Bed bug infestations are increasing at an alarming rate. Despite common misinformation about this pest being limited to "dirty" people it can happen to ANYONE. I have seen the nicest, most innocent people lose hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in service costs and property loss. Don't become a victim, become aware! Eliminating this bug entirely is unrealistic but we can control it with a more knowledgeable culture.

My company would ask that I avoid public proof but I promise the mods have it.

Comments: 4976 • Responses: 19  • Date: 

Jynx32121 karma

Why can't you kill them easily?

apesna3661 karma

Years of the insects developing chemical resistance.

cahaseler2089 karma

What are your top tips for avoiding an infestation in the first place?

(you can stop replying to me people, I have enough bedbug advice to last me a lifetime)

apesna3112 karma

Weekly inspection of their "hot spots;" couch cushions, bed seems, box springs (especially in the corners nearest your head). You want to look for 4 things. 1. Clusters of small black spots (poop). 2. Somewhat white, somewhat transparent rice granules (eggs). 3. Yellowish shells in the shape of the bugs (exoskeletons or molts). 4. Most importantly, live bugs. Google is a great tool.

pessimist931022 karma

What was the most extreme case you have ever witnessed yourself?

apesna3586 karma

They were EVERY where. Beds, bed frames, dressers, tvs, wall outlets, the bathtub, the sinks. Bed bugs only move from a stable food source when they're too crowded to crawl over each other. That requires someone completely ignoring the problem. The homeowner literally said "well sometimes I feel one crawling on me and I just flick it off and then I'm good."

apesna928 karma

Hey folks, this is my first ama and I don't know how to do an edit but I'm working right now but I promise to answer as many of you as I can when I get home.

Plz-Send-Me-Food675 karma

What's the most effective preventative action to take to avoid bed bugs in the first place?

apesna239 karma

Awareness and regular inspection. Refer to the answer where I explain what to look form

Cloakedchimera562 karma

What are some major contributing factors to bedbug infestations? (In other words, what are things we should do/not do to prevent bed bugs)

For those of us who live in apartments, if we have neighbors that have bed bugs what is the best course of action to "quarantine" your apartment from being infested? Or is it to late at that point?

apesna728 karma

  1. Our extremely crowded population (new york in particular is seeing an exceptional level of the problem). 2. Travel and general commutes. People are getting them and then taking them where they go ad nauseam. 3. Unawareness.

apesna18 karma

Refer to where I answer the things to look for in weekly inspections.

anRoboticus383 karma

How do bedbugs cause substantial economic damage?

apesna736 karma

In many situations they've invested items so deeply, that the only way to truly get the bugs out of the property is to throw away the infested items. We've gone so far as to do clean outs that include completely gutting the property, ripping up carpet, taking out doors, cabinets, etc.

jimandroidpc242 karma

Can you allow a building to freeze and will it kill them?

apesna510 karma

It takes extreme and total freezing but yes, extreme heat or frost can kill them.

Mariulo248 karma

I'm not sure if it's still your area of expertise, but if a cat/dog gets fleas, can they infest your bedroom on a permanent basis like bed bugs?

apesna467 karma

Absolutely. If you have a pet that goes in and outside you should be constantly checking that they are clear of bugs. Unfortunately our little buddies can't tell us when something is wrong. Be proactive, not reactive.

Killerporn69156 karma

Is the procedure for bed bug removal tenting or is it something less invasive?

apesna233 karma

Tenting and fumigation tend to just scatter the issue. We focus on more targeted treatments where the activity is being seen.

skinnymojo49 karma

What is it about those little bastards that makes them so resistant to the chemicals and methods that work on virtually any other bug/pest?

apesna96 karma

Years of building resistance to common household sprays (raid, hot shot, bed bug be gone). Since the outlawing of ddt in the 70s we've been working on finding new materials to attack them without attacking "non-target animals." That would include pets, wildlife, humans, etc.

_tx15 karma

Best solution for ticks?

apesna18 karma

That moves into lawn care. The epa limits pest control in natural environments. We're not "exterminators" we're pest controllers. Most insects play a role in balancing the ecosystem. Our ultimate goal is to get pests out of structures and back to the environments where they can thrive.

seppukuzushi2 karma

Do you have any level of experience with Vikane or contact with professionals who are licensed to employ it?

If so, could you describe the results?

apesna1 karma

My company has discontinued use due to observed resistance.

happyfappy2 karma

I write this from my mother in law's home, as our stuff sits in plastic bags and we await day 2 of spraying the apartment with pesticide.

A few weeks ago, my wife noticed that she and my daughter (2yo who cosleeps with us) started developing itchy little red marks on their skin. I did not. She suspected bed bugs, so we scoured the place looking for any signs and couldn't find any. No excrement, no eggs, no corpses, no shells, nothing. Glue traps we had set were clean.

We had an exterminator come to inspect. He took apart the bed, looked everywhere, and found only one tiny blood stain on the bed, which might have come from somewhere else. We were all just about conclude that there were no bed bugs when he spotted two live ones on a sheet under the bed.

We since discovered a nest in the cosleeper. Turns out, my wife had gotten it second hand from a friend who had stored it in a hotel closet.

We nuked the bedroom (had everything treated and wiped with alcohol), had the entire apartment spot sprayed, and bagged/treated everything in the adjoining rooms, but stopped short of throwing out our couch or doing the same for the rooms further out.

A few questions:

  • Did we make a mistake by not ditching our couch?
  • How often do you see a case like ours occur (very little apparent evidence in a very clean apartment)?
  • Does it sound like we're going to succeed in getting rid of the bastards?
  • Any additional advice or anything we missed?


apesna1 karma

  1. Bed bugs generally will not move from a reliable food source without being transferred, so I'd keep up on inspecting the couch, literally, forver.


  3. Yes, you've benefited from early detection and taking proactive steps.

  4. The key now is not becoming complacent. Continue inspecting, maintain awareness. It is very possible to reintroduce from the original or a completely new source.

ProjectTakeOver-4 karma

Does everyone have bed bugs ?

apesna1 karma

Some members of pest control are saying "it's not if you'll get bed bugs, but when."