Good Night, Sleep Tight --
the Bed Bugs Bite!
2011 Shawn Cole. All Rights Reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Cole Home Maintenance is an
exterminator Located in
Palatine and serving towns in
County, Cook County, Mc Henry County, Du Page County, Kane
$60.00 to spray up to a 2 bedroom apt for bed bugs
The public thought that bed bugs were eradicated in the United
but they haved made a comeback with a vengeance!
The name "bed bug" is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of
living in houses and especially beds where people sleep. While
bed bugs are usually nocturnal, be aware that if they find a
blood meal during the day, they will feed. These pests will
feed on your cats, birds and dogs and other family pests.
They have been known by a variety of
names including "wall louse", "mahogany flat", "crimson rambler",
"heavy dragoon", "chinche" and "redcoat"
You are sleeping and wake up in the morning and see droplets of
on your sheets. At first, the victim doesn't know why because
can't find where the blood is from. There is no indication on
body that he has been bitten or scratched himself in his
The next day , the victim awakes to more blood droplets and
sees angry red raised welts on his skin. This is because he
now become sensitive to the bites of bed bugs and develops an
reaction to the bites.
The bites look like raised red bumps or flat welts (also called a
papule or a wheal) and cause intense itching. They look
to mosquito bites or flea bites but do not have a red spot in the
center. The welts stay on your upper skin layer for a
week. Bed bugs tend to bite two to three times in a short row
then there are two to three bites about 1/2 inch away from the first
series of bites. The bed bug has spent about 10 minutes
gorging itself with the your blood. The welts stay on
upper skin for a week.
About 50% of the population does not
develop any signs of the bites and only see the blood droplets on
sheets. Other people are sensitive to the bed bug bites and
have symptoms that range from the extremely itchy red welts to
ill and nauseous.
The reason that the victim does not remember being bitten is because
bugs pierce the victim (host) with two (2) hollow tubes. One
secretes saliva that contains anesthetics so that the victim feels
nothing and the other tube secretes an anticoagulant so that the
flows out freely.
You may find reddish spots or smears on the bed sheets, pillowcases
mattress. This material is composed mostly of digested blood
the stains are very characteristic sign that you have been
by a bed bug. In more severe infestation, bed bugs may be more
noticeable. The accumulation of bugs, cast skins and fecal
will be very apparent upon close inspection of the bedding and
If you like to take a nap on the couch, bed bugs will use the couch
their dinner table, knowing that you will be sitting there or taking
nap. During the day they could be hiding in your living
room furniturefurnituer near that couch. While cockroaches are
they do not drink your blood as do bed bugs!
Cole Home Maintenance Will Never
Up With Big Signs Advertising
your Bug Problem
Many people put off getting help because they don't want anybody to
know that they have bed bugs. It is like the old school-yard
of children who taunt other children with the accusation that they
"cooties" (those were actually body lice). The parents
not want the news to get out for fear their children will be taunted
school with the accusations of "bed bugs". They don't
the neighbors to see those little white pick-up trucks with the big
signs advertising they are bug exterminators that are used by at
two (2) well-known pest management companies in their
drive-way. Pick-up trucks that scream to the neighbors
HAVE BUGS!! IT IS SO BAD WE NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP!"
Cole Home Maintenance will NEVER come to your home or apartment
building with a big sign on the vans. Your neighbors or
in othr buildings will never know.
It started in New York and now there are lawsuits being filed
hotels all across the U.S. While people have been disgusted
hotels that had cockroaches, it seems that when it comes to
bugs, people are starting to file lawsuits after being bitten by bed
bugs. Bed bugs are now found in high-class
hotels. This is no longer the problem of low-class, dirty
in bad neighborhoods.
In Illinois, a brother and
(Burl and Desiree Mathias) were visiting Chicago for a trade show
staying at a local Motel 6 in November of 2000. After being
bitten by bed bugs, the siblings filed a lawsuit (Mathias v. Accor
Econ. Lodging, 347F.3d 672 (2003) and won. The jury awarded
plantiff $5,000 in compensatory damages and $186,000 each in
damages. The Seventh Circuit of Appeals (juristiction is
Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana), upheld the award for the
and punitive damages. Judge Posner found that the evidence
sufficient to show willful and wanton conduct because the
had known they had bed bugs for two years prior to renting the
the siblings. Judge Posner stated in his decision the hotel
should have taken action to eliminate the bed bugs.
The federal government has banned the use of DDT, which
used during the 1940's and 1950's, that all but eliminated
bugs in the U.S. There are very few pesticides left that
will kill bed bugs. The Illinois legislture is
discussing the possibilty of petitioning the federal government to
waiver previouisly banned insecticides in order to treat bed bugs in
When the owner of an apartment building is told by his tenant that
there is a bed bug problem, it is no longer an option to ignore the
problem and blame it on the tenant. While the lawsuit in the
previous example was for a Motel 6, it will only be a very short
to extend that line of reasoning to owners of apartment
buildings. Even though an apartment owner may feel that the
tenant caused the problem, there is now a court precedence
the owner of a hotel was held liable for not only compensatory
but punitive damage -- and lawyers will argue why shouldn't
apartment building owners be held liable too. Courts tend to
with victims. There are a few internet web sites
published by personal injury lawyers who are writing articles and
advertising that they specialize in suing for bed bug
bites. It won't be too long before personal injury lawyers
be advertising on television seeking victims.
The victims may have had their
sucked by bed bugs but the lawyers will be sucking your
It appears that it is now extremely
important that an owner of an apartment building to
pest management professional (exterminator) to rid your building
bugs or face possible lawsuits for ignoring the problem. As
practical note, it is cheaper to hire a pest professional to
eradicate the bed bugs than to hire an attorney to defend you in a
personal liablity lawsuit.
What Bed Bugs Look Like
Bed bugs are nocturnal and are very small. Although you can
adults and older nymphs with your eyes, seeing the eggs requires a
hand-magnifying lens. Newly hatched nymphs are also small you
need a magnifying glass until they through several molts as they
grow. Even though newly hatched nymphs are small, they are
to feed on blood in order to grow.
An adult beg bug is approximately
inch in length and about 1/8 inch in width. They are brown
color and oval and flattened in shape. After feeding on
the body enlarges to 3 times it size in 15 minutes of feeding
color changes from brown to dark red with your blood.
engorged beg bugs look so different than they did before feeding
your blood, that you would think that you are looking at two
bugs. Bed bugs feed on humans, dogs, cats, birds, rats,
anything that has blood. You beloved family pet may
suffering bed bug bites without your knowledge. Your
children will be bitten too. Your tenants are
suffering. Even if your tenant hires an exterminator
his apartment, that does not mean they won't come back if other
apartments in the building are infested. Your tenants will
and that leads to economic problems of having an empty
Bed bugs are very flat. They can hide in very small
cracks that may not be readily apparent. They can crawl
clock radio or computer if it is near your bed or couch.
bugs make their home within 15 to 20 feet of their blood
your tenant's workplace or co-worker has bed bugs, they
in a computer, under a chair. They can crawl from your
co-worker's coat onto to your coat. Then you wear that
and your apartment is infected. When young, they are so
they are very hard to detect. Even the adults are small
Adults can live up to 18 months.
The young are much smaller than
adults. They are 1/16 inch when they first hatch.
nearly colorless until they feed on blood and then turn
Nymphs go through 6 stages from the egg to adults. Nymphs
through five (5) molts (shedding their exoskeleton) after the
from the egg stage and do so after a blood meal until they
maturity. The temperature of the room can affect the
time between molting. A room that is 86 degrees F. will
to 21 days for the nymph to molt; while a room at 65 degrees F.
have the nymph take as long as 120 days between
If food is scarce, the time between these molts will be
because molting can only occur after a blood meal.
the Bed Bugs Find You in Your Bed?
Bed bugs are active in the middle of the night, although if they see
opportunity during the day to feast on your blood they will take
it. The bed bug doesn't fly. It hides in the mattress,
frame, the crevices of wooden floors, behind the baseboards between
wall and the fllor, behind loose wallpaper, in closets -- hiding in
your clothes, unworn shoes and boxes. It crawls on the floor
reach your bed. It comes out and crawls on the walls and
ceilings until it senses the
carbon dioxide of the victim's breath. If
is on the ceiling, it will drop down onto your bed where you are
sleeping to get its blood meal.
The Bed Bug Life Cycle
After mating, females lay white, oval eggs about 1/16 inch long into
the cracks and crevices near their victims (host). Adults live
for about ten (10) to twelve (12) months. A single female can
200 to 500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs hatch in about 6 to
days and the nymphs start to seek a blood meal. After
several feedings, the nymphs will molt. This means that
nymph sheds its exo-skeleton because it has outgrown it and forms
another larger exo-skeleton.
Bed bugs have six life stages. The nymph will molt five (5)
as they mature to adults with molt occuring after a blood meal.
approximately 1 month to go from the egg stage to the mature adult
3 to 4 months without feeding, while
adults may survive as long as one (1) year without a blood
meal. Since it only takes a month to mature if a victim
(host) is constantly available to feed upon, it is a very
time until the nymphs are able to mate and lay more
The entire time, the adult female is laying more eggs so it is
to have several generations of bed bugs from the one original single
female in your apartment.
bugs lay from one (1) to twelve (12) eggs per day, after
surfaces or in cracks and
crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so that
they adhere to the surfaces in the cracks. The eggs hatch in 6
initially are not spread evenly through a building or apartment.
crevices very close to their victim
(host) -- usually within 15 to 20 feet of a bed or sleeping
couch. These pests are not like cockroaches which congregate
sources of water and organic food. As the bed bug population
increases, these bugs will travel from beds to couches where their
victims sit and watch television and sleep and to other apartments
seek more food sources that have less competition for food. As
visitors sit on the couches, the bugs can crawl onto their clothing
be transported to the visitor's apartment in another building.
always been told
that humans are at the top of the food chain, but with bed
are the food!
bugs do harbor pathogens in and on their bodies, there is
scientific data that these pathogens have been transferred from
to person. In people who show an allergic reaction and have
welts, these welts can become infected so care should be used to
the welts clean and free from secondary infections. Remember
bed bugs were almost extinct in the U.S. until very recently.
Whole generations have never seen one. Scientific research was
probably not a top priority.
While these pests bite at night, it does not work to sleep with the
lights on. Bed bugs will bite when they are hungry enough
or not the light is on.
Unlike cockroaches that feed on filth, bed bugs can be found in
otherwise spotless apartments, homes and hotels.
How Are Bed Bugs Making a
Throughout history, man has been plagued with bed bugs. Bed
wsere mentioned in ancient Greece as early as 400 B.C. and by
Aristotle. Pliny's "Natural History", first published in 77
in Rome claimed that bed bugs had medicinal value in treating ear
infections. In the 18th century, Guettard recommended bed bugs
a treatment for hysteria. Some scholars believe that bed bugs
wsere brought to England in the 18th century in ships
wood after the Great Fire of London in 1666.
It is only the last 30 years that bed bugs seems to have been
eradicated from the United States. Before that, entire
were sprayed in the 1940's and 1950's with the banned
DDT to the point that these pests were nearly eradicated throughout
U.S. The only place to find bed bugs was in very
low-end hotels in poor neighborhoods. Not any
Five-Star hotels have been invaded. While nobody knows the
reason, it is thought that because of the increase in travel between
the United State and other countries, bed bugs are now infesting the
entire country from the East and West coast, the northern states to
There are entire generations that have never seen a bed bug.
recently, even professional pest management technicians did not
encounter bed bugs. The pests had remained prevalent in other
regions of the world such as Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe but
the United States. Now bed bugs have been discovered in office
buildings, homes, apartments, hotels, clothing stores and even
the Statue of Liberty on the east coast. Large, beautiful
buildings housing law firms and offices of major corporations
travelers checked into hotels, bed bugs may have crawled into
luggage. Then the traveler may have moved to another
and picked up more bed bugs without knowing it. That same
traveler also probably had bed bugs crawl from his suitcase into the
new hotel room. Upon arrival back home, that luggage was
into the home or apartment. Suitcases are stored in
closets. The hitch-hiking bed bugs are now living in your home
apartment ready to use you as a blood meal.
important for travelers to check their hotel room for bed bugs.
pull off the sheets
and see if there are any red blood stains and fecal matter along the
seams of the mattress. If there are, get out of the room as
as you can run.
keep a dirty house.
In spite of this, there is a stigma attached to having bed bugs
of the storeis of 50 to 100 years ago that the infestationsa were
result of dense apartment dwellers in cities in low economic
neighborhoods. Today that is not true. You can go to the
movie theater and bring them home because they were on the theater
seats and crawled onto your clothing.
bugs -- Examine your room,
look behind the head board as described above. Do not
clothes in the dresser drawers. Purchase special plastic
put your suitcase inside and keep the bag sealed. Only
when you need to retrieve your clothes for the day. Put
clothes in plastic bags inside your suitcase which is inside
special sealed bag. This should prevent bed bugs from
into your suitcase and then hitchhiking back home with
This also means putting your coat and suits in sealed plastic
This also means that apartment building owners should know that
tenants do not have bed bugs because they do not keep their
clean. Your tenants pick up bed bugs at work, in stores,
theaters, from guests from another building etc.
BED BUGS CAN START TO
FROM EGG TO MATURE ADULT IN ONE (1) MONTH. IT ONLY TAKES
MONTHS TO BECOME AN INFESTATION! ONE FEMALE
PRODUCE UP TO 500 OFF-SPRING IN THE 12 MONTHS THAT THEY LIVE!
What Can You Do to Protect
serious, tough bugs. Since the now banned
chemicals were used for so many years, and there were not many bed
living in the U.S., many are resistant to pesticides that would
fleas, cockroacheches, ticks, etc. Bed bugs reproduce so fast
that once a tenant tells you that he/she has spotted bed bugs,
is very important to take action immediately.
There are cases recently arising in the newspapers from the east
(where the infestations seems to be more prevalent), of tenants
their building owners/lanlords who refuse to eradicate their
of bed bugs. As documented at the beginning of the article,
travelers at a Motel 6 won a lawsuit against the
Over-the-counter pesticides that can be purchased by home/building
owners don't seem to affect these pests. You need
You -- You could have one
tenant who has brought the bed bugs from work, stores,
theaters. You also need to realize that your tenants
guests into their apartment who may have an infesatation in
apartment in another building. (This is also how
spread). Now one of our apartments has bed
the bed bugs travel to the other apartments if you do not stop
soon as you are notified of the problem. Remember that
problem could easily occur to you in your own home.
are spreading like wild-fire.
may not tell you right away that they have bed bugs
Some come from countries where bed bugs are common and they
them like they live with cockroaches. Some are afraid
will think they keep a dirty apartment and blame them.
just as ashamed as the individual homeowner who discovers they
bugs. Don't be horrified when they ask for help.
tenants every month if they have bed bugs -- Ask
cockroaches. Give them the confidence to tell you before
entire building is infested.
Work -- These are really tough
bugs! While some building owners try to spray their own
buildings themselves for cockroaches, bed bugs need some
help. The over-the-counter sprays are not very effective
to stop scavenging beds, mattresses and furniture from the
trash -- I have personally seen tenants
buildings taking used mattresses from the trash. I know
unbelievable, but it is true. There are numerous
articles on the internet that describe the same thing.
Slash Old Mattress Found in the Trash --
visit your apartment building, look at your trash bin.
is an old mattress that another tenant has thrown away, take a
and slash the mattress. Make that mattress so awful that
the other tenants will take it back to their apartment.
it could be one of your tenants that is going to take that
one of your tenant's friends who will later come to your
building to visit your tenant. It is a lot cheaper
a few minutes and destroy that mattress than to spend money to
bed bugs later.
to remove their clothes in the bedroom closet on the
the exterminator sprays -- the building and bring
them over the
local laundry mat. Wash the bedding and clothes at this
eliminate any bed bugs that may be hiding in the
Have them put the clean clothes in plastic garbage bags and
those bags until the exterminator has killed all the bed bugs
are not like cockroaches which will go toward water and food
the pest control technician can kill them with pesticides
and baits for
them to eat. -- Bed bugs are living in
mattresses and immediate area, crawling into the bed and
coming out to
feed on blood. There is no way to bait them into eating
contaminated, poisoned food. They are eating
it may take more than one treatment -- These
extremely elusive bugs and it probably will take more than one
treatment by a pest management professinal to
these bugs. The pest management
has no way of poisoning their food. Other method
have to be
employed that remove the adults and deal with the
eggs are constantly hatching. Remember it is only one
the egg stage to the adult stage where the bed bugs start
Those newly hatched nymphs must be killed during that time
before they can start reproducing and laying more eggs and
be done until they actually hatch.
-- The results of covers over mattress needs
evaluated if it
is the solution. The theory in one article is that
suffocate to death. That isn't true. Any plastic
suffocate a bed bug would need to have the air sucked out to
vacuum. The basic theory that will work is that if
bugs are inside the mattress,
the seams are strong enough to prevent these bugs from getting
the mattress and eventually die from lack of a blood
meal. In the
case of an adult -- that will take up to a
new bed bugs brought into the room will be prevented
from making a home inside the mattress and hiding and laying
seams. Now that would be a solution when used in
conjunction with other pest control methods.
bed bug of a
hiding place or at least keep it outside the plastic cover
can kill it.
There are many companies that are jumping on the band-wagon to make
money by making claims their product is a great way to eradicate bed
bugs. There are even articles on the internet written that
theoretically will kill bed bugs but in the real-world are
freezers -- As far
as I know, building owners do not have access to walk-in
freezers. While bed bugs will die if they are frozen,
impossible for 99% of the people. Putting mattress
in the bitter cold of January in northern Illinois is also
It warms up too much during the day.
it is summer - This
is another theoretical method that is based on the fact that
will die if their environment is over 140 degrees F for two
days. It would take so long for a matress to
that temperature all the way through to the middle of the
that this method will not work. Some companies are
advertise that they have very large oven to accomplish
would work but it be expensive -- beyond the cost of hiring a
management professional. (Ask any bird owner about
moths in the bird seed. The articles recommend freezing
for 2 days before opening the package or putting the seed in a
degree F oven for 2 hours. It works sometimes, and
sometimes not -- and you are only dealing with bird seed in a
with plastic and raising the
temperature to 140 degrees F -- It is
to raise the temperature that high in one room.
theoretically it could be done, most buildings have many air
that it would not be practical. In Florida,
exterminators do put
plastic bags over entire houses, especially in the southern
part in the
Keys, and they do this once or twice a year. They are
set up to
handle this type of management. These exterminators also
fumigate the entire building. This is not practical in
Illinois. There are better ways to kill bed bugs.
gun -- There are articles on the internet
that claim that heating your mattress with a heat gun will
bugs. The heat gun will kill anything that comes in
the heat gun but there is a bigger problem. The
will set your mattress on fire. There have been cases of
using heat guns to remove old paint on the side of a wooden
set the insulation on fire. Hair
get hot enough to kill bed bugs.
all the bed bugs.
aricles claim you can vacuum up the bed bugs and your problem
is solved. Your home vacuum has enough trouble sucking
dust. Shop vacs on the market are not strong
enough to pull
bed bugs from crevices and cracks or to dislodge the
are glued to a surface inside a narrow crack or crevice that
narrow for your shop vac to reach. Shop vacs will suck
up any bed
bugs that you see, but if you don't get them all, the rest
continue to feed and reproduce. If you do vacuum them
up, be sure
to empty the vacuum container and remove it from the buiding
bugs will crawl out again. Bed bugs hide behind
closets, under bed
and inside couches, inside
the seams. These
are places that vacuuming will not completely eradicate
Vacuuming will only eradicate what you can see on the surface
eradicate the bed bugs --
While it is true that the clothes that are put in a hot dryer
bed bugs, this needs to be done in conjunction with other
procedures. It is recommended that after the
management professional performs spraying, the tenant then
the clothing at a laundry mat where there are a lot of
dryers. The small individual washer and dryer in the
not enough to wash all clothing at once.
Boards -- These are boards that have a
surface. The theory is that the bed bugs will walk on
glue board and be stuck to the board. There has
moderate success with using glue boards to eradicate
cockroaches becasue you can place bait in the middle of
boards to entice the cockroach to walk on the glue to get the
food. There may be some success for bed bugs if
there is a
reason for these bugs to walk on the board and get stuck
adhesive. The only problem I see is that the
"bait" is a
human being's blood. There are glue boards that I
seen that are sticky enough to stick a snake to the
board. I think that I will reserve my
of the success of this technique for a later date when
more feed-back as to results.
work -- Some
articles on the internet claim by putting legs of furniture
or metal jars, the bed bugs will be prevented from reaching
sleeping victim. Bed bugs can crawl on glass and metal
even live inside plastic containers. Most bed bugs
in the mattress or inside couches and upholstered furniture so
would not encounter the glass container on the floor.
articles may have been written by someone who thought that if
for cockroaches, it would work for bed bugs. The problem
cockroaches are seeking food (grease, crumbs, etc.) and
want to reach a living host for a blood meal. Putting
the containers could give access to children and pets.
Bed bugs cannot be eradicated by the building/apartment owner by
themselves. These bugs have such an immunity to pesticides
the years of spraying with banned chemicals, that only a
who has acess to the pesticides you, as a building owner, can
can eradicate bed bugs.
Maintenance is a licensed Pest Control Professional who knows
proper procedures to eradicate bed bugs in your apartment
Maintenance will NOT
with a big sign on a van
advertising to all your neighbors that you have bugs. That
known company who has the little white trucks with huge signs on
side really advertise to all your neighbors that our bug problem
so huge that you had to call in professionals to
help. That will never happen to you. Cole
that his customers are entitled to privacy. You will never
your neighbors or other apartment building tenants/owners know
have a bug problem.
630-306-7925 Cell 24-7
free to call if Cole Home Maintenance can be of service to you.