Dave Duncan from Dave Duncan Pest Control was studying bed bugs even before they came to Mansfield. With a passion for Entomology, the study of bugs, Duncan and his team are equipped to handle even the most overwhelming infestations in the state. Whether you think you may have bed bugs, know a friend with bed bugs, want to avoid bed bugs, or are just plain curious, here are ten myths about these hitchhiking pests. They may be closer and harder to get rid of than you think!
Myth 1: The effective chemicals used to kill bed bugs are outlawed
According to Duncan, “the chemicals are there.” The biggest issue is that these chemicals should be used by trained professionals.
“It’s mainly just people not having the knowledge on how to use them and how to deal with the bed bugs. There are plenty of good products out there, to rid homes of bed bugs, but very few people trained to use them.”
There are different types of products on the market that claim to treat bedbugs, but ultimately, only a specific way of utilizing them will result in long-term bed bug extermination.
Myth 2: My essential oils, diatomaceous earth, and dryer sheets will rid me of bed bugs
If your friend from the gym swears her essential oils ward off bed bugs, she may be misled. “None of those are scientifically backed,” explains Duncan. “It is great for the dryer sheet business, but if they did work, we wouldn’t be in an apartment that had fifty dryer sheets in it.”
Gathering his expertise and knowledge from The University of Kentucky’s Entomology Department, Duncan is always a few steps ahead. “Any of the information that is new on bed bugs has been created by Dr. Potter and his associates at the University of Kentucky. They are 5-10 years ahead of any state in the United States on information and new technology and new technique.”
Myth 3: Leather, plastic, and wood are all safe from bed bugs
Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t only drawn to your bed. “We see bed bugs in everything from toilet hinges to plastic items to DVD cases to books and/or pictures, and we treat all of that,” Duncan points out. “That material has to be treated one way or another.”
Don’t think throwing things in a bag will help either. By placing items in a plastic bag, you’re only protecting the bed bugs that live there.
40-60% of these annoying bugs choose to live in fabric and resting areas, but the other 40-60% choose to live in things like woodwork, pictures, other types of furniture, DVDs, and even books.
Myth 4: Since only one person seems to being bitten, we must not have bed bugs
When it comes to bed bugs, not everyone will visually reflect bite marks. Some married couples can share the same bed, and one will show bites and the other won’t.
“Everyone in the house is being bitten by bedbugs,” assures Duncan, “but not everyone reacts the same way to the bite.” In addition, your entire family may not have noticeable bites but you very well could have bed bugs.
Duncan’s team focus on furniture. “We don’t inspect bodies,” he assures. Looking at someone’s skin isn’t the way to diagnose bed bugs.
“The worst cases we’ve seen, where people literally have cups of bed bugs in their homes and in their bed, they don’t have marks.”
Myth 5: Bed bugs stay in one room
When Duncan and his team visit a home to exterminate bed bugs, they treat the entire home. “Anything other than complete zero is acceptable in the bed bug world,” confirms Duncan.
It’s common to hear pest controllers tell people that they will only treat one room. The problem with this is that bed bugs are sneaky and will just move to a different room. The family with bed bugs may not notice as many bugs and think they are gone, but within a few weeks they will reappear.
You can try to spray or use bombs to eradicate the pests, but they will simply pack up and go to another space until the coast is clear to return.
Myth 6: I’m too clean to have bed bugs
Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests who like everybody. Every ethnicity, age, and socio-economic status have had troubles with these pests.
Duncan noted, “You can’t be too rich, you can’t be too classy to have bed bugs!”
Myth 7: We use a mattress cover so we can’t have bed bugs
Mattress covers simply corral the bed bugs in one place, and you’re still at risk for having them spread around your home.
“You’ll spend a bunch of money on a good mattress cover and seal those bed bugs in your cover. They’ll live up to a year inside that mattress cover, or until your cat, dog, teenager, or child pokes a hole in that mattress cover, and then they are released into your house,” Duncan says.
In all of his studies and after asking a leading Entomologist in Cleveland, Duncan assures you won’t have one more or one less bed bug in your house if you spend money on a mattress cover.
“I’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of bed bugs on the outside of mattress covers.”
Myth 8: Heat treatment will eradicate bed bugs
Although heat can kill bed bugs, it isn’t an effective form of ridding your home of them. Bed bugs are much more sneaky than we give them credit for.
“The University of Kentucky have done tests on heat. Bed bugs run from heat,” warns Duncan, “They are that smart.”
The heat will lessen the amount of bed bugs in the moment, but not completely treat them. In fact, bed bugs prefer 100 degree environments. This also discredits parking your car in the sun to try to kill bed bugs. The bugs will run from the heat and set up camp deep in your car cushions and near the floor.
Another downside of heat treatments is that if any bed bugs survive the treatment there is nothing remaining to continue killing them after the treatment is complete.
Myth 9: I have to go to someone’s home to get bed bugs
Even if you don’t personally know anyone who has bed bugs, you can get them from living life outside your home.
“They are hitchhikers and you will pick them up at the hospital, school, library, and anywhere else where people sit, sleep, kneel...anywhere,” Duncan emphasized.
Even if you don’t lay in another person’s bed or on their couch, you can pick up bed bugs from sitting in the same chair at a restaurant or the same pew at church. This is what makes them public enemy number one according to bed bug experts like Duncan.
“They’re not public enemy number one because they are tough, they’re public enemy number one because they’re hitchhiking and very secretive, and very sneaky.”
Myth 10: Every bed bug exterminator is the same
One of the biggest misconceptions is that every exterminator uses the same technique. This simply isn’t true. “We see a lot of failed jobs taking place, and then the people still have bed bugs and no money,” warned Duncan, “it’s not a simple process, and preparation is 50% of the job.”
Although it can seem quite scary that you could pick up bed bugs anywhere, the saving grace is that Duncan and his team are here with an easy and thorough solution. Once they treat a home, the bugs are gone.
If you think you may have bed bugs, contact Dave Duncan Pest Control at(419) 560-6757.