Bugged By Bedmates


We’ve all heard the old idiom “sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” Certainly wise advice, but what happens when the bedbugs do bite? They leave tiny red welts on skin, and are detectable by small spots of blood on bed linens. Sometimes you can actually see the diminutive reddish-brown bugs in the crevices of a mattress or couch.

Tim Schroeder, Tallahassee branch manager of McCall Service and associate certified entomologist, says when this is the case, it’s time to call in the professionals. “You’ve got to do a very thorough inspection,” he advises. “You want someone who’s dealt with them before and who will do it properly.”

Bedbugs are typically associated with structures where large amounts of people go in and out, like dormitories, hotels and cruise ships, and also primarily in cities with lots of travelers. In Tallahassee, “they’re becoming more common,” says Schroeder. “Ten years ago, we never had complaints … we’ve had several calls about them this year.”

He says the insecticide used by professional pest control services can successfully get rid of bedbugs. “You have to check every crack and crevice, get into the gaps in headboards and the bed frame itself.”

Rudi Scheffrahn, professor of Entomology at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale campus, says the best way to ensure all the pests are killed is fumigation. “There’s no residual control, so they can easily re-infest. Leave everything in the house, take only what’s absolutely necessary, and be very careful to check the items you bring back in afterward.”

Categories: Advice, Archive