, bed bugs have become more common due to factors such as increasing travel (more travelers, more luggage-to-luggage contact, more stays in hotels), increased reuse and re-sale of household furnishings, and an increase in the bugs' resistance to pesticides.

What can I do if I have bed bugs in my home?

Since bed bugs can be very challenging to control, most it's important to call professional pest control. The pest control firm can work with you to properly identify the pest and suggest an appropriate and effective treatment for the problem.

Do bed bugs hide mostly in beds?

You're probably most likely to first see a bed bug infestation on your mattress or pillow since you are more frequently at eye-level with a bed's surface and since you may wake up with visible and itchy bites. But bed bugs are very adept at hiding and reproducing behind floorboards and trim, in upholstered chairs and sofas, and even in the frames of televisions and the like where they will hide until emerging when hungry. Luggage is another common way for bedbugs to get into a home. Be sure to check yours closely after your travels.

Do bed bugs transmit disease?

Bed bugs are not significant transmitters of disease; however, the bites can be itchy, and scratching the bites could possibly lead to other infections.

Bed bugs are more common in places with poor housekeeping, right?

A bed bug infestation does not necessarily indicate a lack of cleanliness of any particular home or lodging. Bedbugs can be introduced into even the cleanest, high-end homes, lodging establishments, apartments or office buildings. Adequate hiding places for the bed bugs (furniture, crevices, cracks, etc.) and a warm blooded host for blood meals are all that are needed to start an infestation once the pest is introduced.

If I think I have bed bugs, can I get an effective over-the-counter treatment at the store to apply myself?

Bed bugs can be very difficult to exterminate from a site once they are established since they have become resistant to many pesticides. Home owners and businesses should be aware that some pesticides are not approved for use inside of the home/business site, or on surfaces such as mattresses where people will come in direct contact with that surface. For safe, lasting, and cost-effective results, it's best not to do it yourself. Application of pesticides is best addressed by a licensed pest control professional. Using the wrong pesticide can result in over-exposure, a failed outcome, and having to re-do the process, thus wasting time and money.

For interesting and useful facts on bed bugs, identifying them and how to get rid of them:

Other helpful sites:

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.