Nov142016

"Hitching a Ride with Bed Bugs"

When someone mentions BED BUGS we all have a tendency to start scratching…. but have you ever wondered what a bed bug’s life is really like? Let’s get to know bed bugs a little better.

What does a bed bug look like?

They are small reddish-brown insects and are about 3/16 inch long (size of an apple seed) and easily visible to the naked eye. They are wingless, but are fast crawlers. Their bodies are very flat with slender legs and antennae.

Where can they be found?

We know that all 50 states have bedbugs. We also know that they’ve expanded their reach and can now be found in single family homes, apartments, hospitals, motels, hotels, office buildings, schools, college dorms, buses, trains, movie theaters and retail stores. Just about anywhere you find human activity you might also find a bed bug nearby.

When are they most active?

You won’t see them out and about…running across your floors or countertops. They are elusive, staying out of view during the daytime. Their favorite hiding places could be in mattress crevices, box springs, baseboards, behind electrical switchplates, in picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. But when nighttime comes they come out of their hiding places seeking human contact. Some say that the carbon dioxide we exhale often tempts them out of their hiding places.

What are their feeding habits?

Bed bugs have a predictable feeding pattern. Once a bed bug finds a host, it will usually feed for 5 to 10 minutes until full. We often wonder why a biting bed bug doesn’t wake us up when it feeds. Experts say that the components in bed bug saliva act as an anesthetic and promote increased blood flow at the bite site, making the feeding process quick and nearly painless. After feeding, bed bugs go back to their hiding places and stay for 5-10 days. During this time they do not feed, instead they will digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.

How long do bed bugs live?

There are many case studies on bed bugs and under “good” conditions, bed bugs can survive up to a year.

If I have bed bugs what can I do?

Bed bugs are difficult to control and if not properly treated they will extend their reach to other areas in your home. If you think you have a problem get in touch with your local pest control company and schedule a free evaluation.