This is not the first time the world has had bed bugs, but they are once again becoming a nuisance for homes, public spaces as well as college dorms, hotels, hospitals and movie theatres.
Eric Benson, professor of Entomology at Clemson University says there has been a resurgence of bed bugs in the United States in general, and, yes, they are present in South Carolina.
Most people grew up with the saying, “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite,” not even realizing there was an actual creature called a bed bug.
Bed bugs may live in bedding, furniture or clothing and their eggs may be present in used clothing. They may also be found in boxes and suitcases where they move from residence to residence.
Professor Benson says it’s important you properly identify the blood sucking critters.
There are bat bugs, there are bird bugs and often times when I have people think they have bed bugs, if they can catch one, it’s always a good idea to get it identified to make sure it truly is a bed bug and not something else.
According to Benson, bed bugs are great travelers and like to hitch rides in luggage and boxes, hiding in tiny spaces making them easy to transport but difficult to exterminate.
Bed bugs are so adept at squeezing into tiny little cracks and crevices around our bed and mainly areas of the bedroom, they’re very difficult to find, they’re very difficult to get control products to.
Benson says there are a variety of reasons that bed bugs seem to be on the increase, but only because controlling bed bugs needs to be handled differently than the elimination of other household pests. Exterminators more likely use integrated pest management such as baits and non-chemical control which target things like ants and cock roaches that feed on baits “whereas bedbugs don’t feed on baits–they feed on us. So, you cannot use a bait for bedbugs.”
Benson recommends using professional exterminators and advises that several treatments are required to rid the pests from an infestation problem.
And yes, they do bite!