The Oil Industry Brings Many Things To Southeast New Mexico -
Prosperity, Traffic, and...Bed Bugs
The recent oilfield population boom has had a huge impact on the number of confirmed bed bug infestations in the Carlsbad, Eddy County, and Southeast New Mexico area.
While the population in Carlsbad alone from the oilfield or any high traffic industry is bound to bring in a few cases, the constant sharing and changing of rooms in the man camps, hotels, and other oilfield housing arrangements is a multiplier in the oil industry.
In the first few years that Horizon Pest Control was in business, we saw one or two bed bug infestations a year. Now we have gone to sixteen and twenty four a year in the last two years. And most have been in oilfield housing such as man camps, hotels, and RV’s.
While the oilfield and oil boom has brought a lot of abundance to Southeast New Mexico communities like Carlsbad and Loving, it has also brought a lot of unwanted and unpleasant aspects to the area as well. If you haven’t experienced bed bugs, then you’ll probably agree that the traffic, high prices, and no food on the store shelves is the biggest annoyance. However, if you have had the joy of a bed bug infestation, you’ll probably gladly take the oilfield traffic and high cost of living over that any day.
While the majority of our clients and long term Carlsbad residents have never had a bed bug issue, it’s still a good idea to know how to avoid them. This is especially true if you travel a lot, have a lot of company, or if you work in a crowded industry like the oilfield.
So if you travel a lot and stay in a variety of places, I've listed a few tips below. But first, you need to know what your looking for.
What Do Bed Bugs Look Like?
What do bed bugs look like and what signs do they leave?
The photo above is a pretty clear shot of what a live bed bug looks like. Scale it down to anywhere from a grain of rice to a large brown dog tick.
The photo to the right is a bit extreme but a good example of what kind of sign they leave behind. This mattress is covered in fecal matter of a large infestation at one of our local man camps.
Again, this is a bit extreme but does give a good idea of what the blood spots look like. If you expand the photo, you can see actual live bed bugs in the seems.
Bed Bug Safe Travel Tips
- Don’t put your luggage on your bed and don’t unpack it into drawers. As well, even hanging up clothes in the closet has the risk from previous tenants. And actually the safest route is to keep your luggage and belongings in large sealed trash bags.
- Inspect the room for any signs of an infestation. Look for tiny black, brown, red, or rust colored spots or dots on bed sheets, mattress seams, and bed skirts. The general rule is that 95% of the bed bugs will be within 5 feet of the bed.
- Seriously, do this, inspect underneath the mattress, bed frame and behind the headboard. Look at any seems or wood joints Again, the rule is that 95% of the bed bugs will be within 5 feet of the bed. So check the night stand as well.
- Keep your luggage off the floor and as far from the bed as possible. The 95% rule again. Try to keep it from contact with walls since bed bugs can often hide behind picture frames and electrical outlets.
- If you want to go even further, keep your used clothes in bags or back into the luggage. Don’t just throw them on the floor or on the bed.
- Check your luggage and belongings carefully while repacking and when you return home. ALWAYS keep luggage off the bed at first when you get home.
- Move all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.
Keeping Your Home (or oilfield housing) Free Of Bed Bugs
If we really want to get technical, there are a lot of avenues outside of the oilfield industry where bed bugs can get into our homes such as laundromats, moving trucks and blankets, kids going off to summer camps, college students returning home, sleep overs, borrowed items, returned items, etc.
As the presence of bed bugs increases in the community due to the oilfield, it can perpetuate within new social circles, new co-workers, new friends at school, and so on. And yes, you can pick one up from sitting on someone’s furniture that is infested with bed bugs.
So with increased presence, comes increased exposure whether you're in the oilfield industry or not. And while inspecting every article and every person every time they enter the home is impractical and impossible, it's good to be mindful of where the items and persons are coming from.
Travel, exposure to new circles and activities, and items brought into the home need special attention. Being mindful for any of the signs discussed on this page, unexplained bites or sores, and what's brought in and out of the home will help prevent or cut short most bed bug infestations.
Professional Bed Bug Control
If you suspect a bed bug infestation, you're in the Carlsbad and Southeast New Mexico area, and whether you're in the oilfield industry or not, give Horizon Pest Control a call for service today at 575-725-9331. We provide treatments and service for all oilfield, industrial, commercial, and residential bed bug infestations and pest control issues.