Bed bug populations exploded in 2019 and can invade your home by hitching rides in used furniture or clothing and luggage where you may have encountered them while traveling and staying in hotels. If you live in an apartment or condo bed bugs can travel between the units and infest your home. They can even be introduced by guests or children returning from summer camp. Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests and do not discriminate based on cleanliness or socioeconomic status. Once they are in your home a female bed bug can lay 200 to 250 eggs during their lifetime with those eggs hatching in 6 to 10 day and maturing to adults within four to six weeks. A small number of bed bugs can turn into a terrible infestation in only a couple of months.
They are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Although they can carry over 28 human pathogens, there are no known cases of them transmitting disease. Their bites can cause red, swollen wounds that have a dark spot in the center that are painful and itchy and can cause scarring. Bed bugs secrete an anesthetic before feeding and you will not feel a bed bug bite right away. It can sometimes take a few days for symptoms to develop and the bites are usually grouped together in lines or clusters.
Less common, but more severe, symptoms of bed bug bites can include difficulty breathing, blisters, nausea, irregular heartbeat, swollen tongue, and fever. These symptoms should absolutely receive medical attention from a nurse or doctor.
In addition to the damage to property from infestation and physical injury from bites, many people experience negative psychological effects that include nightmares, flashbacks of infestation, insomnia, anxiety, a preoccupation with keeping bugs away through avoidance behavior, and paranoia. According to study published to The American Journal of Medicine these negative psychological effects are suggestive of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with infestation or injury. The study found that 81% of people who experience bed bug bites or infestation report having these negative psychological effects.
Because bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of it is important to address any infestation as soon as you can. Bed bugs have developed resistance to some of the most powerful pesticides like DDT, and studies have revealed that newer chemicals like chlorfenapyr and bifenthrin have mixed results at killing bed bugs. A non-chemical treatment involves heating a room to 118° F for at least 90 minutes. Depending on the treatment type and level of infestation treating your home for bed bugs, it can cost between $300 on the low end, and $5,000 on the high end, with the average cost being between $1,000 and $2,500.
Many people are unaware that victims of bed bug bites and infestations might be eligible for compensation due to physical and property damage. Additionally, bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate and it can be very costly to do so. The Cochran Firm has partnered with the premiere bed bug attorney Brian Virag at My Bed Bug Lawyer to make his resources and expertise available to more people across the country. With record settlements rarely seen in bed bug litigation Brian has pioneered bed bug litigation and won compensation for countless people. Contact us today for your free consultation.