Bed Bugs
(Cimicidae)

BedBug.jpeg

Bed Bugs are small, flat insects that like to feed on the blood of people or animals while they sleep.

Appearance
 
  • Adults are between 4-5mm long

  • After feeding they are brown to reddish brown in color

  • Oval in shape and no wings

  • They are flat when unfed and are swollen when they have recently fed

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Bed bugs only feed on blood and humans are their preferred host. There is no evidence that they transfer diseases when feeding. Usually they eat at night but are most active the hour before sunrise. Under the right conditions, bedbugs can survive up to a year without a meal.

Bedbugs are hitchhikers. People pick them up when someone they contact infested clothing and furniture or when they bring infested items, such as a mattress, into their home. They are often found in hotels and multi-unit living where they can travel easily from room to room by getting into personal items like purses and luggage. Their small size allows them to sneak in unnoticed. Once inside your home they harbor in cracks and crevices, including mattress seems, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlets, and stored items.

Reproduction

Bed bugs start as eggs, go through four stages of nymphs, and finally become reproductive adults in about 120 days. Eggs hatch in 4-17 days and immediately start feeding. Nymphs require a blood meal before molting to the next stage of their life cycle. They feed weekly and molt a total of 4 times throughout their life. Once they are reproductive adults they feed at least every 14 days in order to reproduce. Females can lay 1-5 eggs a day as long as she has a blood meal and will lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime.

Signs of an Infestation

If you see the insects, their eggs, shed skins, excretion, or bite marks indicates you have a beg bug infestation. Bed bugs like to nest close to their hosts and you can find the insects, eggs and shed skins in their nests located along mattress seems, in headboards and nightstand crevices, in-between the mattress and box springs, or in other various cracks and crevices. Their excretions are red or brown spots of dried blood, found on your sheets or mattresses. Bite marks are the body’s reaction to the saliva injected as the insect feeds. They typically appear in a row of several bites. Reactions to their saliva will vary due to a person’s sensitivity and often don’t show immediately after the bites.

Treatments

Without the help of an experienced pest control specialist, they can be difficult to control. Here are some steps to follow in order to prepare for a professional pest control beg bug treatment:

  • Remove bedding and linens. Wash them in hot water and dry them in a dryer. Do not replace bedding for 4 hours after treatment.

  • Remove pets from the home. Fish tanks are the only exception. Simply cover the tank with cling wrap and turn all pumps off.

  • Discard infested mattresses and box springs appropriately so no one else takes the item to their home. We recommend purchasing bed bug covers that encase the mattress and box springs to prevent future infestations.

  • Remove, wash and dry fabric, clothes, additional linens in the infested rooms. Store these items temporarily in the garage or in areas away from the infested rooms.
    Run all stuffed toys, pillows, and other items that endure heat through at minimum, a 20-minute dryer cycle.

  • Move furniture towards the center of the room, away from walls. Vacuum carpet, hard floors, baseboards, furniture, and immediately dispose of the vacuum bag or dirt in a bagless vacuum.

  • Store items in/on hard surface areas such as counters, bathtubs and the garage during treatment.

  • Plan to leave your home or business for approximately 2-4 hours, allowing the spray to completely dry. Wait to sit on any furniture until it has also completely dried.