Bed bugs Chicago

You’ve been hearing about them on the news, reading about them in your news feeds and may even know people who have personally dealt with them over the past few years. It’s a real thing!

But do you know exactly what bed bugs are?

Do you know how you could be at risk to get them?

What would you do if you realized YOU had bed bugs?

Our instinctive reaction is to FREAK OUT when we discover we’re sharing our bed completely unintentionally. Especially with BUGS! I know I did when I woke up with one on my pillowcase years ago! Talk about a heart attack…

woman screaming

Bed bugs in Chicago are not going to get wiped out completely anytime soon, unfortunately. The good news is, the epidemic that has swept over our city and its surrounding ‘burbs over the past decade has helped us learn SO MUCH about these creatures. With experience comes expertise. And Rose has it, let me tell you.

Bed bugs back in the early 1900s

Rose was there! Can you believe that?! It’s like a recurring nightmare. We defeated them before central heating existed, we knocked them dead with DDT in the 50s, and now they’re back, they’re more resilient, and the chemicals that worked back then to kill them off are just too dangerous to use on them this time around. Check out the poster below from that era. There’s all kinds of neat history about Rose.

bed bug poison Rose poster from 1900s
Vintage Poster from early 1900s

Could you imagine one product that kills all of the pests listed on that poster? And for $0.15!! Unreal. Entomology and scientific advances have come a long way since then. We’re more aware of the effects of chemicals, conscious of our health and the environment’s well-being. We know what methods work like a charm and which ones are lousy.

Let me share with you some pest-wisdom. Knowledge is going to be your best defense against becoming a bed bug victim. Trust me! I’ve been there.

Bed Bug Facts

  • Bed bug infestations occur world-wide and aren’t picky when choosing who to bite. If you have blood and a heat signature, they’ll be attracted to you. 

  • These insects feed exclusively on blood however there has been no evidence to suggest that bed bugs transmit any diseases.

  • Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown after feeding, approximately 3/16-inch long, 1/8-inch wide, broadly oval, and flat.
    what does a bed bug look like
    Photo: Ricky Kluge

  • Immature bed bugs (nymphs) are tiny and appear translucent or pale in color. 
    bed bugs hatching from eggs
    Bed bugs hatching out of eggs

  • Bed bug eggs are pearly white in color and only 1 mm in length, thus they can be very difficult to detect with the naked eye. 

  • Inspections for bed bugs include looking for live bugs, shed exoskeletons and characteristic black stains created by fecal droppings.
    evidence of bed bugs
    Evidence of bed bugs

  • Bed bugs do not enter homes from the natural outdoor environment; instead they must be introduced into the home from a previously infested environment. This can occur by picking them up during travel, bringing them in on rented or used  furniture, introduction by guests or visitors, or other means.
    bed bugs on backpack

  • The exact source of the infestation is sometimes difficult to determine because they can go undetected for weeks or even months. They’re so good at hiding. You don’t even know.

  • Bed bugs seek small, protected areas to hide. Although called bed bugs, they can live in almost any area of the home such as beds, couches, picture frames, night stands, wall voids, under carpeting, or virtually any available small crack or crevice. However, they will most likely stick around very close to where people sleep or spend long amounts of time seated.
    bed bugs on underside of chair
    Bed bugs on underside of chair. Photo: Bill Hastings, Rose’s Director of Special Services

  • Bed bugs are nocturnal insects and therefore usually hide during the day and are most active at night. They know when you’re in your bed and detect your body’s heat.

  • Bed bug bites are essentially painless and often go unnoticed while the bugs are actually feeding. The bites’ aftermath could be itchy, swollen, painful reactions similar to mosquito bites and differ from person to person depending on sensitivity to bug bites and allergies.
    what do bed bug bites look like?allergic reaction to bed bug bite
    Photos: NPMA’s Pestworld.org

  • Bed bugs mature quickly, lay hundreds of eggs, and can live for about a year on average without a blood meal. Therefore, infestations can grow rapidly and persist indefinitely until proper corrective actions are taken.

  • DIY products will most likely cause more harm than good. Don’t waste your money. Call a professional if you detect bed bugs right away!

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