3 signs of NYC bed bugs
You may think your roommate is bad because they do not do their dishes or pay their rent on time. Imagine if your roommate sucked your blood every night and laid eggs in your bed.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for thousands of New York City residents living with bed bugs. These parasitic insects leave red welts all over the body of their "roommates."
Perhaps, the worst part is the feeling of constantly being surrounded, even when you are alone in your home. According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bug infestation calls have risen 81 percent since 2000.
In the last year, more than 4,000 Angie's List members in the New York tri-state area searched Angie's List for information on local pest control and exterminating companies. And pest control franchise Terminix ranked New York City as the No. 1 most bed bug-infested city in the country for 2011.
Because the tiny insects are so adept at hiding during the day, it's often hard to spot infestations until they become large. They're much like vampires who only come out to feed on their prey under the cover of darkness. Most infestations are not discovered until a home or apartment dweller starts discovering bites all over their body when they wake up in the morning.
The only good news about bed bugs is they are not a serious health threat. They are not usually known to carry disease. Their bites can cause large red marks and swelling in some and no reaction at all in others.
Here are some warning signs that bed bugs may have taken residence in your home:
1. Bite marks on the body. These bites usually come in groups of three. It’s called the breakfast, lunch and dinner pattern. It’s caused by the bite marks the bug makes as it walks across your body.
2. Stains on the mattress.
Small red and brown stains at the top part and corners of your mattress or near the headboard are caused by the bugs defecating on the way back to their dwelling.
3. A noticeable sweet aroma.
A heavy bed bug infestation can cause a sweet aroma in the room where their habitat is located. Some have described it as smelling like raspberries or rotting fruit.
To avoid transporting bed bugs into your home, be careful with your luggage and other belongings while traveling or using public transportation. Also, do not pick up any furnishings you find on the street.
If you have bed bugs, you can help control them by getting rid of clutter and by using special mattress covers. Gather all items suspected of carrying bed bugs and put them in plastic bags until the items can be laundered, washed by hand, heated or frozen.
However, the best way to completely eradicate the infestation is to hire a professional exterminator. They are dept at destroying these pests and making sure that the bugs do not return after the treatment.