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The Bed Bug Dilemma: How Air Ducts Could Contribute to Their Spread

The Bed Bug Dilemma: How Air Ducts Could Contribute to Their SpreadThe idea that your home could have a bed bug infestation is probable cause for panic, especially if they infiltrate your HVAC system. 

Where Bed Bugs Hide Out

Bed bugs are small parasitic insects that hide in dark crevices in the day and feed on the blood of other animals at night. They are brown, flat and oval shaped, measuring no more than 1/4 inch long. The nymphs hatch out from eggs laid around the hiding places and are lighter in color and smaller than adults.

Bed bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of once they are introduced in a dwelling. Mostly, people bring them home via luggage or clothing (including shoes) after staying in an infested lodging. Because the creatures are so small, you don’t generally know your home is infested until you wake up with itchy red bites.

Bed bugs can hide in drapes, furniture, crevices, upholstery, carpet, mattresses, bed frames, headboards — and even in hollow doors, ceiling light fixtures and smoke detectors. While it’s unlikely that bed bugs will enter into ductwork — it’s usually too far away from the host — it’s possible. It’s also possible bed bugs may be found in vents, heating units and air conditioners. Bed bugs are not more likely to be found in dirty vents or ducts, but are likely to gravitate to dark areas where they can hide, close to mattresses where sources of nourishment — meaning people — are available.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

Turning on the air conditioner in the hope it can kill bugs in the vents won’t be effective.  Although some homeowners may be successful using home remedies to get rid of bed bugs, it’s generally best to hire an exterminator who is trained to know where to look for the insects, and who will know how to apply pesticides that will be effective in killing them. These chemicals should not be put in ventilation systems, as you do not want members of your household breathing them.

Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric of Yuma can answer your questions on HVAC topics. Call us to schedule your HVAC maintenance, repairs and new installations.