Some surprises can be fun. Finding out that your business has bed bugs, though, isn’t one of them.
According to research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), plenty of businesses and healthcare facilities find themselves struggling with bed bug problems. Overall, commercial places where pest control professionals find these nasty critters most often include:
If you’re a landlord, the news can be even worse. The percentage for apartments and condominiums is a whopping 89%.
Although bed bugs can adapt to a wide range of environments, they sure do love Florida. In 2019, a Tampa Bay news channel reported that five Florida cities ranked in the top 50 places in the United States to be home to this pest: Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach. Overall, the climate that attracts residents, businesses, and tourists to sunny Florida suits the bed bug just fine, no matter what city or town it’s in.
Humans have experienced a long history with this blood-sucking critter. Scientifically known as C. lectrularius, bed bugs probably lived in Middle Eastern caves, long ago, sharing space with bats—and our ancient ancestors. As people began to find dwellings elsewhere, bed bugs came right along with us. As villages formed, then turned into towns and then cities, so grew the population of one of the bed bug’s prime food sources: us.
Today, as people go into commercial buildings, they might be bringing bed bugs in with them, perhaps on briefcases, in backpacks, and so forth. And, unfortunately, Mother Nature has provided this nasty pest with unique abilities to track down sources of their food.
When bed bugs are ready to feed, they sense where carbon dioxide is being exhaled—such as when people breathe out—and then they use their special antenna heat sensors to find the best places to target a supply of blood. National Geographic describes an exposed limb as a “flashing neon sign for a free all-you-can-suck buffet.”
Bed bugs need a continual supply of blood to breathe and just one of them can drink three times its weight in one feeding. If your Florida business is infested, more than 500 bed bugs can feed off of someone, which can even lead to anemia in a bitten person. To make matters worse, just one female can lay 200 eggs, growing the population exponentially.
Believe it or not, bed bugs seem to have favorite colors, seeking shelter in areas that are black or red, while avoiding those that are green or yellow. Initially, researchers thought bed bugs liked the color of blood, but it seems more likely that they love red because their bodies are reddish and they like to cluster in groups. Green and yellow, on the other hand, might remind them of brightly lit areas, which they tend to avoid. (And, no. It doesn’t appear as though using yellow or green as a decor color is enough to chase them away.)
Pay attention to areas where bed bugs might like to congregate in your business, including cracks and crevices, areas around electrical outlets, places where carpeting and baseboards touch, and more. If you’ve got plush chairs in lounges and lobbies, pay close attention to those rooms.
Vacuum carpeting often and use attachments to vacuum furniture. If you are buying second-hand furniture or are moving pieces from one building to another, carefully inspect each of them for bed bugs before bringing any into a building. If you have any reason to suspect there are these pests on any item you’ll take into your business, don’t do so until the situation is addressed.
If your business has an infestation, Turner Pest Control has powerful bed bug eradication solutions. These include: