Copper Basin area sees increase in bed bug activity

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  Bed bugs.

  The name alone can cause shudders of revulsion.

  They are just so icky.

  While there has been an increase of bed bug activity reported in the Copper Basin area, the Pinal County Health Department reported that the good news is they don’t transmit infectious diseases. The only time the department does step in is when bed bugs are reported at hotels.

  Graham Briggs, a Pinal County Health Department official who works in the infectious diseases office, recommends that if a homeowner has noticed bed bug activity, they should call a licensed pest remediation company.

  “Call pest control,” he suggests.

  The health department doesn’t track bed bug complaints, but it has seen an uptick in complaints. Briggs explained that this uptick is in line with what is happening nationally. It’s pretty much everywhere, he said.

  According to the Centers for Disease Control:

What are bed bugs?

  Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, wingless, range from 1mm to 7mm (roughly the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny), and can live several months without a blood meal.

Where are bed bugs found?

  Bed bugs are found across the globe from North and South America, to Africa, Asia and Europe. Although the presence of bed bugs has traditionally been seen as a problem in developing countries, it has recently been spreading rapidly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other parts of Europe. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels and resorts and their presence is not determined by the cleanliness of the living conditions where they are found.

  Bed bug infestations usually occur around or near the areas where people sleep. These areas include apartments, shelters, rooming houses, hotels, cruise ships, buses, trains, and dorm rooms. They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, inside cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, or any other clutter or objects around a bed. Bed bugs have been shown to be able to travel over 100 feet in a night but tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep.

Do bed bugs spread disease?

  Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

What health risks do bed bugs pose?

  A bed bug bite affects each person differently. Bite responses can range from an absence of any physical signs of the bite, to a small bite mark, to a serious allergic reaction. Bed bugs are not considered to be dangerous; however, an allergic reaction to several bites may need medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of a bed bug infestation?

  One of the easiest ways to identify a bed bug infestation is by the tell-tale bite marks on the face, neck, arms, hands, or any other body parts while sleeping. However, these bite marks may take as long as 14 days to develop in some people so it is important to look for other clues when determining if bed bugs have infested an area. These signs include:

• the bed bugs’ exoskeletons after molting,

• bed bugs in the fold of mattresses and sheets,

• rusty–colored blood spots due to their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete on the mattress or nearby furniture, and

  • a sweet musty odor.

  To learn more about bed bugs, visit the CDC’s website.

You can also find more information here.

Staff (4217 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


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