OMG! I have Bed Bugs! What do I do now?

by Josh Alpert of Green Earth Pest Control of Los Angeles ( 7-Aug-2015 )

OMG!  I have Bed Bugs!  What do I do now? 

Green Earth Pest Control in New York City, Hudson County New Jersey, Los Angeles and Ventura California, yield dozens of new calls every single week from current and new clients who are at their wits end and are most certain that they have Bed Bugs in their home or office.  It is definitely our most common call and unfortunately a very traumatizing ordeal for everyone involved, including us. 


Our very first question to our potential client is "what makes you think that you have bed bugs?" and the answer is usually that they had a bite and their Doctor or Dermatologist told them to call an exterminator, because they have bed bugs.


Did you know that a Dermatologist is not able to tell you which insect bit you?  They are only able to tell if the bite-like mark on your skin is a bite from an arthropod (insect) or if it is some other skin irritation, such as a disease and only can only through a biopsy of the infected skin, not simply by looking at the bite-like mark/s.


After we successfully talk the caller down from the ledge, our next question is if they actually saw physical evidence of bed bugs or not.  The answer is usually no, but for the clients who actually saw live bed bugs, viable bed bug eggs or bed bug feces, we ask them to email us a picture or a video of the bug or whatever it is that that they found so that our staff entomologist could attempt to identify the bug and see whether or not it is a bed bug or a perhaps a biting insect.


More than 50% percent of the time, the bug in the emailed picture or video is not a biting insect.  That does not mean that the insect in the picture or video is not an insect that could cause a skin irritation, but there is a distinct difference in between a biting insect and an insect that does not bite and causes a rash. 


Insects that commonly bite humans are mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs and sometimes spiders.  Not to be confused with insects that may leave rashes without biting, such as carpet beetle larvae.  And of course from time to time the insect in the picture is a shiny spider beetle, which does note bite, but closely resembles a bed bug.  Most of our callers are very relieved to hear that simple vacuuming can resolve a shiny spider beetle infestation.  It is truly our pleasure to deliver great news, even if it means that we do not sell our service. 


Once we've successfully identified the insect, we are able to prescribe effective treatment options for that specific insect.  Services obviously vary on the insect, which include traditional, green, organic and even pesticide free options, such as heat remediation and in some cases treatment may not even be recommended.  That's right, sometimes a dehumidifier or vacuuming can resolve your insect problem, without a single drop of pesticide. 




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