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In the 1930’s there was widespread infestation of Bed Bugs in the USA especially in the hotels. Just after the World War II, The United States has won the war over these tiny little pests. They used the DDT, a chemical pesticide which was so potent for the Bed Bugs that nearly annihilated them. The specie continued to grow in other parts of the Globe like Europe, Asia and Africa. However in the 60’s it was determined that DDT has harmful effects to humans and its environment so it was banned. The Bed Bugs came back through human migration and tourism from different nations. The Hotels were most affected and the homes of most citizens again.
They came when the most effective weapon against them was gone. So people, businessmen in real estates and hotels are affected. Not to mention the millions of people who obtains bites, scratches, scars and skin infection.
Literally there is bloodshed in this war with the bugs. Since they thrive in human blood, there have been fears that they could trigger an epidemic of diseases like hepatitis and the plague. Further studies however showed that the fear was unfounded.
These pests like their adversary (who appear as their victims than predators) have cunning ways to wage their campaign against humanity. As nocturnal animals, they sleep during the day and attack at night when the enemy least expects it. So shrewd that they don’t do it the whole night but they pick the time when most people are in deep sleep and dreaming which is about an hour before dawn.
To top it all, they carry with them war apparatus designed like sophisticated chemical weaponries. Their mouth has two elongated tubes intended in piercing the human skin. One is for injecting counter defensive substance; the other is a vacuum needle which sucks the blood out. The substance it delivers works as an anesthetic and coagulant. The former is for preventing blood from clotting and keeps it flowing thru the other tube. The anesthesia is intended to make the operation site numb while the bug is at work and the host keeps on dreaming.
The operation lasts for only about a few minutes. The timing is so perfect, that ensures attack to be efficiently productive. An hour before dawn is the time when the victim is fast asleep but it is also perfect timing because the anesthesia lasts only for about an hour after they fed. When the numbness wears out, the itching and scratching begin but it is already morning. When the enemy wakes up, the Bed Bugs are already back in their barracks. The poor victim doesn’t even know and may just suspect the aggressors are mosquitoes and may not even try to look for them. So the cycle of invasion continues.
Given that these bugs have the advantage of such sophisticated offensive mechanism granted by the Creator, their intelligence may not compare to that of the human brain which God have also provided. The human brain contains talents of different professions, of Professors, PhDs, Scientists, Engineers and Technicians that have joined team efforts to combat the threat of the Bug War.
So the other side of the camp plans and invents solution in terms of Detection, Entrapment, Elimination and Prevention from recurring. Imagine the years of research and the creative talents needed to counter the seemingly mindless Bed Bugs.
The human warfare against the Bed Bugs
After so much study of trials and errors, it was determined that there is no more as effective as that of the banned DDT. Therefore, the human side has to contend with the best solution available which takes careful planning and swift implementation to make them effective.
War is declared when there are numbers of incidents of atrocities of bug bites on family members or hotel guests who file legal complaints against hotel managements. So threat of invasion is no longer a question of existence. The bugs have already declared war. It is the human turn now to respond. First they need to detect location of the enemies. Then find the best weapon to counter attack.
Since bugs have been identified to operate at near dawn time frame, it is best to wake up one early morning and with the aid of a flashlight carefully look under the mattresses, floor crevices, beddings, carpets, curtains and cabinets. When the secret hideouts are identified, its time to implement the offensive.
Two methods of counter offensive were identified: The Chemical Treatment and the Non-chemical Treatment.
Chemical method is best applied by hired mercenaries the pest control professionals. Their tools and materials are best in reaching hard to reach tight places in homes and hotels. The chemicals used are the inorganic diatomaceous earth and the silica aerogel. They are desiccants applied in hard to reach tight places which inflict entrapment and dehydration for the bugs and provide long term effectiveness. The chemicals are safe for humans and domestic animals. To prevent other possible hideouts, Pyrethroids insect repellants are applied into crevices to prevent Bed Bugs from creeping into them.
Non Chemical treatments can be done by homeowners themselves. Basically, they are keeping the homes clean and free of clutters: Vacuum cleaning of mattresses, furnitures, beddings and another area where Bed Bugs could possibly hold camp. Steam cleaning and hot drying of carpets, upholstery, curtains and beddings.