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- 2019 North FL Bed Bug Summit
Let’s face it – retirement communities have everything bed bug colonies need to thrive. From an abundance of easily accessible food sources to temperatures ideal for living and breeding, retirees in homes all across Georgia and Northern Florida are at risk for bed bug infestations any time of the year.
With an infrastructure that supports the life cycle of these parasitic bugs, retirement homes often have bed bug outbreaks that go unnoticed – mainly due to residents not reporting the telltale signs.
Here at McCall Service, our pest technicians realize the importance of keeping retirees safe from bed bug infestations on a regular basis, which is why we’re going to take an in-depth look at exactly what makes an ideal living space for bed bugs and how bed bug pest control in retirement communities can be problematic.
From ample bodies to feed on to nooks and crannies to hide in, bed bugs can live long lives within the confines of retirement homes if left untreated. A few reasons why these pests love retirement communities include:
Like all creatures, bed bugs are highly motivated by the availability of food. Since these bugs require blood for sustenance and for breeding, any building that contains a large population of humans is perfect. And, while bed bugs are not limited to feeding only at night, they do prefer to be nocturnal and are more likely to come out of hiding when carbon dioxide levels rise. In a retirement community that’s contained in one large structure, these pests are right at home.
Bed bugs are not resilient pests when it comes to temperature. That may be one of the reasons they prefer to dwell, almost exclusively, with humans. They don't live in the woods. They don't live on warm-blooded host animals like fleas and ticks do. These bugs find warm, temperature-controlled hiding places near a source of food.
A happy bed bug is a bed bug that doesn't have to look over its shoulder. If there are no cockroaches, spiders, centipedes, ants, or other predators nearby, these insects will be allowed to flourish – but this is not the kind of safety we're referring to. The biggest threat to bed bugs is human extermination.
If something leaves welts on us that swell into painful lumps, we're not going to tolerate it for long. Therefore, bed bugs thrive more when they can feed on individuals that are less likely to have irritating bite wounds. Studies have shown that most senior citizens are not nearly as affected by bed bug bites as younger people, which can allow an infestation to spread like wildfire.
Although bed bugs aren't drawn to filthy places, they are drawn to clutter. In a location that is clean and free of clutter, it’s easier to see immature nymphs when they venture out – that is, if you have good eyesight. Immature nymphs are a mere 1mm in size. But, since eyesight diminishes with age, and seniors tend to have more memorabilia and keepsakes, these two factors work to allow bed bugs to avoid detection.
When residents get bed bugs in retirement communities, it often leads to a feeling of shame and embarrassment. Bed bugs have a stigma attached to them, as they are commonly associated with dirty, unkempt living spaces.
Some elderly don't report bed bugs because they don't want to be a bother. They don't realize that they are actually doing a service to the whole community when they report an infestation.
Seniors are from an era where they were taught to be strong and independent. If something breaks, you fix it. If you have a bug problem, you get rid of it. Unfortunately, a bed bug infestation is not a problem that is easy to fix. It requires a detailed education in modern pest control protocols and the best practices for bed bug extermination.
At McCall Service, bed bug remediation is not simply about getting rid of bed bugs. We educate our customers in all the ways they can prevent infestations from becoming a major issue. If your retirement home needs assistance with bed bugs, reach out to us today. We look forward to helping you keep your entire community bed bug-free!