The hysteria about bed bugs has touched almost every facet of our life and it’s not just the general public. This insect is all the rage at pest control conferences all around the United States. I finally got to my breaking point with them yesterday. A local Connecticut newspaper carried a story about this insect and how they had the possible to bring tourism in New York to its knees.
Here’s the truth, yes this insect is a true pest that has spread far beyond the wildest imaginations of those like myself who are on the front lines of the pest control industry. The real problem though is that the media has made this story far worse than it has to be. In fact, most homeowners are far more likely to have damage done to their home by termites than to bring home a bed bug. Termites are known to cause more damage than fire, flood and wind combined. however, this problem gets very little play except for those who have had termites and know the true cost.
It’s true bed bugs have been found in movie houses, stores, multi family housing and other popular places where people gather, but this alone is not a reason to become fearful. If people were able to see the amount of germs that were on the average public railing I’d bet more people would be falling down the stairs. The fact is a railing in a public place carries more germs than I care to think about.
The bed bug issue needs to be kept in perspective and everyone needs to know what your actual chances of having them are. Here are your chances:
You have an extremely high probability of getting bed bugs if:
– You travel frequently, stay in hotels and never check your room for a problem
– Live in multi-family housing AND have a neighbor who has them.
– Stay with a person who has them.
– Let a person stay with you who has a problem.
– Do your laundry in a laundromat
– Have frequent guests that may have a problem at their home. (Ask if you must).
– Leave items in public storage.
– Pick up used items like furniture and clothing and bring them to your home.
– Live in a large metropolitan area and are not aware of the preceding circumstances.
You have a moderate chance of getting bed bugs if:
-You vacation one to two weeks per year and stay in a hotel.
-You go away to college.
-You have frequent deliveries especially of items that are cleaned and re-used
-If you are a service worker and work in a building that has a problem.
You have a very little chance of getting bed bugs if:
-You check your hotel room mattress and furniture BEFORE you bring luggage in.
-Have casual public contact with a person who has bed bugs at their home.
-You shop for clothing in a store, go to a mall or restaurant.
-You go to a movie theater.
-You travel little, know no one with bed bugs or very rarely have strangers in your home.
It’s important to know that bed bugs are out there, but it’s more important to know and remember that some of the worst things that have ever happened to people are things that have been thought of, but never truly occurred.
Let’s all visit New York City.