To be sure, bed bugs are a big deal. They are a very big deal, socially, economically, and personally. First off, we have 3 generations in the US that had virtually no knowledge of bed bugs before this time. And, these generations have enjoyed an unprecedented control and management of pests in general. Secondly, we did not see this resurgence coming. When the first sightings began, about 7 years ago, they were dismissed as isolated and controllable. Nothing to worry about. But, the infestations continued, the bed bugs just kept coming. They spread, they became more frequent, and they traveled. That's when the realization hit.
We are witnessing the rebirth of a pest problem that can alter all our daily lives. For people who have already experienced this miserable insect, it is clear that this is no ordinary pest.
- For many, the allergic reactions to their bites are miserable and as painful as poison ivy.
- This pest can affect our health, not only from the allergic bite reactions, but hospitals and doctors are now treating patients for anemia from bed bugs.
- This pest can dictate where we live now, no one is going to live next to neighbors who tolerate the bed bugs in their home or apartment.
- Bed bugs will now be a consideration for how we care for and monitor our elderly family and friends. More frequent monitoring and visits need to take place in these institutions. Just because you put grandma in a care unit that didn't have bed bugs last month, doesn't guarantee she's safe this month.
- This isn't a couple of mosquito bites, this is being fed on up to 500 times per night while you sleep. It's a truly unsettling thought.
- Then, there's the cost of treatment. It's not cheap and you can expect landlords, universities, and hospitals to pass the cost along to their customers.
In short, it's not time to panic, but it's not time to be dismissive either. If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact a local professional to come out and inspect. Most companies offer free inspection services and free estimates. This is not a problem that goes away if left untreated.