Bed bugs are known by several names…crimson ramblers, mahogany flats, and wall lice too. They first lived among our cave-dwelling relatives and once they began to set up urban settlements, the bed bugs that were feeding off of the bats and humans adapted and left the caves too. As the dwellings improved for humans, bed bug infestations thrived.
Throughout the years, bed bugs were a common urban pest. In the early 1600’s, it was written that bed bugs were more problematic for the poor than the rich because they had the means to keep their homes cleaner. By the 1800’s the first pest control companies began to form in Europe, and bed bug infestations were their primary target as they were then considered the most serious pest to deal with.
Over time, these unwelcome bed fellows have caused people to try to rid their environment of them in a variety of different ways, often using extreme, dangerous, and even silly measures.
Years ago, bed frames were soaked in kerosene and slowly lit on fire to kill bed bugs. The trouble was that this practice often caused house fires. Burning sulfur (“fire and brimstone”) was used during the 18th century as a means of controlling infestations. Some people have tried covering their bodies in olive oil to keep from being bitten from the blood suckers. It doesn’t work! Others have tried using traditional bug bombs, which only causes bed bugs to scatter to other rooms, thereby spreading the infestation further. Out of desperation, some people have tried freezing bed bugs by turning off their homes heat source. That will freeze people, but not bed bugs.
In August of 2010, a warning was issued to consumers against using agricultural pesticides for the treatment of bed bug infestations. The EPA warned that not only are these pesticides ineffective in the treatment of the bugs, they are also dangerous as they can cause illness or become flammable when used indoors.
When treating a New Jersey bed bug infestation, or one in another area of the United States, it’s always best to contact a licensed pest control expert instead of trying to treat them yourself. Ridding your home of these hardy little vampires requires the pesticides and knowledge that is afforded by a bed bug expert.