Happy New Year!!!! Man the months and years go by so fast… my mother says it’s the aging factor, I would prefer to think of it as the “maturing factor”… at least it’s easier on the ego. I honestly think time goes by so fast because of all of the “irons” we have in the fire and because we live in the “now” era… if we want or need something we expect to be able to get or do it “now”. (What happened to the days of waiting to get home, or to the office, or pay phones, to return or place a call?)

Speaking of “now”… George T. Chozenwun, the Editor, wants us to prepare a Monthly article. Way to go George, just what I needed… more writing time…I just may not be able to bring you any more dog biscuits. (And, as for keeping those fleas and ticks away… it just may require “monthly” service!) I know, stop bellyaching and start writing…the readers are waiting for your “words of wisdom”.

In an effort to not be redundant, now that we will be a monthly publication, I will attempt to bring you information on a specific bug each month. This month we are going to discuss the Bedbug. And no, this is not a bug that causes you to sleep more and, yes they do bite and we have them in Montgomery County.

Bedbugs are small nocturnal insects that live by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. The Common Bedbug is well adapted to human dwellings and is found throughout the world. Adult bedbugs are reddish brown, flattened, oval, and wingless. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Adults grow to about ¼ inch in length and move slow enough to be seen by attentive observer.

Bedbugs are most active shortly before dawn, though given the opportunity; they may attempt to feed at any time of day or night. Attracted by warmth and carbon dioxide, the bug pierces the skin of its host, injects saliva, and proceeds to withdraw blood. After feeding for several minutes, the bug then returns to its hiding place. The bite itself is usually painless, and reactions may not be felt for hours or days. Although bedbugs can live for as long as 18 months without feeding, they typically feed every 5 to 10 days, and must feed at least once prior to each growth stage.

Protecting your homes from bedbugs is a complicated process and is best accomplished by utilizing a combination of products and procedures. Most homeowners will never experience a bedbug infestation. Our experience with bedbugs has been needed when clients have traveled abroad or had extended stays in various hotel/motels, and unfortunately brought the insect home. With that being said, bedbug treatments are generally reactive, not proactive/preventative. Furthermore, bedbug management will not generally be obtained with a single visit. Typically an infestation requires two to four visits by a pest control professional, and none of these procedures protects the home from future re-infestations.

Should you suspect that you have bedbugs, verification is imperative. You must inspect all parts of the bed and coverings, and in many cases place sticky traps at all bedposts in an attempt to collect and properly identify prior to any type of treatment. Not only should you wash all bedding materials you must also inspects all parts of the mattress and box springs.

Until the next month, enjoy the rest of January. If you have particular insect that you would like for me discuss, please email me at chasepestcontrol@consolidated.net or you can visit our web site at chasepestcontrol.com for a link to the Texas A&M Entomology Department. As always, if you would like to have professional pest control service for your home or office we stand ready to serve.