COLOR: Unfed adults are typically clear or light brown/beige in color. Fed or engorged bed bugs are a deep red, dark brown color. Nymphs are typically colorless.
SHAPE: Flat, broad oval when unfed. Swollen and elongated when fed – often looking like apple seeds
SIZE: Adults are 1/4″ long whereas nymphs range from 1.3mm to 4 – 5mm
Bed bugs are most often found in mattress seams (particularly close to the headboard), between the box spring and mattress, and along baseboards. You can identify a bed bug infestation by finding molted bed bug skins, fecal spots, and of course actual bed bugs, dead or alive. A thorough flashlight inspection is the first step in determining the presence and extent of a bed bug infestation.
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Identifying Bed Bug Infestation
You can identify a bed bug infestation by finding molted bed bug skins, tiny black fecal spots, blood stains and bed bugs either alive or decaying.
Bites – Bed bugs search your body thoroughly for the best feeding spot, leaving behind red welts on the skin, often in a line. Signs may not show until 3 days after biting. Some people will not show signs because reactions vary for individuals.
Common places in the bedroom bed bugs might be hiding
Bed bugs are most often found in crevices that give them a hiding place where they can lay eggs, harbor in clusters and increase their overall chance of survival. They naturally harbor where they can access your body the easiest. Perform a thorough inspection to determine the presence and extent of possible bed bug infestations.
- Between box spring and mattress , headboard & wall
- Mattress cover, bed sheets and blanket
- Mattress seams & under tags
- Window treatments
- Between baseboard & wall
- Behind vent covers & electrical outlets
- Crevices in chairs, tables, sofas, tables & closets
Bed Bug Life cycle – After the female bed bug deposits her eggs they will hatch approximately 7 – 10 days later.
From nymph to adult life stage, the bed bug passes through 5 cycles. When it reaches adulthood, the bed bug transitions from a yellowish brown to a reddish brown colour.
Adult bed bugs range from 5mm – 7mm long. Bed bugs can reach maturity in 21 days and live for up to 1 year. Their chance of survival is helped by the fact that bed bugs can live for several months without having a blood meal.
How often they lay eggs – Once female bed bugs are impregnated by a male they must consume a blood meal to heal their injuries inflicted by the process of traumatic insemination. The adult female bed bug produces an average of 5 eggs per day reaching a lifetime total of approximately 500 eggs. Bed bug eggs are typically hidden in cracks and crevices.
Bed bug eggs stand a good chance of survival if temperatures stay at a range between 21°C and 28°C. Live bed bugs have a great ability to live in diverse temperatures. To kill bed bugs with heat you must elevate the external environment to a temperature of 48.9°C or 120°F. Cold temperatures must reach a low of -18°C or 0.4°F and must be sustained for several weeks. The use of heat is most common because it is much more accessible than extreme cold.
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Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease from one person to another person.
Bed bugs can go undetected because they are small, can easily hide in tiny cracks and crevices and usually feed at night. Itchy welts on skin and/or black or brown spots on mattresses, sheets, bed frames or walls are all signs of a bedbug infestation.
Reactions to bed bug bites vary between people. Some people don’t react to bed bug bites while others can have allergic reactions like itchy welts. Allergic sensitivity in a person may increase the more they are bit. Bed bug bites may not be noticed right away because bed bugs usually feed at night when people are asleep and there may be a delayed reaction to the bites. It can also be hard to identify a bed bug bite compared to other insect bites or other skin conditions.
Early detection of a bed bug infestation is very important. The larger the infestation, the more difficult getting rid of the bed bugs will be. Because bed bugs travel easily, you may also have to treat nearby rooms. Remove or reduce any clutter where bed bugs can hide. Bed bugs may fall off infested items when moved. Securely seal items in an enclosed bag, plastic wrap or plastic container to prevent them from spreading to non-infested areas of the building.
- 95% of US based pest management professionals companies have encountered a bed bug infestation in the past year.
- Prior to 2000, only 25% of respondents had encountered a bed bug activity.
- Bed bugs love to “hitchike”on people and their belongings. The rise of bed bugs will continue amongst those living in rural and urban areas who live in close confines of each other.
- 52% of pest management companies report treating bed bug infestations in rural areas compared to 71% in urban areas and 80% in suburban areas.
- Bed bugs are the most difficult pest to treat – according to 76% of survey respondents – more so than cockroaches, ants and termites.
- One in five Americans have had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs in their home or hotel
- Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing
Links & Resources
stats taken from pestworld.org – http://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/history-of-bed-bugs/bed-bug-facts-statistics
Bed Bug Information Guides
NPMA Bed Bug Best Management Practices – Download
Frequently Asked Questions about Bed Bugs
Bed bugs, Climex Lectularius, is an insect that feeds on human blood. They have a tiny piercing-sucking mouthpart that they use to extract blood. They harbor in cracks and crevices throughout the day to preserve their energy and then move around most actively between 3am and 6:00am. Once they’re engorged with blood after feeding, they return to their hiding places.
Eggs are approximately 1 mm (millimeter) long and whitish coloured which makes them difficult to see. The hatched nymph is roughly 1.5 mm and range to a maximum size of 4.5 mm. Bed bugs look very different depending on when they last had a blood meal. For instance, a hungry adult is between 6mm and 10mm long. They are flat shaped and a light brown colour. However, fed adults are engorged with blood, which makes them a vibrant reddish brown, shorter and rounded like an oval.
Bed bugs search your body thoroughly for the best feeding spot, leaving behind red welts on the skin often in a line or cluster. Signs may not show until 3 days after biting and can persist for a week or more. Some people will not show signs because reactions vary for individuals. Some people feel sore whereas others have no discomfort.
The simple fact is that bed bugs don’t choose victims discriminately. They are found in luxury hotels and in family homes all over the world. There are several likely reasons why bed bugs entered your home. -You may have brought them back from travel; -They entered your home when you acquired second-hand furniture or clothing; -Your daily commute via public transit exposed you to them; -House guests unknowingly brought them to you; -Your workplace has bed bugs; -or perhaps they migrated into your room from a neighboring room.
How can I prevent bed bugs from entering my home? Travelling: Inspection of your travel accommodations is important because you will help prevent bringing bed bugs home with you. The following are tips you can take to prevent bringing bed bugs home with you after your travels: -Inspect your hotel bed room for signs of bed bugs. -Put your suitcase on the hard floor of the bathroom or on a luggage stand so that they cannot infiltrate your luggage while you’re performing an inspection. -If you find a bed bug you should immediately place it in a seal-able plastic bag to provide proof to either a hotel manager. -As a precaution, place your travel clothing in plastic or a dissolve-able laundry bag within your suitcase to safely contain bed bugs hiding in your clothing on the way home. -Use a travel sized Bed Bug Killing Spray either in your room or during travels if you think you have found an infestation you need to kill -You can also use the spray in you home to spray your emptied suitcase and kill hidden bed bugs and their eggs.
Clutter: The existing furniture and material goods inside your house also create areas for bed bugs to harbor. To reduce the chances of bed bugs harboring, try to keep things from touching the walls (eg. Couches, bookshelves, beds, etc.), dangling to the floor (blankets that touch the ground, bed skirts, sheets, pillows, etc.). Try to hang clothing to keep it off the ground. You should consider bagging your clothing in clear plastic garbage bags and sealing them for several weeks if you suspect bed bugs in them.
Alternatively, place your clothing in the dryer for 35 – 40 minutes on high if you are certain there are bed bugs in clothing and you need to kill them. Cracks and Crevices: If your home has identifiable areas where small crevices are more available to bed bugs, they will more surely harbor there. To prevent such activity, consider taping or sealing the cracks closed (ie. Loose baseboards, broken/ open areas in the drywall). Cleaning: Make sure that you clean your bedding and clothes frequently in hot water and dry on high heat.
You can use mattress and pillow encasement to prevent a harborage in you mattress and pillow. Frequently inspect between your mattress and box spring and install bed bug coasters under your bed and furniture posts in order to trap bed bugs from coming or going to your bed. Also, using diatomaceous earth inside of bed bug coasters is an effective method of killing bed bugs on their way into or away from your bed.
Yes. An experienced PCC (pest control company) can provide you with unparalleled professional service. There are however, some companies with less experience that you may pay a lot of money to and never see the results you deserve. It is essential that you as a customer must do your research on the appropriate pest control company.
Beware when you travel!