Bed Bugs are ectoparisite insects which have 6 legs, antennae, and are nearly colorless until they mature. Adult bed bugs are colored mahogany to rusty brown and can grow up to a quarter of an inch long.
Habits of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs like to travel and are good hitchhikers. They will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They can hide behind baseboards and in cracks, crevices, and folded areas of beds, bedding and adjacent furniture, especially mattresses and box springs. Bed bugs can also hide in electrical switchplates, picture frames, wallpaper and nearly anywhere inside a home, car, bus, or other shelter.
Bed bugs usually come out at night for a blood meal. However, they are opportunistic insects and can take a blood meal during the day, especially in heavily-infested areas. Bed bugs usually require 5-10 minutes to engorge with blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate, and lay eggs.
Bed Bugs like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. They can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices. Beg bugs are also known to survive in temporary or alternative habitats, such as backpacks and under the seats in cars, busses and trains. Bed bugs can also withstand extreme temperatures, from nearly freezing to over 110 degrees fahrenheit.
Threats of Bed Bugs
Although bed bugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.
Information on this page is from the National Pest Management Association, Inc.
Prevention of Bed Bugs
- Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation.
- Check your bedsheets for tell-tale blood spots.
- Consider bringing a large plastic trashbag to keep your suitcase in during hotel stays.
- Carry a small flashlight to assist you with quick visual inspections.
- Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home without thoroughly examining for signs of a bed bug infestation. You might consider having a pest control professional inspect the furniture as it is difficult to detect an infestation if you are untrained.
- Regularly inspect areas where pets sleep for signs of bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are elusive creatures, so it is imperative to seek professional pest control to address an infestation.
Frequently Asked Questions
There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations. Pest Control Companies who received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week.
These pests are not limited to any one specific type of dwelling. Pest Control Companies have been reporting the infestations in multi-family housing, apartments, hotels and even hospitals.
Pest Control Companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale. Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in-between.
Bedbegs should not be equated with filth or sanitation problems -- in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are very elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed. And they are hardy. They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to almost 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Bedbugs can be controlled with vigilance and constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.
To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional. This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.
Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin. Adult bed bugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control. Once inside a hotel or home, bed bugs spread rapidly from room to room - through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bed bugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests may end up moving to another room.
Bedbugs are not just in beds. They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames. In other words, they can be live pretty much anywhere.
Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring. This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures. As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.