There are many pictures of bed bugs online, but sometimes these pictures make it hard to distinguish between bed bugs and other insects that look similar. The only way to truly identify a bed bug is by asking someone who is knowledgeable in the field, but I found the picture below to be a very clear depiction of what bed bugs look like.

bed bugs 

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Now that August is almost upon us, colleges are ramping up their preparations for the upcoming school year. For at least once college, preparations include educating its students about  bed bugs. NYU (New York University) has an entire page on their website,
, educating their students about bed bugs and what to do if bed bugs are found. (even if you're not heading to NYU, this page is a worthy read anyway). NYU is smart for doing this-college dorms are great breeding grounds for bed bugs and infestations are very prevalent there as there are many students coming from many different places, it is not unlikely that a student will introduce bed bugs into the dorms. And once there, the infestation can spread very quickly because of the many students living close together. 

It is prudent to educate anyone college-bound this August about the signs of bed bugs, symptoms, and treatment. This will prevent worry, confusion, and panic if a bed bug infestation does occur. Jeff Eisenberg's book, The Bed Bug Survival Guide, is an ideal book to send along with your college kid, as it discusses prevention, signs, symptoms, and treatment of bed bugs in an easy, succinct, and humorous fashion. Buy it at It may prove to be your college student's most useful goodbye gift! 

bed bug survival guide

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Residents of the Saab Court apartment complex in Springfield, Massachusetts are dealing with a massive bed bug infestation. In fact, the management of the complex admits it has spent close to half a million dollars over the past five years trying to get rid of the infestation. Residents are losing patience: “You know wherever you sleep tonight you're sleeping with them. It's the worst feeling in the world. They take over your activities of daily life and it's really bad,” one resident said.

William Abrashkin, the complex's executive director, admits that the process is time-consuming and expensive. Nevertheless, Abrashkin insists that the management company is doing all it can to eradicate the problem. "They [the bed bugs] are impossible to eliminate," he laments. 

Abrashkin attributes the massive infestation is a result of the high turnover of tenants. New tenants can bring in bed bugs and infest surrounding apartments, creating a widespread infestation. But another major cause of the problem, according to Abrashkin, is that residents often try to treat the infestation themselves. “We are telling people repeatedly, often and every way we can, if you have a problem, report it to management, often people will make complaints when they haven't reported it to management.”

One more example of what we repeatedly tell customers: Do-It-Yourself treatments look appealing and are cheaper at first. But the long-term cost is way higher than hiring a professional to get the job done right. 

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Last Tuesday, chaos occurred in a New York City criminal courtroom. A woman in the courtroom announced that bed bugs were crawling on the neck of the man standing beside her. The man apparently had come to the court to answer a desk-appearance ticket. The woman screamed, causing several people to run out of the courtroom, including the man with the bed bugs on him. The courtroom was subsequently evacuated, and a professional pest control service was  brought it to treat for the ostensible infestation. The courtroom reopened later, although the rows near where the man sat were roped off. 

The incident was widely reported in the local news. However, according to a Manhattan Criminal Court spokesman, no evidence of bed bugs were actually found, and the courtroom was treated as a simple precaution. Still, witnesses to the events were quite traumautized: "People were scratching themselves. Everyone in the courtroom was uncomfortable," one witness told the News. "I'm still scratching myself. Just telling the story I get itchy." 

Manhattan courthouse

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Pest Away saves people much aggravation. But here we actually saved a marriage! 

"We had a bed bug problem for over a year,  we spent almost $10,000 on exterminators , cleaning bills, and a whole lot more.  It was  the worst year of our lives.  My husband and I almost got divorced over it.  Until we met Jeff the owner of Pest away.  He  is a great guy, very nice, patient, knows everything about bed bugs.  His Pest Away Extermination co is excellent from A to Z.  In two days , they solved the problem witha  special process.  We had it cleared by a dog, and haven't seen or been bit in a long time."


This truly was the "pest solution for peace of mind!"

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You'd think that bed bugs would somehow be barred from an Emergency Room. But no. The emergency room of Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in Port Richey, Florida, was closed yesterday because bed bugs were detected in the ER after a patient brought them in with her. When officials found the bugs, they immediately closed the ER and moved all patients to another unit, usually reserved for overflow patients. The hospital stopped admitting ambulances, but the hospital staff still admitted walk-in patients, seeing them in the overflow unit. Hospital spokeswoman Beth Hardy said seven patients were evacuated to the other unit, but no further bed bug cases were expected. An independent contractor was hired to sterilize the ER and eradicate the bed bugs. The ER was expected to reopen Thursday night. 

"The advice to patients would be, obviously, you do want to be careful and you do want to check yourself," Hardy said. "But the response was prompt and it was isolated, and I feel like things should be okay."

As counterintuitive as it may sound, hospitals are actually prone to bed bug infestations. With many people walking through hospital doors daily, it is likely that bed bugs are carried into the hospital and can then quickly spread. Hospitals must be vigilant in keeping on top of possible infestations, as the bed bugs post a health hazard to sick patients since the bites may cause infections for them. 

pasco's north bay hospital

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Terminix, the United States' biggest pest control company, has put out a list of the most infested bed bug cities in the U.S. The list was compiled based on the amount of calls received in their 300 offices, and the numbers include this year until May.  Listed below are the cities that had the most calls relating to bed bug infestations.

1) Cincinnati

2) Philadelphia

3) Detroit

4) New York

5) Columbus

6) Los Angeles

7) Dallas

8) Chicago

9) Houston

10) Baltimore

Terminix also compiled a list of the cities with the biggest increase in bed bug infestations. Sacramento, CA, the first city on the list, has the dubious distinction of having the biggest increase in bed bug incidence. Below is the complete list of cities: 

Sacramento — 54%

Milwaukee — 53%

Las Vegas — 50%

Columbus, Ohio — 47%

Baltimore — 46%

Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. — 41%

St. Louis — 40%

Cleveland — 36%

Louisville — 31%

Denver — 28%

Los Angeles — 27%

San Francisco — 26%

Dallas/Ft. Worth — 25%

Nashville — 17%

Houston — 15%

Interestingly, New York City is no longer on this list. Good news? Yes, but pest experts of NYC maintain that there is still much work to be done to keep bed bug infestations-and the spread of infestations-down in the NYC area. 

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Do you think that once you have treated your  bed bug problem and have been certified 'clean', you are safe forever from these pests? Think again. Treating is only half the solution. The other half is preventing the bed bugs from coming back. After all, you can't truly prevent prevent another bed bug infestation. Bed  bugs can come from your workplace, somewhere that you traveled, a hotel, and many other locations over which you have no control. 

But while you cannot truly protect yourself against bed bugs, you can protect yourself from a bed bug infestation. An infestation only happens when bed bugs remain undisturbed for some period of time. If you catch the bed  bugs before they cause a full-blown infestation, you save yourself much aggravation, money, and time. Here are three ways to protect yourself from bed bugs and for quickly detecting bed bugs if they do happen upon your residence. 

1)Use a Verifi bed bug detector. These small boxes attract bed bugs to them using carbon dioxide and a chemical that lures bed bugs to it. The CO2 booster lasts 24 hours after installed and the chemical lasts 90 days from installation, so the verifi system is a good ongoing detection system, lasting for about 3 months. The verifi system must be inspected regularly for the presence of bed bugs. This makes it a very good detection (and thus, prevention) tool. The verifis should be set 5 ft from typical bed bug hotspots, like beds, since research has shown that bed bugs are attracted to the system from 5 ft. away. Verifi is only available to pest control companies, not to consumers, so talk to PestAway to get this system installed in your residence today. 


2) Mattress and Pillow Protectors-These encase your mattresses and pillows, making them safe from bed bugs. If there are bed bugs in your home, your pillows and mattresses will be protected from the bed bugs getting inside. Also, since bed bugs feed on human blood, if they cannot get to sleeping humans because they can't get into the pillows or mattress covers, there is less of a chance of them biting you. As an added bonus, the white color of protectors highlights the bed bugs so you will more easily see them and know that there may be a problem.

mattress cover

3) Get regular k9 dog inspections. After all is said and done, it is very possible to miss signs of bed bugs. Although adult bed bugs can be visible, the nymphs and the eggs are transparent and the size of a grain of salt. The best way to prevent an infestation from occuring is to have regularly scheduled bed bug dog services who can sniff out bed bugs much more accurately than you can detect them on site. A regularly serviced bed bug dog is your best bet to avoiding a bed bug infestation. 

bed bug dog

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PestAway has two types of  bed bug treatments: Chemical and Extreme Green. When customers call asking about our bed bug services, they sometimes don't understand the differences between one and the other. Below are some main differences between the two types of treatment. 

The chemical treatment takes several days; the amount of treatments depends on the size of the apartment and how bad the infestation is. Exterminators use a mix of chemicals to kill the bed bugs. These chemicals are very strong and can be harmful to people with health problems, pets, and little kids; that's why you must be out of your apartment while treatment is taking place. You must wait two weeks between treatments, and a dog can only re-inspect your residence for bed bugs after 30 days. The benefit of the chemical treatment? It is cheaper than the Extreme Green treatment. 

The Extreme Green Treatment does not use any chemicals. Instead, exterminators use multiple cycles of steam (heat) and and vacuuming to most effectively eradicate every trace of bed bugs and bed bug eggs. Because there are no chemicals used, the residence need not be vacated. Additionally, after two consecutive days of treatment, the treatment is complete, and the bed bug dog can re-inspect the residence for bed bugs in the next 2-5 days. The treatments is more expensive than the chemical treatment. But besides for being environmentally safe, it is also the better option if there are children, pets, or residents with health problems in the residence. It is also more convenient as no one has to leave the apartment during treatment. 

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Although bed bugs are a problem, year-round, we at PestAway (and many other pest-control companies) see a marked increase during the summer months. A study surveying five pest-control companies from different regions of the United States (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Mid-west and Northwest) from January '08 to April '12 found that all over the country, the incidence of bed bug increases during the warmer months. The graph from the study, shown below, indicates this trend:

Bed Bug Initial Services by Month

 Why the marked increase in bed bugs? Here is one probable reason. Normally, bed bugs mature from an egg to an adult in 66 days at 64 degrees F. However, their development quickens to only 14 days (almost 1/5 of the time!) at 82 degrees F. This  is a probably reason why bed bug infestations increase during the summer. At hot summer temperatures, bed bugs lay many more eggs in a much shorter period of time, as they reach maturity much more quickly) and cause more infestations that are harder to treat. 

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