Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?
A common question asked by many home owners and Apartments and Hotels. We have discovered and rid countless residences of nasty bed bug infestations. We are providing here some true stories that might help you understand the problem and solution.
Bed Bug Infestations
Horry County, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is home to more than 380,000 residents and some 14,000,000 visitors each year. As you would expect with such large numbers of people traveling in and out of the area the number of bed bug calls is higher.
Myrtle Beach is known for having a large span of beautiful beaches and with these come high rise hotels. As you can imagine high rise hotels that get bed bugs can Heat Treat or use good pest control companies (with bed bug experience) to eradicate bed bugs from the building. Unfortunately, these Myrtle Beach hotels can turn around and rent rooms the next week and a new guest can bring in luggage which has bed bugs and start the infestation all over again.
It is for this reason that we encourage hotels to do monthly k-9 inspections as well as preventative organic barrier dust in order to catch bedbugs that have just been brought into a suite. It not only makes it easy to treat, but gives the management and staff the peace of mind that they would otherwise not have. Myrtle Beach is also known for holding rallies like biker’s week and concerts all of which increase tourism and bring droves of people to the beaches. I say people should keep having a good time and travel to fun destinations, but just pay attention to their surroundings.
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina located just north of Myrtle Beach and has around 15,000 residents plus a large number of seasonal tourists.
A guy checked into an Ocean front N. Myrtle Beach Hotel room and within thirty minutes was calling us to inquire about bed bugs. He stated that he was sitting on the bed and though he could not see the bed bugs he could feel them biting him. I immediately informed him that if a bed bug were biting him, it would not be invisible and that he would be able to see it.
In this particular case the guy was having some other issue besides bed bugs and I encouraged him to seek medical attention. Apparently, he had read on yelp that the hotel he booked in North Myrtle Beach had been reported to have bed bugs in the past. This caused him to worry and perhaps over react. Not really sure what or if he had a true medical condition, however I am sure that there were no invisible bed bugs biting him in his North Myrtle Beach hotel room.
Little River, is a town located in the Metropolitan area of Myrtle Beach, in South Carolina. I recall a call coming into our office in which four Little River townhouses were infested with bed bugs.
Apparently, one of the tenants had gotten bed bugs from an unknown source. He had notified the landlord, but was left to deal with the bed bugs on his own. As he was a very organized and detailed kind of guy he set out to kill every bedbug within his townhome.
While many of the sprays were killing the bedbugs that came in contact with the sprays it was not killing the ones that remained hidden behind baseboards and other small cracks. So after seeing a lot of dead bedbugs the guy felt reassured that what he was doing was working and that he just needed to keep at it.
He noticed his next door neighbor was throwing out their mattress and became concerned. Upon talking with his neighbor he learned that not only did his neighbor have them, but there were two other families in the building which also had complained of bedbugs. This is what we call a structural infestation, where the building has bedbugs throughout the units.
At this point the guy felt totally devastated knowing that most people would not be as vigilant in spraying, dusting, and drying all questionable items as he was. He actually called himself, “a freak” about cleaning and organizing. He called us to try and figure out what his options were.
I explained that he could try to move, but he would need to follow our protocol on the proper way to relocate and not bring the bed bugs with him. The other option was that he could talk with the other tenants who had bed bugs and as a group talk with the landlord on some sort of treatment which would solve the bed bug problem. If the landlord flat out refused to work with them in resolving the problem they could always file a small claims lawsuit against the owner in which they would ask that the infestation be resolved. From our last phone call it appears that they are in litigation and still waiting to resolve the infestation.
Conway, South Carolina located in Horry county with around 18,000 thousand residents and is part of the Metropolitan area of Myrtle Beach. A bed bug call came in from Conway, SC and the lady was trying to figure out if she should use a chemical company in Conway, SC to treat her bed bug infestation or if she should use us.
She immediately wanted to know if we had a lot of experience with dealing with bedbugs and it was explained that bed bugs are the only pest we treat which makes us a company that specializes in bed bugs. She rented her Conway, SC home and the landlord felt that the home was not infested prior to her moving into it. After having a thirty minute conversation she felt that a heat treatment would be the best way to get rid of them, however she couldn’t afford the treatment which would run around $1200.
She was also saying that the pest control company she called had quoted her $180 to spray for bed bugs. Advised her to find out what they planned to spray and if they would be spraying mattresses to ask to see where chemical is labeled for application on mattresses. If label states it is safe for mattresses then the next thing she needed to find out was if they would return in two weeks to re-spray for eggs that hatch and realize that it might take five or six rounds of spray to completely get rid of the bed bugs over a period of months.
How Do You Get Bed Bugs In Your House?
Georgetown, South Carolina located between Charleston and Myrtle Beach and is best known for its Steel Mill industry.
A Georgetown resident called our office to inquire about bed bug infestations and to try and figure out if the bug she had seen crawling across her bed might be a bed bug. She had no itching or bites and really didn’t think it was bed bugs, but being an educated business lady she just wanted to be sure that there was nothing to be concerned about.
We sent our K-9 team to inspect her home and K-9 alerted on the living room couch which was a sleeper sofa. Sofa bed was pulled out and again K-9 was alerting around springs and mattress.
Bed bugs were found and this Georgetown homeowner was horrified to say the least. K-9 also alerted on her bed, however no actual bed bugs or eggs were seen. Since client saw a bed bug run across her comforter it was considered to be an active sight as K-9 alerted and she had them in the other room. (It is possible that bed bugs and their eggs are hidden inside cracks and crevices of bed frames/headboards/footboards, etc and early on may not be much evidence of their presence.)
Once determined to be a bed bug infestation more information was gathered and it seems likely that her nephew may have brought the bugs into her home. He was in town for a sports tournament, had stayed with other players during the games and had then spent time with his aunt in Georgetown—sleeping on her couch. The house was heat treated and bed bugs were eradicated without having to throw out the sofa, bed, or other belongings.
Another Bed Bug Infestation
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina is a seaside community located in Georgetown County and has around 10,000 residents plus seasonal tourist.
A bed bug call came in regarding a Murrells Inlet Oceanfront condominium. The gentleman called asking for a K-9 sniff search as his partner was pretty sure the place had bed bugs. The caller felt that his partner might be overreacting and wanted to be sure that bed bugs were indeed the culprit.
Upon arrival to the Murrells Inlet condo the tenant (partner) said he had only found bed bugs in the master bedroom and hoped that was the only place that had them. Upon K-9 search all five bedrooms were found to have at least one or more bed bugs and the Master bedroom had the most. The tenant saw how Scarlet (our bed bug sniffer dog) went from room to room and how the handler (flashlight in hand) was able to get down and locate the actual bed bugs or bed bug eggs in most cases. I was told that the handler and the client picked off and flushed around twenty of them.
The Murrells Inlet tenant had been using Hot Shot Bed Bugs spray which had killed off many, but as the K-9 went around finding them in each room the tenant quickly realized how many he had missed and hard it would be to kill all of them with the spray as their hiding spots are numerous. Murrells Inlet condo was heat treated and now these guys can breathe easy that they will be able to visit their place without fears of being infested or bitten.
How Do Bed Bugs Spread?
Pawleys Island, South Carolina located in Georgetown county is a very small coastal town with only a few hundred residents along with seasonal tourists. We did a bed bug K-9 inspection for a lady in Pawley’s Island, SC that takes care of her grandchildren when the parents travel out of town on business.
She herself had no bites that she knew of, but her grandchildren were being bitten. She believed that the bites were mosquito bites as these are very common in the area, especially when Pawley’s Island has had a lot of rain, as was this case. What caught her attention was that the grand daughter seemed to be having a major reaction to the bites as the areas were whelping up.
The child was scratching her arms so much that they were bleeding and the areas seemed to be growing in the number of bites. During the first week this Pawley’s Island grandmother had only noticed the child’s arms having bites, but several weeks later the number of bites were increasing and showing up on her neck and back.
She called to inquire about the K-9 search and just by speaking with our company she was given some basic places to look for the bugs herself. Within a few hours she called back saying she didn’t think she needed the dog as she had found bugs in the mattress and in the child’s suitcase along the zipper. We had her send a cellphone picture of the bug to us and we could see it was indeed bed bugs—no need to send out the K-9 as it was evident. Heat treatment was performed and she has cleared of the infestation. Her son and daughter were also found to have bed bugs and it was believed that they most likely came in thru their traveling / flying as they traveled frequently.
Professional Bed Bug Inspection
It can take two trained technicians up to two hours to search one bedroom for bed bugs visually and they only have around 25% accuracy. Inspecting an entire home with an IBBMA certified canine and handler can be completed in a number of minutes with accuracy of 90% or greater. Bed Bugs are excellent hitchhikers and just like lice they are parasites and need people or animal blood to survive.
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Bed Bug Detection Remediation Services of South Carolina is a division of FFR, Inc.