Pests in homes, guesthouses, and hotels are a big problem. Some countries are worse than others and highly populated areas or places with a high turnover of people, i.e. guesthouses can be more prone to problems. However, anyone can find their home invaded by termites, mice, or other pests. Termites alone cause over $5 billion damage in the US each year.
Bed bugs in particular are a real nuisance that can be very tricky to rid yourself of. They cause nasty itchy bites from sucking blood, usually when the person affected is sleeping. The first most people know about them is after they wake up to find they have been bitten.
Signs you have bed bugs
There are several means of telling if you have bed bugs. Obviously, one of them is from witnessing them coming out of hiding. This is normally at night time but they can be spotted in the daytime too. Other ways to spot them are from dark spots on bed sheets, red bites on your skin, and a musty odor in the room affected.
The way to tell bed bug bites from a mosquito or other insect bites is that the bed bug bites in lines. Any row of bites running in a straight line is likely to be bed bugs. They are attracted to warmth and carbon dioxide so they like people’s homes and they aren’t worried if you keep the lights on. If you have bed bugs, it goes without saying that you will want to get rid of them.
Is the pandemic killing bed bugs?
There is a real possibility that the Covid pandemic will bring one benefit and that is to wipe out a lot of bed bugs. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to help any homeowner affected by these pests
Across the world, tourism has largely come to a halt. In Southeast Asia, borders remain closed and travel is severely restricted between Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. These countries also have many old cheap guesthouses that suffer from bed bugs. Backpackers help to spread the bugs between different towns and cities when they hitch rides in the traveler’s clothing and bags. However, bed bugs cannot live forever.
Bed bugs need to feed
Like any other living creature, bed bugs must eat. Their source of food is large blood from humans. With tourism brought to a halt, it means there are hundreds of empty guesthouses. Bed bugs take between 20 and 400 days to starve to death so with the pandemic approaching one year it is conceivable that any guesthouse with a bed bug problem will become free of them soon. It would be good to know how to get rid of any pests but at least it seems that bed bugs might be less of a problem in some regions soon.
How can you get rid of them in your home?
Unfortunately, unless you can leave your home for 400 days plus it is unlikely that you can starve them to death. You need to look at other alternatives. There are natural remedies, internet solutions, and real pest control. These all have their levels of success. Does vaseline stop bed bugs? Does diatomaceous earth kill bed bugs? Below you can see the success rate of these solutions and more.
Some people swear that smearing vaseline on your bed frame will stop the bugs from reaching you. There is some truth in this as they will stick to it. However, it is not a solution and you probably don’t want to keep smearing vaseline on the bed. Other natural remedies include spearmint oil and other scents although again they have a limited effect on the bugs.
For effective treatment, diatomaceous earth works by drying out the bug. It is a desiccant so anything that touches it will be affected. A professional pest control company will be able to put together a plan to clear your home using tried and tested methods.
How common are bed bugs?
They are extremely common in some areas. They tend to be found in apartments and condos more than anywhere else although family homes and motels are the next likeliest places for them to infest.
Over 90% of pest controllers said they had call outs for bed bugs so that would imply that they are very commonplace. They can travel in belongings and move from one apartment to another. Washington is one of the worst cities for bed bugs but they can live almost anywhere that the conditions are right.
If you rent then your landlord may be responsible but if you own the home you will need to hire a pest control company. Bed bugs will not just disappear from the home and vaseline, freezing and other home solutions will only have limited effects. Although Covid may help rid some places of their bugs you will likely need to employ a faster method if you get these pests in your home.