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June not only marks the start of summer, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it is also National Healthy Homes month and coincides with Bed Bug Awareness week. This month is incredibly busy as students are out of school for the summer, family vacations are planned, and people tend to start their summer travels.
Visitors will soon be flocking to the beautiful Puget Sound area to experience the wonders of Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the famed Space Needle, and explore downtown Seattle’s world-renowned food and music scene. A huge problem that comes with travel to Seattle is the influx of bed bugs.
Seattle, Washington and its surrounding areas including Tacoma and Everett are no exception to the national bed bug re-infestation. These blood-sucking pests have received increasing media attention over the past several months, and bed bug pest control reports in the Northwest have tripled over the past few years. These primarily nocturnal pests have spread throughout the nation by hitching rides in travelers’ suitcases, purses, and even by moving from person to person.
The tiny insects can be picked up just about anywhere, including hotels and motels, multi-family housing complexes (e.g. condos and apartments), workplaces, hospitals and even public transportation. In fact, according to VisitSeattle.org, Seattle and King County exceeded 19 million overnight visitors in 2014. This huge amount of travel to Seattle presents bed bugs with millions of perfect opportunities to hitchhike from almost anywhere across the globe due to SeaTac’s large number of international flights.
Not only are bed bugs passed easily between locations due to increased travel, but bed bug populations are becoming more resilient to traditional eradication methods.
Wiley Sanders, Western Exterminator Company’s Specialty Line of Business Manager and an Associate Certified Entomologist, has seen his share of atrocious bed bug infestations. Sanders has noticed that the bed bug problem is only getting worse, “What people do not realize is that do-it-yourself remedies or utilizing unprofessional options of dealing with bed bugs only masks the problem for a short time. Much like viruses that are becoming immune to traditional antibiotics due to misuse, we are observing that bed bug populations are becoming more and more resistant to traditional methods and chemicals as people tend to not call exterminators to deal with the problem in its entirety.”
Western Exterminator Company realizes the bed bug dilemma that is facing Seattle, and has a plan to eradicate bed bugs. Sanders explains, “We know that bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to remove and we approach every bed bug infestation with a balance of caution and tenacity. Our teams use a holistic approach to ensure that every egg, larvae, and mature adult is absolutely killed off to make sure that future populations do not come back even stronger."
“This is what sets Western Exterminator apart from our competitors,” continued Sanders. “We are willing to work with each customer to ensure that there is a plan in place for us to not only eliminate bed bug populations, but to also set preventative measures including human and K9 inspections, monitoring devices, and preventive applications to keep bed bugs from coming back. We can also provide heat treatments, called thermal remediation, to effectively kill off bed bugs at each stage of their life cycle.”
The Seattle bed bug team has seen an influx of infestations in high traffic areas including downtown Seattle, Kent, Kirkland, Bellevue, Everett, and Tacoma. Below are some tips on how to distinguish bed bugs and what can be done if your home or business is infested with bed bugs.
Bed bugs are easily confused with other common household pests. Adult bed bugs are flat, rust-colored and about the size of an apple seed. Newly hatched, they are semi-transparent, light tan in color and about the size of a poppy seed. When inspecting for bed bugs, it is helpful to use a flashlight and magnifying glass. Begin by checking the area within 10-20 feet of where you normally sleep or sit, as this is the typical distance the insects will travel.
Symptoms of a bed bug infestation include:
Small blood spots on your sheets.
Black dots on sheets and pillowcases (bed bug excrement).
Unexplained welts that appear on your body on a daily or weekly basis.
Bed bugs are difficult to get rid of, but not impossible. If you do find any evidence of an infestation, your best bet is to contact a bed bug pest control professional immediately for help. You can contact our bed bug specialists by calling 1-800-WEST-EXT or simply fill out a contact form here and our dedicated bed bug team in the King County and Snohomish County areas would be more than happy to help you.
Please remember that bed bug populations grow exponentially quickly. A small problem can turn into a big one fast. Dealing with smaller populations is much easier for our bed bug team and less expensive for our clients if the infestations can be contained before spreading throughout the entire building. Experienced hospital facilities and property managers know how devastating bed bug infestations can be if bed bugs spread from room to room. Call Seattle’s dedicated bed bug experts at Western Exterminator Company today and get rid of your bed bug problem once and for all!