The common name “Bed Bug” was derived because they hide close to beds and bedding during the day to avoid the daylight and then come out at night to feed on the person or persons occupying the bed. They are considered to be an ectoparasite of humans, but they will also attack other mammals if no food source is available.
Adult bed bugs are about 3/16 of an inch long and are a broad, flat oval in shape. They are amber to reddish brown in color, depending on when they have had their most recent meal. If there are enough of them in one area, they can emit a noticeable odor.
Female bed bugs lay one to five eggs per day and will deposit them in cracks and crevices in walls and furniture. The average maximum per lifetime for one female is 541 eggs. The less often that they feed, the longer their life span. As a nymph they have to molt five times, and a blood meal is required for each molt. A blood meal takes about three to ten minutes. From egg to adult (nymph stage) takes about 21 to 120 days, depending on the environmental conditions. In a perfect feeding and temperature environment, individual bed bugs can live up to 316 days. In some studies they have actually lived up to several years due to prolonged feeding schedules.
While humans are their preferred host, they will also feed on other mammals if no preferable food source available.
When bed bugs feed, their saliva is injected into the host, which serves as an anticoagulant. After feeding, they will detach and move back into their dark hide away. The bite is painless, but about 80% of people bit will have an allergic reaction to the saliva that was injected into the bite. There is usually a swelling at the bite site as a result to the feeding and some people notice a slight reddening.
Bed bugs hide out in dark cracks and crevices during the day, and they come out at night to feed. They are usually found in beds, bedding, furniture, base boards, wall trim, behind loose wallpaper and light switches, window frames and more. They will crawl to significant measures for a blood meal.
Bed Bugs travel place to place by hitching a ride. They find transportation in such places as:
Anywhere that people travel or lodge is a potential place for bed bugs to dwell. Some clues to a possible bed bug presence are:
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DIY bed bug prevention measures involve having a watchful eye on your home and everything that comes into it. Check yourself and all others upon entrance in to your home if they have been sleeping elsewhere. Inspect all property brought into your home for bed bugs that may be catching a ride. If you find an area that appears to be affected, call a professional to find out the best form of treatment. Wrapping all mattresses with zippered plastic mattress covers will inhibit future bed bug infestations.
There is nothing that compares to a professional pest control service taking care of your bed bug problem. The expert technicians here at Rottler will treat existing bed bugs primarily with heat in combination with appropriate products. In multi-unit living buildings, it is best to treat any adjacent and neighboring units for bed bugs as well.