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Bugs and Termites: Risk To Your Home and Health

Dan Sampson, Esq. - 2/22/2013

Bugs infestation is a known problem to home owners. A friend of mine spent a lot of money on a house, only to see both the roof damaged by termites that invaded the same way bed bugs did. But just as scary are bed bug because they damage not just property, but one's health. Bed bug bites can be dangerous to one's health because you may acquire a disease, potentially a deadly one. Bug infestations have resurged in recent years for reasons which are not clear, but contributing factors may be complacency, increased resistance, bans on pesticides and increased international travel, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Infestation by bugs of any kind can potentially collapse the value of a home.

Bed bugs are parasites that feed exclusively on blood. The scientific term for them is genus Cimex of which Cimex lectularius is the common bed bug. Bed bugs are most active at night, though not exclusively. They bite without being noticed until one starts to see damage on his body. It should be noted, however, that merely having small bites on your body is not proof that you have bed bugs. Those can be caused by a multitude of reasons, which is why seeking the help of a professional is highly recommended.

The adverse effects include skin rashes, allergic symptoms and a slew of other illnesses. It is only by looking at the health effects that the vast majority of people, even doctors, realize that they were victimized by these parasites. The reason is obvious - bed bugs are tiny, with adults reaching 4–5 mm in length and 1.5–3 mm wide.

Interestingly, dogs can be trained to detect bed bugs using their sense of smell.

There are some home remedies for bed bug elimination, and they may be effective, though in the most extreme cases, seeing a doctor may be necessary. The life span of bed bugs is not particularly long, but it does depend on the feeding, meaning the more you let these bugs bite you, the longer they will survive. Longer survival means greater reproduction, so the problem will never end.

Eradication of bed bugs frequently requires a combination of pesticide and nonpesticide approaches. If you do get bed bugs, make sure to clean and disinfect every part of your home, and to vacuum everything you can, including your bed. Using certain types of bug spray may be effective in killing the remaining bed bugs. Using heat is also effective in killing bed bugs.

When dealing with termites, we found that roofs from Skifertag are more durable, as is other parts of home products that may be more resistant to termites. Termites are insects that used to be classified Isoptera until recently, but are now regarded as the epifamily Termitoidae, of the cockroach order Blattodea. Because they eat wood,termites can damage buildings. However, they don't merely limit themselves to eating wood, and can also damage paper, cloth, carpets, and even plastics, plaster and rubber.

Whatever issue you may have with bugs, it is recommended that you call a professional, especially if you are unable to deal with the issue quickly and effectively.


Dan Sampson is an attorney focusing on criminal defense.

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