In The War Against Bed Bugs, the “Bed Bugs NYC Epidemic” Is Ground Zero

In a recent study of pest control companies that deal with bed bugs, NYC has experienced an upsurge in bed bug infestations, particularly in the commercial sector.  Retail shops, clothing stores, office buildings, and hotels have been hit hard by bed bugs, more so than residential homes, which have been largely spared. New York City, having reached such a large outbreak had their “Bed Bugs NYC” epidemic ranked near the top of US list of cities hit hard by these critters, according to a report by PIX 11 News.

Citing the report, Bed Bugs NYC had been found to infiltrate, among other places:

  • A clothing store in SoHo
  • A NYC library
  • Multiple million dollar homes, in the Upper East side

In fact, even Bill Clinton’s office in Harlem had not been spared from the rash of bed bugs descending upon the city. In the war against bed bugs, NYC is the proverbial “ground zero” and it looks like these critters do not discriminate. Fortunately, city officials have managed to contain situation, so far.

Nevertheless, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Let’s examine how to protect against another Bed Bugs NYC outbreak with a little background on these insects, some strategies for residents, and tips for NYC visitors. City government officials may claim that the situation is under control. But that does not absolve us from the need to take preventative measures of our own.

Bed Bugs 101

Before jumping into prevention, let’s take a moment to get ourselves acquainted with what bed bugs are. In a nutshell, bed bugs (cimex lectularius) are miniscule, parasitic insects that feed entirely on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. These bugs are wingless, and can typically be found in the place where animals and humans sleep, hence the name “bed bugs”.  While they are extremely tiny, they can be seen with the naked eye, adult bed bugs only being about a quarter of an inch long. Inside human domiciles (as noted in the Bed Bugs NYC epidemic) you will typically find them in warm places such as beds, couches, or any soft furniture item within the home. These creatures are infamously notorious for being bloodsuckers. They will bite their victims in order to feed off of their blood.

5 Elimination Strategies For Bed Bugs NYC Residents

So what are some tips on how to manage the threat of bed bugs for residents?

  1. The use of pesticides to exterminate bed bugs has a relatively high success rate, as was re-proven during the Bed Bugs NYC scare. But it is oftentimes not the most desirable way to treat this problem, because the odoriferous chemicals can be harmful to human beings, particularly infants and small children, and pets.
  2. One effective way to mitigate the risk of bed bug bites is to encase your bed mattress within an impermeable mattress cover – also used during the Bed Bugs NYC epidemic. Any bed bugs that have already burrowed themselves within your mattress will be unable to escape and and feed off of anyone’s blood and will eventually die. New bed bugs will not be able to burrow themselves into your mattress, either. Any bed bugs that try to make themselves at home on your mattress can easily be exterminated by throwing the mattress cover in the laundry.
  3. Vacuuming any areas found to be infested with bed bugs, is the simplest solution to eliminate the threat. If you are wary of spraying your home with pesticides, then vacuuming is an effective solution to keep bed bugs at bay. Of course, as again re-tested during Bed Bugs NYC, vacuuming up bed bugs in and of itself won’t kill them. But it can be used to transport them to a trash receptacle. This method is not as effective against bed bug eggs, which cling to surfaces, but it can be used to displace bed bugs that are on the crawl.
  4. Among the “more natural” solutions used at the climax of the Bed Bugs NYC infestation, subjecting bed bugs to abrupt changes in temperature was and is a very effective means of killing bed bugs. Subjecting infested items such as pillowcases to heat by throwing them in the dryer can instantly kill them. Using carbon dioxide from a fire extinguisher can also create instant cold conditions that can also kill off bed bugs as well.
  5. In tandem with #4 above, Steam cleaning, where you use dry steam at temperatures at or above 113 degrees Fahrenheit, can be used to flush out bed bugs and exterminate them. This is typically used to supplement pesticide treatment.

Pesticide As A Last Resort

I’m still slightly scared about the long-term effects of the numerous amounts of pesticides used during Bed Bugs NYC. Obviously you want to try solutions that don’t involve pesticide before you have to resort to using it. Pesticide really ought to only be used as a last resort, due to the toxic nature and impact it may have on your domestic environment. But if you are absolutely must resort to using pesticides, then you are going to need to weigh your options. Do you call a professional exterminator or do you take your chances with attempting to eradicate bed bugs yourself?

Now this is all well and good for people who are faced with bed bug problems within their home. But what about travelers? With all of the bad press that has been propagated about bed bugs NYC, this may put off tourists and travelers, considering their concerns do have validity. When you travel to another city, you no doubt want to purchase accommodations to stay in a place that offers the comforts of home.   You should never have to settle for anything less than a comfortable experience, and that goes for even visiting the Bed Bugs NYC areas.

Tips For Travelers Entering the Bed Bugs NYC and Beyond

So here are some tips on how travelers to any city can deal with the problem of bed bugs, NYC and in other places.

  1. One extremely useful resource for travelers seeking to avoid a similar Bed Bugs NYC situation is the website http://www.bedbugregistry.com. It is a free, public-access database of bed bug reports, voluntarily submitted by users. As of right now, there are well over 20,000 reports, covering over 12,000 different locations. This is a very good way of gaining honest reviews of hotels and other facilities, as far as how well they are managing their bed bug problems.
  2. When you arrive at a hotel room, you should look for the telltale signs of bed bugs common to all infestations, not just Bed Bugs NYC:
    • Pull back the bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams for any signs of bed bugs.
    • Also take a good look at the mattress or any other item with fabric within your room, such as the curtains.
    • Look for tiny blood stains or tiny specs of particulate matter that could be the bed bugs shedding their skin or their feces.
    • Also look for any bed bug eggs, which are tiny, white, and look like grains of rice.
    • Also be sure to look in dark areas of the room, since bed bugs have an aversion to light and will typically stake out their territory in dark or low-light conditions.
    • Also look for signs that the room may have recently been treated for bed bugs: If you see any powder in or around the headboard or the drawers, that may mean that these areas have recently been treated for bed bugs.
  3. Make sure to keep your suitcases, shoes, and other belongings off the floor, chair, or bed, or any other upholstered item. It is preferable for you to keep them on tables or on shelves, at least until you have had a chance to inspect the area. The last thing you want to do is start another Bed Bugs NYC scare somewhere else by picking up any hitchhiking bed bugs that you might bring back with you to your next location, unbeknownst to you.

Winning The War – Bed Bugs NYC and Beyond

This may seem like a painstaking effort, but if you find any of these signs of infestation mentioned above, you should request a transfer to another room immediately.

Just as Bed Bugs NYC was contained for the most part, bed bugs are a problem that can be conquered and overcome with some strategy and effort. Whether you are faced with a bed bug infestation in your own home, or you are traveling to a place where you fear an infestation such as Bed Bugs NYC, there are things you can do to eliminate or at least mitigate the bed bug risk. You can win the war against them.