Category Archives: Bed Bugs New York

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France’s freakout over bed bugs is a mass delusion – Big Think

In October, the French collectively freaked out over bed bugs. Social media erupted with supposed pictures of the parasites in cinemas, trains, and subways. Pest control agencies, exterminators, and owners of bed bug-sniffing dogs were inundated with panicked calls. Politicians breathlessly demanded rapid government action. Of Paris, uncritical media reports declared that the entire city is infested with bed bugs.

Google Trends data shows the mass paranoia in chart form.

The thing is, it doesnt appear that the countrys bed bug problem warranted such a swift and sudden panic, which seemed to have started with a few social media posts that went viral. The insects population didnt erupt overnight. Instead, the French were likely gripped by a social panic.

Dr. Robert Bartholomew is a sociologist specializing in mass hysteria and social panic. He teaches at the University of Auckland.

What has been reported in Paris looks like something from a Grade B monster movie, he told Big Think. Going by press accounts, you would think they were everywhere and that is not the case.

Most French are not bed bug experts, and are likely mistaking ticks, carpet beetles, or some other creepy crawly for bed bugs, Bartholomew added.

Michael F. Potter, an emeritus professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, knows exactly what bed bugs look like.

Adult bed bugs are reddish-brown, with oval, flattened bodies. Their coloration is similar to an apple seed although their size is closer to a lentil, he described.

Like vampires, bed bugs feast on blood and avoid the light, spending their days hiding in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. At night, they crawl to their unsuspecting, sleeping victims and gorge themselves on blood for three to ten minutes, then scurry back to their cozy crevices. Bed bugs dont transmit diseases to humans, and their bites are painless. The nips can leave red, itchy welts, however.

Relative to human pests like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, bed bugs are rather innocuous. But the fact that they covertly invade your bed a place of privacy, comfort, and safety to suck your blood as you sleep makes them uniquely unsettling.

Their stealthy, squirm-worthy reputation undoubtedly fueled Frances collective anxiety.

There is a real psychosis, Jean-Michel Brenger, an entomologist at Mediterranean University Hospital Infection Institute in Marseille, told the New York Times. This is the first time people have called to ask me to come to their home to check for bedbugs when they havent been bitten, they havent traveled, but they are afraid they have them since they saw things on the internet.

According to a representative of the bed bug canine detection agency ATN, two-thirds of calls to exterminators during the present period of panic are quickly dismissed. Callers think theyve got a bed bug infestation, but they really dont. Moreover, many of the posts on social media depict insects that clearly are not bed bugs. Frances Transport Minister Clment Beaune said in early October that of all of the bed bug reports that were checked zero are proven.

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In the past a bus traveler may have sat next to one and not paid much notice. But now, Parisians are hyper-aware of any bug, especially while on public transport and in public places like the cinema and low and behold, people are seeing them everywhere, Bartholomew explained.

As Brooke Borel, author of Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World, recently reminded readers in an article at Scientific American, there was another bed bug panic in New York City back in 2010.

According to estimates from Frances national pest control trade association, there has been a 10% uptick in calls to exterminators this year, but this slight jump was expected. Bed bug populations crashed during COVID-19 when nobody was traveling, so a population spike was inevitable when things opened up. The insects also increase in prevalence when the weather is hot and humid and in places where people frequently travel. This year, France, and especially Paris, saw lots of both.

French fears of bed bugs were seemingly given credence earlier this year when a government report revealed that one in 10 households had bed bugs between 2017 and 2022. That might seem bad, but this rate is actually lower than in the United States.

Bed bug populations have grown significantly since the 1960s, when they were virtually eliminated in developed countries through the widespread use of the insecticide DDT. DDT is no longer widely utilized because of its negative, downstream environmental effects. At the same time, bed bugs have developed resistance to other insecticides. Global travel has also drastically increased in the prior decades, allowing bed bugs to hitchhike near and far. So the 21st century has been a bit of a renaissance for the parasites.

Bed bug fear in France is sure to abate as media sources change their frenetic focus, but it does seem to be spreading to South Korea. Local reports are full of stories about bed bug sightings in subways and people flocking to public health centers to have their insect bites checked.

Is it possible that Parisian travelers brought bed bugs to Korea? Certainly. But its more likely that the social panic has just moved on. Fear spreads much more easily than bed bugs.

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How to Prevent Bed Bugs With 3 Items From Experts – Travel + Leisure

The alarming news of a recent bed bug outbreak in Paris has had everyone, including myself, sleeping with an eye open at night. As a New Yorker and an avid traveler, Im finding the threat of these tiny nuisances is a growing concern, especially with bed bugs seemingly popping up in subways, hotels, and more.

Bed bugs, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are reddish-brown, small insects that feed on the blood of people and animals. While not inherently dangerous to people, aside from the occasional allergic reaction that some individuals may experience, an untreated infestation can quickly escalate and be incredibly difficult and costly (up to thousands of dollars) to get rid of. Whats even more unsettling is their ability to remain dormant for several months without ever feeding on blood.

The good news is that experts at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have identified effective strategies to prevent bed bug infestations. While many of these measures include action-oriented tasks such as staying alert and inspecting your accommodations, as well as unpacking items directly into the washing machine when you return home and washing at high temperatures to kill any bugs and eggs that may have hitched a ride with you, there are also three straightforward yet highly effective items you can buy right now to bolster your confidence on your next trip: a hardside suitcase, plastic storage bags, and a flashlight.

Read on for more expert tips and the items they recommend to help you avoid bed bugs on your next trip.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention writes that, bed bugs are experts at hiding, and that they tend to hide and travel in the seams and folds of soft luggage and bags. To avoid these pests from latching on to your bags, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says that travelers should use hard-cased luggage if possible, noting that, it is more difficult for bed bugs to attach to rigid materials than to fabric.

As I rethink my current soft-cased luggage situation, Im leaning toward a more robust and bed bug-resistant option. Thats why Im adding the Samsonite Freeform Carry-on Spinner Suitcase to my cart, especially since Travel + Leisure rated it as the best overall hardside suitcase of all the models they tested. And even better news? Its on sale for $140.


The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommends packing your clothing in re-sealable plastic bags. Plastic bags are available in up to 22-gallon sizes in hardware and other stores. Bring extra bags in a variety of sizes for items you buy on your trip. And, TikTok creator Dr. Shah (@dermdoctor) emphasized that travelers should store all dirty clothes in Ziploc bags, because bed bugs tend to travel and latch on to crevices, especially warm and damp ones.

To avoid bed bugs sneaking into your garments, pack and store all of your clothes in plastic bags. While vacuum-sealed Ziploc Storage Bags are a reliable go-to (especially considering they have a seal of approval from T+L editors), consider packing a few different sizes for all of your clothes, belongings, and any souvenirs you want to take home bug-free.


And finally, experts recommend packing a small, bright flashlight to inspect your room when you arrive, to check for any signs of bed bugs in your hotel, Airbnb, or other accommodation. This can mean looking for eggs, skin markings, blood stains, and adult bugs under mattresses, in drawers, on headboards, and in the carpet. To thoroughly and properly inspect your room, its a good idea to keep a flashlight on hand. Consider adding the Lighting Ever LED Flashlight, a top-rated option with over 23,000 five-star ratings to your travel gear repertoire for easy inspection wherever you go.

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How to prevent bed bugs getting into your mattress 3 actions to … – Tom’s Guide

Bed bugs are prolific. Once inside your home theyll spread like wildfire, quickly infesting your furniture, mattress, bedding and curtains. Getting rid of bed bugs is very hard without the help of pest control, and when these critters bite your skin, those bites can feel itchy and sore for a while.

The telltale signs of bed bugs in your bedroom include a musty odor, blood stains on your mattress and bedding, eggs that measure around 1mm in size, shed skin, feces, and not to mention actual bedbugs crawling around at night. In the day they like to hide in mattress tufts and folds.

Even the best mattresses with fully hypoallergenic designs arent immune, so being prepared is your best defence. With that in mind, here are three things you can do right now to prevent bed bugs from infiltrating your mattress

A basic mattress protector wont save you from bed bugs. Instead youll need a zippered mattress encasement. This piece of fabric slips over your entire mattress, covering the top, bottom and all four sides. You then zip it shut.

If you dont have bed bugs, a mattress encasement will keep the critters out. If you do have bedbugs, the mattress encasement keeps the bugs sealed inside until they die and you can dispose of the mattress safely.

You dont get bed bugs just because your home is dirty. However, regular cleaning of your mattress helps you stay on top of any potential critters, bacteria, mold and allergens.

Can bed bugs fly or jump?

According to the New York State Department of Health, bed bugs do not fly or jump. However they crawl quickly and are active at night, choosing to hide in the day.

Now is the time to learn how to clean a mattress properly. We recommend stripping all bedding and putting it on a hot wash: that includes your duvet and pillows too, but check the instructions if you have down bedding.

Vacuum the top, bottom and sides of your mattress, then steam clean every inch of it. Leaving it in direct sunlight to dry helps kill dust mites, mold and bacteria. Finish by vacuuming your bed frame, checking for any signs of bedbugs there too.

Mattresses arent the only places bed bugs love to live, so check the rest of your furniture, curtains and throws. Unfortunately there are many ways bed bugs can invade your home, including from a neighboring property that already has an infestation.

Places to check include your couch, chairs, clothes, and box spring or divan bed base. Remember, the signs of bed bugs include a musty odor, blood stains, eggs or shed skin, and tiny dark specks of feces.

Youll need one that covers the top, bottom and all four sides of your mattress. Make sure it's designed especially to ward off bed bugs or to keep them trapped inside if you already have an infestation on your hands.

A good bed bug mattress cover should be machine washable and able to withstand a very hot wash. Ensure it comes in the right size for your mattress too. Here are our top three bed bug mattress cover picks:

Bed bug sprays are loaded with chemicals, which are needed to kill these pesky critters. But they can also lead to discoloration of your mattress or even change the feel of the fabric on the top layer.

Bed bug droppings 101

Bed bug feces are made up of digested blood, so their droppings will be a dark rust or black color. They are tiny and hard to miss.

Our best tip is to check the care instructions for your mattress beforehand and to read the full instructions for the bed bug spray you want to buy. Some, such as the Hot Shot Bed Bug Killer, can be used on most mattresses as long as you dont saturate the mattress:

Bed bug spray can be used on bed frames too, as well as in furniture such as bedside cabinets and drawers. Always read the instruction label on the spray to find out what materials it should not be used with.

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Bedbugs – NYC Health – New York City

Bedbugs are small insects that are common in New York City. Adult bedbugs have flat, brown oval bodies and are about the size of an apple seed. They are usually active at night and feed on blood in order to grow and reproduce.

Bedbugs do not cause or spread diseases, but their bites can lead to infections. Some people do not have a reaction to bites and may be unaware that bedbugs are in their home until they see them.

Bedbugs like to hide inside of mattresses, under the mattress seams, and especially in the cracks and crevices on the box springs. Other than beds, these bugs often hide in cracks in furniture, floors, walls and other areas near where people sleep or lounge.

If you spot bedbugs in a residence or public place, you can submit a bedbug complaint online or by calling 311.

Bed bug infestations can be safely controlled. You can wash clothes and, in most cases, treat furniture to get rid of bedbugs. You should only throw away furniture if there are no acceptable treatments that can rid them of bedbugs, or if advised to do so by a pest management professional.

The New York City area has more than a thousand pest control companies and thousands of licensed pest management professionals. To get rid of bedbugs, you need to be clear with companies about what you want done and monitor the service you get.

The chance of picking up bedbugs when you travel is low, but it is important to take simple precautions. Bedbugs can hitch a ride on clothing and luggage, especially in places where travelers sleep. They are rarely found in planes, trains and motor vehicles. If you have bedbugs at home and will be traveling, take precautions so you do not spread them to other places.

Bed bug data from the NYC Community Health Survey can be viewed on theEnvironmental Public Health and Sustainability Tracking Portal.

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How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation (with Pictures) – wikiHow Life

Co-authored by:

MMPC, Pest Control Specialist

This article was co-authored by Kevin Carrillo. Kevin Carrillo is a Pest Control Specialist and the Senior Project Manager for MMPC, a pest control service and certified Minority-owned Business Enterprise (MBE) based in the New York City area. MMPC is certified by the industrys leading codes and practices, including the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), QualityPro, GreenPro, and The New York Pest Management Association (NYPMA). MMPC's work has been featured in CNN, NPR, and ABC News. This article has been viewed 637,762 times.

Co-authors: 27

Updated: November 6, 2019


If you can't find any bed bugs but you think you have an infestation, check for bite marks around your feet or ankles. Look for yellow egg shells and clear case skins near your mattress edges, and try to spot blood spots or dark fecal matter on your sheets or headboard. If you cant find these signs, but still think you might have an infestation, read on for more ways to identify bedbugs.

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How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation (with Pictures) - wikiHow Life

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