When you were a child, you never had to worry about bedbugs. Chances are that your parents never had to worry about them, either. So why are bedbug populations now exploding all around North America and Europe? The main reasons are due to the banning of DDT and the rise in international travel. If you think you may have bedbugs, contact a pest management professional like Pest Masters Inc. Grosse Ile right away.
DDT was a very effective pesticide. It nearly wiped out the most commonly found bedbug species, Cimex lectularis. Unfortunately, it was deadly to more than just pests. It seeped into the food chain, killing off amphibians, fish, mammals and especially birds of prey. The DDT’s effects got worse the higher up the food chain you were because you ate more DDT-laced animals, fish and insects. DDT was finally banned in the 1970s, but unfortunately it is still used as an all-purpose pesticide in some third world countries.
Not all bedbugs were wiped out in the DDT era. Some tiny pockets of populations survived. However, it can be argued that modern bedbugs are a different species than those that lived in DDT days. The US Army has kept a colony of bedbugs isolated from pesticides since the 1940s. Modern bedbugs are more resistant to pesticides than this colony.
More International Travel
Nothing broadens the mind like travel. Unfortunately, nothing exposes you to native bedbug infestations than travel. Bedbugs can hitch rides to other countries in the luggage of international travelers. Bedbugs are so narrow that they can easily wedge themselves into the nooks and crevices in luggage, sleeping bags and clothing. It’s very difficult to see bedbugs unless you have good eyesight and are specifically looking for them.
Keep in mind that no matter how clean a hotel or airport appears, it still can have bedbugs. The popular misconception is that bedbugs are attracted to dirt. They are not. They are attracted to warm temperatures similar to body temperatures and to traces of carbon dioxide, which we breathe out with each exhale. They can hibernate for months in between blood meals. So just when you think they’re gone, they show up again.
If you think you may have bedbugs, contact a pest management professional like Pest Masters Inc. Grosse Ile right away.