What is a Carpet Beetle?

What carpet beetles look like in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest Control

Have you noticed bugs that look like bed bugs crawling around in your home? At a closer glance, you might be able to tell that they are actually carpet beetles. Carpet beetles may seem very similar to bed bugs, but they come with a separate set of problems and should be dealt with using different strategies.

If you believe you have carpet beetles in your home or are wondering if what you suspected were bed bugs are something else, read on. The technicians at Johnson Pest Control have compiled some information on the nature of carpet beetles, their similarity to bed bugs, and how you can remove them from your home. 

What Are Carpet Beetles?

Carpet beetles are tiny beetles, only measuring 2 to 3 mm in length. They are oval-shaped with white, brown, and yellow-orange markings scattered across their wing covers. They are not picky eaters, feeding on many kinds of both plant and animal products, but they prefer to feed on dead animal and insect material. This is why they are called carpet beetles: when they infest homes, you can often find them living in wool carpeting and clothing, eating the material. 

Carpet beetles aren’t dangerous pests—they don’t bite or spread disease in any sense. However, they can become a major nuisance for home and business owners alike if the infestation gets out of hand.

Are Carpet Beetles as Bad as Bed Bugs?

Both carpet beetles and bed bugs like to infest furniture and carpeting in our buildings. However, they are nuisances for different reasons:

  • Carpet beetles don’t bite like bed bugs, but they do cause allergic reactions in some. Exposure to the small fibers that their larvae have can cause the skin to react adversely.
  • Bed bugs leave us with similar-looking rashes, but they are actually rows of tiny bites. Although bed bugs are more famous for infesting our mattresses, carpet beetles may be found there, too.
  • Both of these pest problems are short of dangerous, but can still be quite distressing. Discovering either in your house can be frustrating, and it’s hard to say what’s worse between a carpet beetle rash vs bed bug bites.

How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

There are a number of purported at-home carpet beetle treatments. Diluted vinegar sprays, vacuums and steam cleaning, boric acid, and more DIY remedies can handle smaller infestations, but carpet beetles won’t go away unless you find the source of the infestation and neutralize it. That’s where the experts at Johnson Pest Control can help. Our beetle control technicians are well-versed in the habits of carpet beetles in Eastern TN and are equipped to remove active infestations safely, keeping them out for good. For a free quote, contact us today!

The Dirty Truth on Bed Bug Bites

Signs of bed bugs in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlBed bug bites are gross, they’re itchy, they’re bothersome. It’s a generally unpleasant feeling. But what might be worse is the anxiety that pairs with the knowledge of an active bed bug infestation in your home. When you know that there’s a chance you’ll be bitten by bed bugs as you sleep, it’s likely that you’ll be tossing and turning for hours or getting a restless night of sleep.

So, how can we avoid this feeling? And do we really need to be so scared about bed bug bites?

Some Things to Know About Bed Bug Bites

If you’re wondering whether you currently have bed bug bites or you just want to learn more about them, read on. We’ve laid out some important bed bug bite facts from our experts at Johnson Pest Control:

  1. Bed bug bites look like small bumps or a rash. Their bites will often be laid out in zigzag patterns across skin that you leave exposed at night.
  2. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases. During the feeding process, bed bugs inject an anticoagulant in order to enable them to draw more blood, but they do not pass on any diseases through their bites.
  3. Bite symptoms imitate a rash. Bed bug bites will leave you with redness, itchiness, and possibly swelling at the source of the bites. In some cases, bed bug bites can cause allergic reactions. Hydrocortisone cream can be used as a treatment option.

What Are the Signs of Bed Bugs Inside?

Unfortunately, no matter how clean you keep your house, you are still at risk for bed bugs. Since they travel on used furniture, clothing, bags, and accessories, bringing anything into the house and back or introducing new items to your home can spur a bed bug infestation.

Because of this, it is important to be aware of the signs of a bed bug infestation so that you can deal with it before it gets out of hand. Here are some the signs of a bed bug infestation in your home:

  • Bites: People often find out about their bed bug problems by noticing bites on their skin. They will often be laid out in lines and look like a rash.
  • Excess material: You could possibly find bed bug excrement, tiny white eggshells, or reddish-brown smears along the places that bed bugs are inhabiting.
  • Active bed bugs: Bed bugs are very small, but they are visible to the naked eye. Look out for them around your mattress, furniture, and baseboards.

Don’t jump to throw away all of your belongings when you discover a bed bug infestation. There are ways to get rid of bed bugs without tossing all of your things!

Bed Bug Treatments in Eastern TN

Bed bugs can be eliminated most effectively by prolonged exposure to high heat. If you’re looking for a professional heat treatment in Eastern TN, talk to your local pest control company. Our bed bug experts at Johnson Pest Control can eliminate your infestation in only a day’s work. For more information on our services or for a free quote, contact us today!

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like?

Bed bug in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlDiscovering bug bites of any sort on your skin can be distressing. But how do you know what bit you in the first place? Many bugs will bite sight unseen—meaning you won’t know what bit you until you see the symptoms of the bites on your skin. One of the main types of bug bites is bed bug bites. In fact, seeing bites on your skin are oftentimes one of the first signs you have a bed bug problem in general. For this reason, it’s crucial to learn how to identify bed bug bites against other types of bug bites. In this article, the bed bug experts at Johnson Pest Control are here to share their knowledge on identifying bed bugs through their unique bites.

Behaviors of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bugs are unique in a number of ways. For one, their bites are typically not felt whatsoever. Here’s what to know about bed bug bites:

  • Bed bugs will likely bite you during the night. This is not always the case, but it is their normal behavior. So if you are waking up at in the morning with bites that were not present before bed then bed bugs can be a possible problem.
  • Bed bugs will feed on exposed skin, not through clothes or sheets. However, if you wear loose clothing they can crawl underneath clothing to find optimal spots to bite you.
  • When a bed bug bites you they will insert saliva, which keeps your blood from clotting. This process allows the bed bug to fill up on your blood while biting you, and also numbs any pain associated.
  • Bed bug bites do not pose immediate health hazards to a person. The allergic reaction a person has can be the most immediate concern. As an infestation grows the amount of bites one receives can be the largest nuisance leading to potential health hazards.

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites

Many times people do not have reactions to bed bug bites and may only have some white or small red bumps. For other people bed bugs will cause an allergic reaction that will cause larger, more inflamed, red bumps. Below are some photos to help identify bed bug bites.

Bed Bug Bite Pictures in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control
Photo via www.bedbugcertified.com/
Bed bug bite pictures in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control
Photo via www.bedbugcertified.com/

Flea vs Mosquito vs Bed Bug Bites

Flea Bite Pictures vs Bed Bug Bite Pictures in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest Control
Flea bites can look like bed bug bites. Look at secondary circumstances to help determine what problem you might actually have.

Bed bug bites can look very similar to mosquito or flea bites. If you have a pet in the house and they are scratching feverishly throughout the day and/or night then your problem is likely fleas. If that pet sleeps on your bed then chances increase that fleas will claim your bed.

Mosquito bites can produce similar red bumps. Usually, those bites will occur on exposed skin during the dawn and dusk hours. If you happen to have bites showing up high on your thighs then you can eliminate mosquitoes as your bug problem.

Do You Have Bed Bug Bites?

If you are noticing bed bug bites on your skin, it’s important to contact your local bed bug control team immediately. Getting rid of these pests on your own is—more often than not—unsuccessful. Because the bites are one of the first signs of their presence, an exterminator can quickly get rid of the problem and save you from the frustration of continued bites. Contact Johnson Pest Control today to get started!


Afraid of Rodents and Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year

Johnson Pest Control - Quality pest control services in Sevierville, Knoxville TN and surrounding areas.Entomologists from Johnson’s parent company, Rentokil Provide their Pest Predictions for 2021

READING, Penn. (Jan. 4, 2021) — As if 2020 didn’t present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

1. Rodents, Rodents Everywhere:

With shutdowns across the country, it’s no surprise that rodents are on the rise nationwide. Empty buildings, the scarcity of food and warmer winters have combined to create a rodent apocalypse.

“We’re seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns,” said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist. “Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We’ve seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.”

Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

“Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home,” said Potzler. “Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes.”

2. Mosquitoes on the Move:

Mosquitoes populations have been increasing over the last few years. Aedes species, which are disease-carrying mosquitoes, are also moving to new areas. These mosquitoes can carry West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and Zika virus, among other diseases.

“There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year,” said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist. “We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season.”

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

3. Bed Bugs:

The chatter about bed bugs was quiet in 2020, but that’s not because they have gone away.

“As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations,” said Sebring. “Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available.”

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

4. More Time Outdoors = More Pests.

From hiking to gardening to dining al fresco, there is no doubt that the pandemic has forced people to spend more time outdoors.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks: Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants: “As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations,” said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist. “Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter.”

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

5. Termites Aren’t Going Anywhere

Termites are a pesky problem, and unfortunately, are not going anywhere. Termites can cause extensive damage to structures, especially homes. As people are moving out of cities during the pandemic to more suburban areas, education about termite protection is key.

“We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years,” said Potzler. “It’s important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future.”

6. Pests in the News:

There are a few pests that will continue to steal the limelight in 2021.

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. “The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay,” said Dobrinska. “We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers.”

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread,” said Potzler. “It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners.”

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It’s important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous “Murder Hornet,” also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

“We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State,” said Sebring. “Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more.”

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

Bed Bugs Facts & Myths

Common bed bug myths in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlBed bugs are one of the most dreaded pest problems. Unfortunately, they’re also one of the most common. With Bed Bug Awareness Week upon us, there’s no better time to dispel common myths about these pests. In order to better prepare yourself for the possibility of getting an infestation one day, it’s important to unlearn misconceptions about bed bugs. The team at Johnson Pest Control has gathered the most typical bed bug myths we hear from our customers and are here to give you the facts!

Common Bed Bug Myths Debunked

The more feared a pest is, the more misinformation is spread! A few of the most common questions we get about bed bugs include:

  1. Are bed bugs nocturnal?
    • No! Bed bugs are active when their hosts are at rest. This usually means overnight, but they are able to adjust their schedule to feed whenever you are at rest.
  2. Can bed bugs infest areas of your home other than your bedroom?
    • Bed bugs can infest anywhere–including chairs, sofas, cracks in the wall, and even power outlets. They prefer to congregate near where their hosts rest, making bedrooms the main target.
  3. Are bed bugs too small to see with the naked eye?
    • No. Although nymphs are nearly impossible to see, adult bed bugs are about the size of an appleseed and are definitely visible.
  4. Are bed bugs more likely to infest messy homes?
    • This is one of the biggest myths. Anyone is prone to a bed bug problem, regardless of how clean or cluttered your property is!
  5. Do bed bugs jump or fly?
    • No! Unlike fleas and ticks, bed bugs have underdeveloped wings. To get from one place to another, they crawl.
  6. Should you dispose of infested furniture?
    • No! In fact, you shouldn’t move infested furniture in the midst of an infestation. Doing so can contribute to bed bugs spreading into other areas.
  7. Can bed bug bites transmit disease?
    • Thankfully, no. Bed bugs may cause you anxiety and even itchiness, but their bites do not transmit any dangerous diseases.
  8. Can you get rid of bed bugs yourself?
    • Almost never. A bed bug infestation requires professional treatment to exterminate. Trying to get rid of them on your own can worsen or lengthen the infestation!

How to Prevent Bed Bugs

As mentioned previously, anyone and everyone can get a bed bug problem! In order to avoid this, there are several ways you can lessen the risk of getting an infestation. Always be wary of buying used furniture unless you inspect it for bed bugs first. In addition, take caution while traveling. This includes inspecting your hotel room for bugs and being careful when unpacking your suitcase. Lastly, get regular inspections from a professional bed bug control company that can look for all types of pests in your property. Contact Johnson Pest Control to learn more!

Does DIY Pest Control Work?

Mouse traps are a common DIY pest control method. Learn the pros and cons of DIY pest control in Sevierville TN from the pros at Johnson Pest Control.DIY projects are certainly beloved by many. If you’re planting your own garden or embarking on an art project, DIY is absolutely the way to go. However, do-it-yourself pest control is a bit of a gamble. Store-bought products can occasionally help with a small pest problem, but they’re also often filled with chemicals. DIY pest control is also never a long-term solution to dealing with ongoing infestations or any underlying problems. Here at Johnson Pest Control, we want to help our customers make informed choices when it comes to protecting their homes from pests. Keep reading to learn whether DIY or professional pest control is the best choice for you.

Do-it-Yourself Pest Control

If you have just a spider or two in your home, store-bought and DIY pest control typically can work. However, DIY pest control has several downfalls: 

    1. Certain pests, such as rodents, termites, bed bugs, and carpenter ants are more dangerous and destructive. Getting rid of these types of pests can be challenging for any novice.
    2. A lot of store-bought products are laden with chemicals that can be dangerous for you, your family, and your pets. Reading the label doesn’t always guarantee the product will be applied perfectly and safely.
    3. At-home remedies rarely work in the long-term and do not prevent future infestations.
    4. DIY or store-bought products don’t come with a guarantee or warranty as often as professional services, meaning you often have to buy more products.

The Importance of Professional Pest Control

It’s true that professional pest control requires a bigger investment of your time and money, but the payoff is tenfold! A professional has a unique understanding of the habits and behaviors of pests, making them more apt to know the best solution to control an infestation. An exterminator can also work to prevent future pest problems by identifying possible vulnerabilities in your property. Any pest control products are always applied carefully and efficiently for the safety of your family and pets. The biggest benefit of using a professional exterminator is having a custom pest control plan designed to treat your home.

DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Exterminators

Having a pest control plan in place is a smart idea for maintaining the health and safety of your home or business. Instead of spot treating pest flare-ups with unreliable DIY pest control and store-bought products, a pest control company can work with you to learn how to avoid infestations for good. To learn more, the team at Johnson is here for you!

Bed Bugs On the Move This Thanksgiving Season

Bed Bug Travel Tips Prevention - Johnson Pest ControlAs Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, Americans will be making travel plans to celebrate with relatives and friends, both near and far. With the increased amount of travel occurring during the next couple of months, we like to remind our friends to be on the lookout for signs of bed bugs. Having an awareness of bed bugs while traveling will help you avoid spreading these hitchhiking pests—or, even worse, bringing them home.

According to a 2015 survey from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and University of Kentucky, bed bugs aren’t going anywhere. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of pest control professionals reported that bed bug infestations continue to rise, and three-fourths (74 percent) reported encountering infestations in hotels and motels.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to manage. Bed bugs are resourceful bugs that can easily hitch a ride in suitcases, on clothing and in other human belongings, allowing them to spread quickly and infest homes, transportation systems, offices and any other place where people gather.

The NPMA offers the following tips for avoiding bed bugs while traveling:

  • Pull back hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams for stains, spots or bugs. Also check behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs.
  • Immediately notify management of any signs of bed bugs and ask for a new room.
  • Ensure the new room is not adjacent and/or directly above or below the original room.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through walls via electrical sockets.
  • Place luggage in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of the trip to keep bed bugs out.
  • Upon returning home, inspect luggage before bringing it inside and vacuum cases thoroughly before putting them away.
  • Dry all fabric items (even those that have not been worn) in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes to ensure any bed bugs that may have made it that far are not placed into your drawers or closet.

If bed bugs do find their way into your home, do not attempt to deal with the infestation on your own. We’ve seen way too many people put themselves in dangerous situations while trying to eliminate a bed bug problem. For peace of mind, it’s best to call a professional for an assessment and treatment.

Contact us today to find out more about bed bug prevention or to talk to someone about a suspected problem.

What Are Some Bed Bug Signs?

Bed Bug Pictures - Life Cycle of a Bed Bug
The bed bug life cycle is constant and you might see all stages of bed bugs in your home. The smaller nymph stages can be hard to notice unless specifically inspecting for bed bugs.

Bed bugs are a serious pest problem these days. But what are the bed bug signs to let you know that you might have a bedbug problem?

1. You See A Bed Bug: If you see a bed bug then it is likely that there are more than just that one bug. So you will want to take action to contact an experienced bed bug removal pest control company. Bed bugs have a life cycle as do all bugs, so you might notice the smaller bed bug nymphs. You can always test your suspicions by placing some bed bug monitors around your bed.

2. Bites At Night: Bedbugs bites often only cause harm when a person is allergic to them, however, you may still be able to notice some welts. If you notice consistent, pimple sized, bumps on your skin then maybe you have something to be concerned about.

3. Blood Spots on the Sheets: If you are keeping up your house then you wash your bedroom sheets with some regularity. Should you start to see little blood spots on the sheets then there is a probability that you have a bed bug infestation. At that point, you will want to go and check out the mattress to see if it has blood spots and if bed bugs are hiding in the creases.

4. Feces: Bed bugs are like any other creature and leave behind their own trails of fecal matter. It is hard to say that you would not see the blood spots but find fecal matter from the bed bugs, but it is possible. The fecal matter spots are no bigger than the tip of a ballpoint pen. So the can be easily missed. There is a stench that is created when a bed bug infestation gets out of control.

5. Eggs: Again, if you are not seeing the blood spots or fecal matter first then you might not be seeing the eggs and nymphs. The eggs are small, 1mm in size, and a yellowish/clear colored. Bed bugs can lay 1 to 3 eggs per day, so if you are seeing eggs then you need to get help immediately.

Worst case infestations it will become really clear you have a bed bug problem. Bed bugs will start to be visible more than just at night. You might notice them looking for food (your blood) during the daytime. They could start to spill out from their hiding places and show up on the walls, side tables, curtains, etc.

Bed bugs are a resilient bug and not susceptible to over the consumer based chemical treatments. It is in your best interest to contact a professionally trained and experienced pest control company to help get rid of your bed bug problem.



Bed Bugs Everywhere

The National Pest Management Association in partnership with the University of Kentucky surveyed a national sampling of pest management professionals to find out that bed bugs are indeed everywhere.

Bed Bug ResearchBed Bug Research Executive Sample

Once again, the pest management industry has explored a topic that leaves most Americans very uncomfortable: bed bugs. Though the public may fear these bloodsucking insects – there is much to be learned from those who find, treat, and eradicate bed bugs in most of the places people live, work and spend leisure time. To that end, pest management professionals (PMPs) across the country participated in an online survey, conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky on a biennial basis. This report features the key findings.

Still a Problem. Nearly two out of three pest management professionals (64%) report that bed bug infestations continue to be on the rise. Though this finding may horrify the public, it comes with a silver lining: Since 2010, the percentage of PMPs reporting an increase has decreased from a high of more than 90%.

Bed bug infestations are a year-round phenomenon. However, six out of ten PMPs (61%) noted seasonal differences in frequency, with “peak season” tending to be summertime. This is likely due to a spike in travel during which people can unknowingly bring bed bugs home.

Just About Everywhere. Bed bugs are found wherever there are people. In 2015, more than 90% of professionals battled bed bugs in apartments, condominiums, and single-family homes, and three-fourths (74%) encountered infestations in hotels and motels. Since 2013, occurrences have also spiked in such places as nursing homes, office buildings, and on public transportation. Respondents also report infestations in shelters, college dorms, day-care centers, health care facilities, stores, libraries, and movie theaters. Specifically:

  • Nursing homes – 58 percent (46 percent in 2013)
  • College dorms – 46 percent (47 percent in 2013)
  • Office buildings – 45 percent (36 percent in 2013)
  • Schools and day care centers – 43 percent (41 percent in 2013)
  • Hospitals – 36 percent (33 percent in 2013)
  • Doctor’s offices/outpatient facilities – 33 percent (26 percent in 2013)
  • Transportation (train/bus/taxi) – 29 percent (21 percent in 2013)
  • Retail stores – 20 percent (15 percent in 2013)
  • Movie theaters – 16 percent (10 percent in 2013)

Bed bugs are also found in more unusual spots as evidenced by several anecdotes from respondents – one PMP found bed bugs at a dance club, another in a casket with the deceased and yet another, in a vent above a bathtub. In short, pest management professionals encounter bed bugs in a wide range of places – some expected, others surprising.

Public Attitudes. Two out of five PMPs (43%) report that customers are expressing more concern about bed bugs than those in the previous year. Only a handful (6%) claim that customers today are expressing less concern, leaving half (51%) noting that little has changed.

Finding and Treating Bed Bugs. Visual inspection continues to be the most common method of finding bed bugs by professionals. Given their cryptic nature, other methods are also more popular than they were in previous surveys, including traps designed to intercept and capture bed bugs en route to their next meal.

Once bed bugs are found, nearly all PMPs (95%) treat them with insecticides. Many professionals (84%) also utilize mattress encasements, and have clients launder infested items (79%). Fewer PMPs use vacuums (62%), heat treatments (40%), or steam (38%). Notably, one treatment – the disposal of infested items – has become less popular, with 47% recommending disposal this year compared with 62% in 2011. Nearly eight out of ten PMPs (77%) perform preventive bed bug treatments, up from six out of ten (60%) in 2012. Typically, these proactive services involve inspection and monitoring in order to detect infestations

Nearly eight out of ten PMPs (77%) perform preventive bed bug treatments, up from six out of ten (60%) in 2012. Typically, these proactive services involve inspection and monitoring in order to detect infestations early, when they are easier to manage.

Bed bugs continue to be the most difficult pest to control, according to 68 percent of survey respondents. By comparison, 21 percent point to ants, 9 percent specify cockroaches and 2 percent list termites as the most difficult pests they face.

Can’t Take the Heat. When PMPs use insecticide-based treatments, they control the typical bed bug infestation in two to three visits. The average is 2.6. Heat-based treatments, by contrast, tend to require fewer visits: The average here is 1.3.

It’s a Business. Over the past year, bed bug service work has increased by 10%, according to PMPs surveyed, and now accounts for nearly 8% of their company’s pest control revenue, up from 5% in 2011. Other service-related facts:

  • The initial treatment for a bed bug infestation, on average, takes more than three hours;
  • In advance of treatments, at least half the PMPs require residential customers to strip bedding (71%), empty dressers and closets (60%), and move furniture away from the walls (50%);
  • The average cost of treating bed bugs in a residential setting is $1,225, up 22% since 2012 (though there are many variables in costs reported);

Homeowner clutter was cited as the biggest customer-oriented challenge in treating bed bugs by 80 percent of the respondents; followed by customers not following advice (62%) and reinfestation (24%). Proving how easily bed bugs can be transported from place to place, 29 percent of respondents said that company employees have accidentally brought bed bugs to their home or the office from a treatment site.

Best Management Practices (BMPs). Nearly six out of ten PMPs (57%) currently follow the Best Management Practices for bed bugs developed by the NPMA. One out of four (23%) has not yet made a decision, while one out of five (18%) is not familiar with the BMPs. By contrast, only 2% of pest management professionals have chosen not to follow the BMPs.

As in previous years, these findings underscore the need for continued education and awareness building among the American public regarding bed bugs. While the professional pest management industry is able to eliminate infestations, treatments can be costly, time consuming and disruptive to consumers. Bed bugs appear to be here to stay, but their spread can be stemmed by a vigilant public who takes steps to prevent infestations wherever they go.

Dr. Michael F. Potter is a professor and urban entomologist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky. Dr. Jim Fredericks is the chief entomologist and vice president of technical and regulatory affairs and Missy Henriksen is the vice president of public affairs, respectively, for the National Pest Management Association, Fairfax, Va.

The NPMA, a nonprofit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit PestWorld.org and AllThingsBedBugs.org, NPMA’s resource on everything bed bug related, from prevention tips to current news.


Bed Bug Awareness Week

Bug bug awareness week logo - keep pests away from your home with Johnson Pest Control in TNWith summer travel season quickly approaching, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has declared June 7-13 as Bed Bug Awareness Week to remind the public that vigilance is key to quelling a potential bed bug infestation this summer. We are proud to take part in this important public education effort and encourages travelers to brush up on bed bug basics before packing their bags and hitting the road.

Bed bugs are still a pervasive problem, and they can be especially problematic for travelers due to their hitchhiking nature. These biting pests are easily transported from one place to another in belongings, such as suitcases, which means travelers must exercise caution during and after their trips.

In fact, new research by NPMA and the University of Kentucky found that 99.6 percent of pest control professionals have treated for bed bugs within the past year, with 75 percent reporting bed bugs in hotels and motels.

At Johnson Pest Control we have a few bits of advice to vacationers to help ensure they don’t bring home bed bugs as an unwanted souvenir.

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting

For more information on bed bugs check out our extensive amount of write ups on the little blood suckers. If you suspect an infestation of any level give us a call