Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite Published June 18, 2018 By Isabel Velez 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Ohio is the top ranking state for bedbug activity, which makes bedbug prevention a high priority for the pest control specialists on base. Bedbugs are blood feeding insects that get their name from common hiding places of bed frames and mattresses that they often nest in. “Only 60-70 percent of people react to bedbug bites,” said William “Bill” Williams, Wright-Patterson’s Pest Control supervisor. Because of this and their small size, bedbugs can often go unnoticed until their numbers grow into a full blown infestation. Williams offers some tips to help locate the bedbugs and what to do if you find them in your home. To find these insects, the first step is to thoroughly check furniture for any bugs. If one is found, it is likely that there are more, since bedbugs enjoy being in clusters in large numbers. Pulling back sheets and checking pillows and box springs is a good place to start as well, as they enjoy hiding in tight dark places. It is important to also check clothes and bags as the host is the main form of travel for these insects. If you are to find one in your home or place of work, it is recommended that you call pest control immediately. “The first thing I would recommend is to call in a professional. I’d never suggest for anyone to try and handle it themselves because even though you can get a lot of the chemicals yourself, if you don’t use them properly you can cause more problems,” said Williams. While chemicals are available on the market, Williams said that they are mostly ineffective especially when not used properly, and even when done right the chemicals often take multiple applications based on the size of the infestation, and do not kill bedbug eggs. “Heat treatment right now is probably one of the best thing in the industry,” said Williams. Heat treatment is a method of treating large scale bedbug infestation with a machine that heats the area with 145-150 degrees for six-eight hours. The treatment is able to get into hard to reach places and holds a 98 percent rate of effectiveness in eradicating the bedbugs. It also kills the adult insects as well as the eggs. After any treatment the area should be checked for reentry and any host should stay clear of the area for a few days to ensure the problem does not reoccur. When dealing with bedbugs it is important to not only check your house but also check yourself because while some do not notice a reaction others may notice small bites on their body. “Don’t be paranoid, be observant,” says Williams. The 88 Air Base Wing Entomology office is a multifaceted pest control center that is available to handle all insect activity and trapping pests. To put in a work order or for more information call 937-257-3593.