Zika Virus Control

Mosquitoes transmit  dangerous diseases including: Zika, Chikungunya, dengue, West Nile, and yellow fever viruses, and malaria. Mosquitoes that transmit zika virus are found in many countries in South America and the West Indies. Recently a mosquito colony transmitting Zika virus was found close to Miami. The symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Normally the symptoms are not severe and few people die of Zika. However, if a pregnant woman is infected, she can pass the infection on to her child, and the infection can cause certain birth defects including microcephaly (smaller than normal head size). For this reason pregnant women traveling to an area where Zika virus is found should consider rescheduling the trip, but if they decide to travel, they should take precautions against being bitten, including using an effective mosquito repellent.  


Bed Bug Haunts and Bed Bug Feedings

Baltimore Bedbug Control

Baltimore Bedbug Control

I’m Boruch Fishman, and welcome to another episode of close-up. Today I will be presenting some academic information about bed bugs, provided by Harvard University. Bedbugs , as you may know, are currently make a come-back. There is a tremendous resurgence in bed bug infestations, believed to be due to restrictions on the use of powerful insecticides, such as DDT, increased travel and increased urban congestion.

Experts believe that bed bugs inherited their name from their close association with beds and bedding. During the day, bed bugs hide out in bedding. And at night they snack on the occupants of the same bed. These insects are known by several names: wall louse, house bug, mahogany flat, red coat, and crimson ramblers, to name just a few.,

Bed bugs prefer feeding on humans, but their culinary adventures are not restricted to man. Various species of the bedbuginsect family Cimicidae also feed on mammals, poultry and non-domestic foul. Among bedbugs reported in New Mexico, for example,  are the western bat bug (Cimex pilosellus Horvath) and the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius Horvath). While these insects prefer other hosts, they can, when stressed, feed on humans.

Unlike many modern day pests, bed bugs have never been proven to be carries of disease, at least not in the US. Nevertheless, they cause an annoying epidemic presence at times, and are spread via clothing, traveler baggage, guests, used beds, bedding material used household furniture and laundries.

Adult bed bugs are wingless. Their color ranges from brown to red-brown in color and their size varies depending on when they had their last meal. An unfed bed bug is between 1/4 and 3/8 inches long, and extremely thin. It is so thin it can fit into the head of a screw, or nest between pages of a book.  This helps to explain why it is so difficult to eradicate a bed bug infestation. The upper surface of a bed bug has a papery, crinkly, flimsy appearance. After the blood meal, the beg bug can swell up to immense proportions. The body becomes elongated and the skin color resembles a dull red. The color, size, and shape change from an unfed to a full bug is remarkable.

There are five signs, which tell you if your home is infested with bedbugs: blood stains on mattress and beding from inadvertently crushed bed bugs, or brown stains from the blood filled bed bug feces, black dots of fecal remains found often on the underside of bedding; bed bug eggs, which are tiny pearl colored excrescences, found in the creases of mattresses and other places where bed bugs congregate; shed bedbug skins, from molting, these are light almost tan colored skins; bed bug bites, which are reddish bites similar to misquito bites, except that they do not itch initially. The bites are usually found on appendages. and can become infected.

If you suspect you have a bed bug infestation, you should call a pest specialist immediately and work with him to identify and eradicate the infestation.

That’s it for another episode of close-up. I’m Boruch Fishman, and have a great day.